I noticed on a recent documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy that archive footage of the People's Temple prior to its move out of the US, that the worship service appeared to be totally without instruments. Thought that interesting!
Actually they had a Peoples' Temple Band which played in many of the services, which often accompanied the choir.
In the services Jones really played up his supposed abilities as a faith healer, which is what originally garnered him his celebrity. He even claimed to have raised something like 40 people from the dead. But his miracles were all fakes; for example he would "heal" people of cancer, then send them to the restroom where they would supposedly pass their tumor. But actually these would be Temple members faking it then coming out with a piece of raw meat they'd display and claim was their tumor. In another case an elderly lady who became disillusioned and left the Temple in the early 70s later reported that one Sunday she had been jostled in the service, then members immediately whisked her out and bandaged her undamaged arm, which they then made her claim had been broken and which Jones then claimed to heal. Often Jones would have Temple members disguised or planted in the audience and would pretend to heal them.
Jones originally began in the early 50's within the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches of Indiana but gradually shifted over to the the Disciples because their looser structure and congregational autonomy allowed Jones to get away with more things than he could with the Pentecostal fellowship. Originally he preached a gospel of integration and civil rights based upon the inclusiveness of the gospel. But as he went on he dropped any pretense of orthodox Christianity, and began preaching an atheistic mesage of socialism which was mixed with certain Eastern themes like reincarnation. Jones claimed not to believe in the traditional Judaeo-Christian God and identified himself as an incarnation of an impersonal socialist "god-force." His followers referred to him as "Father." He was often known to throw down a Bible and stomp on it in services as well as swear in the pulpit. A large number of his members were black, as was one of his associate pastors, Archie Ijames, however the inner circle, the Temples' planning commission, or p. c., was comprised of twenty and thirty-something white males and females.
Jones used intimidation, guilt, fear and sex to keep his followers in line. He would have "catharrsis" sessions in which, among other things, members on the p. c. were encouraged to criticize the faults of others on the p. c., and male members were encouraged to admit latent homosexual impulses, and would often himself take these males as lovers, as a sick kind of therapy and in other cases, sired children by female members of the cult (even though he was married) with whom he was having sexual relations. He would also force couples who a child to sign a sheet implying that Jim Jones was the biological father of the child, to dissuade these couples from leaving the Temple. One of these instances blew up in his face after a couple named Stoen, highly placed in the Peoples' Temple, finally did defect. Jones then produced the bogus document claiming he was the real father of their young son. The Stoens divorced because of all of this, but nevertheless waged a nearly successful custody battle for their son, who unfortunately died at only six years old at Jonestown. "Father" got lots of bad press because of this but by that time was already entrenched in Guyana, and had his propaganda machine spin the episode to make it look like the Stoens were just a couple of disgrunteled liars out to get him. Jones also had Temple members spy on the activities of other Temple members, the Temple made illgeal political campaign contributions, often donating to candidates of both parties. etc. And Jones had a squad of armed guards, allegedly to protect him from assassination attempts, however the assassination attempts were staged by Jones. Jones would often get his way by feigning heart attacks if members didn't want to follow his orders, and, in a disurbing nod to the later Jonestown murder-suicide, to test their loyalty, on a couple of occasions he had members on the p. c. drink punch which he said was poisoned; Jones even had some of the members feign death, but then, at the last moment, told the group it was all just a test.
He was a very disturbed guy!