Robert grew up within an hour of a Southern California beach, and is always trying to find his way back to one if given half a chance. He came to Austin, Texas to go to school, and after graduation from UT, decided to stay.
He has been volunteering and working for various non-profits and ministries since 2001, enjoys discovering new perspectives from various Christian traditions in his travels around the globe, and his pastoral style has been described as that of a religious hippie.
As a child he was part of a Swedish Baptist church plant in San Diego, has worked for a non-denominational church in Texas, found beauty in attending a Mass in Rome, worshiped alongside Orthodox pilgrims in Jerusalem, and interpreted dreams during Salem’s Haunted Happenings.
While his background in consulting helps pay the bills, you can find him strumming and singing in the Three Amigos backup karaoke band in various adult day centers at lunchtime, hunched over a good book, or stopping to say hello and share a meal with a new friend.
Julaine was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition where she received the sacraments of infant baptism, penance, first holy communion and confirmation. In high school, she left the Catholic tradition and became part of evangelicalism in the Calvary Chapel movement.
She was deeply involved in two main thrusts of their movement; evangelism and church planting. Julaine was a singer on a weekly Christian Television Program in Los Angeles and also sang in several stage productions there. She also traveled internationally singing with a choral group named the Citrus Singers.
Julaine later joined the Hope Chapel movement where she also focused on church planting. There she served as a pastor in worship music, women’s ministry and coordinating events/activities. In 1992, She and Jimi married and together they moved to Belize, Central America.
In Belize Julaine became a licensed minister followed by ordination. Julaine and Jimi served in Belize City for 8 years as church planting ministers/missionaries. Her pastoral duties in the church included teaching, women’s ministry, administration, worship music and global mission team coordinating. She was also involved with a nationwide radio program and ecumenical evangelism events.
Upon returning to the US, Julaine and Jimi headed to Cedar Ridge Community Church in Maryland, and in 2006, they moved to South Florida to plant a Hope Chapel Church. They spent 2 years there until their move to Austin in 2008 and in time began to lay the foundation for an interdenominational church and reconciling community that is intentionally welcoming to anyone who lives on the margins of our society regardless of their faith background, ethnicity, or physical ability.
Jimi is a former world class bassist who performed with several popular acts in the 1970s such as, Creation, Dr. John, Rare Earth, Parliament-Funkedelic, Brian Auger, Clifford Coulter, Mel Brown, and Buddy Miles and many others.
Jimi’s spiritual odyssey began with baptism in an American Baptist Church. Following the music years he took ordination with a Pentecostal denomination named The Foursquare Church. For several years he attended a Presbyterian Church followed by reception into the Anglican Church. Jimi’s unique ministry skillset results from an admixture of historical Christianity and today’s spiritual sensibilities.
A gifted storyteller and popular speaker he has made numerous television appearances on NBC, CBS, ABC and others, in addition to hosting his own weekly radio program.
He is co-chair of Community Dreams, an Austin-based nonprofit serving urban youth, and a member of the Austin Interfaith Inclusion Network, which serves people living with disabilities. He is on the boards of the Interfaith Arts Council, Humanitarians in the Arts, The Pecan Street Association, and the Exnihilo Art Center in Deadman’s Cay, the Bahamas.
His latest book is Border Dance: A Study in Contrasts and Conflict and How to Resolve Them.
“This is a gem of a book. With a huge historical sweep, Jimi Calhoun shows the power of dance and music to break down the barriers which threaten our common humanity. From his own experience he challenges us to root out the deeply grounded evil of racism which poisons all too much of our world. Border Dance should be required reading for all religious and civic leaders whose attitudes and actions affect us all.”
Rev. Dr. Iain Whyte, author of Scotland and the abolition of Black Slavery, 1756—1838
Previous works include:
- Funknology: A Synthesis of Art, Science, and Being
- The Sounds of Love and Grace: Ten Sounds that Will Save the World
- A Story of Rhythm and Grace: What the Church Can Learn from Rock and Roll about Healing the Racial Divide
- The Art of God: Reflections on Music, Diversity, and the Beauty in You
For more information on where he will be speaking next, visit www.jimicalhoun.com