PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
a $310,000 coach
By John W.
It is a bus big enough for a
The 42,000-pound Newell Coach towers over the
garage next to Pastor John Kilpatrick's home in a
Seminole, Ala., subdivision.
His corporation, Feast of Fire Ministries
Inc., bought the bus in 1996 for $310,000 because
Kilpatrick does not like to fly.
"I travel, but this bus has not changed
me," Kilpatrick said.
"I have always strived to set an example
by not living above the means of my people,"
But the bus is one example of the expansive
lifestyle he has moved up to since he brought
revival to his church, the Brownsville Assembly
of God, in June 1995.
Kilpatrick sold his Coila Street house in
Pensacola last year and moved to a far grander
home in Seminole Landing, an upscale lakefront
and riverfront subdivision near the
Alabama-Florida line. Now he and his wife,
Brenda, are building an even grander home
fronting the Styx River. The house plans are from
a selection of luxury-home designs from
"Southern Living" magazine.
Present and former friends and church members
say Kilpatrick has always liked to mix socially
with wealthy people. They say he has a noticeable
penchant for luxury: custom suits, a Rolex watch
and a diamond ring.
He cares about his appearance so much that he
got a perfectly styled hair piece. He made a joke
about it the first Sunday he wore it: He asked
the congregation, "Have you noticed my 'new
tie' today?" and got a big laugh.
Kilpatrick rebuffs criticism that he is living
"I used to get pants custom-made way
before the revival even started because my calves
are so large," he said. "But I have not
done that in years."
He said the bus is an economical way for him
to travel to speak at pastor conferences and at
other churches around the country.
"If I paid for airline tickets, it would
cost a fortune. The bus is much cheaper," he
said. "I use it strictly for ministry, never
for personal use."
But that specific motor coach model is
available only by custom order. Kilpatrick's bus,
which had a previous owner, is nearly 40 feet
long and includes all the amenities of a home: a
lounge area with a color television set, white
leather sleeper sofa and matching leather chair;
a full kitchen with microwave, dishwasher,
refrigerator and stove; a dining table with
cushioned booths; a bathroom with sink, toilet
and full shower with a curved-glass door; and a
Kilpatrick does not drive the bus himself; he
has a personal driver.
Neither Kilpatrick nor the Brownsville church
would say who pays the driver or who else travels
A salesman at Leisure Tyme RV in Pensacola
said the Newell line of buses is the best and
most luxurious available. "Just like you can
buy a Rolls-Royce --or you can get a nice
Kilpatrick's ministry listed the purchase
price of the bus as $310,000 and paid $6,200 in
Alabama tax. Annual renewal of the bus's Alabama
license tag is about $1,300.
News Journal staff writer
Alice Crann contributed to this report.
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