Monday, 20 August 2012


Today was the first day of the fall semester at UTC. For my course on "Contemporary Religious Issues," I told the class about some of the movies that I am planning on showing, one of which is the Emmy-nominated documentary, Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher. I learned about Frisbee in a course on Fundamentalism taught by George Marsden and Bill Svelmoe at a summer school session at Regent College.

Lonnie Frisbee was an incredibly interesting person. He experienced spiritual visions while tripping on acid outside of Palm Springs. Around the time that he became interested in Christianity, he met Chuck Smith and became a lightning rod for Smith's Calvary Chapel congregation at Costa Mesa, CA. Serving on the church's staff, Frisbee drew a multitude of California's hippie youth to Calvary Chapel. Later parting with Smith over theological differences, Frisbee joined forces with John Wimber to help found the Vineyard Movement. Frisbee's ministry was called into question, however, when he admitted to being a homosexual. Frisbee felt obliged to leave the Vineyard Movement and he eventually died of AIDS. This is a story not often told by the founders of Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard Movement.

The video chronicles Frisbee's life, charismatic preaching style, and contribution to the Jesus Movement. I have no doubt that the video will spark some interesting class discussions.

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