Official Brownsville Response
To Pensacola News Journal Articles

Following is the official response from Brownsville A/G Church in Pensacola, FL regarding the Gannett news stories in the Pensacola News Journal. It is apparent from their response that some of the information reported by PNJ was innacurate and biased. However, it is also clear that Brownsville is still disseminating false information of their own. We have highlighted the responses we feel are disingenuous, if not a continuation of lies and deceit. We would like to remind the leaders of Brownsville A/G Church of the verse in 2 Cor. 4:2 "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." When a secular news organization gets some of its facts wrong or uses deception that should not be a licence for Christians to respond in kind. We are supposed to be the light and salt of the earth.

This is the response to News Journal and the Associated Press






This past week, the Pensacola News Journal ran a five-part series alleging serious financial irregularities and fabrications in the Brownsville Revival. While we do not know the motivation of the Journal in running this series, we are troubled by their misquotes, serious misrepresentation of facts, and misleading innuendoes. In order to present an accurate picture of the revival, we have provided the following facts, offering corrections to some of the Journal’s many reporting errors. While we do not claim that the revival or its leaders are perfect, we are confident that the revival and its related ministries have been conducted with complete integrity and high ethical principles, and we welcome the careful scrutiny of the Christian and non-Christian public. In the interest of the reputation of the gospel and the revival, we present the following information, asking the reader to remember that this represents only a sampling of the numerous corrections that could be made. To quote the Journal (November, 20, 1997, 18A), "If you give people information, they can make up their own minds."

Although we are grieved by the misinformation, poor reporting, and scurrilous nature of the Pensacola News Journal’sseries on the Brownsville Revival, we nonetheless want to bless them, and we ask the Lord to pour out His grace on all the correspondents who worked on this series of articles, wishing the Journal and its readers a blessed holiday season and New Year. We also want to take this opportunity to thank the greater Pensacola community for being such gracious hosts to the more than 1.9 million guests of the revival who have come for spiritual refreshing from more than 100 nations and from every state in the Union. We look forward to a wonderful year of revival in 1998!

Here is our response to the Brownsville response to the PNJ articles. You can view them as dynamic links from the statements above by clicking on the underlined number.

1 - Church leaders should ALWAYS be forthcoming with the public on financial matters, "accusatory" or not. This has not been a characteristic of some A/G churches and should be. They should also be giving regular detailed financial reports to their membership, as do most upstanding Christian denominations.

2 - When a church like Brownsville is taking in as much money as it is from non-members, it should not complain about increased costs of running meetings and facilities. It smells like an excuse to try to draw attention away from the fact that they are raking in millions of dollars every year and not having to account for what they are doing with it to anyone outside thier church board.

3 - This cannot be true, since Kilpatrick's salary comes from the church, so one hand feeds the other. The fact of the matter is that Kilpatrick would not have been able to build a nice new big house without the "revival" he told his church they were going to have "or else".

4 - So they are, in fact, taking jewelry that they told people to get rid of and somehow ended up in their possession, and consequently selling the items to bring in more money for the church. This is exactly what PNJ said in the first place.

5 - Again, church finances should be open and honest to all, especially when they are making money under a non-profit status. The fact that they are still not members of the ECFA should tell people that they have something to hide. When the world thinks the Christian church has something to hide, the truth is brought into disrepute and the gospel message preached in vain. These "revivals", as well as many television evangelist organizations, are lining their pockets at the expense of the saving gospel message. Paul warned Timothy of these men when he said: "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is A MEANS TO FINANCIAL GAIN." (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

6 - At the beginning of the "revival" when most of the "less than 150 previous members" left, it could well have been categorized as a "mass exodus" taking into account the number of people in membership at that time. We also understand that this number included church leadership as well.

7 - This seems like a "day late and a dollar short". The "revival" has supposedly been going on since Father's Day 1995. Why couldn't they have filed with the ECFA during the two and a half years when they began to see large sums of money floating around? But the real question is, with a fair sized church like Brownsville A/G, why didn't they file with the ECFA years earlier? Will they do a "CNN/Benny Hinn" later and fail to file with ECFA? Let's watch and see!

8 - Conveniently missing here is any mention of countless "biblical scholars and theologians" from virtually every denomination and walk of life that have written piles of articles and made many statements to the fact that the Brownsville "Revival" is a counterfeit revival that is continuing to foster a false anointing handed down from the Toronto "Blessing", Rodney Howard-Browne, Benny Hinn and many other widely recognized false teachers.

9 - Preaching of the whole gospel, especially including the elements of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our justification by his death and blood alone which paid the death penalty of sin that we live under, is rarely heard. Steve Hill's "gospel" is a "repent, say 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus', and come running to the 'Mercy Seat' to receive the 'anointing'". This is not the classic gospel message of Scripture and therefore cannot save those who beleive it. Also, if you have ever watched a full service from Brownsville A/G (not recommended for the squeemish) you will see clearly that, along with some weeping, there are PLENTY of weird manifestations as well as weird noises. Jonathan Edwards would have been appalled at what he saw at Brownsville A/G today!

10 - It is not the job of a secular newpaper to bring up theological issues, nor are they qualified to discuss them. However, to say that it "can easily be demonstrated that the emphasis of the revival conforms completely to biblical and historic norms" regarding the bizzare and unbiblical "manifestations" rather demonstrates wishful thinking on the part of Brownsville leadership. If they ever were willing to even listen to what orthodox Christianity is saying about their "revival" or enter any real public debate on the theological issues, instead of heaping curses and insults on anyone who disagrees with them, they would find out that they are the one who are out of touch with Biblical principles by a long shot!

11 - And to put this article in its proper light, you might want to read an article called "Accusers of the Brethren or Good Bereans?" by Debra Bouey at article details the many, many slanderous accustations made by Brown in his booklet against ANYONE who disagrees with what Brownsville is doing. Brown does this in the face of the Scriptural mandate by Paul to be "good Bereans" as well as test the spirits. This article also includes the same kinds of slanderous and lying accusation by Steve Hill from his gem of a book "The God Mockers".

12 - I think this statement kind of says it all. Does the word "circus" come to mind? Has Christianity degenerated into having to sell tickets to worship together as Christians? This is another good example of why I am telling people not to go to these big circus events anymore. Stay in your home community and church and do evangelistic outreach there; witness to your neighbors and provide for the hurting and the misfortunate. There is no need to travel to some "revival" and get a jolt from the laying on of hands. If you are a Christian you already have the Holy Spirit indwelling, and as you continue to be repentant and remain humble, serving the Lord, he will bring "times of refreshing".

13 - The fact is, Steve Hill rarely mentions the death and resurrection of Christ in his "gospel" message. Why is it that modern preachers in these "revivals" must find more and more sensationalistic ways to present the "gospel"? Is it because they do not realize that the power is not in the "slain in the spirit" experience or the "signs and wonders" but that "the GOSPEL ... is the POWER of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

14 - The true emphasis is on sensual experiential spirituality, as evidenced by watching hours of video tape from Brownsville A/G that they produced. Comparisons to Hindu kundalini rituals, whirling dervishes, Rajneeshees, and other occult groups are readily apparent. This type of activity eventually leads to all kinds of fleshly sin problems, one of which is sexual fixation. This has been evidenced over and over again in churches and by leaders who make subjective experiences the yardstick by which they live their life and formulate their doctrine.

15 - Why then does Steve Hill call out "Fire, Fire" when he is laying hands on people? Yes, the name is Jesus is used, that is true. The fact is, it is used just like a mantra, repeated over and over again until people get mind-numbed enough to accept the "impartation". Other words are also used such as "holy ... more ... worthy ... Holy Ghost" etc., in the same manner. Even the music is repeated endlessly.

16 - They say they have not made it an emphasis then in the next sentence they say "on numerous occasions". It is hard to imagine that a meeting goes by without some "miraculous" healing testimony. This statement is simply untrue.

17 - This statement is a clever way to get people's eyes off the truth. The truth still remains that Steve Hill manipulated the "revival" from the outset, just like the Toronto "Blessing" meetings are carefully crafted where Hill got his "impartation". With a lot of manipulation and pleading from the stage, Steve Hill managed to get some people to come forward and receive the "impartation" he was offering, even though it was clearly evident from the video tape the many people in the church were somewhat suspicious of what this traveling evangelist was bringing to their church. It wasn't long before Steve Hill "took out" the head pastor, who lay on the floor for four hours, and was free to lay hands on whomever he wanted in the church. This is what the video of the first day of the "Brownsville Revival" shows.

18 - Why did he not expel his wife and Steve Hill, because they got their "impartation" directly from the Toronto "Blessing". This ruse that Brownsville has nothing to do with the Toronto "Blessing", when the Arnotts from Toronto have visited Brownsville on many occasions, is really getting ridiculous. Brownsville has invited leaders from Word-Faith, Toronto "Blessing", Kansas City Prophets, Rhema, and others to their meetings, as well as sent their leaders to attend meetings and conferences together with these other groups. You don't invite people to stand up and preach or testify in your church unless you agree with them.

19 - This may be true, but Randy Clark has and he was given the "impartation" directly from Rodney Howard-Browne and Clark passed it to John Arnott of the Toronto "Blessing"; who in turn passed it to Sandy Millar of Holy Trinity Brompton, who in turn passed it to Steve Hill.

20 - I believe that this is close to what he was saying to John Kilpatrick on the first day of the "revival" before Kilpatrick received the "impartation". What I think was actually said, as far as I can tell from the copy of the video tape I have is "I'm working here." The implication I got was that Hill knew Kilpatrick had not received the "impartation" yet and did not want him touching people on the foreheads with him because it might inhibit the "anointing". Watch the tape for yourself and decide.

21 - Again, not mentioned here are those who did not see it that way at all, including many who have viewed the tape but were not in attandance. There was no "rushing wind" as testified to by Kilpatrick. There were no "thousand" people at the "altar" but rather a few hundred. If this was a "move of God" then God has chosen to ignore His Word and His testimony because true revival has never started this way -- the way of the Third Wave.

22 - God is sovereign. He brings revival when and where He will. It does not start with wierd unbiblical "manifestations" and "impartations". The Bible is clear on how revival starts, and has always started: "REPENT, then, and TURN TO GOD, so that your sins may be wiped out, that TIMES OF REFRESHING may come from the Lord ..." (Ac 3:19) John Kilpatrick prophesied: "I want to close by giving ten proclamations about how things are going to be. Mr. Hanegraaff, AND ALL OTHER DEVILS, listen up. Number 1: This revival - I'm making a proclamation. I'm speaking this not just to you, friends, to impress you, but I'm saying this as a man of God from behind this holy desk in this holy environment of a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And I'm not saying this to you, but I'm saying this for the ears of God. And here's what I'm saying. This revival shall not diminish and this REVIVAL shall turn into a national AWAKENING." (John Kilpatrick, BAG, "Prophesy Against Hank Hanegraaff", April 6, 1997) It seems that Kilpatrick got the cart before the horse. My Bible says that times of refreshing (revival) can only come as a result of repentance (awakening). Is this "revival" then truly orchestrated of God, since God has said in His Word that revival can only come about as a result of repentance?

Endnotes © Sandy Simpson, 1997