In the fall of 2005, I was serving as the Young Adult and the College and Career director at the StoneChurch in Palos Heights, IL, when I was asked by my pastor, Phil Epperson, to travel with him and two other pastors to the Brownsville Revival. We landed at the airport and immediately drove to the church to get our bearings. We were shocked as we saw hundreds of people already lined up at 9AM for a 7PM service. I told the other pastors, there must be something going on for this to be taking place.
That evening, because we were clergy, we were allowed in early. I left the other pastors as I ran to the front of the church, and sat in the front seat, front row, on the center aisle. I will never forget the electricity and the excitement that began to build as we waited for the service began. When Lindell Cooley hit that first note, the place went wild. I never knew you could have that kind of praise and worship experience.
Lindell then began to play the song, “I see the Lord.” Suddenly, I literally felt the Lord standing in front of me. I will never forget that moment as I hit the floor on my face. I saw all my sin and wretchedness like I had never before, and I began to weep as I cried out for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Instantly, I felt the arms of the Lord wrapped around me, and a liquid love being poured out over my entire being. For the first time in my life, I really knew that the Lord had forgiven me and that He loved me.
Steve Hill preached a message entitled, “The blind leading the blind.” I’ll never forget the simplicity of the message, nor the incredible anointing that pushed me back in my seat. It was powerful. When the altar call was given, I pushed my way towards the side where Steve Hill and Kilpatrick were praying for people thinking I wanted everything God had for me. I’ll never forget the disappointment as Hill and Kilpatrick moved to the other side of the sanctuary. As I stood there with my pastor, Phil Epperson, this old gentlemen came up and prayed for both of us. Nothing happened to either one of us, so we sat down in a pew and began to just watch what God was doing. An hour later, as we got up to leave, my Pastor collapsed on the floor, and began a forty five minute encounter with a living God. It was awesome to watch God working in my pastor’s life at that moment.
I had heard of all the crazy things going on, and I have to admit, there were some things I knew that weren’t of the Lord. But overall, the manifestations of the Lord did not overtake the real work of the Holy Spirit, as hundreds came to the altar and received Christ for the very first time. We left that night, and didn’t even mention the manifestations of the Spirit; all we could think about were the hundreds of people whose names were now written in the Lambs Book of Life.
A month later, Stone Church went in to revival with Evangelist Wayne Neal. (who by the way is coming to Calvary in August) For two years my family never missed a revival service, until we took our first church in November of 2007, a church of eight people. We took that revival spirit into that church, and became one of the fastest growing churches in the Illinois District for many years.
I’m writing this story today, because I wanted you to see the affects of the Brownsville Revival, and how an evangelist Steve Hill, with God’s anointing on his life, helped changed the world. And even though he is now in the presence of the Lord, his work, his ministry, and his anointing will continue to be felt around the world. Thank you Steve Hill for being an instrument God would use to help change my life. I for one, will truly miss you and your ministry.