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Best-selling book about the Jesus Movement: “God’s Forever Family”

Best-selling book about the Jesus Movement: “God’s Forever Family”

Larry Estridge, PhD has written a very well-researched and complete history: God’s Forever Family – the history of the Jesus People movement in America. In the words of our editor, Scott McCarrel, it is told “warts and all”. Published by Oxford University Press, the book has had rave reviews and is the best-selling book on many Christian book selling sites.

Winner of the 2014 Christianity Today Book of the Year The Jesus People movement was a unique combination of the hippie counterculture and evangelical Christianity. It first appeared in the famed “Summer of Love” of 1967, in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, and spread like wildfire in Southern California and beyond, to cities like Seattle, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. In 1971 the growing movement found its way into the national media spotlight and gained momentum, attracting a huge new following among evangelical church youth, who enthusiastically adopted the Jesus People persona as their own. Within a few years, however, the movement disappeared and was largely forgotten by everyone but those who had filled its ranks. God’s Forever Family argues that the Jesus People movement was one of the most important American religious movements of the second half of the 20th-century. Not only do such new and burgeoning evangelical groups as Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard trace back to the Jesus People, but the movement paved the way for the huge Contemporary Christian Music industry and the rise of “Praise Music” in the nation’s churches. More significantly, it revolutionized evangelicals’ relationship with youth and popular culture. Larry Eskridge makes the case that the Jesus People movement not only helped create a resurgent evangelicalism but must be considered one of the formative powers that shaped American youth in the late 1960s and 1970s.


Click this link to hear an audio interview of Larry Eskridge on Wheaton College radio

About the author: Dr. Larry Eskridge was born in North Carolina and raised in the Chicago area, where he was involved with the Jesus People movement in the 1970s. A student of evangelicals’ relationship to mass media and pop culture, he has been on the staff of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College since 1988.

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“The Jesus People Movement in America Found this book totally engaging on several levels: religiously, sociologically, historically and personally. Though I graduated in 1976, I had an older sister whose best friend’s sister made a fateful trip to California in 1971; none of our lives were ever the same, thanks be to God.”

“The Jesus People Movement in America This is an academic history of the Jesus People Movement. I learned a lot more about this historic time than I already knew.”

“The Jesus People Movement in America God’s Forever Family delivers this important story in a very readable and accessible way – (if you know Eskridge, you’ll not encounter academic verbiage but hear his voice through the text).”