PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
No medical proof
Church does not
Night after night, revival
leaders tell the crowds that healings are
occurring and growing more powerful. "I know
now that we could all get to the place where the
dead are raised," evangelist Steve Hill said
in a November 1996 article in "Ministries
Today," a magazine for Christian leaders.
"We 're seeing miraculous healings,
cancerous tumors disappear and drug addicts
But the Brownsville Revival has not provided
medical documentation of spontaneous healing and
does not keep a file of names of people who say
they were healed.
The News Journal found several people who say
their conditions were healed or improved as a
direct result of the revival, but none had
Most stories are anecdotal. For example, Dave
Collins, a charter bus owner from Oklahoma City,
told the News Journal that a woman who rode on
his bus brought her daughter to the revival to
cure a rare disease that caused her daughter 's
foot to turn backwards.
"The doctor was about to have the foot
amputated. They went to revival and had an
anointing healing service. The foot straightened
out," Collins said.
The News Journal could not interview the woman
because Collins would not give her name or
address. The church said it did not have her name
because it does not keep records of the healings.
Many Brownsville Revival regulars and staff
members believe the revival is on the brink of a
breakthrough into wide-scale healings.
Brownsville church business administrator Rose
Compton said she believes the healings will start
very close to home, with pastor John Kilpatrick
being miraculously healed from the injuries he
suffered in a fall from the second story at his
new house in Seminole, Ala., on Sept. 17.
His healing will signal the beginning of mass
healings, she said.
Kilpatrick, however, told the News Journal
during an interview three weeks ago that he is
not being miraculously healed.
His medical records, which he permitted his
doctor to release to the News Journal, confirm
that. They show that his injuries are progressing
at normal speed.
Kilpatrick did say, however, that many other
people were being cured and healed at the
"We have noticed more and more sick
people coming in and saying their pain is
leaving. We have had people healed of different
things," he said. "Some of it is on
Compton gave the News Journal one videotaped
testimonial produced by a Lima, Ohio, Christian
television program, "Turning Point."
On the video, Lima resident Sandy Cornell, 44,
says she "grew a new esophagus" after
attending the revival earlier this year.
Her husband, Clarence, asked the News Journal
not to call her doctor for verification.
In another case, Rose Elrod, 61, of Oklahoma
City told the News Journal she was healed of
pancreatitis after attending the revival in
"I 've been in and out of the hospital 20
times in the last couple of years," she
said. "I was in constant pain and couldn 't
Friday, her third day at the revival,
evangelist Steve Hill prayed for her, Elrod said,
and she was slain in the spirit.
"I laid on the floor 45 minutes with my
hand raised," she said. "When I got up
I was healed. You are talking about a woman who
could hardly make a bed, clean my house, cook or
eat. I couldn 't stand."
She said she has talked to, but has not been
examined by her physician, Dr. James Hogin, since
Hogin, a gastroenterologist at Brookwood
Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said he wants to
see her. He wants to determine whether she is
indeed improved or if she is undergoing a placebo
God 's healing verifiable
"God 's healing is always
verifiable," Hogin said. "With true
healings, it is not that hard to confirm."
Essie Cox, 75, of Atmore, Ala., told the News
Journal that six doctors at two different
hospitals in Pensacola and Mobile told her she
needed heart bypass surgery to unblock clogged
"I was prayed for on Saturday, Aug. 2,
1997. I didn 't feel anything immediately. I felt
kind of woozy like," Cox said. "My
husband kept telling me, 'You are healed. 'sÿ '
Three days later, she woke up and felt a
complete change, she said. "I had claimed
the healing in my heart. I knew I was
healed," she said.
Since the revival, Cox said, she has had very
few problems with her heart. She is continuing to
take her usual dosage of two kinds of heart
medication and blood pressure medication, but she
said she no longer takes daily nitroglycerin.
Cox 's doctor, Dr. J. Andrew Morrow Jr., with
Cardiology Associates in Mobile, said the bypass
surgery Cox talked about was an elective surgery
and not a necessary procedure needed to maintain
Cox 's health.
While the revival has not medically verified
its claims to healings, the possibility that such
healings can occur Ü at the revival or elsewhere
Ü is not in dispute.
Religious leaders and worshipers in all
denominations believe in the power of faith to
The Rev. Don Dunkerley, associate pastor of
Northeast Presbyterian Church on Olive Road, has
written a book "Healing Evangelism,"
citing Scripture that supports faith healing.
Dunkerley said that divine healings can occur
anywhere, not necessarily at a revival.
However, revivals create an atmosphere ripe
for healings, he noted.
"It has been observed historically: God
seems to answer more in Evangelistic settings.
You are more likely to see something remarkable
in a revival setting vs. home," Dunkerley
That is because people go to revivals
expecting something to happen, said Dan Newberry,
one of four associate pastors of Crossroads
Cathedral in Oklahoma City.
When people travel to Pensacola from all over
the world to attend revival, they have made an
investment of time and money and they come
expecting something miraculous to happen,
"You spend the money, spend the time, and
stand outside that church and wait. That is all
you think about. Your expectation level tends to
go up," Newberry said.
"If everyone could get into that mode in
regular services in their own church, the faith
level would be above our heads."
The Rev. Teresa Leifur of Immanuel Episcopal
Church in Bay Minette, Ala., said if God wants to
heal someone, He will heal them anywhere.
The point is that God is greater than any one
or any event, she said.
Newberry said he has many questions about
healings he does not understand.
"I 've been praying for people to heal
for 25 years. Trying to understand healings is
like beating a dead horse. Those who don 't get
healed may be accused of not having enough
faith," he said. "But who is to
Expectancy with prayer
Dunkerley does not have first-hand knowledge
of what is going on at the Brownsville revival.
However, he said he does believe God answers the
prayers of those who pray for healing with a
sense of expectancy.
"Jesus said, when you pray, believe that
you have received what you ask for and you will
receive," Dunkerley said. "That is
expectancy with prayer."
The late Dr. William A. Nolen, who was chief
of surgery at Meeker County Hospital in
Minnesota, spent many years investigating claims
of supernatural healings world-wide.
His conclusions are detailed in Hank
Hanegraaff 's book, "Counterfeit Revival:
Looking for Jesus in All the Wrong Places."
Nolen stated: "When evangelical healers
dramatically call on God to transmit His power
through them to cure their patients ' diseases,
they are using the power of suggestion in the
hope that it will so affect the patient 's
malfunctioning autonomic nervous system (the
system that regulates such functions as
digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) that
the diseases or symptoms caused by derangement of
that system will be cured."
God never performs healings slowly, Nolen
"Biblical miracles were 100 percent and
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