Kelsey Grammer to Play Calvary Chapel Founder Chuck Smith in “Jesus Revolution” Movie

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate announced recently that Kelsey Grammer, Anna Grace Barlow, Jonathan Roumie, and more have joined the cast of “Jesus Revolution,” a film inspired by the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California.

Grammer (“Frasier”) will star alongside Joel Courtney (“Super 8”), previously announced, as well as newly joining cast members Anna Grace Barlow (“The Big Leap”), Jonathan Roumie (“The Chosen”), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim”), Ally Ioannides (“Parenthood”), Julia Campbell (Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion), Nic Bishop (“Truth Be Told”), and Jolie Jenkins (“Alexa & Katie”).


The Movement

kelsey grammer
Left to right: Kelsey Grammer, Anna Grace Barlow, Jonathan Roumie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Joel Courtney

In the 1970s, young Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) sets out to redefine truth through all means of liberation, and instead, meets Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), a charismatic hippie street preacher. Laurie and Frisbee, along with Pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer), open the doors of Smith’s languishing church to an unexpected revival by way of rock and roll, newfound love, and a twist of faith leading to a Jesus Revolution that changed the world.

Laurie went on to start Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the largest churches in America, and the Harvest Crusade events, which have been attended by over six million people.

Modern-day cause-related crusades and rallies for change are everywhere. “Jesus Revolution” is the story of one such movement that not only set a model for changemakers thereafter, but that sparked a revival with ripple effects that still matter today. 

Grammer will play Chuck Smith, the real-life pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, who served as a mentor to Greg Laurie. Chuck famously opened his church to a generation of hippies and seekers, helping to launch the last great spiritual revival in America.

Barlow will play Cathe, who finds a connection with Greg as they both search for purpose in a changing world. Roumie will play Lonnie Frisbee, the young hippie preacher who brings thousands into the movement with his charismatic and vulnerable messages. Williams-Paisley will play Charlene, Greg’s struggling mother. Campbell will play Kay, Chuck’s wife, with Ioannides playing Janette, his daughter. Bishop will play Dick, Cathe’s father, and Jenkins will play Pilar, her mother.



Written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn, the film will be directed by Jon Erwin (I Can Only Imagine, American Underdog) and Brent McCorkle (Unconditional) and produced by Kevin Downes (I Can Only Imagine, American Underdog) and Jon and Andrew Erwin (I Can Only Imagine, American Underdog), along with Josh Walsh (The Jesus Music) and Daryl Lefever (Woodlawn).

“We’re thrilled by the incredible cast that has come together,” said Jon Erwin. “The movie is set in a very specific time and place, but the theme of finding a deeper meaning to life, in the midst of a fractured and broken world, is timeless. In his iconic performances, Kelsey has a proven ability to connect with audiences in a real, vulnerable way, which will make him a tremendous presence in this film.”

Grammer added, “Jesus has been a profound influence in my life.  I am proud to be a part of this film.”

Erwin added, “If anything has been made clear over the past few years, it is how much we need each other. Yet with each passing day, it feels like we are more disconnected than ever before. The true story in Jesus Revolution reminds us that hope is never lost, and through even the most challenging of times, with faith, change is possible.”

Kingdom Story Company is an entertainment content company from the creators of I Can Only Imagine and American Underdog. Helmed by Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Kevin Downes, and Tony Young, and in partnership with the studio Lionsgate, Kingdom Story Company endeavors to bring content infused with a rush of hope to audiences across the globe.

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