Introduction to Gospel Teams

Series: Music Recordings
 The 1970 Gospel Crusaders
      During 18 years between 1967 and 1985, more than 600 talented and dedicated young Christians traveled for the Lutheran Evangelistic Movement throughout the USA and Canada declaring their faith in Christ and encouraging others to share in that faith.  They spread their message through music, drama and personal witness in churches, high school and civic auditoriums, camps, coffee houses, shopping malls, and wherever they could find people who would listen.
      Audiences numbered as few as 8 and as many as 15,000 people; audience size mattered less than the opportunity to share Christ with clarity.   Equally important were the many relationships built with young people through volleyball games, shared picnics, studying the Bible and praying together, and during personal conversations with host families.
            Above left:  The 1971-72 Living Dimension Singers
            Above right:  Gallia & Samuel MacKinney,
Drama & Music Directors 1967-77 
      Each of these exceptional young people – most were students at Lutheran Bible schools or colleges – dedicated one or more summers to traveling with groups numbering 8-26 members, or one or more full years with groups of 5-8 members, known as The Gospel Crusaders, The Living Dimension, The Clear Light, The Foundation, The Camp Ambassadors or His Proclaimers. Other groups, which consisted mainly of former team members who traveled on weekends, wereThe Praise Gathering and The Saved By Grace And Never Turnin' Back Quartet.
                        Above left:  The 1974-75 Clear Light
                        Above right:  Gary Alfson, National Youth Director 1967-71
         As the LEM's first National Youth Director, I had the honor of establishing the format for the ministry and the privilege of recruiting, knowing and traveling with the initial 225 team members.
         You may ask, "What could inspire so many hundreds of young adults to forego earning income so necessary for their education to travel, without compensation, for a cause?"  The simple answer is that they sensed a call from God through His Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission.  They saw an opportunity to say, like Isaiah, "Here am I, Lord, send me".
                           Above left:  Dick Klawitter, Director of Youth Ministries 1971-75
                           Above right:  The 1978-79 Foundation
         And I can attest to the fact that team members returning to their schools or other arenas of life were different than the ones who had left them.  They understood faith in action and cared much more deeply for people.  I don't know how many of them became pastors, youth workers or missionaries, but it was a significant number; and I also know that the ripple-effect of that enthusiastic fellowship made an impact worldwide.
               Above left:  Gallia & Samuel MacKinney, Drama & Music Directors 1967-77
               Above right:  The 1979 Camp Ambassadors
         Now, nearly half a century later, we can read of their exploits and hear their message, and vibrant sound, once more. 
         Appendix 3 of Jonathan Anderson's book, Our Fathers Saw His Mighty Works, chronicles events leading up to and the initial decade of their story (click here to read it); and Dave Aust, an early team leader, has converted their nearly 40 recordings containing more than 500 choral arrangements into digital files to which you can listen and which can be downloaded on this website (click here to return to list of albums and here to see a list of all team members by group and by year).  As you read their story and listen to their music, may God speak through their message once again!
Gary Alfson

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Comments (2)

  • Gary Alfson


    October 9, 2013 at 2:13pm
  • Tom & Candy Carlson

    Glad you included the Coruscation Singers songs. We still have the "Love Is A Strange Word" album, but it will be nice to have these songs in a readily playable format.

    March 8, 2014 at 12:26pm
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