PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
pastor with luxury lifestyle
By John W.
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
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
He has refused to disclose his salary, not
even to his own congregation, although pastors in
most other denominations readily make that
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
The News Journal, during a four-month
investigation of the revival and its leaders, has
found other things that Kilpatrick likes besides
- 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
"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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