Rift Emerges at Heart of Brownsville Revival
by Andy Butcher
founder dismissed in dispute over denominational accountability.
A major rift has emerged at the heart of the Brownsville revival, which
has drawn thousands of visitors since a dynamic move of God began on Father's
Day 1995. The leader of the school founded to train others for service has
been removed in what is believed to be a dispute over denominational accountability.
Dr. Michael Brown, the founder and president of the Brownsville Revival
School of Ministry (BRSM) in Pensacola, Fla., was voted out by the board
earlier this week. He intends to launch a similar new school in the city.
Details of the dismissal were given in an official statement, subsequently
removed, at the BRSM Web site. It said that Brown was "released" as president
after failure to agree on an "acceptable means of accountability."
The conflict centers on the school's relationship to the Assemblies of God
(AG). It began when the denomination, which had made a "sizeable loan" to
BRSM at the request of Brownsville pastor John Kilpatrick to purchase its
current campus, asked for "some form of simple accountability... to represent
their interests." It was suggested that Brown hold Assemblies of God credentials
while president of the school, but he felt that would be a compromise, said
An alternative solution in which Kilpatrick would be named executive president
with "very limited involvement" that would yet establish accountability
was agreed upon after "strong and vigorous resistance," said the statement.
But later Brown expressed concern at the agreement and asked that the school
be released to him.
That request was denied as "not being in the best interest of either the
church and its members nor of BRSM." Because by this time "a trust factor"
had arisen, another suggestion was proposed, said the statement -- that
Brown take a sabbatical to "give time to re-establish a proper working relationship."
After this was also rejected, the BRSM board "determined unanimously to
release Dr. Brown as president of BRSM."
The statement said that the director and Kilpatrick "refuse to take an adversarial
position as regards these matters." No faculty members had been sent letters
of dismissal and had been invited to continue with the school.
In his statement to graduates and students, Brown said that he had been
"shocked and saddened" to read the board's statement. It presented "a totally
misleading picture of me, my character and my relationship to the school
board and pastor Kilpatrick." But he would not reply in detail, as to do
so would "force me to cause further division and pain."
Brown said he would "rather live with false accusations than bite and devour
and divide." Despite his sadness, he said, "I bless the board of directors
and continue to love them deeply, recognizing their desire to please the
Speaking to the Charisma News Service yesterday, Brown said that eight out
of 10 faculty had resigned. Many students had expressed a desire to continue
their studies under his leadership, and a new school location should be
announced soon. He said that the statement posted at the BRSM Web site had
not been the one he had previously agreed upon with the board.
A notice at the BRSM Web site today said that the board of directors was
"redrafting an official statement concerning the recent changes in leadership"
at BRSM, which would be posted as soon as it was available. No one could
be contacted by telephone for comment today at the offices of either the
church or AG headquarters.
Located on a 50-acre campus in West Pensacola, BRSM was founded in 1997
to "equip qualified, radical laborers, grounded in the Word... ablaze with
revival fire." The student body is currently around 1,000.
Brown's Final Statement
RELATIVE TO HIS DISMISSAL
FROM BRSM (December 30, 2000)
four years of laboring together in the Brownsville Revival, it is the
verdict of the Board of the Brownsville Assembly of God that my "implementation
of the vision" of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, shared by
much of the faculty, is now "incompatible" with that of the church, the
differences being "irreconcilable." (The words in quotes come directly
from the Board's gracious letter of dismissal, dated December 20, 2000.)
it has been my fervent desire to continue to work in close unity with
Brownsville Assembly, I accept the decision of the Board and, by God's
grace, will continue to pursue the vision that has burned in my heart
for many years: to raise up a holy army of uncompromising, Spirit-filled
radicals who will shake an entire generation with the gospel of Jesus-by
life or by death.
that end, I, along with eight core faculty members, have established the
F.I.R.E. School of Ministry. (F.I.R.E. is the acronym for the Fellowship
for International Revival and Evangelism, a movement devoted to fostering
New Testament discipleship, church planting, world missions, and spiritual
awakening.) Since my dismissal came in the middle of a school year, and
because of our many commitments made to the BRSM student body, the leadership
of the F.I.R.E. School of Ministry felt strongly led to begin classes
immediately, without missing a semester, right here in Pensacola. We are
open to the possibility of relocating the school at a future date. (For
information on the school, go to www.fire-school.org.)
know that many questions have been asked and much has been said. After
all, the eyes of the world have been on Brownsville! However, I believe
it is best now to simply bless one another and move on. If questions remain,
take them to the Lord. He "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will expose the motives of men's hearts" (1 Cor 4:5b).
what has happened in recent days, the reality of the Brownsville Revival
and its ripple effects around the world are undeniable; the lasting fruit
that has come out of the revival is undeniable; and the power of God that
transformed so many lives in these last five years is undeniable.
it seems that the Lord is moving me - and a number of my co-workers -
into something new. Perhaps in our diversity even greater unity can be
found. The Body of Christ is big enough to handle it all! And so, with
all my heart:
bless Pastor John Kilpatrick for his years of sacrificial labor in the
Brownsville Revival, watching out for the sheep and jealously guarding
the reputation of Jesus.
bless the church Board, pastoral staff, and church workers for their devotion
to the Lord, their selfless labors, and their faithfulness.
bless all those who have poured themselves out for the students and grads
of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry.
bless the Assemblies of God for the tremendous impact they have had in
helping to fulfill the Great Commission, touching millions around the
world over the last 90 years.
bless those of you who differ with me at the present time, questioning
my motives or judging my heart. May the peace and joy and goodness and
grace of the Lord overflow you, and may He cause His will to be done in
all of our lives - for His glory, and His glory alone.
to one and all I say: On with it! Everything Satan has meant for evil
can be turned for good, and 2001 can be the year of our dreams.
BEST IS YET TO COME!
Here for a transcript of Dr. Brown's statement to graduates,
students, friends, and supporters of the Brownsville Revival School of
Here for questions and answers concerning what occurred,
accountability issues AND a letter from Dr. Brown's Pastor.
Here for of Dr. Brown's response to the BRSM Board's statement.
are you starting a new school in Pensacola? And have you done it with
the approval of the BRSM board?
We are not really starting a new school in Pensacola. Rather,
we are honoring the commitment we made to our current students to finish
what we started with them and to continue with the vision that was established.
We are a family, not just a school, and it was unthinkable to me as a
father to the student body, I would simply abandon them. How could I walk
away from students who have openly wept in my arms, asking me not to leave?
How could I simply say, "Don't worry. Someone else will take over
the school now" - especially when I was not being dismissed because
of sin, but rather, in the words expressed to me by the Board of Directors
the night of my firing, I was dismissed because of differences in the
implementation of school vision?
Eight of the ten full-time faculty members felt compelled to stand with
me after my firing. All of them were willing to risk their livelihoods
to continue on with a new school in Pensacola, rather than abandon the
students who made it clear that they wanted to be taught and trained by
us. To our student body we say: The best is yet to come!
On December 17th, the school Board offered to release me to begin a new
school in Pensacola if I would resign on the spot, rather than be fired.
This I could not do, and I was fired. The school staff was then informed
by the Board Chairman Monday morning, December 18th, that I had been released
to begin a new school. While this language does not appear in the Board's
originally posted official statement, I am pleased to note that they have
chosen not to oppose us.
Since the news got out about my firing, we have been flooded with e-mails
- literally, hundreds in the first week - from students, parents, graduates,
pastors, and Christian leaders urging us to go on with the work right
here and now, and thanking me and the faculty for our loyalty to Jesus
and the student body. We could do no other.
"Wasn't there any way to avoid all this, especially in the
middle of the school year?"
The fact that this happened in such a manner and at such a time has made
life terribly difficult for many innocent people, and I find it inexcusable
- as well as shameful for the name of Jesus. I extend my heartfelt apologies
to the extended BRSM family, including parents who have entrusted their
children to us.
I shed many tears before the Lord to stop this from happening, experiencing
deep emotional agony over potential damage to the student body - spiritual
sons and daughters to me. So many lives would be hurt. So many innocent
people would be scarred. So much reproach would come on the Brownsville
name. I repeatedly protested to the Board that it was unjustifiable and
unethical to fire me (or force me to resign) in such a manner - without
notice, between semesters, and while the students were away - but they
felt it was right and necessary, based on their perception of the situation,
and certainly with all sincerity on their part.
Before God, I did all that was in my power to avert this, but it happened
nonetheless, despite much prayer and fasting. I am trusting Him to turn
it for the good!
The Lord is my witness that my reputation is not an issue, nor am I concerned
about the rumors and slander for my sake. But I hurt deeply for the students
and grads, and I am so sorry that I could not have done more to avert
this from happening. Yet I still believe with all my heart that God is
at work in the midst of this, and that something of much greater good
will come out of it all.
This is what I wrote to the board of Directors about this very issue in
response to their ultimatum that resign on the spot or be fired on December
Since God has called me to lead the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry
and has not released me from that calling; since the school's Constitution
and By-Laws indicate that a director (in this case, the president) can
only be removed if it is in best interest of the school and there are
not sufficient grounds for such removal; since the Board has not clearly
stated [in writing, at the Board Meeting of December 17, 2000] that
the issue is NOT one of sin but rather of a difference of vision; and
since I believe it is unethical and unjustifiable to force me to resign
or fire me in between semesters with no prior notice given to the student
body, I cannot in good conscience resign.
I would once again urge the Board to reconsider their present position,
and I affirm once more the will and desire of the faculty to attempt
to work through the issues of miscommunication an misunderstanding,
continuing under the arrangement agreed upon at our previous Board meeting
(held November 9, 2000) until May. Anything less than that would produce
much needless heartache for hundreds, if not thousands, of lives, and
since the Board alone has the power to reverse its decision, I would
urge each of you to step back and slow down this whole process, working
a smooth and sane transition through May.
As I stated repeatedly at the meeting last night [December 17], there
is no justification for this move to be made at this time, I urge you
to reconsider - not for my sake - but for the sake of the kingdom, for
the sake of the reputation of Jesus, for the sake of the name of Brownsville,
for the sake of the student body, for the sake of our faculty and staff,
and for the sake of the body of Christ worldwide. There IS a better
Michael L. Brown
amazing thing about this whole situation is that, given the suddenness
with which everything occurred, the faculty, the staff, (many former staff
members are transitioning with us), along with an army of students and
grads are coming together to mobilize and transition in a matter of days.
It is a wonderful sight to behold.
So... on with it!
you believe in the importance of submission to authority and accountability?
Of course! I have always taught that if you are going to do anything
for the Lord, you must have a proven track record of submission to
authority. Otherwise, what you call radical might simply be rebellion.
is something I have drilled home to students and readers for years, and
is something I firmly embrace in my personal life. God does not need a
of independent mavericks. He needs an army under command. I believe this
with all my heart!
In my own life, I have several lines of accountability. For the last four
years, John Kilpatrick has been my pastor, and I gladly and fully submitted
to his leadership during these years. The question of my submission to
authority never came up once until he gave me an ultimatum to join the
Assemblies of God or be fired. Despite my great appreciation for the Lord's
work through the Assemblies and my deep desire to honor Pastor Kilpatrick,
the Lord clearly spoke to me about this matter and did not allow me to
become credentialed by the Assemblies. Ultimately, this is an example
having to obey God rather than man (see Acts 5:29), with all due respect
Pastor Kilpatrick as a God-fearing servant of the Lord.
Within one week of my dismissal by the Board, I contacted Ché Ahn of Harvest
International Ministries in order to get information about coming under
their covering of churches and ministers, since I was no longer under
Kilpatrick's covering. I wanted to send out a loud and clear message that
submission to authority and coming under covering has never been a problem
for me. As I said earlier, I embrace it! That is why to the very last
my tenure as President of BRSM, I affirmed in writing and orally my
submission to John Kilpatrick as my senior leader. (I accept his judgment
that at this time, we are not able to work together, remembering that
things happened even to men of God in the Word; see Acts 15:36-41. I should
mention, however, my surprise in finding the word "accountability"
repeatedly in the Board's Official Statement on the Web site. I had never
before heard that word used in any of our discussions, and it was never
mentioned once in the Board meeting the night I was fired. The only issue
raised that night had to with alleged "irreconcilable differences"
implementation of the school's vision.)
There are other lines of accountability also built into my life. I am
extremely accountable to my faculty, and we really function as a leadership
team. They often speak into my life, and we only move forward together
we have harmony in the Lord. I am also ordained by a local church in New
Jersey with whom I stay in close contact, and one of their pastors is
ministry board. My ordination can be removed by them for reasons of sin
doctrinal error. The board of ICN Ministries also has power to vote me
or remove me or shut down the ministry. On a more personal level, there
many leaders whom I relate to closely around the world, and I often come
them for counsel and input, asking them to be ruthlessly honest with me.
I also believe it is essential to have a proven track record of
teachability, being willing to receive and submit to correction. The Word
clear on this too! For more on this, see pp. 42-46 of my book, Let No
Deceive You: Confronting the Critics of Revival (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny
I would encourage all of you who want to be on the front lines of the
Revolution to carefully check your hearts, ask the Lord to purge you of
rebellion and stubborn pride, and be quick to hear the voice of godly
A letter from Dr. Brown's pastor,
Pastor Walter W. Healy, concerning Dr. Brown's accountability, credentials
and their long-standing relationship (December
Whom It May Concern:
letter will serve to verify that Dr. Michael Brown is a fully credentialed
minister of the gospel under the government of The Church of Grace and
Peace, Toms River, NJ. Our relationship of approximately fifteen years
has been marked by mutual respect and accountability which ultimately
led to this formal licensure in which Dr. Brown is fully accountable to
the church Elder Board.
let it be known that Dr. Brown has our fullest respect for his past and
present integrity in ministry to the Lord and His church in both spiritual
and practical aspects. We recommend him as one in pursuit of the kingdom
of God and His righteousness.
for the Truth,
Have you ever thought of taking legal action against Brownsville
God forbid! That is completely unscriptural, according to 2 Corinthians
6:1-7. The thought of legal action has never occurred to me, and I have
retained no legal counsel of any kind since my dismissal or prior to my
When asked by the church to respond to the Board's first Official Statement
for their attorney's review, I wrote that the statement as it stood was
libelous, meaning simply that it contained false, defamatory information
writing. (Slander is false, defamatory information in spoken form; libel
false, defamatory information is written form.) That was not a threat,
was it intended is as a threat. (I am the son of a lawyer and a Ph.D.,
try to communicate with precision.)
As to the Board's revised statement (posted December 24th, Christmas Eve),
say this: May the Lord Jesus shine His face on my friends and co-workers
Brownsville Assembly of God, and may we bless one another as we get on
the work of world redemption. Souls are dying without the Lord, the needs
are urgent, and the hour is late. Let's encourage one another and go and
give the devil a black eye.
of Thursday 12/22 meeting NOW Available CLICK HERE
A statement from Dr. Michael L. Brown to all graduates,
students, friends, and supporters of the Brownsville Revival School of
Ministry regarding my firing on December 17th, 2000:
was shocked and saddened to read the Official Statement of the Board
of Directors of Brownsville Revival School of Ministry posted on
the schools website (www.brsm.org) on December 20th. In the interest
of the Body of Christ, the Brownsville Assembly of God, and above all,
our precious BRSM students and grads, I will not reply to this statement
in detail. I will only say that it presents a totally misleading picture
of me, my character, and my relationship to the school board and Pastor
Kilpatrick. To say any more would force me to cause further division and
pain, and I will not do that. Rather, despite my sadness over this statement,
I bless the Board of Directors and continue to love them deeply, recognizing
their desire to please the Lord.
would rather live with false accusations than bite and devour and divide.
It is a small price to pay on my part if it will help preserve the unity
of the Body, and perhaps it will encourage those who find themselves in
similar situations to respond in kind. After all, is this not the example
left for us by Jesus? (See 1 Peter 2:23.)
to misconceptions that will arise due to the boards statement, I
rest confidently in the fact that God Himself knows the whole story. He
was there in every meeting, He has heard every word spoken, and He knows
my heart (Luke 8:17). I also take great comfort in the fact that the students
and grads of BRSM know me very well. We are a close-knit family, and we
have spent many hours together praying, worshiping, laughing, crying,
learning, sharing and they can judge for themselves whether the
picture painted in the official statement reflects the man they know.
I will let them, along with the faculty who has labored so sacrificially
with me for these many years, make their own decisions and do what is
right before the Lord.
the next 24 hours, I will post answers to some of the many questions that
have arisen in recent days (www.icnministries.org).
the student body looking to us to continue teaching, training, equipping
and sending to America and to the nations I simply say this:
We are here for you, we would never abandon you, and everything will continue
with us as promised and expected. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
FROM THE BROWNSVILLE SITE:
following is the updated Official Statement concerning recent events from
the BRSM Board of Directors:
of you are waiting for and have requested the Board of Director's official
explanation concerning the recent events surrounding Dr. Michael Brown.
In light of the seriousness of the Board's actions and of subsequent events
discussed below, the Board has carefully and prayerfully considered their
official response in order to respond in a Christ like manner and not
purely out of emotion.
a concern had been presented to Pastor John Kilpatrick regarding a possible
desire on the part of Dr. Michael Brown to lead BRSM to separate BRSM
from its current position subordinate to the Brownsville Assembly of God
Church Board. In discussion, Dr. Brown explicitly denied such intent and
Pastor Kilpatrick accepted that denial as correctly representing Dr. Brown's
light of that issue the Assemblies of God, who made a multimillion-dollar
loan to BRSM at the request of Pastor Kilpatrick to purchase the current
campus, requested some form of simple accountability for Dr. Brown to
represent their interests. It was suggested that Dr. Brown hold credentials
with the Assemblies of God during the time of his duties as President
of the school. Pastor Kilpatrick made the request to Dr. Brown, but after
subsequent discussion, Dr. Brown stated that arrangement would be a compromise
for him and, therefore, unacceptable. (It should be understood that the
Assemblies of God graciously came to our assistance after repeated failed
attempts to secure financing from other sources.)
alternate solution was presented to Dr Brown whereby he would remain President
of BRSM, but Pastor Kilpatrick would be named Executive President, establishing
the accountability sought by the Assemblies of God. Dr. Brown initially
agreed to this request. Dr Brown's concerns were that the Assemblies of
God would attempt to control the school. Pastor Kilpatrick explicitly
denied that the Assemblies of God wanted to control the School. The Assemblies
of God is looking to Pastor Kilpatrick, not to Dr. Brown. In ensuing discussions
with Dr. Brown, Pastor Kilpatrick assured him he would be protected from
Assemblies of God control, but his accountability to Pastor Kilpatrick
was in the best interest of all concerned. The Board of Directors passed
a resolution that appointed Pastor Kilpatrick to the position of Executive
President with Dr. Brown continuing as the school's President. Dr. Brown
voted for this proposal.
week later, Dr Brown protested to Pastor Kilpatrick concerning his displeasure
with the resolution. At that point, he asked Pastor Kilpatrick to sell
BRSM and it's 4.5 million dollar campus so he could pursue a direction
that he said was no longer compatible with the current Board of Directors
and the Brownsville Assembly of God Church.
Kilpatrick denied that request because he believed that it was not in
the best interest of the church, its members, nor of BRSM itself.
Phillips, School Board Chairman, believing he was trying to find some
medium of accountability for Dr. Brown, made other proposals. By this
time, Rev. Phillips and Pastor Kilpatrick began to question Dr. Brown's
motives. In order to give time to reestablish a proper working relationship,
an unofficial proposal was made to Dr. Brown and certain faculty leaders
to allow Dr. Brown to leave the campus, yet still retain his title as
President and continuing to travel while representing the current theme
of revolution for this nation's spiritual revival. Until May 2001, two
senior faculty members of BRSM would jointly run the school, working with
Pastor Kilpatrick so that the operations of BRSM could continue to run
smoothly and the students could be protected. Dr. Brown and the two senior
faculty members also rejected this suggestion.
no acceptable means of working together was found, the Board of Directors
determined unanimously to release Dr. Brown as President of BRSM. Dr.
Brown decided to start another school of ministry in Pensacola. While
not desired, the Board would not oppose this endeavor.
Board of Directors and Pastor Kilpatrick refuse to take an adversarial
position as regards to these matters. No faculty member has been sent
letters of dismissal, but some have in fact been invited and urged to
continue the vision of BRSM. However, due to the soon arrival of students
for the Spring 2001 semester, the School Board requested that the faculty
submit their intentions to stay or leave. While the School Board desired
that the faculty remain intact, if a faculty member fails to respond to
the Board's request, that member will be considered to have abandoned
their post of duty and BRSM will continue to move forward with continued
Board attempted to publish its position of the events on December 20,
2000 through BRSM's web site. Shortly after the Official Statement was
posted, Dr. Brown requested that it be removed because he claimed it was
libelous. Since the term "libelous" is a legal term, the Board
has no way of knowing whether Dr. Brown's use of this term was a legal
threat or not.
the statement was pulled from the BRSM web site, Dr. Brown posted his
response to the Board's statement on ICN Ministries web site. His statement
claimed that the Board's statement was a "totally misleading picture
of (him), (his) character, and (his) relationship to the Board and Pastor
Kilpatrick." He further states, "I would rather live with false
accusations than bite and devour and divide."
Brown then called a meeting with students and others to "discuss
the events." He recorded his comments concerning the events"
and placed the audio recording of his version of the events on the web
site for ICN Ministries. In addition, Dr. Brown's comments go far beyond
the mere telling of his version of the events to include a battle cry
to follow him to a new school. While espousing love for the Board and
Pastor Kilpatrick, Dr. Brown also implies they have done harm to the students
and their actions have been evil. During the meeting, Bob Gladstone stated
that it would be immoral for him to remain at the school. That statement
could possibly imply that it is immoral for students or anyone else to
remain at BRSM.
has always been the desire of the Board to handle this situation in a
God honoring fashion with minimal impact to the students and Dr. Brown.
While the world responds to such action in a tit-for-tat fashion, the
Kingdom of Christ demands a higher standard.
were many factors which led to the decisions of the Board. While this
statement discusses certain actions that were taken during the last few
weeks, no attempt has been made to include all details and discussions
out of respect for the parties involved. The Board has been given the
charge to conduct the operations of the school in a manner which keeps
the school in line with the plan God has for the school. The Board recognizes
that this charge causes them to make decisions which cannot be easily
explained or understood. In addition any attempts to fully explain these
events would lead to further division and angst to the Body of Christ.
God calls each of us to respect those He places in authority over us individually
and over the institutions He calls to fulfill His purposes. When a person
reaches the point they can no longer respect or adhere to the authority
God has placed over them, then Christian maturity demands that separation
take place with honor and dignity to all parties. Anything less can only
bring harm to the Body of Christ. The Board has endeavored that all of
its actions meet this standard. As a part of this, the Board prays that
Dr. Brown will continue to work good for the good of the Kingdom of Christ
in whatever capacity God chooses for Him.
has so abundantly graced BRSM with His presence and it is our belief that
He is larger than any of us and will continue to accomplish His purposes
at and with BRSM.
following letter was sent to BRSM students and alumni:
Student, Alumni, Supporter or Friend of BRSM:
hope that you are enjoying a blessed Holiday Season with family and friends.
We look forward to seeing or hearing from you in the near future!
is with deep regret that we must inform you that Dr. Michael Brown has
been dismissed as President of Brownsville Revival School of Ministry.
A statement from the BRSM Board of Directors has been reviewed and is
posted on the BRSM website.
is destined to be strong and vibrant, producing pastors, missionaries
and worship leaders until Jesus comes. We will continue in our mission
to serve a critical need in this hour to equip qualified laborers who
are grounded in the Word, trained in the essentials of practical ministry,
ablaze with revival fire and ready to give their lives to the Gospel.
The task is clearly set before us to impact this generation with revival
and raise up a powerful witness filled with the fire of God to take the
Gospel to this nation and the nations of the world.
be assured that our vision and purpose as a non-denominational Bible school
remains the same. That vision is to provide a quality, intensive two year
and three year equipping curriculum to establish believers in their relationship
with the Lord, call them to holiness and purity, build into them the principles
of sacrifice and service, immerse them in the fires of revival, involve
them in practical ministry, and then send them to the ends of the earth.
faculty and staff are excited to be continuing the vision. Our faculty
members will be Bill Ancira, Lisa Ancira, Billy Burton, Ron Cantor, Lindell
Cooley, Richard Crisco, Alvin Miranda, Bob Phillips, Carey Robertson,
Lila Terhune, Newman Tye and others yet to be announced.
prayers are that you will continue in Gods grace, peace and mercy
until His coming!
Him who alone is worthy of praise.
PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM PASTOR JOHN A. KILPATRICK
TO THE STUDENTS AT BRSM
I have desperately wanted to speak to every student personally, but I
have tried to pick the appropriate time. I want to express my love for
you and my concern for what you must be experiencing. I can only imagine
the bewilderment each of you felt when you learned of the painful changes
at BRSM. My heart is deeply grieved for many reasons but most of all for
the precarious place you find yourself in as you pray about your return
to Pensacola. I hurt for each of you and want you to know the Brownsville
Assembly of God congregation is grieving and interceding for you. I hope
you can feel the prayers.
Brownsville Revival School of Ministry was birthed out of the womb of
this local church, Brownsville Assembly of God, Pensacola, Florida. If
it had not been for Brownsville Assembly of God or the Brownsville Revival,
there would be no BRSM. From day one, it has been the vision of the leadership
of the church to establish a school of ministry to help train and thoroughly
equip young men and women for ministry and placement in the Body of Christ.
As I write this letter, an excellent faculty and staff are being chosen
from various pentecostal backgrounds with the accompanying credentials
to speak into your lives as you return for the spring session.
Because BRSM has been a non-denominational school since its inception,
it shall remain non-denominational. First of all, let me say the
vision of BRSM will continue!!
I want to say as Senior pastor, I am determined to see a spirit of excellence
prevail in every facet of the life and spirit of BRSM. My first priority
is to allow Holy Spirit complete freedom to do whatever He wants
however He wants - and whenever He wants at BRSM. That has been the hallmark
of the Brownsville Revival these last 5-1/2 years. Our school has been
a Revival school and it shall continue to flow in what God is doing and
saying in this generation.
strong missions emphasis will continue unabated. As a matter of fact,
Rev. Larry Art has agreed to head up our Missions Department as well as
serve on the faculty. His rich missions background will greatly impact
our students. Larry is already planning on taking teams to the foreign
fields as well as throughout the United States. It has always been the
passion of BRSM to take the Gospel to a lost and dying world. This vision
will only intensify in coming days.
dont have the time to adequately cover other areas of exciting ministry
that are now being planned but I want to cover one area I am tremendously
excited about. Brenda and I both feel the time is right to devote more
personal time to our students at BRSM. We look forward to getting to know
you and to spending quality time with you. We also feel called to involve
ourselves in mentoring you for the ministry. I know the value of a mentor.
My Pastor devoted years to me and the things he deposited in my ministry
I could not have received any other way than personal, intimate time together.
is excited about helping the young women to be thoroughly equipped for
the adventures of ministry. We both feel the time is right and we can
hear the call of those God is sending us so we can share our insights,
experiences and victories.
I say, I cant cover all areas that I have on my heart at this moment
but trust me when I tell you I am very optimistic. I am one that has been
through many, many painful things in my life and ministry. I am no stranger
to grief and pain. One thing I have concluded change is painful
but change is inevitable.
heard a man once say, When youre through with change, youre
know we all have experienced some painful change recently but I must confess,
I am not discouraged and I dont want you to be. I have fresh vision,
more so than I have had in many years. We love every student single,
married or divorced makes no difference. We are committed to you! We know
you have dreams and visions locked up in your hearts to work for God and
we want to help you see those dreams come to pass.
want you to return to BRSM if you feel its right for you and only
you can determine that. I would encourage you to counsel with your Pastor
or parents or a trusted friend. I want you to feel no pressure in your
decision. Be led by the Spirit seek the Lord give it time
to wait on the Lord in earnest.
going to see to it that BRSM will be an extension of the very spirit and
essence of all Brownsville Assembly has been through these years that
has made me love it so.
A powerful faculty will be in place January 16, 2001.
Exciting and enriching classes will convene.
I do hope youll pray about making BRSM your home away from home.
We Love you,
and Answers regarding recent events at BRSM.
following questions and answers are those we have been asked most frequently.
Obviously, not every concern of every individual has been addressed.
Will BRSM become an A/G school?
BRSM has always been understood to be a non-denominational learning center
by both Brownsville Assembly of God Church and the Assemblies of God leadership.
Was the faculty dismissed?
No faculty member was dismissed or asked to resign. All were invited to
stay on and continue the vision of BRSM.
Will all faculty members be A/G?
BRSM is a non-denominational school of ministry. Faculty have never been
required to be credentialed with the A/G and that will continue to be
the policy at BRSM.
Will a person who has been divorced and remarried be allowed to attend
and graduate from BRSM?
BRSM has always accepted students who have suffered the tragedy of divorce
and will continue to do so.
Will F.I.R.E. and Brownsville International be continued at BRSM?
They are separate corporations with their own boards of directors and
are not related to BRSM.
How may graduating students be credentialed?
Each graduate who feels a call to full-time ministry will be provided
an opportunity to be credentialed . No student will be unduly influenced
to be credentialed by any agency. We have access to many non-denominational
credentialing agencies, denominational credentialing agencies, and the
Assemblies of God. Students who have divorce in their pre-Christian life
will be given assistance in receiving credentials the same as any other
student. A member of the faculty will be assigned to act as liaison with
each credentialing agency in order to maintain a continuing relationship
with our graduates.
How will those called to the mission field be covered?
There are many opportunities for missions covering. For example, there
are many reputable missions sending agencies available for missionary
candidates who are non-denominational. For instance, Globe Missionary
Evangelism is located adjacent to the BRSM campus. Several graduates are
presently on the mission field under their covering. We anticipate our
continued relationship with them and other missions agencies as well.
There is also the A/G. No undue influence will be exerted on a graduate
regarding what missions affiliation they may choose. Like the credentialing
described above, a faculty liaison will be appointed to work with whatever
agency a graduate chooses in order to maintain our continued close relationship.
Will BRSM student leadership be replaced with A/G students for BRSM ushers,
Friday night witnessing, etc.?
A. Student leadership that was in place last semester will remain in place
this semester regardless of affiliation. Future leadership of these ministries
will be filled by those best qualified, not because of A/G affiliation.
The Assemblies of God is not trying to take over BRSM.