Here's a man who knows how to shake up stereotypes. Long regarded as the vanilla version of '50s rock, recording artist and film star Pat Boone startled most of Christendom when he donned an earring, tattoo, leather and studs for the 1997 American Music Awards broadcast.
From: Karen Karatsu Gundersen, "My Memories of Westside Church of Christ" on official website of the Westside Church of Christ located at 2351 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, California (http://westsidechurchofchrist.pepperdine.edu/karengundersenmemories.htm; viewed 15 July 2005):
His album, "Pat Boone in a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy" -- a compilation of classic heavy-metal songs set to big-band sound -- was far from Boone classics, "Tutti Frutti" and "Ain't That A Shame."
"In a Metal Mood" launched Boone back into mainstream consciousness as an entertainer who, while outspoken about his Christian faith, is "not afraid to laugh at himself or rub shoulders with folks whose public images are decidedly less virtuous than his own," said one news report at the time.
Mainstream media devoured the "born-again crooner posing for the dark side." Newspapers plastered Boone's new look on their front pages; "Entertainment Tonight" flashed footage of his head-banging transformation.
Although he was hurt by the vicious backlash he received from Christians who "didn't get it," Boone counts that period as a time when the Lord used him in an unusual way...
Other guests on the show included Dave Owen, the pastor of The Vineyard of Malibu, where Ryan and his fiancee attended church before the accident. Another guest, Max Lucado, whom Boone describes as the epitome of gentleness, was chosen by the producers because his name is easily recognized.
Lucado may not share the charismatic background of the other guests, but he and Boone have one thing in common -- they both were raised in the Church of Christ. "We've both come a long way from the early, legalistic, 'speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent' doctrinal stance," says Boone.
Boone believes "we don't all have our doctrine all completely correct but God doesn't judge us on our understanding of doctrine. He judges our heart, our intent, our purpose, our love and how we treat other people."
For the past three decades, Boone has been a member of the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, a Foursquare Gospel congregation led by pastor Jack Hayford. The Pentecostal church is home to numerous celebrities.