Book Review: The Jesus People Are Coming by Pat King

This review is of The Jesus People Are Coming by Pat King, released in 1971 by Logos International of Plainfield, New Jersey. This book, The Jesus People Are Coming, was written in the highlight of the Jesus People or Jesus Revolution movement.
This review is of The Jesus People Are Coming by Pat King, released in 1971 by Logos International
Most notably, the movement of Jesus People were found on the beaches of Southern California are their movement was perhaps the most famous. It was this movement that launched several church networks. Though, historical truth shows that the Holy Spirit was working at bringing hippies, musicians, and artisans to Jesus from all across the United States. In The Jesus People Are Coming, Pat King looks at the beginning of this movement, especially the beginnings that were from outside Southern California. Far from a hippy herself, it was her relationships with those who identified as hippies that led to this short read. She admits that the book emerged from her experience in a prayer room of runaways, dope users and rebels – where she as a writer wondered, “What’s going on here? What’s the real story? What makes this change occur?”[1] She admits, “Looking back, I believe that was the night this book was born.”[2]
This book starts with Pat’s experiences with those in this movement of sojourning, who had begun to center their freewheeling life-style in what was merging out of the Haight Asbury district. The book connects us especially to her experiences with Bonnie. From there, we see a glimpse of Linda Meissner who worked with David Wilkerson’s Teen Challenge, but felt called to move to Seattle and invest in those who were dropping out of society and the societal demands. This movement, as the book points out, was everywhere. Sadly, at the time the church as a whole was judging from their safe walls and the Narcotics Bureau was working around the clock trying to check the flow of drugs into the country.[3] Yet, little things were happening in people of faith and with individuals on their sojourn. Father Dennis Bennet, in 1968, began to expectantly reach an emerging group of hippies. Linda Messner came to Seattle. Arthur Blessit came to town in Hollywood’s Sunset strip. Billy Graham, along with Leighton Ford, were reaching out to these groups.[4] There were Catholic priests gathering in August of 1968, for a retreat, and they received the Holy Spirit in the way that the apostles did, and just like the hippies were beginning to experience. In response, Father Fulton and others reached out to love on these long-haired kids in Seattle’s Av.[5] Suddenly, coffeehouses and prayer meetings across the country were experiencing outpourings of the Holy Spirit, communal living, and stories that looked more like the church in Acts than it did the church of the present era. Pat King captures the era well;
“1970 was the beginning of a strange succession. When the heavy dopers had seen Jesus in visions and had come to Him, many Christians labeled it a phony experience. When the lightweight dopers had been added to their number, some Christians were prone to call it mass hysteria. When the lonely and scared and rebellious had accepted Jesus as their Savior, the church people looked nonchalant and said the movement was ready to peak. But when kids from their own churches began to find Jesus in the same gripping experience as the dopers, their Christian parents became worried.”[6]
After opening the book on the background of this movement, Pat then allows Bonnie, Dave, Mel, Linda J.D., and Mike share their own stories and in doing so they represent thousands of similar testimonies that though all uniquely different, still collaboratively come together to form “the history of a movement that could have only come from God.”[7] The book ends with a reflection, “There’s only one way to say it,” Pat writes, “The Jesus People are coming! If they haven’t come to your town, hang on, they’ll be there.”[8] These sort of outbreaks did continue to happen all around – the stories abound - even here in my hometown of Pennsylvania.
“In Saratoga, Florida, hundreds of spaced-out kids are meeting the Jesus People and turning to Life.” [9]
“In Sacramento, California, eight thousand young people joined together for a Spiritual Revolution Day.” [10]
“In Seattle, Washington, thousands of kids packed out a large downtown theater for five days of revival.” [11]
“In Washington State, Jesus People found they were moving in the identical direction as the Jesus People in California. It was a case of the left hand now knowing what the right hand was doing, and they were going it together.”[12]
The impact of reading this book, decades and generations later, is that I believe we are entering a time in which we might see some of this again. Once again today, there are pockets of individuals looking for truth and for God. The Jesus People movement taught us, that “kids everywhere are searching for something worthwhile, and when they hear about a living Jesus who’s not ashamed of them and who loves them right where they’re at, they want Him for themselves. They want to share Him with the next person who comes along and take the message to the neighboring towns.”[13] I believe the Holy Spirit longs for us to come together in unity and love, humility and transparency once again. When we figure that out, “don’t be surprised if in your town the turned-on, dropped-out society of long-haired, drug-oriented rock-lovers know they are there before you do.”[14] Like before, don’t be surprised if we don’t hear Jesus say, “I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”[15] Jesus is longing for us to turn on our light (love), for all to see.
“Turn on your lights. Let it shine on me. Shine on your love light.”[16]

[1] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), viii.
[2] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), viii.
[3] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971),), 8.
[4] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 8-9.
[5] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 11.
[6] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971),.
[7] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), ix.
[8] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135.
[9] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135.
[10] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135.
[11] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135.
[12] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135.
[13] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 137
[14] Pat King, The Jesus People Are Coming (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971), 135,
[15] Matthew 21:32 (The Jerusalem Bible).
[16] From Turn On Your Love Light by Grateful Dead

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