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The Jesus People
"Welcome to five minutes in churches hosted by Dr Stephen. Nicholson where we take a little break from the presence to go exploring. The past asked travel back in time as we look the people events and even the places that have shaped the story of Christianity. This is our story family history. Let's get started On this episode of five minutes in Church history. Let's just go back into the recent past about fifty years ago or so. So and the founding of the Jesus people are sometimes called the Jesus Movement or sometimes called Jesus freaks these folks began in nineteen sixty eight in California. This was the era of the Hippie. These hippies descended upon southern California and some churches there and some Christians there decided they would reach out out to these hippies and bring them to Christ and so we have the beginning of the Jesus Movement in Nineteen. seventy-one Billy Graham. I'm was invited to be the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade and as he sat in his float and it made its way down towards the Rose Bowl. He noticed that the streets were lined with literally hundreds of these long haired youth holding up one finger. Their Index Finger pointed to heaven with the one way sign and and that was the sign of the Jesus people. This caught Billy Graham's attention and he wrote a book called the Jesus generation that year went through many printings and sold well over a half half a million copies and put the Jesus people on the map of the media and on the map of the American church. Well what can we make of this phenomenon of the Jesus people well I we have to see that. They had a huge impact on American evangelicalism. They both reflected trends in American evangelicalism. Awesome and they also set some new trends. They tended to be very pentecostal. They focused very much on signs and wonders. And they were fixated on these supernatural super-natural experiences that they had an would share with each other. Secondly they totally changed the look of the church. These are not folks wearing suits and sitting in pews. These were tank top short flip flop wearing kids. Who would sit cross legged on the floor? But it wasn't always how they looked it was is also how they approached Church found this fascinating article from December. Twenty five nine thousand nine hundred seventy one in the San Bernardino County Sun Sun the newspaper for Hollywood and the article reads Pat Boone's home swimming pool used for baptisms Beverly Everley Hills California. It was actually picked up by the and the first sentence says in the swimming pool behind his magnificent home in posh Beverly Hills Pat Boone. Baptises the repentance. The article goes on to talk about within about six months time. Well over two hundred and fifty baptisms took place in Pat Boone's swimming pool and number of those baptisms were of musicians and that takes us to another significant impact of the Jesus people well. It was really here that we have the birth of what we call. CCM Christian contemporary music or the birth of Christian rock. Those early Pioneers and Christian Rock. We're Randy Stone Hill. And Larry Norman in fact it was. Larry Norman who published the song or wrote the song. Why should the devil have all the good music? Even even some secular artists got in on the mix. Paul stookey of Peter. Paul and Mary produced his Christian albums in the same era. This was the time. We're calvary chapel. Founded founded Maranatha in the Mirror Anathema label and that launched the praise and worship and course phenomenon. There's so much a part of American evangelicalism today. It all started there in one thousand nine hundred seventy among the Jesus people will lastly as we talk about the Jesus people what we see as they were very much less counter cultural and more within culture this was is true not only of music but of all forms of the arts and a forms how they approach the church. It was the Jesus people who launched not not only Christian music they really launched the Christian bookstore industry of the nineteen seventies and they launched so much that happened in the nineteen eighties with jackals locals getting involved in politics. Well what happened to the Jesus people. They SORTA faded in the one thousand nine hundred eighty S. I had a church history professor. who used to say what happened to them? While they all cut their hair started families and became insurance salesman. Well who knows but we do know that they left quite an impact on the American scene on the American aircon. Church in on American evangelicals. Well that's the Jesus. I'm Steve Nicol. Thanks for listening for five minutes in churches for more ordination or to listen to past episodes. Please visit five minutes in Church. History Dot Com.