This is long, real long. It’s not so much the “rest of the story” about church in the Panhandle as much as it is a ramble about doing church in the 60s and 70s. Read if you have time.
The 60s and 70s were a time of upheaval and discontent, on all levels. By the late 60s and early 70s our innocence had been shattered because of the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy. There were the Kent State shootings, the Viet Nam War, drugs and Woodstock.
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock n roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an get my soul free
Set my soul free. That was what we wanted from the church. In the late 60s The Jesus Movement took off. Of course it was started in California, but it soon would be rocking the nation with a “different” way of worshipping Jesus. Out of the Jesus Movement came performers who were the fore-runners of today’s “contemporary” Christian music artists. But back then there wasn’t as much hype and money. There were such artists as Andrae Crouch, Larry Norman, Evie, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green, Russ Taff, Amy Grant, Petra, and Chuck Girard and Love Song (with one Phil Keaggy). They had long hair and played guitars and sang praises to Jesus. On the Sunset Strip, Arthur Blessitt opened his nightclub and coffee house called “His Place.” There were bumper stickers proclaiming “Jesus is my Bag,” “Honk if you love Jesus,” “Smile, God Loves You,” and “One Way – His Way.” There were little round orange stickers that said we were “Hooked on Jesus,” and “Turned on to Jesus.” And it was all coming into the Panhandle much to the chagrin of traditionalists. (more…)