The Brownsville Revival
The Father's Day Outpouring
Jerrell Miller Remnant Editor
My time was called forth in a time when I was called to chronicle a great event. A pastor had just finished his church, it was beautiful structure. It was going to be a door opened to the world but at the time Pastor John Kilpatrick was contemplating resigning the church. The new church was perfect in every way, the main sanctuary was beautiful, this was no ordinary Assembly of God, it was beautiful as the altar area had polished tile and a beautiful face crowed by a sanctuary that would be a place of Holy Baptism. It was a special place that God had created and it took a tremendous effort that would slay and ordinary man of God, but God had chosen a young boy in Columbus, Georgia. He had always been special as a young man who came from a single parent home. His father was married seven times and John Kilpatrick was the only male offspring.
This is a very difficult task to write about a subject that is so vast as this one. I never knew why God drove me to study history or the men of history but I owe so much to the teachers who put their time in on me to reflect the world to me. While I was at McGill Institute in Mobile, I was challenged by a man who I admired deeply. John Welsh was my history teacher in my freshman year. He will never know the fire and the desire to know more about the world that he ignited in me. Dr. Russell Bryant a graduate of Oxford in England was not one of my favorite teachers but he made me reach and research history to study the man John Wesley and how he used this man to light the fire of revival over all of England. I had planned to be a high school history teacher but somewhere on the way to teaching history I was directed to the written word.
It happened on June 18th, 1995 when Evangelist Steve Hill came to the Brownsville Assembly of God as a missionary evangelist. It was a time set in motion and for the next few years God would visit this sanctuary and draw people from all over the world. In one service we remember counting more than 24 different nationalities that crossed the entire globe. In the first two years of this event we saw the vision increase so fast that one could not have imagined that it would touch so many people at one time. We were seeing more than 1,000 people saved in a weeks time for several weeks at a time. This revival changed the lives of pastors, worship leaders and individuals. This was the first revival in the United States since the 1906 Azusa Street Revival.
Before Revival We Were Prepared To Serve
The desire that I had to study history soon turned into the desire to tell someone about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and then the supernatural stories that would create a new work in 1993 called The Remnant Newspaper. Just like Don Francisco, I had to tell someone. The devil is afraid of the, "I Got To Tell someone Spirit," these stories and versions of the supernatural truths were the things that give pew dwelling Christians hope. Itís when the God you canít see begins to manifest himself though healings, and testimonies of people who have ventured into heaven and pastors who have had visits from the Angel Gabriel. I surely wasnít planning on the written word, I was a writer with many flaws but if God was calling me to do this he would see me through. When God calls He usually doesnít call the qualified. The strength that it would take to go through several years with little money and little time would cause me to be humbled several times. If it was just one story to write I could have cleaned my written word up but I had very little money to do The Remnant and had very little time. I knew it was a call ó several people knew at revival what a difficult time it would be to do this but God called and gave me the burden to tell the story. Very often when the newspaper came out someone would call and ask the question, "Do you have a proof reader?" Then we would hear from the people who couldnít wait for the next Remnant to come out. As we passed out the Remnant at revival you could see the people in the choir reading it while pulpit ministry was going on. I never planned for those people to do that but it really spoke to me. I asked people what was the first thing that people would read when they got The Remnant at the door, why we read your column Jerrell. Very often I would ask the question, "Why would they read my column," and then God spoke to me and said, "Donít you know I am speaking through you."
Everyone has a destiny to follow, it is by the will of God that you read this now. Starting out in college to be a history teacher and ending up a journalist was a divine shock to my whole central nervous system. All I knew was that if I didnít study history when I went to college I would have never went. My experiences in college were so memorable and I to this day mark these moments as my happiest days upon this earth. History was the high water mark in my life. After making sixty-four Fís in the forth grade I was held back for a year and sitting on my front poach I heard the prophetic word on my entire life. Two words came to me and it was insurance and history. These would be the two greatest doors of my life to go through. History is the truth of a situation that happened long ago, history has a recurring theme that you can almost predict. All the mistakes of the past is very often seen again. There was only one thing in History that will never happen again and that was the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ History has always been the measuring stick in my life. I was saved my senior year in Tuscaloosa while I was doing a written work about f the great evangelists John Wesley.
More and more the written word took over my destiny. At the end of my first year in college I found a piece of paper hanging on the bulletin board asking for a copy boy at the The Press Register in Mobile. That little message opened the door to journalism for me. The long range blueprint of my life was to be a scribe and to write the vision of God. My written word would be a powerful tool in the hands of God, as I traveled the world to report some of the greatest moves of God on face of the earth. I could not make a bold statement like that unless I had been somewhere and had done something, no one ever makes a decision toward their destiny, God makes those decisions. No one ever thinks about what God has for them until he interrupts the message to one who is called. Being a Catholic I was not going to be a priest but the study of World History changed my mind about my relationship with that church. I will always thank God for the disciplines that I received from the Catholic Church, but God had a prophetic call on my life. In college I saw people failing all around me, because I knew how to study, God held me through four years of intense study. While I was in the Catholic School system I could only manage a C average during my whole time. I never valued that system until I made the Presidents List my first quarter in college and then I made the Deanís list in the other two quarters. I began to take value in what I had chosen to do. I wanted to know what was behind the door of History. Behind that door was my salvation and not just my salvation but a divine call to see past events for what they are. It is important to view events with a balanced view of objectivity so one can be left to make a choice. My choice was to pull away from what I have always known and go to the place of truth instead of the place of the tradition. Since I was in second grade the Sisters of St. Joseph would read the stories of the supernatural events of the saints I had a hunger for God. In second grade I made up my mind that I was always going to seek out the truth about the supernatural of God. I would make Aís in all my religion courses while reading, writing and math would show hard any effort at all. There was a call early in my life that I could not understand. All through my grammar school and high school years, I felt so beneath all the people who were my teachers. It was always more important in my life to find out what God wanted instead of what this world wanted for me. No one could ever understand that unless they were called, I was called to a vocation early and it wasnít the Catholic Church, it was a call to the supernatural that brought me eventually to the Pentecostal expression. My parents couldnít understand why I struggled with my grades but I think my father knew that I was closer to God then I was to my books.
Through the Catholic Church, through the Baptist Church and in the Full Gospel belief God lead me to be at the place and time that I am at now. To find the truth over this road required other peopleís experiences and how they found God. Over my years I have become a good listener and over the years the burden grew in my own heart to find the truth of the supernatural. When I started this journey I never knew it would bring me to where I am today. One thing that I have found about truth and belief, if you seek God long enough He will manifest himself to you. It takes a lot of testimonies to bring you to the realization that there is a supernatural God who waits on the outside of this world. God wants to fellowship with us, but the unholy block to that relationship are the sins of men, the now sins and the passed sins. The search for my individual truth is called revival, I first had to change before I could be allowed to do his work. Turning around one self is usually a life time job but in my case God was in a hurry to use me. When I was Baptized in the Holy Ghost I was purged to the point to where all I could do was to sit and watch for a season. I knew I was called to write and after the infilling I was moved inside to start a newspaper. Early attempts at this process would not be successful until 1990 when the call an the desire to do this started in 1977. That 13 year period of time would have me on the sideline until the burden began to match the understanding.
All of a sudden the burden to tell the story captured me and with a wife and two young children I never ever saw me doing any kind of written work for God unless I completely pulled away for the earthly work that I was doing. It was going to be difficult for my wife and it was going to pull on my heart. I felt it was a fools dream as I walked alone in a divine call. It was lead by the Holy Spirit and several doors were opened in my life that would take me to Pensacola. The dream was the burden of the testimony and not just the burden but the supernatural events that happened in my life and in others so I could write the now word of God. Many have tried to open the supernatural with unworthy efforts, some of those efforts would lead to revival no matter how imperfect the person was who was involved, God calls people for His purpose and those who are used are very often a surprise to all of those who are looking on. I wanted order and some of the people who were put around me were sloppy in their belief. I longed for my early up bringing but I found out some of these sloppy believers had a truth that I couldnít understand until I received the fullness of the Spirit. While I still love order the first event on the schedule was to write about my own experience and share it with others. Many of the people who were baptized in the Holy Spirit could not relate that experience with knowledge of the scripture. The events that led to the great revival in Pensacola had already begun though people who had put their lives on the line in faith. In our old house one night my wife Vivian said, "Come here and look at this." These people are all laughing and this big man is walking up and down a stage in front with an English accent. I thought this guy was a butler who had lost his mind and this was a nuthouse church. Vivian said, "Thatís a great revival at a church in Lakeland called the Carpenters Home Church." I didnít know what it was, and I wasnít game for what it was, I just turned my head and said, "My God what will happen next?" Little did I know that it was door from heaven that I was watching and the vision would multiply itself through the earth in other powerful moves of God. Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne was called to America at this moment for a great revival. People were bound on the floor laughing and rolling, others were crying ó and this was my first view of uncontrolled Pentecostal Revival. Twenty-three years later many people still donít understand, this is the power of God that will translate the world one day to the Wedding Feast of the lamb.
I was in the Church of God and I was busy doing graphics and a magazines for my pastor. Sam Luke opened a door for my vision and when my mother passed away the money would be provided for my first attempt at publishing through insurance that was left for me. Gone was the art board where I laid out my tract on the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. My last 400 dollars was spent on Adobe Page Maker. I went to a software shop and asked a man should I used word perfect and the man said, "Itís not designed for word perfect." Word perfect was a cheap way to justify my need to publish a newspaper. The man said, "If your going to do a newspaper then you will need Page Maker 4." I asked how much would that cost and he said, "$400." Thatís the last thing I wanted to hear because all I had left in the checking account was $400. I had to make a hard decision to abandon the old methods to adopt the new. Slowly but surely I gave the man my last $400 and it was probably one of the best decisions I had ever made. This is how we work with God, even this computer that I am writing on now was so questioned but God told me to purchase it. He said I was to buy the best to do his work, because my best is going to touch the earth very soon. Itís not even paid for as I write this to you but God said, "Stop backing up and go with the best I will pay for that computer."
I was becoming one of those crazy faith based people who did things out of order when it was impossible to do them. God doesnít ever qualify you. Without testing your call with Him, you will never know what he can do or how far he will take you until you exercise your faith. He is the giver of all things and if this is for him he will come behind you just at the time you need him the most. At 64 Iím not supposed to be so aggressive but it is time once again to prepare for the great and final last days revival that will capture mankind at its worst. He always comes when man is at his worst so He can show us his best. Human nature will try everything until they try God and we are at that moment in time right now. These are the days when the men of faith will raise up, its not about building buildings at this moment its about saving mankind from the fires of Hell. Earthly effort tries to build a monument to man, while heavenly effort goes for the soul of men. There are enough abandoned supermarkets in this land to house the move of God. If you will go toward the vision your needs with be met. What if we have 3,000 people saved in a week. There are three abandon shopping centers almost a half a mile form this house that will do just fine. There will be a day when people will turn to God because it will be the last choice for this generation.
In the coming months and years I would extend myself over and over again and those choices and those choices would be met by God every time. In the early days I would travel to Meridian, Mississippi to print the newspaper. Meridian was a city that was lost in time. If you had to see a city that still existed in the 1950ís this was that city. I had traveled to other small towns in Mississippi each and had seen the same situation. One of the newspapers that we printed pictured a white Assembly of God minister washing the feet of another black pastor in downtown Mobile. Attorney Stuart Roth organized a unity meeting for Mobile in the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center in Downtown Mobile. I was there and I took the picture of this event. We put that on the front page of The Remnant newspaper. I arrived in Meridian to pick up that particular paper that day. I loaded up my van and then went to the front of the newspaper to used the restroom, as I passed the publisher and heard the general manager John Bohl say to him, look at this! As I heard that voice and saw my paper in his hands, I knew that Meridian, Mississippi was still in the last stages of conflict was raise. It was in this city that three black Civil Rights workers were followed by the law and were latter found in the concrete of a road that was being constructed in South Mississippi. I knew that picture would cause people to look whether they be a racist or a person of faith. The South has the curse of slavery that still hangs over it. People says that it wasnít us that brought the slaves to America, but we were not in the Garden of Eden when Adam and his bride ate the forbidden fruit. This message has caused me to follow and seek the truth of the Old South. I grew up and saw the movement of Civil Rights through the dark days of Alabama. No one wanted to go the way of freedom in those days and today only that generation who grew up in that era are set free. As Moses took the 10 Commandments from Sinai so would Martin Luther King, Jr. help pass the Civil Rights laws that would come out of Washington. As the Publisher and the General Manager looked at the front page of that newspaper. It would have been more than 30 years after those Civil Rights works had been slain in Mississippi. Martin Luther Kingís work saw laws passed in the nations capital but as to this day the laws of the heart would not have been solved. Itís not just the South but it is the entire country, even Lincoln had to battle Northern Congressmen over the Amcipation Procolmation. The blood 600,000 soldiers had died in the great struggle of slavery.
During my travels of revival I crossed the country to write the story of revival. I heard a message in Gulf Shores, Alabama and the man of God structured his message around the saying that there is an elephant in the room. He was saying that there was something in the room that everyone is ignoring and yet it still stands as one of the elements of the curse that holds the church back from its finest day. If they would only see the elephant. Vivian and I were at Harpers Ferry where John Brown was defeated in his rebellious struggle against slavery. He was one of the first religious terrorist that would be seen in our long history. Vivian bought a book written about the manís life. Brown made several statements about the religious system in the South. He made several statements about those men without conviction about slavery. While the early Methodist and William Wilberforce ended slavery in England, there were no men of faith in the South who would speak out. Most moral situations in the pulpit are very often controlled by the purse strings of a community. The South never got over the Civil War. The only thing that they were sorry for is that they lost the war. The embellished curse has flowed through the church aisles until today. As I stood at the Convention Center to take the picture of a white minister was a black pastors feet, it was not enough to change anything. The white minister had a backlog of discrimination, Aaron Frue was born in Oakland, California to an Jewish family. His mother received Christ and the Baptism in the Holy Ghost in an Ammine Simple McPherson Crusade meeting in Oakland, California. The Word of God has a piercing freedom and will prove to be all that is needed to cause things and situations to change.
In Mobile the last slave ship to come into an American harbor came in 1859, it would be the end of the physical curse but the spiritual curse still lives in Alabama. This happened in June of 1995 in Mobile and 64 miles to the east the brightest light of Pentecost would shine for a season in Pensacola. It would happen in a community called Brownsville, that word in itself would name the event for what it is. All through he South there were small communities around the south that would be called Brownsville. Those communities would be established by white men who didnít want the freed slaves into their community. Brownsville were the established communities after the Civil War that would be a haven tor freed slaves. The freed blacks were a symbol of the great loss in the South, long would the south remember the day when Robert E. Lee would surrender to Grant in Northern Virginia.
People who measure the events of 1995 would have to understand the thing that God wanted to say in that community. Who am I to speak for God but His oracle for the time and the events. In Pensacola there was a violent struggle with the Abortion Clinics. One again religious terrorist would try the right of these wrongs with violent men who through that they would do their bidding for God through the killings of abortion doctors. First a clinic was burned to the ground and within three years of that event the first abortion doctor would be slain at his clinic by a vicious extremist. At the Brownsville Assembly of God there was a man who was a leader in that system in Pensacola. Pastor John Kilpatrick saw his actions and knew that his voice was being heard by his church members. Pastor Kilpatrick called him into his office and warned him to withdraw from his violent words and actions. He warned him a second time and then one Sunday Morning Pastor Kilpatirck noticed him in the church and he pointed him out to the entire congregation and spoke to the people. "This man is no longer a member of the church, he doesnít represent our beliefs in this church. From this moment on he is no longer a member of this congregation." It didnít take very long as he moved to another church and this young man disgraced his family and his new church when he shot an abortion doctor outside of his office. That man would never see the freedom again as he now serves a life-time sentence for taking that law into his own hands. God saw all these events from heaven the burning of the clinics and the two deaths of those doctors and marked a date on a calendar for his face to show.
It was Fatherís Day at the Brownsville Church and Evangelist Steve Hill was in the pulpit. It was a very difficult day for Pastor John Kilpatrick the death of his mother still laid him in grief, but his church had given up the Sunday evening service for two years to pray for revival. Many people talk about the problems of America but few people go to God with the problems. This pastor had the wisdom to lead his church out of the entertainment district and lead them toward God to ask favor of him. One pastor said this about John Kilpatrick, "We would be the last pastor that I would of thought revival would come through."
On June 18th, 1995 God would made a statement in Pensacola about abortion as the glory of God poured over a platform at the Church. Young children saw the dove fly off the stained glass window. The pastor could not stand on his feet as a powerful river of God flowed through his legs on the upper stage. The rampage went on for hours and into the early morning hour as the glory enveloped a church that had prayed for two years. Pastor Kilpatrick went home just after one in the afternoon and left his wife Brenda at the church. He laid down at home and the glory was so powerful on him that after he rose from his nap he could barely put his cloths on as he was enveloped in the glory from heaven. He arrived at the church and if you would have seen him get out of his car and stumble to the two glass doors of the church you would of thought he had something to drink. He leaned up against the wall that led to the altar area and then someone saw him and helped him for the stage. The glory was upon everyone in the church that day.
History marks the day in Pensacola but there was an event that happened in John Kilpatrickís hometown area that happened in a city named Brownsville. Across from the John Kilpatrickís hometown is a city called Phoenix City, Alabama. Phoenix City was once named as Brownsville ó it was a place where the freed slaves crossed the Chattahoochie River from Georgia to find a place of freedom in Alabama. The name Brownsville was changed to Phoenix City after the textile mill began to affect all those in the city. The city changed the name because of the properity that the Phoenix City Mill had brought to the small Alabama city.
What happened In Phoenix City, Alabama has hardly ever happened in any other city in the nation. Phoenix City after World War II turned into a violent city of murder and sin. The city had developed an element of people who developed a corruption that the city could not deal with. Money had bought off the city officials and the police department. Prostitution and gambling were at the center of all this. On Sunday morning police woud find people who were murdered and thrown into the Chattahoochie River only to be discovered by someone the next morning. The crime had marred the city and someone had to stand up against the mob. Albert Patterson was a lawyer in Phoenix City, he spoke to the elements of crime in that city and promised them that he would end their reign as he would run for the Attorney Generals seat in the State of Alabama. In the Spring of 1954 Albert Patterson won the Attorney Generals race in Alabama. The mob never forgot Patternson promise to run them out of town. It was on June 18th, 1954 that Albert Patterson went to his car outside of his law office in downtown Phoenix City, Alabama and was shot dead at he entered his vehicle. This event was front page headlines on many newspapers throughout the nation. He was never sworn in as Attorney General of the State of Alabama but the Federal Government stepped in an declared Martial Law in that city. The assisination of the Attorney General happen on June 18th, 1954 in a city once named as Brownsville (Phoenix City). Fourty years later a powerful move of God happened at Brownsville in Pensacola, Florida. The history of this event is plane, 40 years later a generation we see something happen. From the abortion doctors being shot to the history of racism in the South God speaks his warnings to the church to remove these curses from our society. During the move of God in Mobile we published a newspaper about these same situations.
Nathan Morris a healing evangelist came to the same place where the Arron Freed had washed the feet of Henry Roberts a black man. A women married to a black minister in Mobile had been in a wheelchair for more than 22 years with no hope of walking. This lady was hit by a drunk driver and was given no chance to live. The beauty of this event of her walking happened right in the very area where the footwashing ceremony happend in the Ball Room of the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in downtown Mobile. These occuraces of times, dates and names can only be discerned by those who study them. God does things on time on a continuious basis and he gives people in those areas of time, place and history a chance to change situations of the curse that lays on those parts of the land. It has come to this that the elephant in the room of the Christian Churches of our land has to be dealt with. Remember I am not a reporter who has come from the outside, I write these events as a man of God who has offers people a chance to change during the seasons of revival. In Isaiah 55:8 we see what God sees through his eyes as Isaiah writes these faithful word, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. If I can write these thoughts as a true Southerner who has lived through the era of Civil Rights then we must pray for the season of change once again. Revival is a season of change it is not a time to build, it is not a time when people become celebrities but is is a time of change. Revival is a season of change when the curse is removed and the church receives their vision. Traveling America I saw a real move of God move into community after community. It was surpernatural, people were saved, healed and the vision of angels even happened in Kansas. God sent me on a trail that had no end to it. I canít say that I am pleased with everything that happened but that didnít stop the people from printing the truth or expereiencing the truth.
Some truths are in the eye of the beholder, the greatest truths are seen in the word of God and demonstrated on the face of the earth. We have had a visit from God and he stayed in the church for as long as he was allowed. The comes and he goes seeking the face of those who can recognize what he is saying. He is always speaking but man in the midst of his visitation takes refuses to take the road less taken and goes to where all moves of God die. Man turns the supernatural into a circus of events that promotes a man and not a God. We will all be held accountable for taking the wrong road and this book and the spiritual events of this book is a book to call to man to repents. One lady said this in Katy, Texas -- God cannot move to the next event of revival until the sins of the last revival are dealt with. As I heard those words I inside felt a need for change. It was not enought to report the events of the supernatural but I must not cover anything up for the sake of convence to those who I write about. God was going to speak and as I write these words today I say oh what it could have been. How many more door of the supernatural would he have opened if the convictions of the moment were carried out.