Steve Hill (evangelist)

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Steve Hill (January 17, 1954 – March 9, 2014) born in Ankara, Turkey to an American serviceman and his wife, was an American Christian clergyman and evangelist. He is best known as the evangelist who preached in what became known as the Brownsville Revival. The Brownsville Revival was a series of meetings at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida that began on Father's Day, 1995 and continued for five years. In 2000, Hill moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas to resume traveling evangelism. In 2003, he founded Heartland Family Church in the Las Colinas section of Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.

Drug use and conversion[edit]

As a teenager, Hill got heavily into alcohol and illicit drugs. At the age of twenty-one due to the effects of drug abuse, his body began to shut down one Saturday morning. For three days he suffered through extreme convulsions. On October 28, 1975, Hill's mother invited Hugh Mozingo, a Lutheran minister, to come see him. Monzingo said to him, "Steve, I can't help you, but I know someone who can. His name is Jesus." In desperation, Hill reports that he began to say the name, "Jesus", and instantly the convulsions stopped. He also says that at that moment every addiction he had to drugs and alcohol was immediately gone. Hill reports that as the day he gave his life to Christ and never looked back.

A few weeks after his conversion experience, Hill was arrested at his parents' home in Huntsville, Alabama and was facing 25 years in prison for drug trafficking. In a testimony at Garywood Assembly of God in Hueytown, Alabama in 2005, Hill told the congregation that he would have gone to prison if it were not for the mercy of the presiding judge who agreed to remand Hill to the Teen Challenge drug rehabilitation program instead of sending him to prison. Hill graduated from Teen Challenge and eventually became a staff worker for the program.

Ministry and revival[edit]

Hill went on to graduate from a two-year ministry training school run by Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson. From there, he served on the staff with Outreach Ministries of Alabama, then as a youth pastor at several churches in Florida. In the mid-1980s, he and his wife became missionaries, holding crusades and planting churches in Argentina, Spain, and Belarus. Early in 1995, Hill went to London, England where a revival was happening at Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church. The pastor, Sandy Miller, prayed for Hill. A few months later, Hill stopped at Brownsville Assembly on Father's Day to preach one service before heading off to minister in Russia.

The revival began on what is popularly known as the Pensacola Outpouring. A video of the service is available online and appears less dramatic than the services were later claimed to have been. Some congregants at the service spoke of the presence of "a mighty wind" that blew through the church. This account rapidly spread across the Pentecostal community, but gained little attention in the mainstream media until the Associated Press wrote about it in March 1997.

As word spread of the revival at Brownsville, Hill canceled all plans to go to Russia, and preached several revival services each week for the next five years

Criticisms[edit]

The Pensacola News Journal ran a series of articles in 1997 about the Brownsville Revival and its leaders. It had written glowing reports about the revival when it first began, but began a four-month investigation after receiving word that all was not as it appeared. The award-winning investigative report cited financial irregularities. For example, the four main ministers failed to provide to anyone upon request the amount of money received and income derived from the revival, related arena meeting, and the sale of revival merchandise. Brownsville Assembly of God answered the News Journal's allegations by publishing a two-page spread entitled "The Facts of the Brownsville Revival".[1]

Death[edit]

Stephen Hill died on March 9, 2014.[2] A posting on his Facebook page read "Today, March 9 Steve crossed the finish line. Steve lived every day with eternity in view, today he finally saw it with his own eyes. The Church has lost a general in the faith, heaven has gained a saint. Please remember Jeri, Ryan, Shelby, Kelsey and the family in your prayers. Details will be posted soon."[this quote needs a citation]

Hill's cause of death was ultimately a six-year battle with melanoma cancer. He fought till the very end. His son, Ryan died in October 2014 [3] from either an accidental or homicidal overdose. The detectives explained to the Hill family that they will never be able to identify the true cause. Ryan pursued media productions until he died.[citation needed]

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