It was 40 years ago today that an event took place that would set the course for the rest of my life–it was Jesus 76 set up on what would become Disney property. It was a cow pasture where thousands of young people gathered to hear the Gospel proclaimed in terms relevant to our generation. We heard it preached by C.J. Mahaney, Larry Tomczak, and Jamie Buckingham to name a few. And we heard it sung by 2nd Chapter Of Acts, Barry McGuire and Lamb.
It was a time like no other in the church. Our parents weren’t sure about it, but they liked the results, young hearts captivated by the love of their Savior.
We didn’t know the Bible well, but we had met its Author and we were changed. While many of our friends in school were experimenting with free sex and drug use, we were finding a different kind of high and we wanted to tell everyone about it.
It was an amazing time in history.
Looking back I can see how God arrested my heart. It began when our Baptist Youth Pastor loaded us all up on the church bus and took us to Wilmore, Kentucky, for Ichthus 75. I didn’t know it then, but I was being introduced to the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit. I saw people my age and a bit older completely sold out to live for Christ. They raised their hands to God in worship. They took notes. They marked up their Bibles. And they talked about what they were learning. It was contagious!
So Happy Birthday, Jesus 76. How I thank God for the celebration you began in my heart 40 years ago. Oh, and thank you for introducing me to my future husband as well. My, how God has used you in my life! And I’m eternally grateful!
For more on this check out this excellent blog post.
Everyone I know in Central Florida that’s my age were greatly impacted by the Jesus’ Festivals. I was living in Texas at that time so I didn’t get that opportunity …I wish I had been. Those festivals probably equate to the Passion Conferences in Atlanta and Houston, in creating an intensity and fervor. To serve, seek and live for God.
I was there along with 4 friends from Virginia. I was 25. It was an anointed time. I wish cell phones had been invented. All I had was a Polaroid and was mostly too engrossed in music and teaching to think of using it.
That’s great. We have such memories. Praying for this current wave of revival to spread like wildfire.