Sunday Sermon: “Welcome Back”

Sunday’s sermon featured a special guest speaker by the name of Chuck Girard.  Chuck was one of the original hippies who became part of a movement in the 60’s-70’s known as the “Jesus People Movement”.  His group “Love Song” was one of the bands that pioneered Christian Rock.  Now 40 years later, Chuck came to describe and recount some of the history of what went on in the United States at that time and bear witness to what Jesus has done to redeem his life and the lives of so many others.  It was so interesting to get a glimpse of what went on back before I was born from someone who lived it and experienced it.  The way Chuck described it “In the mid 60’s there were all these people (hippies) who were on the same trip experiencing the same drugs and listening to the same music.  For the first time people began to talk about Religion in a public forum and the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Timothy Leary all had their take. Around ’69 all of these people started to become disillusioned with their lifestyle at the same time and subsequently began to search for God”.  Chuck recalls picking up hitchhikers who began to ask “have you heard about Jesus? He changed my life”.  This counterculture known as hippies gave rise to a far reaching movement and many church-goers thought “if God cleaned them up on the inside, why doesn’t he clean them up on the outside?”  Calvary Chapel, Hope Chapel and Vineyard Churches were the first to embrace these people and give them a platform to serve Jesus with their talents.  Bob Dylan ended up coming to believe in Jesus at the Vineyard.  These days Chuck can be found touring with Love Song and Pastor Chuck Smith who is 82 and not showing any signs of slowing.  The video below is of Chuck Girard recounting his quest for God on the Kathryn Kuhlman Show and playing along with Love Song their famous hit “Welcome Back”.  I love it because it’s so pure.

{Chuck also played this excerpt video of the massive baptism led by Pastor Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa at Pirate’s Cove in Corona Del Mar, CA in 1972.  Such a beautiful piece of history}