When Steve Hill got up to preach at Brownsville Assembly of God on Father's Day 1995, he had no idea his ministry was about to head in a new direction.
The service launched the Brownsville Revival, a 5-year renewal that drew 4 million attendees from around the world and saw thousands accept Christ.
"I personally saw the Holy Spirit use [Hill] almost single-handedly to touch the world through his repentance message," says former Brownsville pastor John Kilpatrick. "He basically put his life on hold to be used by God to tirelessly preach, pray and call those hundreds of thousands of souls nightly."
Kilpatrick, former Brownsville worship leader Lindell Cooley and former ministry school dean Michael Brown will be among the leaders gathering Friday to honor Hill at Heartland Church, the congregation he leads in Dallas. Hill was diagnosed with a melanoma in 2001, and the cancer spread into his body. He now has two tumors outside his lungs.
"God burdened me to do this," says Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International and convener of the July 16 service. "Steve's never asked for anything. He doesn't want to bother anybody. He's just [focused on winning] souls and honoring God."
Jacobs hopes the money raised during the service will offset Hill's medical costs and allow him to take a break from preaching to focus on his health. But asking an evangelist to stop, even for a little while, is a tall order. Even as he undergoes treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Hill has been operating a website to help prodigals find their way back to God. Jacobs estimates that thousand have returned to faith through prodigalsonly.org. (Read "Website Calls Prodigals Back Home.")
To view the service via live webcast beginning at 7 p.m. Central, visit heartlandfamily.com.
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