I wish I could have met Lonnie Frisbee in person. He died at the age of 43 on March 12, 1993.
Lonnie was known as the “hippie preacher” and was a catalyst for the “Jesus Movement” that began in the 1960’s. Lonnie led thousands to the Lord and was the spark that ignited revival in both the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard movements, two worldwide denominations.
During the 60’s and 70’s, the country was being greatly impacted by the Jesus Movement. Lonnie would walk the beaches during the day and convert the young people and bring them back to the church for the nightly services. Frisbee’s appearance helped appeal to hippies and the youth culture, and Frisbee believed that the young people would play a prominent role in the Christian movement in the United States.
Acts 2:17-18 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
His ministry influenced many, including Dr. James Maloney and Shawn Bolz who will be speaking at our upcoming “The Fullness of Time” conference. They both were exposed to the raw power of God in Lonnie’s meetings and were forever changed.
Lonnie led Greg Laurie to the Lord in 1970. Greg is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in the United States.
In Greg’s Own Words:
“A young man named Lonnie Frisbee stood up with a Bible in his hand. He was a youth pastor with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa where the Jesus movement was in full swing. With his shoulder-length hair and beard, he almost looked the way I had seen Jesus depicted in paintings and in the movies. He opened the Bible and began to speak. Although I listened to what he said that day, I don’t remember many of his comments except for one statement: Jesus said, ‘You are either for Me or against Me.’ What side are you on?
That really struck me. Never before had I heard that faith in Christ was an either or deal. Jesus was just this wonderful historical figure who lived a long time ago, did a lot of good turns, and taught brotherly love. As a teenager, I thought that was cool. But for the first time, I had heard that it was actually possible to know Him in a personal way. It seemed too good to be true. I looked over at these Christians, all sitting cross-legged in a circle, and thought, undoubtedly, they are for Him. Knowing I was not one of them, it dawned on me that this must mean I was against Him.
This impassioned preacher told the group that anyone who wanted to know Jesus in a personal way should get up and walk forward. I found myself standing with a handful of other brave souls, praying with the long-haired minister to receive Jesus Christ into my heart and life.”
“Jesus Freaks,” as they were often called, began to be featured in major magazines such as Life, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone. Lonnie, because of his prominence in the movement, was frequently photographed and interviewed.
On Mother’s Day 1980, Lonnie was invited by John Wimber to speak at his Yorba Linda Calvary Chapel church. After speaking, Lonnie invited all the young people 25 and under to come forward. Shawn Bolz was 8 years old at the time and was in that service. Lonnie said these now famous words, “the Church has for years grieved the Holy Spirit, but He’s getting over it! Come Holy Spirit!” Hundreds were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to shake and speak in tongues. Chairs were falling over and the young people were falling on top of the chairs. Everyone was in shock, including John Wimber.
That night, John Wimber could not sleep. He stayed up with books on church history and past revivals. He was praying, seeking the Lord for answers, and trying to understand what had taken place in his church. About 5 am, he received a phone call from Tom Stipe who was a Calvary Chapel pastor in Denver. Tom said, “I don’t know what’s going on there, John, but the Lord woke me and told me to call you and tell you that it’s Him. Does that make any sense?”
The young kids, many in Junior High and High School, were so “filled with the Spirit” that they soon started baptizing friends in hot tubs and swimming pools around town. The church catapulted in growth over the next few months and the event is credited with launching the Vineyard Movement. Lonnie began to travel with John Wimber to many nations and they taught on the Kingdom of God and equipped others in power evangelism and signs and wonders.
I was greatly influenced by John Wimber and the Vineyard movement in the early 90’s and attended conferences at the Anaheim Vineyard. I am very grateful for the equipping I received and John’s message that “we can all do the stuff.”
Both Lonnie Frisbee and John Wimber have gone to be with the Lord; Lonnie in 1993, and John in 1997. On November 17, 2003, I had a strange dream where John Wimber’s secretary called me and told me that John was going to come “the weekend before the Dews come.” When I awoke from that dream, I realized the weekend that Bill and Carol Dew were scheduled to speak at our church was the last weekend in February 2004. The weekend before that was the weekend of February 22 (2-22).
After I had that dream, I picked up a book on John Wimber’s life entitled The Way it Was. I was shocked and amazed to learn that he died on the same date that I had the dream, November 17th. That really got my attention!
God speaks in parabolic language and dream language is often symbolic. I felt that the date 2/22 was important in understanding the message of the dream. I felt it had to do with Isaiah 22:22: “I will place on His shoulder the key to the house of David; what He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.”
On February 25, 2009, Shawn Bolz had a dream about breakthrough coming to California. In the dream, he was given 22 stakes, and on 11 of them he painted the word “Breakthrough” and also painted images of keys and crowns. When he awoke from the dream, he felt that the 22 stakes represented Isaiah 22:22.
In the dream, he went to 11 regions and presented a stake to different pastors/ministry leaders throughout California – to stake the land out for breakthrough to happen. He felt it had to do with Isaiah 11:11 that states the following: “in that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people…” God is going to reclaim His purpose in California one more time!
One of the names of God in Hebrew is Baal-Perazim which means “Master of the Breakthrough.”
After Shawn had the dream, he found out that there is a plaque in the center of Los Angeles that states 11 men, 11 women, and 22 children came to pioneer the great City of Angels!
I remembered reading in Lou Engle’s book “Digging the Wells of Revival” that Lou had gone to the place where the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 began. He, and a group of intercessors, drove a stake into the ground, declaring that the Azusa Revival well in Los Angeles would break forth again. When Lou got back in his car, the clock read 2:22 pm. He thought of Isaiah 22:22 and realized that God had given him the key to open that well.
When Shawn told me the dream, I remembered that John Wimber’s birthday was February 25th, the date Shawn had the dream. John Wimber and Lonnie Frisbee both ministered in the Los Angeles area and it was the epicenter of the Jesus Movement.
God is Looking for History Makers
I believe that God is looking for candidates in this generation who will imitate the faith of John Wimber and Lonnie Frisbee and become history makers. He uses ordinary men and women who are surrendered to Him to spark revival and change the world.
Meri Crouley is currently working on a major feature film of Lonnie Frisbee’s life story. She will be showing the trailer from the film and sharing about the project at an added session at “The Fullness of Time” conference.
Lonnie’s art teacher, Barbara Irvine (who Lonnie led to the Lord), will be painting at the conference. Lonnie lived with Barbara and her husband at one time and commissioned her into the ministry.
I have a sense that both John Wimber and Lonnie Frisbee are cheering us on from the cloud of witnesses as we continue in their footsteps and contend for historic revival.
Comments on “Lonnie Frisbee, ‘Hippie Preacher’ by Kari Browning”
I’m in the middle of researching quite a bit about the movement. Any updates on what’s happening now? I feel like the spirit of Wimber and Frisbee are prodding at me, so I am interested to know more about your experience!