Mike Shreve was raised as a Roman Catholic and was very committed, serving as an altar boy for many years. During that time, he was influenced by many sincere, self-sacrificing nuns and priests, but unfortunately, he was only introduced to a concept of religion, not the transformational experience of being “born again.” That powerful turning point did not happen until almost a decade later.
Serving as an altar boy in the Catholic Church (2nd from left, that’s not a halo : )
As a teenager, he strayed away from anything religious. Playing keyboard in a rock band carried him further into darkness. Then the pivotal event happened: a near death experience at the age of eighteen that awakened him to the seriousness of life and the importance of living for that which has eternal value.
In 1970, in a desperate effort to find ultimate reality, Mike dropped out of college to study personally under an Indian Sikh guru named Yogi Bhajan. He devoted himself completely to the practice of yoga and meditation, embracing many ideas out of Far Eastern religions and New Age Spirituality—as he pursued the experience of God-consciousness and Self-awareness. Eventually, he formed a yoga ashram in Tampa, Florida, and began teaching Kundalini Yoga to several hundred students at four universities in that area (University of South Florida, University of Tampa, Florida Presbyterian University and New College).
Then , though a series of divinely orchestrated events, the darkness of spiritual deception was driven away and ultimate truth was revealed.
One day, through the urging of a friend, Mike spent the entire day praying and reading the Bible, asking Jesus repeatedly if He truly was the only way to a relationship with God that He would give him a sign. That afternoon he was hitchhiking to go teach a yoga class. It was no mere coincidence that he was picked up by a young man named Kent Sullivan who had previously been involved in Kriya Yoga and the teachings of Yogananda (the first Indian guru to spend the majority of his life in the West, who wrote The Autobiography of a Yogi and founded Self-Realization Fellowship). However, Kent had recently opted to leave eastern religions and become a follower of Jesus. So he was the perfect person to share the validity of Jesus’ statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
That day, Mike Shreve received Jesus Christ into his heart and invited Him to be Lord of his life. The divine encounter that resulted was so real, and so undeniable, that Mike shut down his yoga ashram, canceled all his yoga classes and soon after, joined a Christian commune in Central Florida. Several months later, he began traveling across the United States and overseas sharing the Gospel during that powerful era when multiplied thousands were caught up by a tsunami wave of cultural change called “The Jesus Movement.”
To read a more detailed account of Mike Shreve’s conversion to Christianity, click here (posted in Written Stories) or you may download a free copy of his mini-book titled: The Highest Adventure, Encountering God.
Open-air gatherings around the world have been tremendously fruitful. In Sivikasi, India (above) hundreds were saved every night. The Hindu people readily responded to Mike Shreve’s message, knowing he once embraced their mindset.