Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Introduction to the Jesus House

The Jesus House started the first weekend of May, 1971. The place featured weekly Christian music concerts in a large house located in the Mount Healthy area of north-west Greater Cincinnati. This blog is going to cover some of the history of the House including lists of former concert performers, updates on staff, photos from the past, and thoughts from Terry Fisher, the writer of this blog. If you have old photos that can be used on this blog please email them to Terry,

This blog will also promote the upcoming Jesus House Reunion, to be held at Highview Christian Church, May 2, 2009. More details, including a list of artists will be forthcoming. A new blog posting will be added each week.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading the blog.
Spread the word.

This week in history: Concert performers who appeared at the Jesus House the first weekend of October:
1971 - Len Mink
1972 - Restoration
1973 - Grant Hammond
1974 - John Gould, Rich Davis
1975 - Sandy Wagner, Andy Danzel, Ric Marksberry
1976 - One Lane Road
1977 - Sharon Wilson
1978 - Wild Olive Branch Band
1979 - Rob Rodebush
1980 - Dave Workman
1981 - Messinger, Tim Root
1982 - Kevin Boys
1983 - YWAM - "Toymaker & Son"
1984 - Sorry, no records kept of this year.

Where Are They Now?
The founding Director of the Jesus House was Randy Matthews.
Many of you might know Randy's name as one of the originators and innovators of the music genre that became known as Contemporary Christian Music.
When Randy began his singing career, he called it Gospel Rock both because of his appreciation for rock & roll music but also because of his family's Gospel Music roots. His father Monty sang in the Jordanaires.
While Randy was a student at Cincinnati Bible Seminary (aka Cincinnati Christian University) he was asked to help lead a weekly event at Highview Christian Church on Thursday evenings where dozens of high school students were gathering to discuss the Bible. Randy's musical talent and charisma help attract more students. When Randy learned that the church still owned a large house in the neighborhood with a large meeting room, he conceived the idea of The Jesus House.
More will be written in later blogs about this beginning.
Near the end of the first summer of operation, Randy left the Jesus House staff to devote himself to a full-time Christian music career. For many years, Randy performed 200-300 concerts a year, traveling all across the U.S. as well as frequent trips to Canada and several to Australia and England.
Randy recorded many albums on a variety of Christian labels. Some can be found online through resale web sites. To date, none of Randy's recordings have been officially released on CD.
So, what is Randy doing today?
He's a pirate!
Specifically, Red Beard the Pirate.
Randy performs childrens shows at several Florida resorts in his persona as Red Beard. You can read more about Red Beard on his web site. He also has a CD of original pirate songs! Check him out:


Mike Stephens said...

About time good move Terry!!! I hope I can catch up with assorted characters from the old days.
Mike said...

I’ve always regretted the fact that my own kids did not have a similar place like the Jesus House. But the days of the Jesus House were really a special period in history. Some say it was the 4th Great Awakening. I don’t know, but I’m glad I was a part of it. I seldom get to see the old friends and acquaintances of those days, but when I do encounter those folks I’m always happy to find them still the same old Jesus Freaks even if they are now buy their clothing at Dillard’s instead of the granny dresses and bell bottom jeans they used to buy at Trivets. The hair has become thinner, greyer or is gone, the glasses are thicker but the Spirit that was given to us by Our Father still lives in each of our hearts.
May God bless all,
Marc O’Hara

richards said...

Hi, Terry!

I remember the Jesus House. I painted a lifesize Aslan on the wall at the landing of the stairs. I would go there barefoot along with Richard Mullins, having gratefully survived his eccentric driving strategies. Once you cooked peachybeaniebaloney for me, and I never forgot it. Believe me. . . smile.

Pam Richards

Pamela Richards said...

Hey, Terry!

I wrote a page about Rich Mullins' debut at the Jesus house on my website. Can I ask who did your drawing of the Jesus House? I would like to get permission to use it on my site, if I may.

I'm not trying to spam you, but I couldn't find your email address on your blog! Here's my website address:

and my email address is

If you'd like to send me a line, please do.


Linda Mc said...

Hi Terry,

The Jesus House was wonderful to attend as a new believer. I always sat close to the front to drink in the songs and watch the guitarists. Little did I know God was planting seeds in my heart. I bought a guitar and learned a few chords and began writing songs, tho can't read music. God took me to Israel to minister and and recorded a cd in Tel Aviv. The Jesus House was part of growing the passion to minister in song. At 58 yrs...still doing so. Miss Jesus House and the passion of the "hippies" in the Charismatic Movement! Thank you for sowing into my life!