A pastor at the Vineyard Fellowship whose born-again creed was introduced to Dylan in 1979. Clinton Heylin:"Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades, a Biography"
Subject: Re: Kenn Gulliksen and Bob Dylan, April 24, 1999 From: Martin Grossman (email@example.com) Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 10:56:43 -0700 Here is a more elaborate piece on the occasion Bill referenced. Lots of old stuff here; lots of new stuff; and an awful lot between the lines. Marty Grossman
"PLEASE PRAY FOR BOB DYLAN" ASKS HIS FORMER PASTOR Kenn Gulliksen Says Dylan Is Still "A Believer" And "God Is Not Through With Him Yet" By Dan Wooding ANAHEIM, CA (April 25, 1999) -- Bob Dylan's former pastor, Kenn Gulliksen, has asked Christians around the world to pray for Bob Dylan. He also said that Dylan has never renounced his faith in Jesus Christ and that "God is not through with him yet." Gulliksen, in a rare interview after speaking before 16,000 people at the "Jesus People Reunion" at the Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California, on Saturday, April 24 said, "I would ask people to really intercede for Bob, to pray with our ceasing that God will access his heart so that he will be open to responding again to the truth. A lot of people try and get to him, so it's not about getting to him, it's about the Holy Spirit preparing his heart. So that he again reaches out to get to God." Gulliksen added, "Bob still is a believer by profession. He has not renounced the Lord and we have every faith, hope and confidence, that God is not through with him yet. He said that he hasn't heard from Dylan for some time now. "I am just waiting on the Lord for the right time to initiate contact. We pray a lot for him," said Gulliksen who now pastors Sojourners Church West L.A., a Calvary Chapel affiliate. When asked if he believed Dylan was still on a spiritual search, Gulliksen said, "I believe he is on a greater search than ever and I think he's being so torn and that his life is winding down. He's getting older and he's struggling with what is the most real. Being Bob Dylan, having this acclaim, or having a relationship with God." HOW DYLAN BECAME A CHRISTIAN It was early in 1979 when a girlfriend of Dylan at the time came to a service at Gulliksen's Vineyard Christian Fellowship in a Los Angeles suburb. After re-committing her life to Christ, she asked if some of the pastors could come with her to see a boyfriend, who turned out to be Bob Dylan. Gulliksen assigned two of his assistant pastors, Larry Myers and Paul Emond, to go and see the friend, who he didn't realize was Dylan. Myers later remembered what occurred. "There we met a man who was very interested in learning what the Bible says about Jesus Christ," he said "To the best of my ability, I started at the beginning in Genesis and walked through the Old Testament and the New Testament and ended in Revelation. "I tried to clearly express what is the historical, orthodox understanding of who Jesus is. It was a quite intelligent conversation with a man who was seriously intent on understanding the Bible. There was no attempt to convince, manipulate or pressure this man into anything. But in my view God spoke through His Word, the Bible, to a man who had been seeking for many years." Myers added, "Sometime in the next few days, privately and on his own, Bob accepted Christ and believed that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah. After yet more time and further serious deliberation, Bob was baptized." Gulliksen, who founded the Vineyard churches, left Calvary Chapel movement for a while under the leadership of the late John Wimber but is now back with Calvary Chapel, talked about the early days with Dylan in his church. "ABSOLUTE CRAZINESS" "It was absolutely craziness because we all of a sudden had 30 or 40 media showing up at our services, writing absolutely ludicrous stories," he said. "If Bob wasn't there, they'd make up stories about why he wasn't there. They would talk about us having sections cordoned off just for him. It was at that time, I discovered that you can't believe everything that you read. Up until then I had been pretty naive about the media. So we did our best to try to create another venue for Bob. I assigned one of my pastors, Larry Myers, to spend as much time with him as possible and Bob did go through our school of discipleship. He spent four months every day in a class room and it was out of that came the albums of 'Saved' and 'Slow Train Coming.' "I did my best to stay out of Bob's immediate circle so it wouldn't look that I was personally trying to capitalize on of the relationship. I thought that was the godly, wise thing to do. Again in retrospective, I wish I had given more of myself because Bob subsequently, because of who he was and the pressures in his life, got caught back into the world. "It was crazy. We also had Debby Boone and we had dozens of more minor celebrities, but was so much a problem dealing with 'the' celebrity. The three best known of that decade were Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, and Bob Dylan. Two of them were killed and Dylan was the only one left. "So you are not talking about just a celebrity, you are talking about 'the' remaining celebrity." I asked Gulliksen what was his favorite Dylan song and he replied, "You've got to serve somebody." POT SMOKING AT DYLAN CHRISTIAN CONCERT Gulliksen said that the only rock and roll concert he ever went to was one of Dylan's when he was to sing only his Christian songs. "It was so hilarious because everybody else there thought he was going to do his rock and roll songs and not his Christian songs," he recalled. "So everybody was smoking pot and I had never smelled pot in my life and in the middle of the concerts. I told my wife Joanie at one point, 'I feel really weird and dizzy.' Almost everybody in the whole building was smoking pot. But I have never been to a concert that was so incredibly evangelistic, reaching into a lost generation with the truth in these songs. It was a prophetic event which was why Satan trashed him."