USA Jesus Movement 1967-1977

A sample evaluation page for researchers. Comments, corrections and clarifications are very welcome, as are your own recollections from this period. Please use the comments box at bottom of this page. – John E. Ruffle.

An academic archive focusing on primary sources documenting the Jesus Movement evangelical Christian awakening among ex-hippies in northern California, 1967-1977. This page focus is on 1972-1973.


FILM: ‘Lighthouse in Loleta’

A television documentary about life at Lighthouse Ranch in N. California shot in 1972 by WBGH-TV Boston as part of the “Religious America” series, and aired nationally across the USA on PBS stations in February 1973 and at least once later. Produced by Philip Garvin; directed by Boyd Estus and Philip Garvin. Lighthouse Ranch was the first of a number of Christian communes started or taken over by Gospel Outreach in the early 1970s.

This complete documentary had a 28 minute run time. I am currently researching the entire 13-part “Religious America” series.


Ron Juncal shares Jesus at a Lighthouse Ranch meeting, 1972. A still from the “Lighthouse in Loleta” television documentary,1973, WGBH-TV, Boston.
  • Lighthouse in Loleta [This content currently unavailable in your region]

Copyright 1972 WGBH-TV Boston. All rights reserved. Still images used by permission. Reproduced exclusively for educational and research purposes.

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The Theology of the N. Californian Jesus People: “Go into all the world..”

Radiance Media recorded and distributed the teachings of Jim Durkin from 1971 onward. Listen to a growing library of them HERE:

Link to the Jim Durkin Teaching Audio Library

Gary Todoroff interviews Jim Durkin c.1973. This recording is Radiance Tape number JD 43f, the last of a six-part series Jim taught on Spiritual Warfare. All six tapes were mailed out across subscribers across the USA on a 2-weekly basis.

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Decades Revisited Project, Eureka, California.

Videoed in their senior years, Jim and Dacie Durkin look back on the highs and lows of their lives, sharing personal aspects as well as their life and work with hippy Christians at  Lighthouse Ranch.  Recorded on July 8, 1994 at the Eureka Senior Center as part of the ‘Decades Revisited’ project.

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Print Media: North Coast Journal, 2012

Link to North Coast Journal cover article by Heidi Walters, Nov 22, 2012.

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Link to on-line version of this article in the North Coast Journal HERE.

‘Who Will Tell Them’ and ‘Exploits’ – 2 Jesus People audio documentaries featuring Jim Durkin

Two documentary audios were created by Francis AnFuso during the first half of the 1970s. One was a multi-media presentation, called Who Will Tell Them? and may also have been released on vinyl as a music album. The other one is Exploits, which may be listened to on this website.

The description I’ve written here primarily covers the Who Will Tell Them? production. At this time, (April 2019) only the Exploits tape has surfaced, which is a cut-down version of the full production, and features almost exclusively clips from Jim Durkin’s teaching. (It may be that Exploits is actually a cut down version of the longer presentation, done to focus on Durkin’s teaching for distribution among Gospel Outreach houses and communes. Obviously, this represents a need for on-going research.

Who Will Tell Them? was a 1973/1974 multi-media documentary produced by Francis AnFuso. Unfortunately, it is believed that only the audio portion of this production still exists. It mainly used teaching clips audio we at Radiance Media had recorded at the 1st Santa Cruz Festival of the Son, Memorial Day weekend, 1973, and it’s a great insight into the teaching that was circulating in the early 1970s, some 650 miles north of the influence of the large commercialised ministry of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa and its Maranatha! Music.

AnFuso’s music features Jesus People talent from Morningstar Ministries* which Gospel Outreach worked closely with, especially in planning Jesus festivals. The original soundtrack album features a guest appearance from the legendary Al Perkins, who flew in from New York to play slide guitar just for the fun of it, as he had a few days free. He took no fee, although Morningstar may have paid his plane ticket.

The documentary features Gospel Outreach founder Jim Durkin, Ern Baxter, one of the 5 prominent figures in the shepherding controversy; Leroy Nidever, Ron Juncal and others. Produced by Francis AnFuso, Sam Griffith and I assisted in audio and graphic archive research for this project. Flying in to Arcata Ca. from South Lake Tahoe, Francis was a great and sensitive artistic talent. We’d met during the planning of our Santa Cruz festivals, and he was an incredibly gracious man, equally at home wearing a hippie bandana or a 3-piece suit. Later, I was fortunate in attending one of the recording sessions for the musical soundtrack at the last session before Ardvaak Studios – a converted house next to a cliff outside Santa Rosa California – closed for good.

Back in London in the late 1980s, I shared a flat (apartment) with a New Zealander. After returning home, he was in a bookshop and came across a cassette tape of the Jesus Movement. Entitled “Exploits”, and not knowing my involvement in the project, he mailed it as a gift to me from New Zealand as he figured it would be “right up my street”. How it ended up with distribution in New Zealand I don’t know, but that’s how I eventually got my own personal copy of the production!

– John Ruffle, April 2019.

*Morningstar Ministries can be a confusing name. It is not associated with the much later Morningstar Ministries which Rick Joyner established in 1985. It also is not the same as the 1965 hippy Morningstar Ranch established by late folk musician Lou Gottlieb, although it is likely that some living there and also some ex-Diggers were instrumental in establishing the Chritianised Morningstar. Frankly, there is still more historical research to be carried out on this. – John Ruffle, April 2019.


Page copyright 2019 Ruffle Mission / Good News Services. All rights reserved. Permissions have been sought to reproduced archived material but the originators have not always been able to be contacted. If you believe any unintentional infringement may have occurred, please contact us and errors will be rectified. This page is exclusively for non-profit academic historical research purposes only.

One thought

  1. John, Thanks for posting this stuff, it takes me back…

    I’d never seen the interview at the Senior Center, but it means a lot to me now. The vision and principles Jim was used to plant in my life are responsible for any success I’ve had in life, to the glory of God.

    I am grateful for our common history and bonds of fellowship, remember the Great H Street House fire? We are having a GO reunion in Maryland in October, wish you could come. Best to you and yours, Rae Beebe.
    April 26, 2019

    Liked by 1 person

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