GARDEN GROVE : Funeral Services for ‘Hippie Preacher’


In a ceremony attended by several hundred mourners, Pentecostal minister Lonnie Frisbee, known widely as a “hippie preacher,” was laid to rest Wednesday at Crystal Cathedral.

Frisbee, 43, who had a key role in attracting youth to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died Friday at his home in Newport Beach after a lengthy illness. Relatives said he died of a brain tumor.

“He attracted young people, including hippies, because he was a hippie himself,” said Stanley Frisbee of Costa Mesa, a brother of the minister.


Lonnie Frisbee was born in Santa Ana and began his preaching career in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district when he was only 16, according to family members.

His mother, Jeannette Graham of Banning, said her son moved to the Bay Area after leaving Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach in the late 1960s. While in San Francisco, where the hippie movement was then in full bloom, Lonnie Frisbee became a devoted Christian, his mother said.

After leaving San Francisco, Frisbee came to Costa Mesa and assisted Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. Frisbee taught Bible classes at Calvary Chapel from 1968-70. He spent much of his time preaching in other nations, including South Africa and Brazil.

During funeral services Wednesday morning in Crystal Cathedral, several speakers referred to Frisbee as a preacher who marched to a different drummer. They said Frisbee’s unorthodox ways enabled him to reach out to many who otherwise would not have been receptive to Christian preaching.