California Dreamin' Part Two -By Brother Chuck


By Brother Chuck

There was another movement birthed in California in the late 60's. This movement is the most significant one of them all. For it changed the world and altered the religious landscape of not only California and America, but also throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before subsiding in the late 1980s. This movement was known as the "Jesus Movement" and sometimes called the "Jesus Revolution". Its followers were called Jesus Freaks because many of these converts had been drug addicts and street people. It began with the youth from the hippie generation and war protest-movement. It evolved into a Christian youth revolution. During this era, many young people experimented with psychedelic drugs. And some experimented with Eastern mysticism and occult religions.

They were branded "flower children" because they wore flowers and shared flower-themed decorations to represent their ideals of love, joy, peace and belonging. Young men and women alike let their hair grow long, wore love beads, and listened to rock music. In their quest to find happiness, many of these young people came to faith in Jesus Christ, giving birth to the Jesus Movement in 1968 in Costa Mesa, California, as the "Jesus Revolution".

As part of their anti-establishment shift, the Jesus Movement resisted traditional religious hymns and music, and was firmly rock and roll. This affected how Christians worshiped and contemporary Christian music was born and evolved in the following decades. Worship services became more charismatic, informal, and emotional. A popular message of the movement was "Repent! Get ready! Jesus is coming back soon!" The Jesus movement was loosely organized and it's followers were estimated to be somewhere between 30,000 and 3 million people. Eventually, the late 80's brought an end to the Jesus Movement. Some followers became increasingly cultic and alienated themselves from the Christian community. Others were absorbed into Christian groups such as the Calvary Chapel Association, the Vineyard Movement and Jews for Jesus.

God was not only calling young men and women in Southern California to do His work, in 1970 Gospel Outreached emerged in Northern California. Out of an abandoned Coast Guard station near Eureka, California, the Gospel Outreach Lighthouse Ranch was born. Gospel Outreach sent missionaries throughout the world becoming one of the denominational legacies of the Jesus People Movement.

Jesus freak, Chuck Girard, gives his testimony and sings his song, "Welcome Back" on the Kathryn Kuhlman Show in the video below. Chuck Girard is a pioneer of early contemporary Christian music. In 1970, he was a founding member of the band, "Love Song," the first Christian rock band to become popular in the United States.

In the video above, some years later, Chuck Girard sings "Name Above All Names" at a Billy Graham Crusade in Anaheim, California in 1985. Can you begin to see how Jesus Freaks, the Jesus Movement and the hippie generation changed the world in so many wonderful ways? Remember this, Jesus is the cure for what ails California and the world! To Him be the glory! Forever and ever amen.

Was the Jesus Movement a type of revival? I believe it was. A revival defined is a "reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation." This hippie generation, or at least many of those within it were seeking God although they may not have realized it in the beginning. But nevertheless , He revealed Himself to this anti-establishment generation. The establishment people saw nothing but non-conformists known for sex, drugs and rebellion against them. But God saw a generation searching for something more, much much more. The Spirit of God moved. Young people from all over California were awakened and put their faith in Christ. Mass baptisms took place all along the coast of California. Lives were forever changed. Christian music was changed. Church was changed. God had done a work in those who sought Him out and brought a revival to those seeking Him. California, the nation, and Christianity would never be the same. The contemporary Christian music we so enjoy today, and the way in which we worship, may never have begun if not for the revival of the Jesus Movement.

Below is a video that describes better than I can, the Jesus Movement.

Make no mistake about it, the 1960s era also known as the hippie generation change the world. The generation that so powerfully affected civil rights also influenced an end to the Vietnam War. "There is some, debate as to whether this movement actually helped to end the Vietnam War, but there's no denying the cultural and social significance of the anti-war protesting that happened in the late 60s and early 70s." says Odyssey author Allyson Marks in her article "12 Protests That Changed History" (The incredible power of people.) She ranks The Anti-War Movement number 11.

This hippie generation seeking only love, joy, peace and belonging found God, although He was not really lost. And they forever changed the way church is done. What a generation!

California Dreamin'? Absolutely! Revive us again O Lord! Do it again.


Former rock-n-roller turned worship leader, singer, songwriter, author and my sister Karen Lucas wrote to me after this article was published and said, "As you know, I was saved during the Jesus Movement. MANY of the truly saved from the Jesus Movement, went on to start churches and go to the mission field.... when it started, it was not just homeless type people... but mostly hippies who were disillusioned and frustrated with the world... they didn't want much to do with the hypocrisy of "establishment", thus, even the churches, who at that time, shamed and rejected the hippies. Calvary Chapel and Gospel outreach let them come to church just as they were... even with bare feet. The casualties of the 60s/early 70s, was a lot of people longing for peace, and truth, realizing that was unobtainable. Many were broken, disillusioned with life... what a perfect time for Jesus to enter.... Who loves the broken... Who offers true love and peace.... and many were ready to hear the truth, and receive... the rejects of society that no one else wanted. So like Jesus, isn't it? He wasn't so keen on the religious/hypocritical people.... but was for the ones recognizing their need of Him.... and what do musicians do when they come to know Jesus? They sing to God from their hearts... and thus sprung up "contemporary" Christian music... I don't think they set out to "change" music... they sang with what they identified with... and from the heart..."

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