In March, Evangelist Stephen Hill announced to the congregation of the Brownsville Assembly of God that he will be leaving their church’s “revival.” The purported revival is said to have first begun on Father’s Day, June 1995, when Hill was a guest evangelist at the Pensacola, Fla.-based church. Brownsville leaders, following the announcement, stated that the revival meetings will continue despite Hill’s absence, Charisma magazine reported in its May issue.

“Revival is going to go on. People are still coming in from all over the world, and it would be wrong of us to sever that,” the magazine quoted the church’s pastor, the Rev. John Kilpatrick, as saying. Kilpatrick also dispelled rumors that there had arisen a division between Hill and other revival leaders. Dr. Michael Brown, who is regarded as the revival’s theologian, in addition to staff pastors and guest speakers, will continue to lead the revival services.

“The time has come for the Hill family to relocate their ministry,” Hill told Charisma magazine. “Pensacola is a difficult place to fly into, and sometimes I am away from my family for a whole day because it is impossible to get home to Pensacola,” Hill said. Initial plans will possibly move the evangelist and his ministry to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hill’s departure is just one of the many changes the revival has experienced recently. As the numbers attending the meetings began to diminish, the leadership sought to take the revival on the road with its “Awake America” crusades. (See The Quarterly Journal, “The Wandering River of Brownsville,” Vol. 19, No. 2.) These traveling crusade meetings, which started in 1997 and were held in 12 major cities in the U.S., are currently being replaced by citywide prayer crusades led by Kilpatrick and scheduled for only six U.S. cities this year.

Music minister Lindell Cooley also appears to want to curtail his involvement with the revival -- at least its road-show version. “I decided to no longer be a part of ‘Awake America’ because when I looked at all the time I would have been traveling, I just became overwhelmed,” Cooley told Charisma. “I am going to travel very little next year so I can spend a lot of time with the Lord and write music. Being a part of the prayer crusades with pastor Kilpatrick requires a lot less travel than Awake America,” Cooley added.

The magazine report tried to discount declining attendance at the Pensacola meetings by saying the revival “continues to draw hundreds of first-time visitors from around the world each week, although weeknight attendance has been down slightly during the slower winter season.” The magazine also said that the revival meetings have “won 147,000 souls” to the Lord during the five-year effort. PFO has disputed this claim and proved it to be an exaggeration.



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