Don’t confuse the move that inspired a decade of Jesus Music, 1969 to 1979, with the hippie Haight-Ashbury experience of the ’60’s. The Jesus Movement resulted afterward when a generation of seekers didn’t find the peace they were looking for in “free love,” protests, and drugs.
Living in California at the time, we became teens toward the end of the Jesus Movement, and it had a profound affect on us. Actually, it was an equal mixture of the teachings of Oswald Chambers and “Jesus Music” that shaped our personal, Christian ideology. By Chambers we realized that death to self was imperative in order to become disciples of Christ, and in the Jesus Music we were fed pure strains of the only thing that can motivate a soul to this end: what it means to love Jesus devotedly.
Although we lived a couple of hours north of Orange County at the time, we did get to pay a visit or two to Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel, but it was well after the hippies had put on their shoes and moved from the floor to pews. Maranatha Music was an extremely successful upstart, and worship music had a new contemporary twist. It was a great time to be a Christian teen. Keith Green played and gave altar calls at Disneyland, and being a “Jesus Freak” was cool.
This page has been constructed with the hope of rekindling the message for those who remember it, and to recap it for those who may have missed out.
Keith Green’s message, “So You Wanna Be a Rock Star?” is a good place to start; it clearly tells the heart of this movement—a message we continue, as a generation, to be in need of hearing and living! Click here.
Russ & Cami
John Fischer describes the scene of the group’s first leading of congregational praise and worship this way:
“A half a dozen staff members of a church are crammed into this little room no bigger than a walk-in closet, along with five members of a rock group who call themselves ‘Love Song.’ The group is to audition for a Sunday evening service. A few of the thousand-plus people who will come that night are already starting to trickle into the the auditorium downstairs. ‘Could you guys just do a quick song for us right now?’ asks the pastor in charge. ‘You come with high recommendations, but we’ve never heard you before. Would you mind?’ ‘No, not at all,’ says the one with the guitar. With difficulty, he manages, in the press of bodies, to get his guitar horizontal and begins strumming a soft, steady rhythm. Immediately five long-haired heads turn upward and with eyes closed, their voices blend in harmonic symmetry as the haunting strains of ‘Welcome Back’ wash over the unsuspecting staff members from head to toe…When they finish, a hush falls on the room. Unknown to them, these staff members have just heard, in close quarters, what was about to become the signature song of a musical and spiritual revolution. I know this because I was in that room. I was training under one of the pastors at the time—the very one who broke the spell with the understatement of a decade: ‘OK…you’ll do.'”
Welcome back to the things that you once believed in
Welcome back to what you knew was right from the start
All you had to do was to be what you always wanted to be
Welcome back to the love that is in your heart
I know that you thought you could turn your back
And no one could see in your mind
But I can see that you know better now
You never were the untruthful kind
Yeah, and I’m so happy now to welcome you back
Welcome back, (Welcome back to Jesus)
©1971 Dunamis Music
Read more and listen at Love Song Recollections
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong
road, progress means doing an about-turn and
walking back to the right road; in that case, the man
who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
CHUCK SMITH, Calvary Chapel
“Actually, at the time of the hippie movement, these long-haired, bearded, dirty kids going around the streets repulsed me. They stood for everything I stood against. We were miles apart in our thinking, philosophies, everything.
As their numbers began to grow, God began to lay a burden upon my wife’s heart to reach these kids for Jesus…So, In May of 1968 we rented a little two-bedroom house…By the end of the first week, 21 young fellows had accepted Jesus Christ and moved into the house. By the end of the second week, 35 had accepted the Lord and moved into the house. We had built bunks out into the garage, and they were sleeping wall to wall through the house. One kid was even sleeping in the bathtub.
John Higgins, the elder of the house, called a meeting after the second week. He said, ‘All right, you guys! We’ve got to have a house meeting. Some of you guys have been Christians now for two whole weeks. You’re sitting around here getting fat in the Word. Go out and evangelize! Everyone that’s been a Christian more than a week, split! Get out because we need room to bring in the new Christians.’
Those who had been Christians for over a week had to split. Some of them went out to Tahqultz Canyon and began to witness there. They came across a young girl sitting on a rock reading a Bible. She had a box of oats and tabs of acid. As they started to share Jesus Christ with her, she began to cry. She said, ‘You know, this really blows my mind! I came here two weeks ago to find God. I brought my oats, my acid, my book on Oriental religions, and the Bible. I finished the book on Oriental religions yesterday and started the Bible today. As I started reading, I didn’t understand. I said, “Oh, God, if You’re for real, bring someone along to tell me about it!” Here you guys come up and start telling me about Jesus.'”
Last Days Ministries, Keith & Melody Green – Randy Stonehill – Terry Clark: Catalyst People – Barry McGuire – Chuck Girard – Phil Keaggy – 2nd Chapter of Acts – Matthew Ward – Benny Hester – Kelly Willard – Darrell Mansfield – Paul Clark – Nancy Honeytree – First Love DVD – & Bob Bennett