Final Decade, 20th Century 1995
June 18—Pensacola, Florida – Stephen Hill
Over 26,000 conversions were registered in the first year of the “Pensacola Revival.” Over 100,000 conversions have been registered in the first two years.
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18,1995, evangelist Stephen Hill spoke at Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Florida. At the altar call a thousand people streamed forward as the Holy Spirit moved on them. Their pastor, John Kilpatrick, fell down under the power of God and was overwhelmingly impacted for four days.
That morning service, normally finishing at noon, lasted until 4 p.m. The evening service continued for another five and a half hours. So the church asked Stephen Hill to stay. He changed his appointments, continued with nightly meetings, and relocated to live there, where he continues to minister in revival.
John Kilpatrick, pastor of the Brownsville Assembly of God Church, reported on their revival in 1997:
Corporate businessmen in expensive suits kneel and weep uncontrollably as they repent of secret sins. Drug addicts and prostitutes fall to the floor on their faces beside them, to lie prostrate before God as they confess Jesus as Lord for the first time in their lives. Reserved elderly women and weary young mothers dance unashamedly before the Lord with joy. They have been forgiven. Young children see incredible visions of Jesus, their faces a picture of divine delight framed by slender arms raised heavenward.
I see these scenes replayed week after week, and service after service. Each time, I realize that in a very real way, they are the fruit of a seven-year journey in prayer, and of two and a half years of fervent corporate intercession by the church family I pastor at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida.
The souls who come to Christ, repenting and confessing their sin, the marriages that are restored, the many people who are freed from bondage that has long held them captive—these are the marks of revival and the trophies of God’s glory. No, I am not speaking of a revival that lasted one glorious weekend, one week, one month, or even one year! At this writing, the “Brownsville Revival” has continued unbroken, except for brief holiday breaks, since Father’s Day, June 18,1995! How? Only God knows. Why? First, because it is God’s good pleasure, and second, perhaps because the soil of our hearts was prepared in prayer long before revival descended on us so suddenly.
On that very normal and ordinary Sunday morning in June of 1995, I was scheduled to minister to my congregation, but I felt weary. I was still trying to adjust to the recent loss of my mother, and my years-long desire for revival in the church seemed that morning to be so far off. So I asked my friend, Evangelist Steve Hill, to fill the pulpit in my place. Although he was scheduled to speak only in the evening service, Steve agreed to preach the Father’s Day message. We didn’t know it then, but God was at work in every detail of the meeting.
The worship was ordinary (our worship leader, Lindell Cooley, was still ministering on a missions trip to the Ukraine in Russia), and even Brother Hill’s message didn’t seem to ignite any sparks that morning—until the noon hour struck. Then he gave an altar call and suddenly God visited our congregation in a way we had never experienced before. A thousand people came forward for prayer after his message. That was almost half of our congregation! We didn’t know it then, but our lives were about to change in a way we could never have imagined.
We knew better than to hinder such a mighty move of God, so services just continued day after day. We had to adjust with incredible speed. During the first month of the revival, hundreds of people walked the aisles to repent of their sins. By the sixth month, thousands had responded to nightly altar calls. By the time we reached the twelfth month, 30,000 had come to the altar to repent of their sins and make Jesus Lord of their lives.
At this writing, 21 months and over 470 revival services later, more than 100,000 people have committed their lives to God in these meetings—only a portion of the 1.6 million visitors who have come from every corner of the earth…
If the prophecy delivered by Dr. David Yonggi Cho [given in 1991] years before it came to pass is correct, this revival, which he correctly placed as beginning at Pensacola, Florida, will sweep up the East Coast and across the United States to the West Coast, and America will see an outpouring of God that exceeds any we have previously seen. I am convinced that you, and every believer who longs for more of God, has a part to play in this great awakening from God (Kilpatrick 1997, ix-xiv).
Pastors, leaders, and Christians who have visited this revival have been returning to their churches ignited with a new passion for the Lord and for the lost. The awesome Presence of God experienced at Pensacola continues to impact thousands from around the world.
© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.