Asheville, North Carolina: While I usually photograph people in their natural state, I had to capture this man’s sense of humor and joy. The second he saw my camera he started making faces and laughing.
“I was ordained a minister the year after I graduated from high school by the Church of God Jesus Freaks,” he told me. “That was in 1971,” he said with a smile.
For those who remember the 1970’s, the Jesus Movement was something that started on the West Coast and made its way across America. Members of the movement were often called “Jesus People” or “Jesus Freaks.”
The so called freaks were an effective Christian force in times of major change between the mid 1960’s and into the 70’s. The young adults that were part of the movement had the ability and love of life to mix with a variety of crowds, some of whom were on LSD, following the likes of Charles Manson and more. In other words, the “Jesus Freaks” were able to grab a hold of misguided youth and help them turn their lives around before the drugs overtook them.
A Time magazine article in 1971 suggested, “Their love seems more sincere than a slogan, deeper than the fast-fading sentiments of the flower children.”
Despite the movement breaking apart in the late 1980’s, it did lead to some major changes in churches that can still be seen today. The movement led to new music in churches and what some call today the “Christian Right” and the “Christian Left.”