Singing his way back 

The Capital-Journal 

Two years after suffering near-fatal injuries in the car accident that killed Christian singer and songwriter Rich Mullins, Topekan Mitch McVicker is coming home with a concert tonight at his home church.

McVicker, 26, performs his original music at 7 p.m. today at Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 S.E. 44th. There is no admission charge. A freewill offering will be received.

Performing with McVicker will be Brad Layher, who plays the guitar, hammer dulcimer and mandola.

In a phone chat earlier this week, McVicker said he has been busy for the past year, touring virtually non-stop from California to New Hampshire and nearly every point in between.

He last was in Topeka in August 1998, when he performed before a packed house with singer Michelle Tumes at First Church of the Nazarene.

"I'm feeling better than I was then," he said. "I'm not all the way back to normal. I'm still seeing with double vision. There's nerves in my body that need to heal so I can move like I used to and see like I used to."

McVicker, who was a basketball standout at Shawnee Heights High School before playing hoops for Friends University in Wichita, said his voice is "90 percent back to where it was" before the accident.

"I'm feeling great," he said. "I'm thankful for how things have progressed to this point."

McVicker won a Song of the Year Dove Award in the spring for the tune "My Deliverer," which he co-wrote with Mullins.

The song was included in Mullins' "The Jesus Record," which was released in the summer of 1998.

"The award was for Rich," McVicker said. "I know that. It was a song I helped him write. I know the song would have happened fine without me.

"Rich was just gracious enough to let me help him."

McVicker's debut solo album, which came out in the summer of 1998, is being rereleased and marketed nationally by Rhythm House Records of San Antonio.

Besides getting a new cover, the album also includes one additional song: McVicker singing "My Deliverer."

McVicker, who calls Nashville, Tenn., home, plans to re-enter the recording studio in February for his next album. He'll also take some time off in the coming winter months, to rest and relax.