Learn About How CCLI Was Started

How did we get our start?

Our story begins in 1984 when a Portland, Oregon pastor first learned of a pending $3.1 million copyright lawsuit against the Archdiocese in Chicago. The pastor asked his music minister, Howard Rachinski, to ensure that his own church was covered.

In January 1985, Howard began to develop a “permission of use” concept, whereby churches could obtain blanket permission for specific “non-commercial” copying activities. He called it Starpraise Ministries, which became CCLI’s predecessor.

It became abundantly clear that copyright licensing for a church and the songwriters and publishers creating music was an issue that needed to be addressed. The market agreed and by the end of the second year, 1,150 churches signed on with Starpraise.

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