We have been working on upgrading the website to the latest version of the software used to create and manage it. Given the complexity of the task and the fading memory of the webmaster, it has taken a while to complete. We have tried to keep everything similar to the original site but that has not always been possible.
Thanks to Steen for his reviews and assistance with the layout and design. :)
If you experience any issues or have suggestions then please forward them on to
The Jake's book launch and gathering is on!
Where: The Australian Lutheran College Refectory, 200 Ward Street, North Adelaide
The brief formalities will begin at 2pm. Marty Rosenberg will keep things moving!
Because of COVID restrictions:
You will need to sign in when you arrive.
Hand sanitiser will be available and we will need to practice social distancing—no hugging or even handshakes. Elbows are ok!
If you want any drink and nibbles, you will need to bring your own for your household. No BYO alcohol. (There are plenty of cafés within walking distance or a 3 minute drive, if you want coffee/tea/food before or after the event.)
We will need a COVID Marshall who has done the training—volunteer please! (We will Behave!)
We have no credit/debit card facilities. Do you remember using cash? Otherwise, you will need to do a bank transfer to our book account.The book can also be purchased from the Openbook Howden Online Store at:
https://www.openbookhowden.com.au/bookshop/ for $20 plus postage and handling.
Copies of Steen’s 2019 book with Noel Due, Spirit Filled: Normal Christian Living, will be available.
Peter Steicke will also have his books available for sale, including his latest, The Freedom Journey: Discovering Grace through the Wilderness
A bit about the book
What happens when, rather than inviting new friends to an established church, a bunch of young Christians are led by the Spirit to form a Christian community out in the street culture of the day? This is the story of Jacob’s Ladder in the City of Adelaide, South Australia, in the 1970s.
Beginning as a Coffee Lounge, it grew into a missional Church. Many of those who came to faith were previously involved in drugs, outlaw bikie gangs, and crime. The Holy Spirit worked through ordinary, flawed young people, doing extraordinary things in their lives, and through them blessing many others. Forty to fifty years on, with most of the participants still alive, this is their story of how God worked in their midst.
The book is based on the documents that have survived as well as the memories of those who were part of the journey. It includes many of the illustrations Knarelle Beard produced for Jacob’s Letter and Servant magazines, as well as a few photos. More photos, many of the public documents, including the magazines that were produced, and MP3 files of some of the original music, can be found on this website under the heading "Memories".
Someone recently said, “We don’t need another Jacob’s Ladder, but we need something like it.”
That is the challenge for today.
Published: 08 October 2020
If you are reading this, then the Jake’s website is live! This is only the beginning. We need more photos, songs, reflections and other materials to include here. Once you get the book we would also love to have more comments about it. Please remember to send captions with photos, and if they only include a few people, to identify them. At this stage please send all material to
You don’t need to resend material you submitted for the book. While brief personal updates and helpful material is good, we want to keep it specifically Jakes related and do not envisage it becoming another Facebook or LinkedIn. All submissions will be moderated or reviewed and a decision made about whether it is appropriate. This is to protect us from being ‘hacked’ or having inappropriate material posted by outsiders (we know no one from Jakes would do that!).
Take time to explore the site. You will find copies of Jake’s Letter and Servant magazine from the 1970s, some MP3 files of music by the Jakes Band and solo pieces by Alan Muston and hopefully soon Colin Smith. There are a number of articles about Jakes from Newspapers and other publications.
Progress on Jacob’s Ladder: Missional Church in the 1970s
Knarelle has finished illustrating and laying out the book and is now working on the cover. We are beginning the final proofreading process. Next we will be working with the printer, Openbook Howden in Adelaide. We hope that the book will be available by the middle of November. It is expected that the book will sell for AU$20, plus postage, if applicable. It will have 256 pages and lots of the illustrations from our publications back in the 70s, plus a few photos. Watch this space.
Jacobs Ladder-Missional Church in the 1970s
A sneaky peek at part of the Preface of the book - Steen Olsen
This account of the life and mission of Jacob’s Ladder has been crafted by those who were participants in this community more than forty years ago. Although we have found some written materials, they fall far short of being a complete record. We discovered that things that are commonplace today, like archiving, or even putting a date on documents, were not a priority back then. Therefore, our narrative includes the memories of participants, not the disinterested observations of biographers. However, it is important to note that this is our story as recorded in the documents we have found and as we remember it.
While it is ‘our’ story, it is also true that I wrote it, and so made many decisions about what to include, what to leave out, and how to express things. From time to time, I have reflected on events and expressed opinions that are obviously mine and may not be shared by the whole community. I have also tried to look back on the story from the perspective of 2020, and sometimes I have commented on how our understanding of things has changed, or how things the Lord led us to grapple with have been affirmed by subsequent developments in our understanding of missiology and theology.
I was a student at Luther Seminary in Adelaide during the time of Jakes. I was involved from early 1971 until the end of 1976, having worked fulltime on the staff of the community during 1976. At the beginning of 1977 we moved to Toowoomba Queensland for me to do my ‘internship’. Returning to Adelaide for final year seminary in 1978, we were still involved in the community, but no longer in leadership roles. At the end of that year, we left Adelaide for the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and our first parish. We were therefore no longer involved when the community folded.