Open as PDF
School 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 the statement.
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 Lord."
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.
Dr. Brown's Final Statement
RELATIVE TO HIS DISMISSAL
FROM BRSM (December 30, 2000)
After 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.)
Although 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.
To 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.)
I 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).
Despite 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.
Now 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:
I 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.
I bless the church Board, pastoral staff, and church workers for their devotion to the Lord, their selfless labors, and their faithfulness.
I bless all those who have poured themselves out for the students and grads of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry.
I 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.
I 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.
And 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.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Click Here for a transcript of Dr. Brown's statement to graduates, students, friends, and supporters of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry.
Click Here for questions and answers concerning what occurred, accountability issues AND a letter from Dr. Brown's Pastor.
Click Here for of Dr. Brown's response to the BRSM Board's statement.
Questions and Answers
Why 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 17, 2000:
December 18, 2000
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 way.
Michael L. Brown
The 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!
Do 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 radical
for the Lord, you must have a proven track record of submission to
authority. Otherwise, what you call radical might simply be rebellion. This
is something I have drilled home to students and readers for years, and it
is something I firmly embrace in my personal life. God does not need a bunch
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 his
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 of
having to obey God rather than man (see Acts 5:29), with all due respect to
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 Pastor
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 day of
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 such
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" mentioned
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" in the
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 when
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 on my
ministry board. My ordination can be removed by them for reasons of sin or
doctrinal error. The board of ICN Ministries also has power to vote me out
or remove me or shut down the ministry. On a more personal level, there are
many leaders whom I relate to closely around the world, and I often come to
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 is
clear on this too! For more on this, see pp. 42-46 of my book, Let No One
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 Jesus
Revolution to carefully check your hearts, ask the Lord to purge you of all
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 28, 2000)
To Whom It May Concern:
This 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.
Further, 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.
Yours for the Truth,
Walter W. Healy
Have you ever thought of taking legal action against Brownsville Assembly of
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 in
writing. (Slander is false, defamatory information in spoken form; libel is
false, defamatory information is written form.) That was not a threat, nor
was it intended is as a threat. (I am the son of a lawyer and a Ph.D., and I
try to communicate with precision.)
As to the Board's revised statement (posted December 24th, Christmas Eve), I
say this: May the Lord Jesus shine His face on my friends and co-workers at
Brownsville Assembly of God, and may we bless one another as we get on with
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.
Transcript 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:
I 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.
I 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.)
As 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.
Within the next 24 hours, I will post answers to some of the many questions that have arisen in recent days (www.icnministries.org).
To 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:
The following is the updated Official Statement concerning recent events from the BRSM Board of Directors:
Many 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.
Originally, 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 position.
In 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.)
An 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.
One 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.
Pastor Kilpatrick denied that request because he believed that it was not in the best interest of the church, its members, nor of BRSM itself.
Bob 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.
Since 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.
The 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 excellence.
The 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.
While 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."
Dr. 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.
It 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.
There 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.
God 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.
The following letter was sent to BRSM students and alumni:
December 26, 2000
Dear Student, Alumni, Supporter or Friend of BRSM:
We 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!
It 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.
BRSM 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.
Please 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.
Our 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.
Our prayers are that you will continue in Gods grace, peace and mercy until His coming!
In Him who alone is worthy of praise.
A 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!!
Next 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.
Our 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.
I 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.
Brenda 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.
Again 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.
I heard a man once say, When youre through with change, youre through.
I 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.
I 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.
Im 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 John Kilpatrick
Questions and Answers regarding recent events at BRSM.
The following questions and answers are those we have been asked most frequently. Obviously, not every concern of every individual has been addressed.
Q. Will BRSM become an A/G school?
A. 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.
Q. Was the faculty dismissed?
A. No faculty member was dismissed or asked to resign. All were invited to stay on and continue the vision of BRSM.
Q. Will all faculty members be A/G?
A. 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.
Q. Will a person who has been divorced and remarried be allowed to attend and graduate from BRSM?
A. BRSM has always accepted students who have suffered the tragedy of divorce and will continue to do so.
Q. Will F.I.R.E. and Brownsville International be continued at BRSM?
A. They are separate corporations with their own boards of directors and are not related to BRSM.
Q. How may graduating students be credentialed?
A. 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.
Q. How will those called to the mission field be covered?
A. 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.
Q. 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.