Lonnie Frisbee and Ted Haggard

Truly-207-248The Lonnie Frisbee story has some obvious parallels with that Ted Haggard. David Di Sabatino, creator of the movie “Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher” reminds me in an email this morning of Lonnie Frisbee, key prophetic figure of the Jesus Movement – who gave his life to Jesus while high on LSD and died of Aids in 1993. Its a story thats deeply embarrassing and unthinkable for most of us (his conversion happened while TRIPPING????) and it is tempting to whitewash his story for the church history books. But that would not be honest.

I saw the movie earlier this year at Freakstock Festival in Germany. Californians can see the movie on TV later this month. Details at KQED. And anyone can now pre-order the DVD The Making of Frisbee: It Only Takes a Spark

Related: Ears on their head but they dont hear

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Adam says:

    What did you think of the movie? I have been real interested in it since hearing about it quite some time ago.

  • i enjoyed watching it but its an awkward story – which is the point of the movie.

  • Dana Ames says:

    I was a part of the Vineyard church where Lonnie ministered quite frequently, but I was there after he left for Orange county and I never met him. Everyone who mentioned him did so with fondness. I’ll certainly be watching.

  • anj says:

    Growing up as a younger sibling of those who were involved in the Jesus people movement, I found this parallel intriguing. I spent quite a bit of time of time reading about lonnie, watching some of the videos that are on line, including his memorial service, and remembering some of the initial Jesus music that my siblings listened to, and the impact that had on my spiritual development. The fact that I came back to Jesus after at a Vineyard conference play s into that too. Anyway, I am wondering if the Evangelical community is not being given a divine invitation to some integration in this area of their history and their present. I’m not sure what that would look like, but would think that coming to grips with the reality of Lonnie’s story and his impact and anointing would be a big part of it.

  • Charlie Wear says:

    I only became acquainted with Lonnie Frisbee near the end of his life, when he had already been burnt up and spit out by the more organized Vineyard and Calvary Chapel movements.
    Some might argue that there would be NO Calvary Chapel or Vineyard movement if it weren’t for Lonnie Frisbee. He was connected with the conversion of some of the pastors of the largest Calvary Chapels and started the “bible study” that was turned over to Greg Laurie and became Harvest Christian Fellowship.
    Lonnie was interesting in his “sunset” days. Still on fire for Jesus in spite of his obvious bitterness toward the leaders who had shown him the door.
    Apparently God doesn’t really care about the “righteousness” of those he will use. The cast of characters from the Bible is proof enough of that. He’s just looking for people who will say yes…Lonnie was for sure was one of those.
    FYI, Lonnie is buried at the Crystal Cathedral and thousands came to pay their respects at his funeral which packed out the Cathedral.

  • Cathryn says:

    wow… i was just reading about Lonnie in that book i told you about Andrew… (The New Mystics)- by John Crowder.
    Like 2 days ago i was reading about it….. a tad on the prophetic erie side. LOL…
    I was at the Greensboro Vineyard for years… and i never heard of him till now. Something is brewing in the heavenlies.! Love ya, cathryn

  • Scott B says:

    I grew up in Santa Ana California and lived only a few miles from the original small church where Lonnie was preaching with Chuch Smith. I watched Lonnie’s ministry grow from that little building to a large Circus Tent then on to the huge complex.
    There were a lot of drugs and problems where I lived and I personally saw Lonnie’s ministry save a lot of lives of people that are alive today only because of Lonnie.

  • American says:

    God cares very much Charlie about his children’s holiness… but he certainly doesn’t stop loving us when we fall short of that. And, there are consequences to engaging in sinful behaviors like sexual immorality and drug abuse.

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