Explore Article Categories

News & Events

Names behind ‘Jesus Revolution’ movie share stories about revival

March 15, 2023

Just a few weeks before the new film “The Jesus Revolution” opened in theaters, producers Jon Erwin and Kevin Downes and actor Jonathan Roumie visited Convocation.

Roumie is well known for his role as Jesus in “The Chosen” and plays Lonnie Frisbee, a charismatic hippie street preacher, in the film.

Erwin said the desire to create the film, based on a true story during a Christian revival that began on the West Coast in the 1960s, came about seven years ago when he purchased a copy of the June 1971 issue of TIME Magazine with a cover feature on “The Jesus Revolution.” The film features Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), who is searching for the right things in the wrong places until he meets Frisbee. Together with Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer), they open the doors of Smith’s struggling church to an unexpected revival of radical and newfound love.

In a discussion led by Campus Pastor Jonathan Falwell, Roumie spoke about his acting career, which has included roles on TV’s “NCIS” and “Law in Order,” in Disney projects, and as Jesus in various small films before starring in “The Chosen.”

“This has been God’s commissioning on my own life to serve Him using the gifts and talents He’s given me and, whenever possible, to start bringing (biblical) values back into the culture, which often today have been drained out of the culture,” he said. “To change the culture by impacting it has now become part of my holistic mission as a human being on this planet who just happens to be an actor playing Jesus and Lonnie Frisbee.”

The guests spent a couple days in Lynchburg, attending an early showing of the movie at Thomas Road Baptist Church the night before the Feb. 3 Convocation.

In an interview with the Liberty Journal, Roumie said he enjoyed meeting the student body.

“They’re on fire,” he said. “They are super stoked and excited to have us here, and I just feel so welcomed.”

He said he hopes that “The Jesus Revolution” will help encourage young people to rise up in their faith and be bold despite the cultural norms that combat Christianity.

“My hope is that they feel the same Spirit of God that we did making the movie and that they feel convicted to bring Jesus back into the culture in a big way.”

Erwin said he is also hopeful to see a resurgence of this type of movement in the world today.

“I just feel in my soul that God’s going to do this again, and He’s going to do it in your time and in your generation,” Erwin told the students. “I just think God’s going to show up in a big way.”

Erwin and Downes visited Convocation in 2015 to talk about their film “Woodlawn,” and Erwin also visited campus in 2018 and 2020 with his brother and fellow producer Andrew Erwin to talk about their films “I Can Only Imagine” and “I Still Believe.” 

Read the full story at Liberty.edu/News.

Get the e-magazine straight to your inbox!

It only takes a click to unsubscribe.