When a young Los Angeles music executive named Ken Mansfield first met four British kids named Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison in the early 1960s, he wasn’t blown away.
Ken had seen a lot of one hit wonders come and go. Why would this group, The Beatles, be any different?
Working with Capitol Records, Ken set out on the first American tour of the band – and beheld the cultural explosion of Beatlemania first hand. Ken was asked to head up the American division of the Beatles newly formed record label, Apple Records.
Yet the money, fame, and power that came with reaching the top of his profession didn’t last. Ken’s financial situation and his life as a whole fell apart.
Ken lost his job, and he soon found himself in Nashville, Tennessee, living out of three cardboard boxes. But it was just the beginning of a journey to redemption.
“I’d lost everything – my ocean front home, and servants, and all my toys. I was a producer to Waylon Jennings and The Outlaw Movement. So I thought, well I’ll just go back to my natural origins, having that great success as a producer, and I’ll just start over again.”
“But the doors were closed for some reason. I couldn’t find a job in L.A. and I couldn’t find a job in Nashville either – and it should have been a breeze, but the doors were closed.”
In that dark time, he met someone who began to change everything.
“I get off the plane, and I think – I’m just going to get crazy down here like I used to. More drugs. More partying. More everything. And, within three days, I met this young lady at a restaurant. We just looked at each other, and it was just one of those great old stories where something just happens.”
“So we dated. Here I was – a stoner. I was broke. I had a bad reputation. A loser! About everything she would never be looking for!”
“She had spent the last year getting closer to the Lord. She’d stopped dating, and she was just really pressing in. When she walked in the room she just lit up the place.”
But soon, Connie, who had come to mean so much to Ken, came to a moment of decision
“One night, she called and said, ‘I need to talk.’ And so we got together and she said that I can see where we’re headed. I see how our relationship is deepening here. And she said, ‘I cannot become unequally yoked. So I have to make a decision between you and Jesus, and I pick Jesus.‘
I was taken aback. I knew how much we cared about each other. That we had so much in common, and it was a great relationship – other than that one little. The Jesus thing!”
Yet Connie’s persistent faith was about to prove irresistible to Ken.
“She had been trying to minister to me for a long time. She was taking me to contemporary Christian rock concerts for groups like Rich Mullins and Petra. And she would pray for me. She was talking the talk, but when she did that she walked out her talk.
I never had anybody do something that was so monumental for me. I thought, I knew how hard this is for her to do. I have never wanted something or believed something so deeply that I was willing to give up something I really care about.
And that turned the corner for me because everything she had been saying to me started falling into place. I wanted to have something that meant that much to me. And so it was just a matter of probably weeks before I was saved. And then – when I was in – man I was all in!
I didn’t read anything other than the Bible for three years. I just had to do a little catch up here you know!“