PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
a hard line against dissenters
By John W.
Allman and Amie K. Streater
The magnetic, persuasive pastor
of the Brownsville Assembly of God inspires
hundreds to hurry to the altar to be saved.
He wanted revival and he got it -- and along
with it he received international fame, wealth
and adoration. He is revered and respected, but
he is also repudiated.
He is a man of God, but also a man to be
feared and avoided, say neighbors, former friends
and members of his own congregation.
Since the revival began in June 1995,
Kilpatrick has seen many members of his church --
Brownsville Assembly of God -- walk out.
Some he has cast out, ordering them not to
Reason: They either did not agree with the
revival and its manifestations and impartations
-- passing on of the Holy Spirit through the
preachers' touch -- or they were not living their
lives the way Kilpatrick thought they should.
"He just has a real critical and
judgmental attitude toward people he considers to
be in sin -- which is not Christ-oriented at
all," said a woman who left after years of
"The message of love is not there,"
Kilpatrick can be a good pastor and a kind
man, another former member said.
There was one time several years ago that she
needed advice and called him. He prayed with her
and showed her examples of Scripture to comfort
her, she recalled.
"He said, 'This is for you,' " she
said. "That really encouraged me."
But she has seen the pastor's other side,
which is one reason she asked not to be
identified when interviewed.
Kilpatrick, she said, is not a man you can
"agree to disagree" with. There is one
way -- his way -- that he expects members of his
congregation to follow.
"There's no, 'We're all part of God's
kingdom,' " she said. "There's none of
Kilpatrick has taught his flock to think
within very strict confines, she said. Anyone
with a different attitude is encouraged to leave
"If you're not within those confines,
then they'll pray for you to come back into the
fold," she said.
Kilpatrick's dealings with his neighbors also
The pastor acknowledges he has been in a
property dispute since he moved into a home in
Seminole Landing, Ala., last fall.
Jeanie Bettcher, who lives in Winnipeg,
Canada, owns the lot next to the house Kilpatrick
bought last year from a Brownsville Assembly of
God member. Bettcher is planning to build her
retirement home on her Seminole Landing lot. But
she said she has had trouble getting a
construction loan because the lot has an
When she visited her lot earlier this year,
she saw that Kilpatrick was parking his
40-foot-long bus on her lot and using part of her
land as a driveway for the bus.
Kilpatrick concedes that, but blames the
person from whom he bought his home -- a member
of his church. "The detached garage was
already there. The previous owner built it over
the set back line."
Bettcher complains that Kilpatrick not only
used part of Bettcher's land as a driveway and
parking pad, he had a crew cut down a stand of
oak trees on her property because the trees were
blocking his view of a pond, put a concrete
picnic table on her property and had landscapers
use railroad ties to terrace part of her land.
Kilpatrick says he had just one of her trees
cut down, and he says the terrace and table were
"I had some landscapers come out here
because the back is steep. I had them put in
railroad ties. When they did this, they went in
on her property. So I had to get that all
Bettcher recently had other Erin Pond
neighbors go to her property and put yellow tape
along the front and side adjacent to
Kilpatrick's. The tape says: "No
By coincidence, Bettcher recently learned that
she is part-owner of a Pensacola property
adjacent to Kilpatrick's church and that the
church may be encroaching on that property.
Brownsville Assembly of God is building a
large Family Life Center on land next to property
that Bettcher and her aunts recently inherited.
Construction on the Family Life Center has been
at a standstill for more than a month because of
the dispute over the property line.
Associate Pastor Carey Robertson explained the
situation as "discrepancies in the
He said the church is not encroaching and has
turned the matter over to its attorneys.
Bettcher is adamant about not giving the
church an inch for free, not after her experience
with Kilpatrick over the Seminole Landing
"He doesn't appear to be
remorseful," she said.
News Journal staff writer
Alice Crann contributed to this report.
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