Church History-Hippie Concert (1977)-George Fox University (2023)
While reading Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A history from the 1730’s to the 1980’s by D.W. Bebbington, I pondered how the Evangelical church has had an impact in my life. In this blog I will chronicle my own church/spiritual history. Bebbington’s work spans 250 years of church history. My life has not been that long, but the Evangelical church has left an indelible mark on my life. This blog will consist of my early years, young adult years, and my older adult years as an organizational frame. I am grateful for how God has been a part of my life since birth and has faithfully kept me close. Psalm 71:5 The Church, the fellowship of believers in Christ, has influenced this lifelong journey I have had.
I was born into a family where my mom and dad, soon after getting married, committed to working for Campus Crusade for Christ. Campus Crusade is an interdenominational Christian parachurch ministry founded in 1951. They passionately pursued the work of sharing the gospel to college students for years and eventually joined the pastoral staff at Faith Center in Eugene, Oregon, under the leadership of Roy Hicks. My father held this position until I was 9 years old. Bebbington states that “home background clearly remained an influential factor in the 1960’s. Conversion was statistically less likely the older a person was.”  I believe this was an influential factor in my experience in knowing Christ in the 1970’s. Keith Green was a popular Christian artist (Founder of Last Days Ministries,1975) who provided a concert at our church when I was seven years old. It was at this concert that I received Christ as my Savior. After listening to the piano pound, “Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing, that you can be born again,” I stood in the aisle and prayed, asking God to cleanse me of my sin and to come live in my heart.  I knew that this was a gift from God, not something I could achieve. Bebbington reflects the theology I was taught, “Salvation has to be received, not achieved. Jesus Christ has to be trusted as Savior. Acceptance by God, as Luther insisted, “comes through faith, not works.”
Growing up as a pastor’s daughter in the Foursquare denomination would offer different opportunities to go to church camp and different retreats. When I was thirteen, I went to a retreat where pastor Jim Hayford was speaking. I remember seeking God regarding my life and believing God gave me Psalm 126:5-6,
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
This verse would set a course for my future. A critical conversation in my family was how we were to serve the Lord, talk of calling and vocation were often pursued. At another retreat I attended, many young people were being “called to ministry” and there was an opportunity to come forward to demonstrate this commitment. I remember feeling pressure to do this and I did not want to feel obligated to go to Life Bible College (the Foursquare denomination’s college in San Dimas, California). As a doctorate student I am rejoicing to hear from Weber; “ One can combine several callings is answered in the affirmative-if this is beneficial for one’s own or the general good.”  I am seeking the Lord for what He may be calling me to in this season of my life. I long for Him to do a “new thing.” Isaiah 43:19-21
Young Adult Years
My college choice was Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California which is rooted in the Wesleyan denomination. I thrived living apart from family and pursuing academics, which included a Bible degree and a minor in Psychology. I did not know what my major should be initially. My decision was based on my knowledge that three things last forever: God, God’s people, and the Word of God. Biblicism is a “main feature of Evangelicals, their devotion to the Bible, has been the result of their belief that all spiritual truth is to be found in its pages.” I thought, “How can I go wrong with a Bible degree? It will be foundational to whatever I pursue.”
While in college I was able to go on several mission trips, and this led me to believe that mission work may be in my future. I grew up believing that “human beings could be appointed agents of bringing the gospel to unevangelised nations.”  Trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico grew my heart for others. After graduating from college, I joined Youth with a Mission (founded by Loren Cunningham, 1960) and served in Costa Rica. Youth With A Mission has pentecostal roots. But long-term mission work was not going to be in my future. Returning from Costa Rica, my boyfriend of five years made a proposal for marriage. Having a short engagement of three months, my path took a quick turn to married life.
In college I had met my husband; he had been raised in a Baptist home. We reconciled our differences in how we were raised in the church. Speaking in tongues did not need to be a deal breaker; evidence of being filled with the Spirit comes in different ways. Conversations were pursued about this topic of speaking in tongues, but we concluded that speaking in tongues is not always “the initial evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit,” as some may conclude. 
Older Adult years
After getting married (July 4, 1994) and living in northern California, my husband and I attended a local Baptist Church. When we began going to this church I did not consider “what kind of Baptist” this fellowship was affiliated with. Over the years I grew to understand that this church was North American Baptist (NAB). Agreeing with all the core convictions of this denomination, my family has been encouraged and strengthened in our faith there. NAB has a conservative view of women and those who have the gift of teaching or preaching are not encouraged to lead in an assembly of both genders. I have been grateful for the opportunities to teach and lead in classes on marriage where both males and females attend. I am heartbroken to not receive preaching from fellow sisters who are able to take a turn at the pulpit and am disconsolate not having the opportunity to preach myself. Reading about Hannah More encouraged me as she sums up “the prevailing Evangelical attitude: “Action is the life of virtue, and the world is the theater of action.”  I do not believe women should be exempt in their action to take the pulpit and deliver God’s Word.
During 1994-1997, I was able to pursue my masters in Marriage Family Counseling. My husband and I became Head residents at the University of the Pacific campus in Stockton, California. This university was founded in 1851; the first private university in California with Wesleyan roots. The Evangelical background plays an insignificant role in its impact as the school has not held to any Biblical underpinnings. But these three years of my life were some of the most significant provisions that God has extended to me. Matthew 7:11 My husband and I walked out of this university not paying a dime for three years of private education. My husband got his master’s in business.
Currently, I am excited to be in the doctoral program with George Fox University. This university was founded by Quakers in 1891. I have found this program true to George Fox ‘s conviction “against rigid sacerdotalism.” I am thrilled that I Peter 2:9-10 characterizes this program: “But you are the ones chosen by God.” I am prayerfully seeking the Lord as to how He would want to lead me upon receiving my doctorate in leadership in May 2024. My relationship with Christ will continue and His Church will continue to be instrumental in how I will serve and love others.
 Bebbington, D.W., Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A history from the 1730’s to the 1980’s, 1989, p.7
 Keith Green, Hear the Bells Ringing, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ij_W_8Bw4
 Bebbington, D.W. p.6
 Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism, 2002, p.109
 Bebbington, D.W., p.12
 Ibid p.41
 Ibid. p.197
 Ibid. p.19
 Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism, 2002, p.41
7 responses to “Church History-Hippie Concert (1977)-George Fox University (2023)”
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I think it’s pretty amazing your rich heritage in how the Lord has prepared and equipped you for the work of ministry. My spritual father Doug Heck and father in Law Tom Ferguson spent a great deal of time at Faith Center. Mary Ann Cates loved Faith Center and has Roy Hick’s personal bible.
My Spiritual Father used to have me watch/listen to his sermons to help me learn to operate in the prophetic, gifts of healings and miracles.
I am praying for God to give you an open door to minister and encourage others in Christ. Keep your chin up. God is Able!
I knew you would be familiar with my church history as we are both from the Pacific Northwest and have Foursquare roots. 🙂 Maybe I should listen to some of Roy Hicks sermons too.
Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂
It’s fun to see all of the connections in your life to the overall Evangelical movement! But are there things within the Evangelical tradition you feel a need to be a prophetic witness to (calling out from within)? As with any family, there is dysfunction and brokenness because, well, we’re all broken people. Evangelicalism is not immune to this brokenness. Thoughts?
Thank you for reading my blog and asking this insightful question. I think I could write a blog in response. I hope my church history wasn’t too “glossy” in it’s presentation. There are definitely threads of dysfunction in my history and I do not mind mentioning some. I will capture a few points relating to my experience of Evangelical Dysfunction.
1) Calling- growing up in a pastor’s family, being “in the ministry” always meant vocational ministry within the local body in one way or another. This always seemed ludicrous to me. I wondered how I might be employed in the “world” and still live up to my calling? There HAD to be other options for me apart from being a pastor’s wife. I am strongly opposed to the idea that there may be a “higher calling,” indicating that there is a less of a calling if other vocations are pursued apart from the Church. God’s purposes are accomplished through us all, in whatever job we may pursue. Would you find it interesting to note that my one sibling, a brother, is a pastor?
2)Tongues- It grieves me to have experienced a healthy background in the “speaking gifts” within the Foursquare denomination and then to never hear Scriptures taught re. tongues and prophecy in my adult years going to a Baptist church. What a loss. It seems the speaking gifts are taboo as this may promote sensationalism or lack of order. I believe I have heard one sermon in my 28 years at the Baptist church, on speaking in tongues. I believe it is regarded as a gift that was for Biblical days (the people in the upper room spoke languages for the purpose of dispersing the gospel). I personally speak in tongues as my work blows my mind- how do I know what God is doing in people’s lives? What else can I do when I walk in and out of my office? Romans 8:26!
3)YWAM- I joined YWAM as a college graduate with a Bible degree. Introduction into YWAM is DTS (Discipleship Training School). When I joined, I was with many young people who had just graduated from high school. I did not need the training that those who were four years my junior needed. I remember staff being intimidated by my Bible knowledge and did not recognize what I might offer. I had gained leadership skills while in college. Had no one read my application? My interest in missions was NOT encouraged as hierarchy in leadership among a very young staff thwarted any future vision of staying with this organization. God had His own DTS for me during that time-I was being trained in humility and being prepared to marry a man who was not going to pursue missions.
Other topics I could touch on:
4) “God told me”…”God gave me this vision/word”
5) What is a Biblical view of finances?
6) Church staff/lay people doing the “work of the church”
I would be interested in hearing your perspective on Evangelical dysfunction as you grew up in the church as well!
I enjoyed very much reading of your evangelistic journey. I especially was interested to learn that you felt you may have been being called to missions for a time before getting married. I served on the foreign mission field 7 years before getting so ill I had to return to the States. I have been doing Stateside missions since returning. It’s where my heart is. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
When you read this again I want you to envision you and your family. You have done this with all of us and continue to lift all of us up throughout the program. When we are brave enough to sow seeds, even during difficult times, the harvest will bring us joy.
I was honored to read your story.
Thank you dear Alana!