Kilpatrick rules over revival

Note: "Together in the Harvest Ministries" (Steve Hill) and "Partners in Revival" (John Kilpatrick) ministries are now both members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Revival provides pastor with luxury lifestyle

The Pensacola News Journal/November 17, 1997
By John W. Allman

Pensacola -- Pastor John Kilpatrick likes to be in control of his congregation.

He has said so in his sermons, on revival videotapes and in his autobiography.

Whether it is leading his people in prayer for revival or denouncing dissenters from his pulpit, Kilpatrick has made it clear he is in charge.

In the 2 1/2 years since the Pensacola Brownsville Revival began, however, Kilpatrick has yielded to a higher power.

He says he has seen visions -- angels, healing bubbles, strange projectiles -- that he cannot explain. He has talked to God. God has talked to him.

Kilpatrick has found himself addressing his congregation in an unfamiliar language -- not quite speaking in tongues, yet not quite English.

He acknowledges that God powers the car, but it is clear that Kilpatrick is still at the wheel.

He has refused to disclose his salary, not even to his own congregation, although pastors in most other denominations readily make that information known.

He has used his pulpit to prophesize dire retribution against revival critics.

He has told people who left his church they were "devil possessed" even though some were his strong supporters before the revival began.

The News Journal, during a four-month investigation of the revival and its leaders, has found other things that Kilpatrick likes besides control:

  • Privacy -- Kilpatrick said he moved his family to Seminole Landing, in Baldwin County, Ala., in 1996 to get away from revival-goers who, he said, constantly drove by his Pensacola home. He has an unlisted phone number and he no longer keeps office hours at the church, opting instead to work in his home, at a location he did not disclose to his congregation until three days after the News Journal questioned him.

  • Property -- Kilpatrick and his wife, Brenda, have taken out a $300,000 mortgage for two acres in Donovan's Landing, also in Baldwin County, where they are building an expansive home and a towering two-story garage-guest house. The Kilpatricks also have a $200,000 mortgage on their present home.

  • Possessions -- Kilpatrick's newly created nonprofit corporation, Feast of Fire Ministries Inc., bought him a $310,000 motor coach last year to use for travel because he does not like to fly.

Kilpatrick dismisses criticism of his lifestyle.

"I have always strived to set an example by not living above the means of my people," he said in an interview with the News Journal.

A number of neighbors, former friends and former church members disagree. While they are willing to talk about his excesses, and in most cases provide documentation, they insisted they not be named because they fear retaliation.

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