Jimi is an outrageously talented musician, a highly thoughtful pastor, and more recently – a friend of mine. Who else would be inspired to confront racial issues in the church by his history of playing with major rock-n-roll artists (think Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, etc.)? Austin-based writer Eileen Flynn recently wrote a profile of Jimi. Here’s an excerpt…
My meeting earlier this month with Jimi Calhoun falls into the better-late-than-never category. I’d been meaning to interview him since he first contacted me two years ago about his about-to-be-published book “A Story of Rhythm and Grace: What the Church Can Learn from Rock & Roll about Healing the Racial Divide.”
The great thing about Calhoun, a wiry, youthful-looking 63-year-old who has pursued careers as a rock ‘n’ roll musician and a church pastor, is that he’s both patient and perpetually moving forward. When we sat down for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in West Lake Hills, Calhoun had two new projects under way: a second book and an East Austin multi-ethnic church he and his wife are starting with two other couples.
But first I wanted to get caught up on “Rhythm and Grace.” In the book, Calhoun describes a life spent in “two cities.” In one city, he played bass guitar for big-name rock ‘n’ roll acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and Dr. John. There, he found that music naturally brought together people of different races. In the other city, he served as a black pastor in a white evangelical community that emphasized loving God and loving people but wasn’t always adept at race relations.
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