In the late 1980’s God put a burning passion and vision in my heart for souls and revival that is still very much alive today. It was during that time that I first saw a mini-revival in my own life. I was studying the Bible for hours each day and reading a lot of Kenneth E. Hagin books. People I shared the gospel with were coming to the Lord Jesus and God used me to perform some awesome miracles after seasons of prayer and fasting. A woman was healed of breast cancer after I saw a vision of a demon hanging on her side and commanded the demon to leave her in Jesus' name! In the vision, I saw the demon fall to the ground and run away. A deaf woman was healed; a teenage boy (who was partially paralyzed and in the ICU after a car accident) was totally healed after prayer at the hospital. I saw Satanists and other young people who were messed up in occultism come to Jesus and get the demons cast out of them. A broken ankle, a broken hand, and cracked sternum were instantly healed by faith in the name of Jesus. A crippled woman got out of her wheelchair and walked when the Lord Jesus said to me, “Tell her that I said for her to rise and walk.” We led numerous young people to Jesus at the mall in Auburn, Alabama as tears poured from their eyes. It was an awesome time!
In 1996, while pastoring a church in Montgomery, Alabama, I heard about the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. I had been studying revival history for years and had been praying and hungering to see God move in a mighty way. I knew about Steve Hill (the revival evangelist) prior to the Pensacola outpouring and knew that he was a man of God. Moreover, a friend of mine from Montgomery, Vann Lane, was the Children’s Pastor at Brownsville Assembly of God…so I went. The moment I sat down in the sanctuary before the service started, the Spirit of God came over me in a powerful way and the Lord told me that Brownsville was what I had been reading about - a genuine revival!
In the beginning I attended the revival services weekly and then continued to go at least once a month as time went on. There I heard messages on repentance that called God’s people back to holiness and intimacy with the Lord. The cross of Christ and His precious blood was lifted up. And I saw sinners and the backsliders running to the altar in tears as Steve would give a strong altar call every night. It was not hype or a show; people were groaning and weeping at that altar as they cried out for mercy and forgiveness. As a pastor, I even helped at the altar in those early days and can testify that the Holy Spirit was at work.
It was there that God touched me again in a powerful way. A fresh anointing came on my life and ministry from attending the Brownsville Revival. I saw the power of God fall in fresh ways at my church in Montgomery. God gave an alcoholic who was on his deathbed a new liver (without a medical transplant) after I prayed for him. This led to him getting his life right with God later on. A man with diabetes and that had been on insulin for more than twenty years was completely healed in the name of Jesus. I saw the power of God come down in a series of meetings in Georgia where some Mormons came to know the real Jesus as Savior.
This anointing of the Spirit continued to flow in August of 2000 as I went to minister on the Island of Mauritius. I shared about how God touched me at Brownsville, I preached on turning completely to God, and how to hear the voice of God. As I ministered there, old Hindu women who had worshiped idols and Hindu gods all of their lives were hit by the power of God and responded to the altar call. Like Saul of Tarsus, they were knocked to the ground and got up giving their lives to Jesus Christ. Young people also came forward and repented and others where healed. God gave me very specific words of knowledge and prophecy for people that amazed their pastors. The glory of God continued to flow there for two weeks as I ministered in several churches.
God continued to move after I returned home from Mauritius. The doors opened for me to preach once a month in two different prisons in Alabama. The meetings at Ventress and Tutwiler prisons were awesome. Dozens of prisoners would come to the altar in tears every service. The presence of God was so strong at times that the assistant chaplain, (who accompanied me to pray for the women at Tutwiler), had trouble standing from the heavy glory that was there.
The ministry was going great, however a storm was on the horizon for me. In 2001 my wife presented me with divorce papers. We had normal marital stresses but nothing unusual. I was not cheating on my wife. It was quite the shock considering I never received any warnings. But no matter who did what, the divorce threw my life and ministry into turmoil. I felt certain the church would fall apart and it did. And though I pulled it together enough to go to Africa in 2002 (where God moved powerfully) my heart was still broken, confused, and messed up. After returning from Africa, I sat myself down from ministry for several years because I knew my heart needed to heal and I needed to focus on my two little girls. I had offers to pastor in 2003, but turned them down and worked in the secular arena until 2007.
By late 2006 into 2007, I had become seriously depressed, lukewarm, and falling away from God. I was not out there in sexual sin or doing drugs, but had become cold and indifferent. I had even stopped going to church for about a year which only made matters worse. I realized that I had become some of what I had warned people about all those early years. Unresolved bitterness, anger, hurt with Christians, and compromise put me in a pit of despair that seemed inescapable. I had asked God to help me and heal my heart, but it seemed like He was waiting for something.
Finally some light broke through; I realized I had to give up my anger, confusion, and questions and that I just had to obey God again with all my heart. I let go of it all and it was then that God reached down healed my heart. It was like getting saved all over again! I began spending entire days in prayer, fasting, and studying the Bible. I went back to church and started praying with some brothers. The anointing of the Spirit came back on me and God began giving me prophetic words for people again. Then after several months of this restoration, the Lord sent me on a journey back into full-time ministry. As I obeyed that direction, He caused me to find the woman who would bring more healing and love into my life than I could have ever imagined. Nancy and I were married November 1, 2008 and I stand amazed more and more everyday how perfect she is for me.
As there is much more I could share, the point is that God is restoring the years the locust have eaten. The last couple of years have been a time of refining and preparation to see His power flow again. Nancy and I believe that God is about to do something special with us and the ministry God has called us to. We are returning to our first love by returning to those first works of God in our lives. As the Psalmist said, “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders (miracles) of old. I will meditate also of all thy work and talk of thy doings” (Psalm 77:11-12).
Just writing this vision and testimony, I sensed the presence of God and I believe that a move of God is on our horizon.
After the altar calls for salvation, I saw and experienced the power of God refresh dead, dry Christians as ministers and prayer team members prayed for them to receive a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.