The Rotten Fruit of Brownsville Remains
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The so called revival that began at Brownsville Assembly of God in 1995 has run it’s course. The crowds no longer come. The regular congregation has dwindled to a few hundred. Those precious few struggle to survive amid the debt incurred when tens of thousands crowded the sanctuary and overflow buildings every week desperate to get a “touch from God”.
At its height the BAOG leadership claimed that the revival would last until Jesus returned. They claimed that the revival was responsible for everything from miraculous medical cures to lower crime rates and higher per capita incomes in the Pensacola area. Yet today, hard evidence for any of these claims is difficult if not impossible to find.
Brownsville backers still refer to the lasting fruit of the revival. When pressed, most put forth their own subjective experience as evidence that this thing was a legitimate move of God. Others refer to unverified anecdotal stories of healings, deliverance, and mighty moves of God taken to other cities and nations as a direct result of catching the “fire” of Brownsville. In the end though, real names, places and results are generally lacking in detail.
What is not hard to find however, is evidence to the contrary. Many of us who watched this thing unfold and have had contact with those who were a part of it have seen first hand the destruction left its wake. We have seen the lives of those who were prayed for at Brownsville destroyed by sickness, divorce, unrestrained lusts for the things of the flesh, financial disaster, and even premature death. We see how Brownsville apologists viciously attack anyone who even hints at questioning the scriptural basis of their claims. And we have seen the deception of this outpouring increase in intensity as it is still to this day exported to undiscerning churches and groups all over the world.
In this report we will examine the lasting legacy of Brownsville in light of scripture and ask you to decide for yourself whether or not this was truly a God sent revival or a strong delusion from the very beginning.
J. Lee Grady, an Editor for Charisma Magazine, recently wrote two columns about his experience at Brownsville and asked how the great revival ever came to this.
Part 1 - My Response to J. Lee Grady’s article What Happened to Brownsville's Fire?
Part 2 - My Response to J. Lee Grady’s article Why I Am Not Bashing Brownsville
Part 3 – Some responses from Brownsville backers to me
Part 4 - The Pensacola News Journal undertook a four month investigation of the origins and claims of the Brownsville revival. Here are some highlights:
Origins of Brownsville – Spontaneous or Conjured?
Hill goes into the audience, touches people on the forehead with one or two fingers. In some cases, he uses his whole hand or puts his hands along side of people's heads as he shouts: "Now Lord! More! More! More!....... Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!.........Hill continues this for several minutes. He touches dozens of people. Most stand still. Nine fall down.
Is there any evidence for the many claims of healing?
The News Journal found several people who say their conditions were healed or improved as a direct result of the revival, but none had medical proof.
DId the revival reduce crime in the local community?
The Escambia County Sheriff 's Office crimes and arrests statistics show that crime actually rose in 1996 compared to 1995, the year the revival began. ……… Escambia Sheriff Jim Lowman said he can 't see that the revival has had a great impact on the crime figures.
Did Steve Hill lie about his past?
The truth, which Hill admits, is that he inflated the stories about his drug use to make a bigger impression on audiences. ……….. After graduating from high school in 1972, Hill said he wandered the country for three years, working odd jobs and using and selling drugs. Yet, according to employment records requested by the News Journal, Hill worked a full-time job in Huntsville during the time he claims he was on the road.
Were offerings actually used for their stated purpose?
Evangelist Steve Hill says he has poured money into a multitude of foreign missions and charities. ………. But when the News Journal called the orphanage for details, staff members said they have not heard from Hill in 10 years. They asked the News Journal for Hill's address so they could write him and ask for a donation.
All these stories and more can be accessed here > Brownsville Revival – The Money and the Myths.
Many thanks to Sandy Simpson of Deception in The Church who acquired the reprint rights to these stories and maintains them on his excellent website.
Since the time these stories were published Kilpatrick has moved on to start a church in Daphne Alabama where he has reportedly built a large home.
Steve Hill tried to take his show on the road with his Awake America revivals that were booked at large venues around the USA. These shows were so sparsely attended and the crowds so unenthusiastic to Hills manipulations, that the whole endeavor was eventually scrapped. Hill ended up in the Dallas area where he started his Heartland World Ministries Church .
I leave you with this. Here are some questions posed on the Charisma Online Forum from a person who obviously had first hand knowledge of Brownsville. As usual none of the Brownsville supporters wanted to deal with the questions he is asking
Please do not stop asking the questions. Someone must.
I was at Brownsville when Mike Murdock sold the Boaz Annointing. Nobody asked any questions.
When the pastor used over $100,000 that was raised to pay for landscaping because he wanted a "spirit of excellence," nobody asked any questions, even though staff members were being layed-off because the church didn't have the money to pay salaries.
When Tudor Bizmark put money on the new pastor's head and prophesied great wealth for him and the church, nobody asked any questions.
More recently when Bob Rogers promised everyone they could buy the blessings of Isaiah 58 with a $58 offering, nobody asked any questions.
When the pastor at Brownsville spent almost $100,000 remodeling an office he almost never used, nobody asked any questions.
When the congregation was lied to time and time again, nobody asked any questions.
When the pastor angrily resigned the church leaving a declining congregation swimming in debt, nobody asked any questions.
When he built a 3 million dollar home with the wealth from the revival nobody asked any questions.
Now, when God has sent him to Daphne to do the same thing to the willing weirdos over there, everyone is still afraid to ask questions.
I understand that there are certain ministries that have their own search and destroy teams and they are certainly out to get you, but please, please, keep asking the questions.
Steve Lumbley 2006
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