Jesus Christ Superstar

Teena Myers
SCW Chair

At the young age of fourteen, Parris confessed her indiscretions too late for abortion to be an option. Her mother brought her to Methodist Home for Unwed Mothers. Parris gave her daughter up for adoption and returned home to life as usual, but the event planted a desire to help women.   

 “I had a hard working Dad and a great Mom, but there were marriage problems and alcohol problems,” said Parris. “My head was messed up when I entered the tenth grade and a school friend introduced me to Frank. I wasn’t interested in the “Jesus Freak” who smoked pot and read the Bible, but he refused to be denied.”

Frank and Parris’ experience in a traditional church led them to believe the church would not welcome them, making them ripe for an encounter with Hare Krishna’s. The Krishna’s Indian attire, shaved heads and penchant for chanting to drums were as odd as the Hippie lifestyle they had embraced. They listened intently and felt they would find truth and love following Lord Krishna, and made plans to live at a Hare Krishna Farm in West Virginia. 

They had saved $700 and already given notice to their employers when Parris began reading The Nectar of Devotion. The rules governing the lives of Krishna devotees amused her. The rules forbid passing gas in the temple and perspiring during worship. Parris’ amusement faded when she read that sexual relations were only allowed when seeking to have a child, and they took all children from their parents to be raised by Krishna devotees. She had lost one child to adoption. The thought of losing another child shook her resolve to follow Lord Krishna.

Then Frank brought Parris to see the movie version of Jesus Christ Superstar. The 1970s Rock Opera depicting the last week of Jesus’ life excluded his resurrection, producing criticism from the Christian community. But the opera rejected by Christians became a tool in God’s hand to redirect Parris’ life. Transfixed by the image of Jesus’ crucifixion, Frank whispered to Parris, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life.’” They burst into tears, making them ripe for an encounter with God’s Army.

Frank and Parris went to the Lakefront after seeing Jesus Christ Superstar and stopped to listen to young people playing guitars. The musicians had come to New Orleans to establish a church. They seized the opportunity to them about Jesus. Lord Jesus replaced Lord Krishna in their lives and they canceled their plans to move to Virginia. They went to Bible college and returned to New Orleans to pastor the church the musicians started.

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