Jarrell McCracken, founder of Word Inc., one of the world's largest makers of religious recordings and publications, died Wednesday.
"Whatever people think of Christian music today is owed largely to Jarrell McCracken," Baylor University journalism professor Robert Darden told the Baylor Lariat.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that the recording company boasts of names like Amy Grant, Sandi Patti, and George Beverly Shea. Billy Graham, Ruth Carter Stapleton, and UCLA basketball coach John Wooden were published through Word.
Piers Bateman, who worked for McCracken at Word for more than 20 years, told the Tribune-Herald that McCracken created an industry.
"The gospel music, the religious music industry, did not exist before him and the religious publishing of books was a very small aspect of publishing before he got involved in it. He was always out front, maybe a little further out in front of the industry than it wanted him to be, which is not uncommon of entrepreneurial, visionary people." ...1