1975 HFP, Volume 7 Number 1
For some time, God had been trying to tell us something.
The sun was setting on the Jesus Movement here in the United States as traditional churches were finally opening their arms and their doors to the thousands of young, long-haired Jesus freaks and were reaching out to accept our people, our music and our ideas. At the same time, an almost identical movement began appearing overseas as thousands of young people began turning their lives over to Jesus in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Mexico and more. God gave us the inspiration, the means and the courage to send outreach teams of Jesus People to each of these countries and to start organizing International Jesus People Gatherings.
But there was something else. We could feel a new energy in a different direction. God clearly had plans for the Hollywood Free Paper. Not only was He not going to let the HFP die, He had a new purpose for it. But where? Was it in the military? We had received letters from many soldiers in southeast Asia during the war in Vietnam and had corresponded with them, sending them the HFP, New Testaments and other literature, but the conflict had officially ended and our contact from military personnel had dwindled. Likewise, we had had contact with students at high schools and colleges across the country, as well as from prisoners, bikers, drug users, and each of these would require a special kind of outreach. Where was God telling us to go?
Finally, in January 1975, we heard His voice clearly.
"I intensely believe," our founding editor Duane Pederson wrote in an Open Letter published in this edition, "that God would have us take the Hollywood Free Paper ministry into every prison, penitentiary and correctional institution in America. Beginning right now, we will hopefully and prayerfully, along with your prayerful support, increase and expand our prison inreach ministry."
And there it was. Once we had a clear vision, we began gathering names and addresses of prison chaplains and correctional facilities across the United States, and started making contacts. By the time this edition went to press, we had made arrangements to take the HFP into 37 prisons, and were contacting hundreds more.
The photo at right shows Duane and a group of singers on their way to a correctional facility in southern California. Our brother Warren Heard drew the cartoon shown at lower right of a prisoner reading the Bible in his cell.
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