The Smartsville Revival
Smartsville, California is located right next door to the northern California gold rush towns of Timbuctoo and Rough and Ready. In the early 1970s, it had a booming population of 200. It was there in late 1971, six months prior to my arrival, that a band of newly converted hippies purchased the rundown Smartsville Hotel and other adjacent buildings. A Christian community, called Morning Star Ranch, was born. Throughout the early and mid-70s, hundreds of nomadic young people, like myself, passed through Smartsville, got saved, and plugged into life as Jesus Freaks. At the height of this mini-revival, it was common for us to baptize 10–15 people every Sunday.