Rewind post from 2008. Since this time Steve Hill has been battling cancer. He could use prayers as he fights the good fight.
I am continuing my series on men and women of God who have influenced me and helped me to become the man I am today.
It’s been exciting to think of introducing many of you to these men and women for the first time.
Many of you know the story, but for those of you who don’t, Steve Hill was an atheist turned missionary-evangelist before becoming the Evangelist of the Brownsville Revival.
On Father’s Day of 1995, Steve preached for John Kilpatrick at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, FL and the supernatural presence of God fell on the place.
Years later, meetings continued on every day of the week, millions from all over the world, hundreds of thousands of lives were radically changed, and many people were activated into their ministries and callings. People waited in long lines all day for the meetings, people would drive by the meetings and just feel drawn to visit. They would come in and give their lives to Jesus. The altar calls for salvation were always intense with many people literally running to the front to get right with God.
Many people were saved, changed, delivered, and empowered during these meetings. At the end of the day, Brownsville Revival went down in the history books as the longest running revival in US history.
Back to Steve Hill. Steve hill came to Brownsville with only a handful of messages that he preached everywhere he went. He now had to receive a fresh word from God every day. He did this DAILY for YEARS! He didn’t have much time for study. He just had to get something from God and go for it.
His messages were always strong and impacting mixed with just enough humor to get you relaxed enough before you were dealt another blow of heavenly conviction. Steve become known for using some great props during his preaching that would always drive the message home.
I remember him bringing a fully stuffed wolf one time and preaching about wolves in sheep’s clothing! It was crazy when he turned the lights down and walked around the sanctuary holding that stuffed wolf around the waist and getting that face close to the people as he went. Funny and scary at the same time!
Steve Hill always pushed us to a greater desire for holiness. He would say things like, “Sir, a Godly man wouldn’t look at that. A man of God wouldn’t do what you are doing” He would never back down from calling sin “sin”. Like his mentor before him Leonard Ravenhill would say, he would ask us “if the things we were living for were worth Christ dying for.”
Steve preached the cross, the blood of Jesus, and cost of following Jesus. I remember to this day him saying, “Beware of the sweet bait of Christianity. Many will follow Jesus only because of the benefits, but when things get hard, they will fall away.”
He talked with anticipation about meeting the early saints at the marraige supper of the lamb one day and sharing stories with the martyrs of the early church. He would admonish us all, “You better have a good story to tell, friend.”
He talked about receiving the crowns spoken of in the Bible given for faithfulness and service only to cast them at the feet of Jesus who alone is worthy. He would say, “Friend, don’t you want to have something to cast at his feet”? He was always provoking us to go deeper.
He talked about being trained as an evangelist by David Wilkerson. He said David would walk around looking each of the students in the eye and saying, “So, you want to be an evangelist”? Then they would be dropped off at some wild party where they didn’t know a soul and the instructors would say, “Well then, go evangelize”!
Steve Hill always had some great stories from real life, especially from the Argentine Revival with Carlos Annacondia, which he was priveledged to witness and be a part of. He talked about being a missionary. His stories stirred my heart.
He would say, “Friends most missionaries don’t have it that bad. Don’t feel sorry for them. Envy them. Some missionaries are called to paddle up and down the Amazon, but that’s what God called them to do. Pray for them Friend!” Steve always called everyone a “Friend.” It got to become a inside joke among all of us at Bible school when we called each other the same thing all of the time.
One of the craziest stories I heard him tell was how he needed to complete a project in order to be able to graduate high school. He chose to taxidermy a dog! This was before he was saved. He actually completed the project, almost made his teacher pass out, but he passed! When I heard this story, I was like “that’s a Steve Hill story if I ever heard one”!
Steve’s testimony is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard about how Jesus can transform the human heart. Steve went from being a God hating, God mocking, drug using drifter; to a mighty evangelist used by God to impact millions all over the world.
His testimony has always made me realize that God can change the hardest of hearts. Never give up on anyone! When men like this are transformed, they will shake the world!
Without the influence of Steve Hill in my life, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.