I've been trying to remember the early days.. can't quite remember how I heard about the Jesus People meetings but somehow started going to one in Carlsbad, Ca. It was held at a place called the Royal Palms which was a luxury hotel undergoing remodeling...no one was staying there as it was being renovated and was for sale.. the owner was friends with the pastor who was running it. Our meetings were held on Wednesday evenings in one of the small meeting rooms. Bob Selby was the main leader......we usually started out the meetings with prayer, he would read scripture and teach, then we'd pass a KFC bucket around for offerings, lots of singings and guitar playing...then more prayer ...if anyone had a special need, they were brought into the center circle and we'd lay hands on them for prayer... there were healings and such.....testimony time and then more singing....the last part of the evening was an altar call for anyone to accept Jesus..many people came forward each week and the movement grew. Another place we had similar meetings on Fridays nights was at The Kings Hacienda in San Clemente....the leader there was named Bob also but neither of us now can remember his last name.....he knew a lot of groups from the Costa Mesa Calvary Chapel and they would come down occasionally to play. I especially liked Love Song. Calvary Chapel speakers, including Chuck Smith would occasionally come.
"Theologians would make appointments with Pastor Chuck asking him what was the secret formula to the success of Calvary Chapel? Chuck would smile that big contagious smile and say, "Jesus!"
Arthur Blessit came several times. The meetings were generally like the other..lots of singing, worship, a short message and lots of prayers with an altar call...the movement grew with new people coming in weekly......we would do street witnessing on Saturdays. With the Vietnam war still raging, there were lots of new recruits in Oceanside and many became believers. We also held free concerts at the Oceanside Rec Center which is still there. These were about once every few months....there would be several Calvary Chapel bands come and there would be lots of witnessing, counseling going on afterwards and before. The rec center would be filled with standing room only. and its a big big rec center that seats about 1,000. Oceanside has a Fourth of July parade every year and the Royal Palms group one year entered a float....it was our biggest project ever.... everyone helped build a giant hand pointing towards a giant Bible on the back of a big flatbed truck.....we all walked beside the truck and gave out tracts to anyone who would take one. My husband Alan helped build the float, was at the meetings but we never met until later. He also says he has some photos of this time and the float so perhaps we can get them posted when he digs them out. Looking back, I think the main thing about this time was all the prayer...there were no special programs, skits, just the plain unvarnished simple message of Gods love and lots of prayer. We had water baptism many times in the ocean... one night, a special night, there was a huge bonfire held on the beach.....we all threw in the fire all of the worldly things that we had given up....drugs, cigarettes, booze, porn, etc. were thrown in the flames..I threw in my tarot cards, and occult books..and as these things were thrown in, the person would give their testimony... believe me, it was very cool. I will remember it all my life. So I was going to both meetings, Wednesday, Friday and the Methodist church on Sunday, plus the church youth group....going to the community college and working part time at the mall...busy girl... this was about 1971.