by Jack Harris – May 22, 2023




I can tell you where the Jesus Revolution began for us. 

It began back in 1969 with one young man, in the small city of Prescott, in the mountains of Northern Arizona. And it happened in the most unlikely of places; in my car.

There were five of us in the car that night, Ron Burrell, Walter Portugal and two others. We were driving back from Tucson where we had managed to score a pound of marijuana.

It was a bright moonlit night, as I drove, I could clearly see the desert landscape surrounding us as we took the back roads home.

We were trying to avoid being stopped by the Highway Patrol or any Sheriff’s Deputies on the way. We were stoned; higher than the proverbial kite.

Ron said, let’s hear some music, as he reached over to switch on the car radio. Back then, if you wanted to listen to music on the go, you turned on your radio. 

KOMA out of Oklahoma City covered most of the Southwest; that was our go-to station for Rock Music. But we were having trouble tuning in, because out where we were, the broadcast signal was very weak. 

Suddenly, a blast of what sounded like Rock music came in over the air as Ron found a strong channel and tuned it in. 

At first we thought it was Sly and the Family Stone, a popular Funk Rock band of the time. Instead, it turned out, it was a Black Choir singing Gospel Music. 

They were broadcasting live from Miracle Valley, AZ, headquarters for Tent Evangelist A.A. Alan and his Miracle Healing Revival.

Apparently, we’d blundered near to Miracle Valley. I’d never been to that part of Arizona before, and I didn’t know much about A.A. Allen, tent revivals or his miracle healing services.

The guys in the back seat started shouting, Turn that stuff off! Ron said, I’d like to hear what he has to say, and me, I thought it would be entertaining just to listen to him. Come on, I said, just get into it, it’ll be cool. 

Despite the backseat protests, we continued to listen. I don’t recall how long we listened, it didn’t seem to be that long, but it must have been long enough.

Ron suddenly turned to me and said, I’m not high any more! I turned and looked at him, surely he was joking. I was so stoned that the only thing I could think to say in response was, “You, a lying fish!”

The weed we smoked that night was exceptionally potent and it was still coming on strong for all of us, there was no way he couldn’t be as high as the rest of us.

I thought Ron was just messing with my head, but as I looked over at him again, and remember it was an exceptionally bright and clear moonlit night, I could see his features perfectly. 

His face had actually blanched, he’d turned noticeably white in the moon light. He looked stunned and somewhat frightened.

He repeated, I’m telling you, I’m not high anymore! Then he said, I was listening to that guy preach and I’m not high anymore.

It got real quiet in the car, nobody said another word the rest of the drive home which was about another hour or more. I recall reaching up and turning the radio off and then the rest of us turned Ron off as we rode home in silence.

The next day Ron contacted all of us and asked to us to meet him. 

We all felt this was somewhat of an odd request, but we agreed to meet with him outside of town at some old Indian ruins we knew about atop a small hill. It was a bit of a hike off the main road and we knew nobody’d be out there, we’d have privacy and could securely smoke up without fear of being caught. 

We got there first and passed around a few joints in preparation for what we sensed was going to be more “Burrell weirdness.”

By the time he arrived, we were all stoned.

I can still see him standing there, as we sat on the ground leaning against what remained of the stacked rock walls of the ruins. He pulled a baggie of Pot out from under his shirt and tossed it to the ground before us. 

You guys can have this if you want it, he said, Jesus touched me last night and I’m going to follow Him. Then he began to witness to us concerning the reality of God’s touch upon him the night before.

We’d all witnessed it, but we didn’t believe it. Burrell had just gone weird, he’d become what we’d come to call a Jesus Freak.

One thing we couldn’t deny, he was different, and he never went back. 

 In fact, despite the cost, in terms of rejection, mockery and the loss of friends, he was relentless. He shared Jesus everywhere he went and with everyone he encountered.

It’ll be another year before I and many others begin to respond to the Gospel and come to Christ, but the first drops of rain had fallen; a rain that would become a great outpouring of the Spirit of God that would spread throughout the nation and around the world.

This happened at around same time the Jesus Movement  broke out in California. We in Arizona would come to identify ourselves as a part of it, and we were. 

It was a national phenomenon and yet it had broken out independently in both places with no direct connection other than it was all orchestrated by GOD Himself.

But by the time we became aware of it, (The Jesus Movement), hundreds of young people had already come to the Lord and revival had broken out in Prescott.

No, it was more than a revival, it was a Spiritual Awakening. It was a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Most amazing of all, at least for me, is that this outpouring didn’t begin in a church or revival meeting, it began with one young man and a car full of sinners.

Published by Jack Harris |

Jack Harris is an Ordained Minister, PCI Missionary Evangelist and Humanitarian Aid Director. He is the founder and director of Jack Harris Ministries, an international outreach ministry.


  1. The Jesus Movement. Another equally important part of our lives, (Suzy and I had gotten married), before the incident in the car that night I had invited several friends over to party and unbeknown to me Suzy was praying for strength and boldness to come out and openly witness to those at the party. She came out and suddenly began openly telling everyone about Jesus and getting saved. Well within minutes the party began breaking up and they all felt like it was time to go home 🙃

  2. Praise God for His love, mercy and perfect salvation through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. I’m thankful by the Lord located and put Ron Burrell in my life.
    Thank you Jesus for paying a debt you did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay.

  3. Weird Burrell, Jesus Freak!
    Wonderful, Jesus used Ron to lead us to Him. July 1994 might I add we were high as the proverbial kite.
    Saved, by the Grace of God. Married after 13 years of shacking up. That was October 2 the same year. Praise the Lord!!

  4. A great story, so very motivating
    I had experienced something like this in my very beginning about 30 years ago , and we pray that God is using our ministry to cause a revival like ths all over Egypt and Arab world

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: