I went to Cornell University in 1972 to study electrical engineering. After the death of my best friend, Steve Clarke, I became a committed Christian but I was a new Christian with only a year’s worth a Bible training under my belt. Though new, I was diligent. During the prior year I had been in Baptist circles studying authors from Dallas Theological Seminary — fundamentalism.
But leaving my hometown to college live at Cornell, I had no Christian “family”. I don’t know how it happened, but I found “Love Inn” — a Jesus Freak commune run by Scott Ross. They were essentially Charismatic Christians — condemned by the cessationist dispensationalism of the fundamentalists that I had studied before. But I loved these guys. Deep emotions, heart felt prayers and cool music abounded. And they were young! Half the crowd have given up drug and free sex of the 60s. I had escaped the grey-headed, pew-sitting, 200-year-old hymn singing stiff Baptists. This crowd was hip and they loved Jesus and they countered the stupid secular values I found at Cornell. I put a big poster on my dorm window declaring my love for Jesus.
“Love Inn”, Scott Ross and other teachers would be great support for those first two years of college. During my second year at Cornell, I moved out of the dorms and into a house with 7 other Christian guys who also attended Love Inn.
Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton where converts under the influence of Scott Ross during those days. Ross hung with the Beatles and others. Here are some links about this amazing fellow:
Scott Ross was incredibly charismatic, smart and a fantastic leader. In his later years, we worked with the deplorable 700 club. Scott Ross taught me about charismatic power, certainty and love. Only later in my life would I untangle those.
This will be part of my “tributes to influential teachers” series. These teachers changed my life in one way or another. Link coming as more posts evolve.
Question to Readers: Tell me about an influential teacher you had, who you’d disagree with today but are thankful for your time with them.