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2002 Conversations


Ron McManus: Leadership center launched (December 30, 2001)

Norman Arnesen: History's supreme event (December 23, 2001)

Dr. Everett Bartholf: Help for the holidays (December 16, 2001)

"Auntie" Anne Beiler: God has a plan (December 9, 2001)

Mary Inman: Raising seven sons for Christ (November 25, 2001)

Tony Hall: Feeding the hungry, one person at a time (Novemer 18, 2001)

John Maracle: A growing Native American Fellowship (November 11, 2001)

Al Peterson: Praying for national leaders (October 28, 2001)

Beverly LaHaye: The family is God's gift (October 21, 2001)

Terry Meeuwsen: Putting family first (October 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Changing the world, one student at a time (September 30, 2001)

Nate Cole: You are not alone (September 16, 2001)

George Cope: Training pastors, missionaries and evangelists (September 9, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: Breaking down the barriers (August 26, 2001)

John Kilpatrick: The blessings and challenges of revival (August 19, 2001)

Marie Colwill: A passion for evangelism (August 12, 2001)

Lottie Riekehof: The Joy of Signing (July 22, 2001)

John Castellani: Teen Challenge: The Jesus factor (July 15, 2001)

Mike and John Tompkins: Publishing newspapers and proclaiming the Good News (July 8, 2001)

Chuck Girard: Music, marriage and ministry (June 24, 2001)

Stanley Burgess: The value of a godly father (June 17, 2001)

Dennis Franck: Single Adult Ministries Agency (June 10, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: The work of the Holy Spirit (May 27, 2001)

Stephen Tourville: The changing church in America (May 20, 2001)

Margaret Columbia: Raising 17 children for Christ (May 13, 2001)

Donna Fahrenkopf: Wanted: a life change (April 29, 2001)

Sean Smith: Spiritual attacks on young people (April 22, 2001)

Josh McDowell: Is the Bible true? (April 15, 2001)

Joyce Meyer: Being a practical Christain (April 8, 2001)

Paul Drost: Multiplication (March 18, 2001)

Bill Bright: Fasting for 40 days (March 11, 2001)

Beth Grant: Women in ministry (February 25, 2001)

Alicia Chole: His people and His presence (February 18, 2001)

Cris Carter: Playing on God's team (January 28, 2001)

Randall K. O'Bannon: The value of life (January 21, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Secular colleges: a vital mission field (January 14, 2001)

The blessings and challenges of revival

(August 19, 2001)

John Kilpatrick, pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla., recently sat down with Hal Donaldson, editor in chief, to discuss the status of the "Brownsville Revival," which has seen more than 150,000 people respond to altar calls for salvation.

Evangel: Because some of the media attention has waned, people are wondering if the revival is continuing.

Kilpatrick: We continue to experience a powerful move of the Spirit. And we continue to see large crowds. In fact, this week we had one of the most powerful services of the revival.

Evangel: How has the revival affected the church body?

Kilpatrick: Over the last six years, many of our people have been called to the mission field or to work in other churches. I also think evangelism is more on the minds of our people. They want to be used by God.

Evangel: What is the weekly service schedule?

Kilpatrick: Wednesday night is family night with Royal Rangers, Missionettes and youth. We also have a main service, leadership training for workers, and a gathering for men. Thursday night’s service is led by Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. Friday night’s service features guest speakers from around the world. Sunday morning is geared toward the church body. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights are reserved for home cell groups that attract about 6,000 people each week. And we have evangelism outreaches that take place throughout the week.

Evangel: When Evangelist Steve Hill felt called to take his meetings to other cities and leave Brownsville, what effect did that have on the revival?

Kilpatrick: It certainly changed it, because you’re not going to find too many people as passionate about souls as Steve Hill. But the crowds have remained strong, and the Spirit is moving. People still come from around the world. Steve was wonderful to work with. But neither of us wanted the revival to stop. God is still at work, so we can’t close the doors. Too many people still need to be reached.

Evangel: You’ve experienced some challenges.

Kilpatrick: Yes, we have. But I think that goes with revival. I remember saying to the Lord before revival broke out, "I am desperate for revival." And I remember the Lord saying, "If I send revival it’s going to cost you everything." If you’re going after God there will be challenges, but you have to stand firm. There will be hardship and suffering, but you can’t draw back. You just have to stay with God, seeking Him, regardless of what obstacles you face.

Evangel: In the early years of the revival, many responded to the presence of the Holy Spirit with shaking or falling down. Is that still prevalent?

Kilpatrick: It still happens some. I think in some cases people have been cold spiritually for so long that when God touches them they sometimes respond in unusual ways. But when you become more acclimated to the glory of God, those responses sometimes begin to subside. I’ve said before that people put an emphasis on the shaking because it was so new to them. Now their minds tend to be on the deeper things of God like seeing someone saved, seeing someone delivered or a home being put back together. Personally I have shaken and fallen to the floor, but that alone didn’t change me. It was wonderful, but it isn’t eternal. Unfortunately, some people try to make a doctrine out of an experience.

Evangel: Have you had to deal with excesses in behavior?

Kilpatrick: Absolutely – and some people have been offended when we’ve had to bring correction. As pastor you have to be hands-off for God to move, but you also have to be hands-on to pastor the revival. You can’t control everything and you can’t condone everything.

There are some people who have come to this revival and then gone home to their church and tried to straighten everybody out and begun to criticize their pastor. That’s so wrong and unfortunate, and yet the revival here is blamed for their actions.

If you’re going to have revival, you’d better have a deposit of prayer in the bank to write those checks off of; otherwise things are going to bounce. I’m not saying we deserved revival, but for 2 1/2 years there was a deposit of prayer in this church by an intercessory prayer group. Some people went home and started to copy Brownsville, as if they would experience revival if they had the same color carpet, banners and jackets for their ushers. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an issue of prayer and seeking God. Revival should be different in every church. For people to go home and try to force something to happen is a prescription for disaster.

Evangel: As your crowds increased, your offerings surely increased as well. What effect has the influx of money had on the church?

Kilpatrick: Well, when the revival started we had 23 on staff. Today we have 125. That’s a lot of salary. We also had to build another building to accommodate the crowds. But the emphasis has never been on money. God’s blessing can certainly bring expansion and prosperity. But your gaze better be on the right things and your motives better be right, or it too will lead to disaster.

Evangel: How has your understanding of revival changed after six years?

Kilpatrick: You begin to see phases of revival in the lives of people. You see how God touches them powerfully for a time and then sends them out for ministry. And you also see people touched by God who refuse to come under His authority and their effectiveness diminishes. It’s what happens inside of us over the long haul that really matters.

I’ve also learned it’s not God’s will for us to criticize revival to death, committee it to death, or attempt to dilute it. If people simply hunger after God, whether it’s a denomination or a local church, they will see God move in a great way.

Evangel: Is there anything you would have done differently?

Kilpatrick: Yes, I wouldn’t have responded to criticism. A few times I did, and I regret it because it may have misrepresented my heart and done a disservice to the revival. There are probably other mistakes that people could point out, but I think any pastor would have felt the revival was much greater than [his ability and wisdom].

Evangel: Where do you believe the Holy Spirit is leading the church now?

Kilpatrick: I believe Brownsville Assembly will always be a place where there is a moving of the Holy Spirit. When revival broke out, we got into a pace that was unrealistic. Many nights we didn’t leave the church until 6 a.m. It was unrealistic for the worship team, television-audio departments, ushers, altar workers and many others. Now we have a pace that people can still maintain a family life and be a part of a revival spirit. I pray that will continue for a long time to come.

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