Elwyn Chapman

‘Jesus Cares’ began in a Kings Cross coffee shop in 1987. In this interview Elwyn Chapman talks about his early life, committing himself to Christianity, and the street work of ‘Jesus Cares’ with young homeless people, amongst others. In the excerpt below, Elwyn talks about the founder of ‘Jesus Cares’, John Jones, and the organisation’s early days.

He [John Jones] got involved with another group called ‘Full Gospel Business Men’ and he got saved; and God laid on his heart to – he was a married man with a couple of kids – he was reading one day in the paper how there were kids as young as nine and ten years of age on the streets of Sydney and he wanted to do something about that. So God gave him a vision to start Jesus Cares and so he got a bunch of people together and he motivated them and eventually Jesus Cares started in a coffee shop in Kings Cross on Australia Day 1987. And then people found out about us and Jesus Cares New Beginnings Coffee Shop and so they came in, and so on a Friday or Saturday night the place would be packed. So it was number 7 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross but it doesn’t exist anymore – there’s a great big building there. We had hundreds of people who made decisions for Christ during that time. Kings Cross in 1986/87, it was before the Wood Royal Commission, there was drugs flowing everywhere, there was people everywhere, there was kids everywhere, it was quite a chaotic place.

Sue Andersen