Hardly anyone likes suburban sprawl. Although most suburbanites prefer to live in suburbs, many of them regret that so many others have followed them out of the city, thereby destroying the advantages that attracted them in the first place. For many, the answer is to move still farther out. Rural landscapes recede, traffic increases and strip malls proliferate.
In the spring of 1976, I took my New Hampshire youth group to Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebrations. Not wanting to break the bank on hotels, we slept in a church hall in a suburb north of the city. There, for the first time in my life, I encountered row after row, block after block, street after street of identical beige cinderblock houses.
Oklahoma-raised Bill Bright came to Los Angeles in 1944 and started a business selling candies, fruits and jams. He was drawn to the large First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood and there came under the considerable influence of Christian educator Henrietta Mears.
When Jesus played in theaters in 1979-80, the New York Times said it was “little more than an illustrated Gospel, with nothing in the way of historical and social context.” The portrayal of Jesus by actor Brian Deacon was along “conventional” lines, the newspaper said.