Greg and Cathe Laurie on 'Jesus Revolution', Their Love Story, and a New Jesus Revival
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Millions of people worldwide have now seen "Jesus Revolution," the movie inspired by the late 1960s and early 70s Jesus Movement. It takes viewers back to the time when thousands of hippies put down their drugs, picked up their Bibles, and followed Jesus. It's also the story of two young people who met, fell in love, and became pioneers of the Jesus Movement.
That couple, Greg and Cathe Laurie, who celebrate 50 years of marriage next year, never dreamed that part of their life would one day be featured on the big screen.
"Well, I'm really surprised by how it just connected with so many people. I think one of the unique features of this film is that it's a multi-generational movie, like I've heard so many stories of the grandparents, the parents, and the kids and even the grandkids coming and all of them connecting to some aspect of the movie because there's so many stories woven together," Greg said.
THE LOVE STORY
As for the movie version of their love story, the Lauries say the writers and producers got it right, although the two did break up several times before finally tying the knot in 1974. And it was after the third break-up that Cathe said they saw each other at church and both knew that the Lord had brought them together.
When asked if Cathe's dad ever warmed up to Greg, he said, "Oh, yeah. I had a great relationship with him. I called him Dad. He was very restrained, emotionally kind of a guy, but, I mean, you have to imagine, I put myself in his shoes and come walking into their house. I had hair past my shoulders, a full beard, and a red beard, by the way. So I come walking in, and he's kind of - 'Who is this guy wanting to date my daughter?' And when I finally asked him for permission to marry his daughter, he very calmly said, 'No, no.' And he told me why. But you know, when we did get married, they warmed up," Greg said.
When asked when Cathe knew Greg was "the one," Greg jokingly replied, "She's still asking that question... and we're closing in on 50 years!"
"It was like, that's what I want. I want a guy who knows what he wants, knows he's following Jesus first," Cathe said. "And it gave me a great deal of security."
PIRATE'S COVE SCENES
Some of the most important and powerful scenes in "Jesus Revolution" were filmed at Pirates Cove in Newport Beach, California.
"Well, it's almost like Pirate's Cove, where we did the baptisms and still do them today, was a character in the film, in a way, because the movie starts with it and in the middle section of the film, my character, played by Joel Courtney, is baptized by Lonnie Frisbee, played by Jonathan Roumie. It's a big moment, and then it's there at the end," Greg said.
"I think the reason those baptism scenes work so powerfully is because God was at work while we were shooting them. On one occasion, when we were shooting the scene with Greg and Lonnie, where Greg prays with Lonnie, an extra, one of the people on the film, wanted to be baptized for real," he said.
WILL WE SEE ANOTHER JESUS REVOLUTION?
For the Lauries, the Jesus Movement never really ended. Greg went on to be the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship near L.A. and draws thousands to his Harvest Crusades each year. When asked if we're going to see another Jesus Revolution in America – they are both cautiously optimistic.
"I hope so and I pray so. And I feel if we don't see one, I tremble to think of what our future is and the collision course we're on right now on so many levels," Greg said. "On geopolitical issues, what's happening around the world, the threats to our nation, the threat to the stability of world peace; moral issues in our own nation; and all the things that are going on simultaneously," he said.
"I will say there is a desperation, for I sense it among the young people in our church, the young adults in particular. They are longing for a real experience with God, and they want to experience that in worship and in people getting saved. And we've had several evenings of worship and prayer that have been unique and unusual," Cathe said.
REVIVAL STARTS WITH YOU
Pastor Greg believes true revival starts with each individual.
"I think it comes down to this. If you want to see a revival, do revival-like things, stop waiting for some emotional experience, just go out and do what God's called you to do," Greg said. "Only God can send a revival, but only I can preach the gospel. Now God has chosen to reach people through people, but there's a rejuvenating, refreshing thing about sharing your faith," he said.
You might expect this faith couple with 50 years of ministry behind them to start slowing down, but the Lauries seem to be getting a second wind.
"Yes, the movie has sort of opened some unusual doors and given us a much wider platform and now it's going international," Cathe said.
"Now Cathe's getting recognized and they literally push me away and want to talk to Cathe," Pastor Greg joked.
WE'RE NOT SLOWING DOWN
"Yeah, right. Not. But, you know, I feel like I just want to do what God wants me to do until He says, we're going home now, we're done," Cathe said. "And there are times when, you know, when the work is intense and we're very busy and we do get tired at times, but I do feel more passionate about sharing the Gospel and telling people about God's love. And we have the answer. We have this treasure hidden in these vessels. You know, God's given us the words of the Gospel and the love of God in our hearts and so I feel like for me anyway, it has brought me in a lot of ways back to those early days of what it was like to be passionately in love with Jesus to the point where I had to tell people," Cathe said.
You can now watch "Jesus Revolution" from home. It's available to watch on a number of digital platforms including Prime Video, Apple TV, Redbox, and Roku.
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