It all began with a vision.
“God gave me a vision of itinerant ministry going from parish to parish in a time of great need in our culture. I believe that our current ministry is fulfilling that vision. The Catholic Church has nearly died in recent years, but God is raising us to new life in Christ if we will but accept it. We are rebuilding the church one parish at a time, and renewing hearts one life at a time!”
The path our Lord has guided John Michael on throughout his life has uniquely prepared him for this time in the Church. After responding to the Lord’s call, God used John Michael to bless millions of lives through his unique and multi-faceted ministry.
Born into a Methodist family with a musical background in Oklahoma City in 1954, John Michael started learning to play the guitar as a young boy. By age 15 he dropped out of school and was performing as a guitarist for Mason Proffit, a country folk-rock band formed with his older brother Terry.
After countless tours and the release of several well received albums (on multiple labels including Warner Brothers), Mason Proffit disbanded and Talbot embarked on a spiritual journey which eventually led him to Fundamentalism and the Jesus Movement.
"I asked God what I was supposed to do," he explains, "and God said, 'Play your music and I will open and shut the doors'." Staying true to that calling, Talbot started to use his musical talents to express his faith by joining the newly emerging Christian music scene. As a founding artist for Sparrow records he delivered two albums, "John Michael Talbot" and "The New Earth" (both produced by Billy Ray Hearn).
His spiritual journey continued throughout his early days at Sparrow and after studying all Christian denominations found that Catholicism spoke to his heart. "It wasn't just some vague yearning," he recalls. "I saw a life in Christ in harmony and in peace."
Inspired by the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, he began studying at a Franciscan center in Indianapolis where he became a Roman Catholic in 1978. He immersed himself in Church history, Patristics, and monastic/ Franciscan sources. It was during this time he started a house of prayer called The Little Portion.
Talbot moved The Little Portion to Eureka Springs Arkansas on land he had purchased during his Mason Proffit days. There he founded his own community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, at Little Portion Hermitage as an "integrated monastic community" with celibate brothers and sisters, singles, and families. By 1989, Talbot had married Viola Pratka (with the permission of the Catholic Church).
After a successful career with Sparrow, John Michael founded his own label in 1992 called "Troubadour for the Lord". Today he is recognized as Catholic music's most popular artist with over 4 million sales and compositions published in hymnals throughout the world. His newest album, “Worship and Bow Down” is the 53rd album in his 37 years in Christian music ministry.
His songs were the first by a Catholic artist to cross well-defined boundaries and gain acceptance by Protestant listeners. Due to his expansive popularity, he was the recipient of several prestigious awards. He has won the Dove Award for Worship Album of the Year, "Light Eternal" with producer and longtime friend, Phil Perkins and he became one of only nine artists to receive the President's Merit Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 1988 he was named the No.1 Christian Artist by Billboard magazine.
John Michael also began to write books from his wealth of study and personal experience of integrated monastic life. A respected (and prolific) author, John Michael’s 24th book “Blessings of St. Benedict” was published September 2011.
John Michael leads his very active ministry from both the Little Portion Hermitage in Arkansas and St. Clare's Monastery in Houston where he is the founder and Minister General of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. Along with his many artistic achievements, his humanitarian efforts have been recognized with awards including special recognition from Mercy Corps and the Mother Teresa award.
When a fire devastated John Michael’s monastery in April of 2008, John Michael began a new format of itinerant ministry traveling from parish to parish to raise money to rebuild his community’s home. It became clear that God was not only using his ministry to rebuild the monastery but to bring fulfillment to the original vision.
In April, 2014 John Michael Talbot premiered his new inspirational TV show, "All Things Are Possble" on The Church Channel to rave reviews!
Today, John Michael Talbot is an active motivational ministers traveling throughout the world inspiring and renewing the faith of Christians of all denominations through sacred music inspired teaching and motivational speaking. Talbot shares, “the old John Michael has died and the new one has been born again!"
John Michael, like a modern St. Francis, is rebuilding God’s Church “one parish at a time, and renewing hearts one life at a time.”
If you want to bring a Spiritual Renewal of Faith, Hope and Charity to your parish or event - THIS IS THE MINISTRY FOR YOU!
Click HERE to learn how to invite JMT to your Parish or Event!