Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher

David Di Sabatino
USA, 2005, 105 minutes

Women's Building 2/04, 12p Buy
Roxie Cinema 2/07, 215p Buy

The Jesus People movement that peaked in the early '70s, bringing Christianity to the counterculture and vice versa, has been largely forgotten. In the ensuing decades, American churches have increasingly been affiliated with social/political conservatism. That it wasn't always so is vividly illustrated by David Di Sabatino's straightforward, engrossing documentary about a well-buried chapter in recent evangelical history. The tale of Lonnie Frisbee's extraordinary (if brief) pulpit career is a fascinating one.... Soundtrack music flashes back to "psychedelic Christianity," including one song's memorable lyric: "No more LSD for me/I met the man from Galilee."
– Dennis Harvey Variety

Lonnie Frisbee was a young hippie immersed in the 1960s counter culture when he encountered God while on acid. During the 1970s he became widely known as California's 'hippie preacher,' and as the quintessential 'Jesus Freak' whose pictures frequented such magazines as Time and Life. Lonnie Frisbee provided the charismatic spark that launched the Calvary Chapel church into a worldwide ministry. During the 1980s Lonnie was at the center of the 'signs and wonders' movement that focused on Divine healing, speaking in tongues and other manifestations of the power of God.

But he was homosexual. Even though he sparked two of the largest evangelical denominations in the last thirty years, he was treated with contempt throughout his career because of his sexuality. What do you do when the Jesus Freak who starts your church dies from AIDS? Simple. Erase him from history.

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