Brownsville sent out an extremely long defense to Pensecola News Journal on Sunday, 11/23/97. claims. You can read the full text of this defense at: Official Brownsville Response To Pensacola News Journal Articles. According to this defense, the Brownsville ministers were not immediate forthcoming with their financial disclosures. This, plus past scandals here in America, cast the individuals and ministry involved in a guilty light according to the secular press, which of course influenced both the direction of the investigation and the newspaper report itself.
But what do we expect??
About 10% or 30% of each epistle I believe deals with not being offensive to the very people we are evangelizing. Hence scriptures like, "avoid the appearance of evil" which say it succinctly. For the last 20 years or so, the outcry and derision from the worldly here in America has been about the subject of money. They are fed up, or should I say disgusted, with Christianity being a source of wealth for preachers.
We need to remember the lessons learned in scandals such as the Jim Bakker one, who was also of the AOG. In the midst of the local Charlotte newspapers reportings, many of the Pentecostal Christian community were convinced their superstar's lavish lifestyle was justified. Any examination by the secular was thrown into the convenient, all-encompassing "it's just persecution from the devil" file. Most Christians smiled and talked about all the good PTL was doing, and the rest were shamed into silence. Jamie Buckingham quietly wrote his novel, "Jesus World" (inspired by PTL, he told me), the secular remained offended, and it was prophesied that God would have to use the secular to pull down what the Church should have acted on. Finally, the bottom fell out and all was exposed--to the horror of all.
Rather than become overly defensive as was obvious in the Brownsville
release, I hope that American Christians use opportunities such as this
Brownsville investigation for humble re-evaluation. I hope we take
a thorough look at our ethics, beliefs, and conduct regarding money and
Friday, Jul. 2, 1999 report off
from the Alta Vista web
Multiple recipients of list NETchurch <NETchurch@harvestnet.org>
Send reply to: NETchurch@harvestnet.org
From: "Ronald R. Ott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [NETchurch]: Brownsville Revival Status
Date sent: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 19:13:35 -0700
I took this off of CNN from the Alta Vista web this evening. For
| Updated: Friday, Jul. 2, 1999 at 08:48 CDT
No end in sight for long-running revival
By Bill Kaczor
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The century's longest-running charismatic revival is still going strong four years after it opened its doors -- undeterred by defections, questions about its financial accounting and criticism of its spiritual practices, which include shouting, shaking and falling to the floor, "slain in the spirit."
Thousands of people pack the so-called Pensacola Outpouring, which started at Brownsville Assembly of God on Father's Day 1995. As long as they do, the revival will be in business, say the ministers who began the movement.
"When they stop coming, then that'll be a sign from God to . . . do other things," said the Rev. Steve Hill, an evangelist who began the revival with Brownsville's pastor, the Rev. John Kilpatrick.
Crowds fill the 2,000-seat church and overflow into another building where services are shown on a huge video screen. The revival runs four nights a week, with Hill preaching at two of the services.
It also is being taken on the road, and its presence on religious television stations across the nation is growing. The revival has led to the creation of a school where 1,700 students train as ministers and missionaries. The goal is for a million people to make professions of faith by Jan. 1, 2001, Hill said.
In longevity, Brownsville has surpassed the three-year Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles that began in 1906 and boosted the growth of the Pentecostal movement.
Brownsville's faithful exhibit physical manifestations similar to Azusa Street's. People jump up and down, their hands raised, as a choir and musicians sing and play contemporary Christian tunes. Some shake uncontrollably, fall "slain in the spirit" or speak in tongues.
"A rock concert in robes," the New York Times once called Brownsville. It also has been compared to the Jesus movement of the late 1960s and early '70s, when hippies began following Christ and college students were holding revivals.
"It's just an old-fashioned camp meeting," Hill said.
Critics such as the Rev. G. Richard Fisher, a Baptist minister from Bricktown, N.J., contend such "weird and crazy" goings on put emotion before reason and are contrary to orderly worship dictated by the Bible.
"This is a feel-good culture. If you make them feel good they think something is happening," said Fisher, a board member of Personal Freedom Outreach, a nonprofit association created to educate Christians about aberrational and false teachings.
Hill responded: "A physical manifestation is just how someone responds to the presence of God touching them. It doesn't make any difference to me if somebody falls down. I want to see them when they stand up, living for God."
Hill declined to comment on former Brownsville church member Vicky Conroy's claim she had been told to fake manifestations. She is among hundreds who have left the church because they disagree with various aspects of the revival.
While acknowledging departures, Kilpatrick said the church has grown to about 5,000 members from 2,000.
"When God breaks out in a major way like this, people are going to come (who are) desperate," Kilpatrick said. "There's a lot of people who don't want that type of people in their churches. They don't want the demon-possessed coming. They don't want the drug addicts, the prostitutes."
In 1997, Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute
in Southern California and host of the "Bible Answer Man" radio program,
criticized Brownsville and its manifestations on CNN's "Larry King
Kilpatrick's response: that God would bring Hanegraaff down if he continued his criticism. Kilpatrick later apologized.
Brownsville's financial practices have also brought criticism. The revival appeals for contributions, and separate ministries established by Hill, Kilpatrick and Michael Brown, president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, sell books, videos and other revival-related items.
An investigation two years ago by the Pensacola News Journal found the revival had pumped millions into their coffers with little or no accountability and without paying sales tax on the items sold.
Since the News Journal reports, sales taxes are being paid, and two of the ministries, Hill's Together in the Harvest and Kilpatrick's Feast of Fire, have joined the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a watchdog group formed by Billy Graham and others. Revival leaders blamed state revenue officials for giving them conflicting information on whether sales tax should be paid.
Fisher and other critics contend that Brownsville's traveling revivals, the Awake America crusade, are just another way to make money. Hill denies it, citing high costs for travel, leasing stadiums and other expenses.
"They are not lucrative," he said. "It's for preaching the gospel."
A dozen Awake America revivals are being held this year. Scheduled cities include Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Boise, Idaho.
"As long as they keep coming," Hill said, "we'll keep preaching."
Distributed by The Associated Press (AP)
Kirkpatrick reestablishes his control over the gift of prophecy in his church.
The Apostle Paul stated, "Would that ye all prophesy!" -- Yet here below we have a report and then a rebuttal from Pastor Kilpatrick of Brownsville, who reestablishes his control over the gift of prophecy in his church.
Thought I would send this report along since I had opportunity to be
in on several of these meetings. The
wind is changing.. can you feel it?
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 5:10 PM
Subject: Brownsville releases prophetic/Hill moves to
A new explosion took place at Brownsville Assembly of God Church on Sunday morning, April 16, when Pastor John Kilpatrick led the charge for the congregation to shake the silence off of them and begin to pray for one another and prophesy. A radical course change in the revival had been strongly evident for two weeks. Momentum for change was particularly evident when Pastor Kilpatrick gave his blessing of the prophetic gift within the church body for the first time and when he officially announced that Evangelist Steve Hill would no longer be preaching at revival services as of Father's Day this year.
Although expectations were high because of all of the events that happened over a two-week period, the magnitude of the explosion on Sunday morning was unexpected. Pastor Kilpatrick's message on the need for recognizing prophetic signs in our daily lives was a radical departure from his extremely cautious words on the subject in the past. He told the congregation to expect great change in how revival services would be conducted from now on. He said that there would no longer be just singing, but that worship music would now be coupled with intercession. He also said that he was confident that we would begin to see signs and wonders and the glory would be so evident that it could be seen. He told the congregation that gifts would be coming forth, added and released in the church body.
The explosion in the service was released when Kilpatrick told the choir to begin to pray for one another. He quickly told everyone in the church to begin to move around the building and pray for each other. Many people were timid at first because until now this had been against church rules designating that only people screened for the prayer team could pray for people and no one other than church leaders could prophesy at all. However, a supernatural roar could be heard as young and old people moved into the aisles and began hugging and praying for people they did not even know. Tears flowed freely and many swooned under the glory of God as prophetic words and songs were released. The floor was covered with people kneeling or lying down immobilized by the working of the Holy Spirit. Some were doubled over or shaking under the power of God.
All of this took place while Pastor Kilpatrick gave encouragement in a commanding tone of authority saying, "Move around, pray for one another, prophesy over one another, some of you need to pray for the leaders, shake the silence off of you!" After about 45 minutes of this radical departure from anything the church had ever experienced or been released to do, the service broke into exhilaration and praise. The altar area was filled with singers and dancers when the choir danced in a line off of the platform and joined the others in the altar area. Worship Leader Lindell Cooley spread his arms wide and began to twirl and dance across the platform after radically shaking and jerking for fifteen minutes while choir members prayed for him.
Pastor Kilpatrick then came to the microphone and said, "This is what revival is going to look like from now on during Thursday, Friday and Saturday night services. Things are going to be much different now. The focus is going to be off of just one man. Services will no longer be around a sermon. Services are now going to be centered on what the Holy Spirit is doing. Yes, we will still be about souls, but we will be most concerned about what the Holy Spirit is doing."
This was just the beginning of the answer to the looming questions being asked by people around the world who have been touched by the revival since it exploded at Brownsville nearly five years ago. What is going to happen at the Brownsville Revival now that so many things are changing there? Is it going to end? Is it going to change? This buzz of concern was sparked by reports that the crowds had been diminishing at revival services. A sense of imminent change had been in the air long before it was announced that Hill was moving his family and ministry to Dallas, Texas and that he would no longer preach there at all after the revival's fifth year anniversary on Father's Day, June 18.
The release of the prophetic gift that led up to the explosion Sunday morning began two weeks earlier when Kilpatrick surprised the congregation and formally released the prophetic gift into the church body Sunday morning, April 2. This was a very significant change for the church because by his own admission this is a gift that has been held under a tight fist by Kilpatrick. As a sign that he was beginning to let go, Pastor Kilpatrick opened his fist and said that he is not a man to hold back the move of God - even in areas that have been uncomfortable for him. He said that it is unmistakably obvious that some people at Brownsville have a prophetic gift and that he was going to provide training for them by inviting Dr. Bill Hamon's son and wife to give a special prophetic training at Brownsville the following Sunday evening. "I just want you to know in advance that this meeting has my blessing," Kilpatrick said.
Dr. Hamon is the founder of Christian International, a church and prophetic school located just 50 miles east of Pensacola. During this announcement to the church Kilpatrick said that he holds Dr. Hamon in high regard. Kilpatrick further explained that everything has profoundly come to pass that Dr. Hamon has prophetically spoken into Kilpatrick's life.
The following weekend great anticipation surrounded the services leading up to the prophetic training service to be held on Sunday evening. In fact, Dr. Michael Brown, president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, added fuel to the revival's course change during the Saturday evening, April 8, service. Brown, who has led most of the revival services since the beginning of this year, first honored Hill's ministry at the Brownsville Revival for over four years. But like a bolt of lightening, Brown gently began to turn the helm when he said, "It is time for holiness to now go to a deeper level." He said that getting rid of the dross of pornography, drug and alcohol dependency, and tobacco use should only be the very first steps toward holiness. Brown called the hearers to a deeper level of holiness that translates into daily lives of integrity and character traits that reflect the nature of God to the church and to a lost and dying world. At least half of the people who were part of that history-making service responded to the call by flooding the altar. A dam of tears broke when Brown ended the altar call prayer by gently asking the Lord to help us to become beautiful vessels through which His love flows out to other people.
The helm was further turned on Sunday, April 8 when Pastor Kilpatrick introduced Joseph Garlington, a well-known evangelist, as the speaker that morning. The fact that Garlington is African-American was significant because of God's obvious call in the body of Christ to break dividing walls between races, denominations, genders, generations and the like. While Garlington's style of presentation was so humorous that the church was laughing during half of the service, his call to get back to the basics of not being afraid of unusual manifestations of the presence and move of the Holy Spirit was very clear. He then led the church to sing in tongues, sing with prophetic movements, release Holy Ghost groaning, and move into warfare and calling souls home. During this time of worship, spiritual warfare and intercession Michael Mott, who sometimes leads praise and worship at Brownsville, was at the piano. Garlington asked everyone who had not received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to raise their hands. His final words were, "Welcome home." While this statement was primarily for new souls, those of us who are prophetic singers and worshippers and others felt we were being welcomed home, too. Kilpatrick then gave Garlington a hug and told the church that Garlington had agreed to minister twice per month at revival services there.
Kilpatrick said that he also wanted to dispel rumors by clearing up two matters. First of all, Kilpatrick said that he is not resigning as the pastor of Brownsville Assembly. Secondly, he said that the fact that Steve Hill will not be preaching there did not mean that revival would be ending. Kilpatrick emphatically proclaimed, "We are moving forward!"
That night Dr. Hamon's son Tom and his wife Jane, pastors of Christian International Family Church, were glowing with peace while they worshipped on the Brownsville platform. I (the writer) had personally been to a service at Christian International last year when Tom Hamon had said from the platform that they were seeking God to pour out His Spirit at Christian International like He had done at Brownsville. Having these two profound ministries join together must have warmed the heart of God because the whole room seemed to be glowing. Most of the seats in the sanctuary were filled as Michael Mott and three other singers led the group in a time of simple praise and worship. Kilpatrick's wife Brenda hosted the meeting and said it was quite an honor to be there on behalf of her husband. She said that this type of training was just the beginning of many more things to come. Jane Hamon's introductory teaching described the gift of prophecy, warned about pitfalls to avoid, and stressed the importance of releasing the gift. She then divided the group into pairs and had them prophesy over one another. Very few people raised their hands when she asked if anyone had not received a prophetic word, vision, or impression to share with his prayer partner.
The husband and wife team then began to speak prophetic words over the microphone to individual people in the audience. They then asked people who had come to the service from Christian International to come to the front to prophesy over the people in the same way the couple had been doing. Jane Hamon said it was important for the people that had come to the training to see that gifts do not just flow through church leaders. Jane Hamon then called everyone who felt they have had something holding them back to come forward for prayer because the Christian International ministry team was going to pray over them for a breaker anointing. Most of the people came forward for the team to lay hands on them and pray for the breaker anointing.
The series of events leading up to the explosion that was about to come to Brownsville included Hill's return for the first time in several weeks to preach at the Friday night, April l4, service. Kilpatrick had earlier announced that Hill would preach several Friday night services prior to his move to Dallas in June. The Friday night revival crowd included large international groups of people from approximately fifteen countries. In his message Hill stressed the importance of using the Word of God to thwart satanic attacks on the mind.
The following night, Saturday, April 15, it was clear that revival history was continuing to unfold, but no one really knew where we were going. Cooley turned the revival helm a little more when he gave the piano to Mott, grabbed another microphone and said that he didn't want anything old, but he only wanted the new. He told those listening to the live radio and Internet broadcasts that we who were at the revival service were going to believe and pray that God's presence would flood them wherever they were - just like we were experiencing at the revival then. A wave of intercession immediately broke out and began to flow through the songs and spiritual singing. Cooley both led and backed off to let other singers flow in and out of the lead as he obviously kept his spiritual eyes fixed on where the Holy Spirit was taking and using the praise and worship service. Brown's message later continued to steer revival deeper when he identified conditions of the heart that God wanted to change so that people could give their whole hearts to the Lord.
While God only knows where He is taking Brownsville now, Pastor Kilpatrick said that he is following God no matter what. At the end of the explosive service on Sunday morning, April 16, Kilpatrick told his congregation, "You're just going to have trust me." He said God has shown him a lot about how things are going to be at the revival now. He told the congregation that a lot of change was coming, but it was very good change.
Report by Renee DeLoriea, 4/17/00
A STATEMENT FROM PASTOR JOHN KILPATRICK REGARDING THE CONTINUING REVIVAL
AT BROWNSVILLE ASSEMBLY OF GOD
It has come to my attention that some information is being circulated regarding the revival taking on a new emphasis - namely toward the prophetic. That is not the case. I have always exercised great caution with the prophetic for two reasons. First, because of my limited experience in this area, and second, because of the excesses I have witnessed. As a Pastor, it is my responsibility to see that the people God has placed under my care are fully equipped for the work of the ministry and recognize that God has ordained a fivefold ministry - prophet, apostle, evangelist, pastor, teacher - for this equipping process (see Ephesians 4:11-16). It became evident over the course of the revival that God is raising up some in our midst to function in the prophetic ministry gift. This was confirmed to me during an unusual and powerful move of the Spirit during a Sunday morning service on April 16, 2000. Realizing the need to proceed cautiously, I consulted with my Board and Staff, as well as the leadership of the Assemblies of God and made the decision to invite someone creditable and experienced in this ministry to help our congregation understand this gift and how it works in order to ensure that we are on a firm foundation as the prophetic begins to be used in equipping our people for ministry.
Let me state clearly that the revival is not changing directions. Souls, repentance, worship, and holy living will continue to be the emphasis. Further, no one in Brownsville will be given carte-blanche release to prophesy when and where they desire. This ministry will not be elevated above the other four mentioned above. Those members of Brownsville who feel called to a prophetic ministry in the church will be carefully screened as are cell group leaders, prayer team members, intercessory prayer team members, choir, etc., and carefully trained as anyone else who ministers is trained before release into this type ministry. My commitment is to pastor this revival in such a way as to keep it on a firm Scriptural foundation and provide a secure atmosphere in which those who attend can continue to be touched by the wonderful anointing of God.
John A. Kilpatrick
Dr. Michael Brown's dismissal
The following is in regards to Dr. Michael Brown's dismissal because he could not join the Assemblies of God, claiming that God had directed him to remain non-denominational. He then started his own FIRE school right there in Pensacola, with about half the staff of the school leaving to go with him.
On an "unofficial website designed by the students and grads for the
purpose of informing
fellow students and grad concerning recent changes pertaining to BRSM," (Brownsville Revival School of Ministry) this announcement was published at this URL late Dec., 2000:
We are sad to inform you that on Monday, December 18th, Dr. Michael L. Brown was dismissed from his position as president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. While this decision was influenced by The General Council of the Assemblies of God (who had lent BRSM a several million dollar loan), the ultimate decision has been made Pastor John Kilpatrick and the Brownsville Assembly of God Board
Dr. Brown was dismissed because he could not join the Assemblies of God. GOD HAD DIRECTED HIM TO REMAIN NON-DENOMINATIONAL. In order to satisfy the Assemblies desire to have an Assemblies of God minister as head of the school, Pastor Kilpatrick was elected as Executive President of BRSM. Dr. Brown voted with the board for Pastor Kilpatrick. Among the first initiatives begun by Pastor Kilpatrick was the disbanding of both Brownsville International, (our non-denominational missions agency), and F.I.R.E. Inc., (our non-denominational licensing agency). This was because both of these organizations were seen to represent "a conflict of interest with the Assemblies of God." Brownsville International Missionaries would have had to find another missions agency or come home from the field. When Dr. Brown expressed disagreement with both of these decisions his actions were viewed as “insubordinate”. He was dismissed the day after graduation.
This statement by Dr. Michael Brown was also published at this URL;
To students, friends, and supporters of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry regarding my firing on December 17th, 2000:
(Original BRSM Board statement was removed and has been revised)
I was shocked and saddened to read the original Official Statement of the Board of Directors of Brownsville Revival School of Ministry posted on the school’s website (www.brsm.org) on December 20th. In the interest of the Body of Christ, the Brownsville Assembly of God, and above all, our precious BRSM students and grads, I will not reply to this statement in detail. I will only say that it presents a totally misleading picture of me, my character, and my relationship to the school board and Pastor Kilpatrick. To say any more would force me to cause further division and pain, and I will not do that. Rather, despite my sadness over this statement, I bless the Board of Directors and continue to love them deeply, recognizing their desire to please the Lord.
I would rather live with false accusations than bite and devour and divide. It is a small price to pay on my part if it will help preserve the unity of the Body, and perhaps it will encourage those who find themselves in similar situations to respond in kind. After all, is this not the example left for us by Jesus? (See 1 Peter 2:23.)
As to misconceptions that will arise due to the board’s statement, I rest confidently in the fact that God Himself knows the whole story. He was there in every meeting, He has heard every word spoken, and He knows my heart (Luke 8:17). I also take great comfort in the fact that the students and grads of BRSM know me very well. We are a close-knit family, and we have spent many hours together, “praying, worshiping, laughing, crying, learning, sharing“ and they can judge for themselves whether the picture painted in the official statement reflects the man they know. I will let them, along with the faculty who has labored so sacrificially with me for these many years, make their own decisions and do what is right before the Lord.
Within the next 24 hours, I will post answers to some of the many questions that have arisen in recent days (www.icnministries.org).
To the student body looking to us to continue teaching, training, equipping and sending “to America and to the nations,“ I simply say this: We are here for you, we would never abandon you, and everything will continue with us as promised and expected.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
Dr. Brown’s response to the revised statement of the BRSM board
As to the Board's revised statement (posted December 24th, Christmas Eve), I say this: May the Lord Jesus shine His face on my friends and co-workers at Brownsville Assembly of God, and may we bless one another as we get on with the work of world redemption. Souls are dying without the Lord, the needs are urgent, and the hour is late. Let's encourage one another and go and give the devil a black eye!!
Recognizing that "Regrettably, current denominational structures neither provide for nor encourage such healthy free discussion," there web-based forums have begun including CPI (Contemporary Pentecostal Issues) at: http://www.pentecostal-issues.org/index.html Their website states: "CPI is a ministry of a group of individuals with charismatic and Pentecostal backgrounds. To be more specific, contributing members include Assemblies of God and Pentecostal Church of God ministers, as well as others with backgrounds in..."
See also our page devoted to being
altogether "called out" of what is now known as the Institutional Church
(rather than staying and trying to fix the unfixable) at: Blazing
Trails Too A choice many Americans are making.
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