The following pages at [ www.jim-durkin.tlchrist.info ] comprise a "subsite" of our overall ministry - "Total Love In Christ Ministry" - at [ www.tlchrist.info ].
They are in NO way related to the former nor to the present "Gospel Outreach Ministries", nor to "Radiance Media Ministry".
They are in NO way affiliated, endorsed, sponsored nor supported by them. Gospel Outreach, either in part or in whole, does not necessarily share or endorse ANY of the doctrines and/or teachings of the parent site (TLC). "Apostolic Foundation, Truths that shaped the ministry and direction of Gospel Outreach" was written by Dave Sczepanski, as most of the books were authored by Jim Durkin. That, however, DOES NOT imply that either of them was or is in ANY way affiliated or associated with this ministry.
These pages are offered SOLELY as a memorial and a dedication to the work that God accomplished through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon the ministry of Gospel Outreach, upon the person of Jim Durkin and upon those who submitted themselves to discipleship under him. Through his three-fold message of (God's) Purpose - Vision - Discipleship, lost youth were transformed into "MIGHTY Men (and women) of God"
I am the Founder and Director of TLC, and was privileged to be a part of a number of Gospel Outreach churches during the 1970's and 80's, including the main center at Eureka, CA. I was at the Lighthouse Ranch, lived at the H Street house and worked at Radiance Media. I knew Jim Durkin personally.
It is MY conviction, and that of TLC as a whole, that the giftings and message of Apostleship, leadership and discipleship -- and of God's "Purpose and Vision" -- are AT LEAST as relevant and as much needed by the Church today (if not more so) than they were during the days of Jim's earthly life!!!
Jim Durkin (1925-1996) Gospel Outreach
The JPM story of Northern California centers on Jim Durkin, the leader of what became a collective of independent communes that associated under the name Gospel Outreach (GO). Durkin's personal journey began at Portland Bible Temple, a classical Pentecostal church, where he served on staff under Dick Iverson until a divorce cost him his position. Durkin claimed that from a very low point of despair, while he was alone and praying to God in a log cabin, Jesus spoke directly to him, telling him to remarry his wife Dacie and to go "Practice the Word" From there he moved on to pastor twelve elderly people at a church called Soul's Harbour. During a church prayer meeting in 1970, a woman at Soul's Harbour had a vision that the whole place would be filled with barefoot hippies worshipping God.
The remote and rural nature of Northern California differed from San Francisco and Southern California. As such it became the migratory destination for many "back-to-the-land hippies" who sought to restore the original hippie vision of pre-1967 Haight-Ashbury. Hippies purchased lands collectively, wealthy individuals donated properties, and religious organizations bought massive plots of land. And from 1967 to 1977 large numbers of youth journeyed to northern California to pursue what they believed would be a peaceful, and spiritual, utopian lifestyle in a commune.
In 1968, one such story began with German born Sabine Bell, who purchased 150 acres of land in Albion, California simply dubbed "the Land" as a commune for hippies to pursue their spiritual interests. In 1970, a visit to the Land by a Christian couple resulted in a few conversions and much controversy among the communards. Over the subsequent months more communards, including Bell, also converted. The commune changed its name to "The Lord's Land," and came under Durkin's leadership. Durkin found himself being approached by other communes in the region that had, in a similar way, experienced mass conversions and were seeking Christian teaching and leadership. In 1971, Durkin and about 30 others moved to a donated property just south of Eureka that housed an abandoned coast guard lighthouse. Renamed as "The Lighthouse Ranch", this property became the base of GO's operations, which at its height housed 320 people.
Durkin maintained a strong emphasis on Pentecostal spirituality, yet like many others who led outreaches to the hippies, he negotiated with the counterculture converts to forge a hybrid Pentecostalism. For example, Wednesday night chapel services at the Lighthouse were quiet times of reflection in which no talking or "vain babbling" was permitted. Communards were expected to wait on the Lord in silence while praying or reading the Bible. Or as James Jankowiak explained, "We practiced all the gifts of the Spirit, but we were not Pentecostals. The tendency of traditional Pentecostals in those days was to shout into microphones and holler, 'Jeeesssusss' -- and we were not having any of that"
Durkin believed that the communes needed to be financially self-sufficient, so GO communes engaged in small businesses from leather making to a donut shop, and the operation of a free advertising newspaper in Eureka called the Tri-City Advertiser. Also, Living Waters Reforestation was founded by Go to gain reforestation contracts with the U.S. Department of Forestry and private companies throughout the Pacific Northwest. Radiance Ministries was set up to promote Durkin's teachings by duplicating and distributing cassette recordings and by purchasing time on Christian radio to air his "Practice the Word" program.
Between 1972 and 1977, GO communal churches were established throughout California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Chicago, New York, Germany, England, and Guatemala. With the exception of a thriving work in Guatemala that functions under the name Verbo, much of GO is defunct and what remains in Eureka has taken on the name "Gospel Outreach Reformational Church".
Excerpt from the book: "The Jesus People Movement: A Story of Spiritual Revolution Among the Hippies" - By Richard A. Bustraan - Pages 81-83
Gospel Outreach was part of the "Jesus Movement" in northern California during the 1970's. Jim Durkin - pastor of Deliverance Temple in Eureka, CA - opened his church doors to the hippies that came to this area. Many, living at the Lighthouse Ranch on Table Bluff outside of Eureka, learned about what it means to be a follower of Jesus -- a DISCIPLE. During this time, churches were planted across the US and in other countries to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
By 1972, Gospel Outreach Lighthouse Ranch had grown to almost 300 members. The group started attending a local Assembly of God church in Eureka called Deliverance Temple, and asked the minister Jim Durkin to lead Gospel Outreach. Within a few years, the Lighthouse Ranch sent out planting teams all over the world. Throughout the 1970s and 80's, missionary teams established churches in Palmer, Alaska, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Silverton, Oregon, Philadelphia, Germany, United Kingdom, Nicaragua, and Hawaii. With 100 affiliated churches worldwide, the Gospel Outreach network is one of the denominational legacies of the Jesus People Movement. One of the most important components of this legacy was the group's involvement in Guatemala. Former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt attended Gospel Outreaches' Verbo church in the capitol city. He was called back to the presidency during a military coup.
Jim Durkin preached a pivotal message, "God's Purpose and Vision for Your Life". Jim also emphasized repentance, as in the need for a follower of Christ to experience a "turning away" from past wrongful behaviors (sins). This concept was readily understood by these young people who had recently identified themselves as "hippies". Jim practiced what he preached, as he himself was a compassionate, humble, encouraging and caring individual who emphasized the importance of considering the needs of others first, and the personal growth of each individual.
For those who found this website and do not know, the founder of Gospel Outreach, Jim Durkin, joined the Lord in glory on January 12, 1996 and Dacie Durkin joined him March 23, 2011. The Gospel Outreach churches that remain in Eureka, CA; Tacoma, WA; Olympia, WA and Portland, OR have become Gospel Outreach Reformational Church. The Lighthouse Ranch is no longer a Christian commune - it has been purchased by the state. The lighthouse has been moved to downtown Eureka and the cross has been taken down.
Now this seems (to ME at least) to be a rather irrational complaint, for it is a complaint against God for equipping Jim to be gifted as the minister that HE was and GO to be the type of ministry that IT was. If ALL that this individual was reviling in GO had been removed, it would NOT have been Gospel Outreach. The items that are mentioned are what made GO to be GO !!
It would seem that this individual would have been right at home in ancient Israel when they told the prophet Samuel: "Now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have" ** 1Sam 8:5. He would say rather, "We would have a Board of Deacons to lead us so that it is THEY who can appoint for us a pastor who will do and say as WE want and NOT one who listens to God's voice"!!
THIS comment, along with the rest of the tone and tenor of the topic that was being discussed, reinforced in my mind the belief that we STILL need the basic revelation and concept that God revealed to Jim in HIS time of trouble and despair as much or MORE today. Satan has CONTINUED to infiltrate God's Church with his lies, delusions and deceptions of dilution, rationalization and compromise -- and there seem to be very few voices with the revelation, clarity and courage that God gave to Jim speaking against them !!
This revelation was, in Jim's OWN words:
I believe that Jim's heart and vision was that we are to cleanse our hearts and lives FULLY of the religious trappings and snares of this "world system", and prepare and make room in them for God to instead FULLY fill them with His TRUE "riches and treasures".
I don't believe (having known Jim, his work and his teachings) that it was EVER his intent to DEPRIVE anyone of any GOOD thing or to take away anything of REAL value.
As Jim expressed on the tape in question, his PARTICULAR cleansing that he allowed to take place in his OWN life cost him AND his family a GREAT deal. However, I believe that God MORE than rewarded him (AND GO) for his willingness and obedience !!
I believe that it made room for the tremendous infilling of gifts and graces that allowed him, those who allowed themselves to be discipled by him and GO to effect (in its day) the tremendous and far-reaching work that God accomplished.
When God commanded Abraham to take Isaac up on Mt. Moriah and SACRIFICE him there, do you think that perhaps God had in mind some kind of "spiritual" sacrifice ?? NO !! -- I think that He meant, to Abraham's understanding, to go and LITERALLY kill him - with a LITERAL knife - LITERALLY dead!
WHY -- because God wanted a blood sacrifice ? Of course not !! Maybe He wanted to see what Abraham would do - I don't think so - I think that He already knew. Perhaps His intent was so that Abraham HIMSELF could see what he would do -- YES, I think so !!
If Abraham had reasoned as Jim spoke about he himself doing in his early years -- "We KNOW what God's Word says, but we also know that it can't REALLY mean that. There must be some 'spiritual' interpretation'" -- Abraham would have probably found a way to avoid God's clear word and do what HE wanted to do.
Maybe he would have reasoned, "God can't REALLY mean for me to literally kill my one, my ONLY son. I have loved him so much - he is "flesh-of-my-flesh" - my ONLY true heir- we have had such happy times together. What about Sarah - how will we go on without him - and what about the great ministry that God promised me through him ?? God must mean for me to sacrifice him 'spiritually' - to give him fully over into God's service. That way, one day I might have many children and grandchildren, and His word to me to be 'a father of many nations' will be fulfilled."
However, Abraham mustered up the faith and courage to be obedient to God's voice, and we all know the outcome. What we DON'T know (fortunately) is what the outcome would have been had he refused LITERAL obedience and instead turned to some carnal rationalization as too many are prone to do today when God asks of them some seemingly "hard" thing !!
Do you think that it was mere coincidence (or that GO was somehow comprised of SPECIAL, super-Christians) that a collection of ragtag, hippie dropouts were able to be used so mightily to expand His Kingdom ?? NO, it was because, in the beginning, we came to God with that RADICAL, sold out heart (like Keith Green had and sings of) that unabashedly cried out to Him, "ALL for you God" and TRULY meant it !!!! Please click on the following link to listen to a collection of songs by Keith Green. Much of his music has REALLY inspired me over the years !! Click [ HERE ].
I guess that God CONTINUES to ask the same question today -- "What price are you and I WILLING to pay to receive that which He wishes to pour out upon those who are open and ready" ??
"I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things indeed, I regard them as dung! that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ's faithfulness ...... My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection ......" **** Philippians 3:8-10