In a society that seeks fame and fortune above all, Rick Cua’s simple mission – to share the love of God through music – is a cool drink of water in a dry land. Add to that wide-ranging experience and wisdom gained from over thirty five years in music ministry and business, along with a gift of encouragement and you have the components of an artist, teacher and speaker with a passion for helping others find their fullness in Christ.
Proverbs 4:7 says “Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment.” (NLT) Rick has spent his life putting that scripture into practice. From his experiences as an artist, minister and music businessman, he has a wealth of knowledge to share; and the act of sharing is what motivates him.
When you read about Rick’s experience, it is easy to understand why he is such a resource to the church. Having been a member of a successful mainstream rock group, The Outlaws, then continuing for more than 35 years as a Christian recording artist, serving for 5 1/2 years as an executive of EMI Christian Music Publishing, and 25 years as an ordained minister, gives Rick a rich well to draw from. Currently, Rick focuses his time on front-line ministry at Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, TN and Kingdom Bound Ministries in Buffalo, NY. That plus his musical efforts all speak to his personal mission of sharing the power of God’s Word through music and hands on ministry.
“I love to get out and play, I really do. I love teaching. I love talking and teaching about worship and songwriting, and wrapping the Word around all of that. In recent years I have become aware of the fact that I am ministering as a player and as a coach. Not only passing along my experience through mentoring but by modeling it as well.” Rick says.
Rick’s career as a musician has always carried the hallmark of an artist who passionately holds on to his Biblical convictions and communicates uplifting and straightforward messages to his audience. All of his songs are written with the intent to ultimately point to Christ.
“Music is such a motivator. When you put the truth in music, and you hit that emotional nerve, it works,” explains Rick. “I feel called to build people up. My goal is to take the Word and Godly principles and attach it to music that is going to get them pumped up, and want to sing along and want to believe what they are hearing and what they are singing…as an artist, that’s what it’s about.”
To that end, Rick continues to write and record new songs that have been born out of a progressive artistic vision. His involvement in the burgeoning praise and worship community over the years is definitely having an impact.
“A lot of the songs I write have a worship slant; it’s what I’ve done for years. It’s a natural thing. They will be congregational, but will also be energetic and pretty vibey,” Rick says. “Musically, the recordings will rock with appropriate aggression and an uplifting message.”
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Rick’s Italian heritage is apparent in his first instrument—as a young boy, he started on the accordion. He eventually moved on to the piano, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, and eventually settled on the bass—and rock music. Membership in early bands fed his musical obsession, and led to paying gigs by age 14 and an inevitable career choice.
Marrying Diana, his high school sweetheart, at age 21, Rick continued to pursue music, with all the ups and downs that entails. Several years into their marriage, Diana accepted Christ as her Savior and spent the next five years praying for Rick to come to Christ also—and her prayers were answered.
“As a child, I always had a sense of who God was, even though I didn’t really know Him,” Rick explains. “I always had the prompting of the Holy Spirit, even though I didn’t know where it was coming from. I also believe that long before I made a serious commitment to Christ, He had His hands on my life.”
Several years after Rick’s commitment to Christ, he felt lead to leave The Outlaws and commit his music to ministry. Eventually, he would release 11 albums, with six #1 songs and nine Top 5 hits, and a Dove Award nomination. He has performed across the United States and around the world for a large part of his life.
Rick’s 12th solo CD, “Won’t Fade Away”, celebrated 25 years of music ministry: 1982 – 2007. His latest effort with Blues Counsel, has produced 4 CD’s; “Let The Healing Begin” released in November 2009, Blues Counsel Live with Phil Keaggy released in November of 2011, Muscle Shoals Sessions released in May of 2013 and the newest Blues Counsel CD, Slow Demolition, released in November of 2016.
“If there is one thing I want to be remembered for as an artist and friend, it is as an encourager, a man who always stands on the foundation of God’s word and encourages through the love, support and promises of Christ,” says Rick. “I’m not a hellfire and brimstone guy; it’s just about ‘You can do it, God’s given you the power, and his Grace is the power for you to do what you are called to do. Know who you are in Christ, get out there and do it.’”
Rick is currently on staff at Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork TN as Pastoral Care Pastor. Rick and Diana, his wife of 47 years, live in Franklin, TN, have 2 daughters, a son-in-law and 2 grandchildren, Niki, Nina, Todd, Luke & Eva.
Diana has been Rick’s partner in life and music for 47 years. With a strong background in Biblical Counseling and a broad knowledge of the ministry and business of music, Diana is actively involved in all aspects of rickcua.com.
Knowing what it’s like to navigate the unique challenges associated with being married to a traveling musician, Diana has also spent many years ministering to the wives of Christian musicians. She co-founded and served in a ministry called Surrogate Sisters that was formed in Nashville nearly 2 decades ago. This group was dedicated to supporting the wives and families of many Christian musicians & artists.
Using God’s word as a guide and through the continual prayer for divine inspiration, Diana’s passion is to help people assess their lives and walk out their calling with confidence and joy.
Wife, Mother, Grandmother and visual artist, Diana is on staff at her home Church, Grace Chapel, where she serves as a Biblical Counselor, teaches equipping classes and is a member of the prayer team.