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He Didn’t ‘Stop Believin.’ Journey’s Jonathan Cain Says God Inspired His Most Famous Songs

jonathan cain
Screenshot from YouTube / @I Am Second

Singer and songwriter Jonathan Cain of the band, Journey, credits the title of the hit song, “Don’t Stop Believin,’” to his father. But it wasn’t until later in his life that Cain realized God was the true inspiration behind his life’s work. 

Jonathan Cain’s Journey

While Jonathan Cain has played in a number of bands, he is arguably best known for being part of Journey and for co-writing, “Don’t Stop Believin,’” as well as “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” and “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” Cain leads worship at his church and is married to Paula White, senior pastor of City of Destiny Church in Apopka, Florida, and spiritual advisor to former president Donald Trump.

In an interview with I Am Second, Cain said his “story begins” with his father. “When I was very young, I would go to church with him and watch him pray and he would pray so fervently that tears would come down his cheeks.”

Cain said he “wanted that so badly,” so he asked his dad, “Can I go with you to Jesus?” His dad explained that Cain needed to get his own relationship with Jesus.

The songwriter recounted several milestone moments in his childhood. Once, he almost drowned in a lake in Arkansas, but someone rescued him. Cain credited God with saving his life, adding, “It was also a wake-up call that God was preparing me to face life.” 

When he was in third grade, Cain survived a fire in a Catholic school. “I watched 92 children die right next to the house of God and three nuns,” he said, “and I felt just so lost.” That tragedy was extremely confusing to Cain, leaving him wondering, “Did Jesus abandon us that day? What happened?”

After this, Cain’s father put him in music school, believing his son was “saved for something greater.” 

“Music seemed to be a redemption for me,” said Cain, who found some initial success after joining the band, the Babys. But his dad saw each of his successes at the time as a “stepping stone to something greater,” to a place where Cain had not yet arrived. 

At one point, Cain’s dog was hit by a car and the musician called his father to ask for money to pay the vet. During the call, Cain asked if his dad thought he should give up on “this music dream.” His father replied, “This is your vision. No, you’re not coming home. Stay the course. Don’t stop believing.”

Cain wrote the phrase in his lyric book. Five years later, he looked in his book for inspiration for a song, and “it was history.”