To Hell with the Devil

January, 1987
1987 HFP, Volume 11 Number 1

The largest steel industry strike in American history ended after five months when workers returned to their jobs in the mills. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not prevent Indian tribes from operating gambling casinos on tribal land. Alleged mobster John "the Teflon Don" Gotti was acquitted of racketeering charges. Astronomers reported sighting a new galaxy 12 billion light years from Earth. And at his palatial desert home in Palm Springs, legendary pianist and Las Vegas showman Liberace died of complications from AIDS.

Early in 1987 after several years' hiatus, the Hollywood Free Paper suddenly reappeared on the scene, with a new artist (Dave Eaton), new graphics, and a renewed focus on the mean streets of Hollywood where we had started nearly twenty years before.

In an exciting cover article, we interviewed Timothy Gaines, Oz Fox and brothers Michael and Robert Sweet of the Christian metal band Stryper shortly after the release of their third album, "To Hell with the Devil." Though one of the Christian music scene's most controversial groups at that time, our article acknowledged the band's "obvious sincere desire to declare Jesus Christ and His word to our generation" through the medium of rock and roll.

We featured the Hollywood street ministry Oasis, operated by our friends Ron and Judy Radachy, a young people's church and ministry center in the heart of Hollywood. Today, Oasis is still around and has expanded to include the Spin Youth Church, the Urban School of Evangelism, the Masters Commission and more. They're located on Ivar just north of Hollywood Boulevard, stop by and let Ron and Judy know you heard about them from the Hollywood Free Paper!

Our friend Michael V. wrote about his life as a gang leader where he had "everything under control at the snap of my fingers." But his power became a wall that kept everything out; he was "trapped in my own prison" until he encountered Jesus. "Jesus cleaned me up and put me to work," Michael explained, "and that's all I want." Another friend, Michael T., was in a state prison in Tracy, California, making plans to murder another inmate in the exercise yard when Jesus confronted him. "For the first time in my life I felt good about myself," he wrote. "I became totally committed to trying to be obedient to God's word." Jesus pulled another friend, Melody, out of a life of drugs and prostitution to serve Him instead. Our friend Augie was "in trouble constantly, fighting, drinking and doing drugs" when he met Jesus. The details of their lives were all different but one thing was the same, that moment of encounter with the Son of God that changed everything forever.

Dave Eaton created the dramatic illustration of the band members of Stryper shown at right, as well as the drawing of our friend David Jenkins shown at lower right.

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