Did you ever hear of the Brownsville Revival? It was one of the greatest revivals in the world in the past fifty years. Jeri Hill is the wife of the late Evangelist Steve Hill who was used by God in a powerful way at the Brownsville Revival. On today’s podcast she tells the story of the Brownsville Revival. You will learn how to activate a passion for souls in your heart and some secrets of revival.
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Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus Today. I have a very special guest with me, Jeri Hill. Thank you for joining me today.
Jeri Hill (00:10):
Well, thank you for having me, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus too. <Laugh>. That’s
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:16):
Awesome. Now you are leading together in the harvest. Yeah. A ministry that you started with your husband, Steve Hill. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And you and your husband are well known because of the Brownsville revival. God moved in such a tremendous way. Can you kind of tell me a little bit about how the Brownsville revival got started and then what God did during that time?
Jeri Hill (00:45):
Well, it was pretty exciting for a whole year. Well, it, it’s hard to explain all of this. You know, how your hunger for God grows and how you keep going after God and how you want more of God and how you want him to have his way. And so you’re going along, you’re just trucking along, doing whatever you wanted, you wanna do for God, and you’re talking to people about Jesus. You’re going to services and, you know, and then all of a sudden here I am pregnant, I just gave birth to our, our last child. And I was two and a half. She was two and a half weeks old. And that Friday, it was not on the schedule for Steve to be at Brownsville, but he and John had just been talking and Steve’s schedule was totally booked up. He was gonna be in the Czech Republic in a couple of weeks after Father’s Day.
Jeri Hill (01:50):
He was gonna be in other parts of the country. He had been going to different places in the country, in the world. And he talked to John and he said, John, the only day I have open his father’s day. And he goes, I know you don’t want to have me come in to do a missions meeting and raise funds for the mission field on Father’s Day, so I know that’s off. And he goes, No, wait a minute, Steve. Wait, wait, It’s okay. He goes, Let’s do that Father’s Day. And so they put it on the calendar, and Steve’s plan was that we were gonna go on vacation the following week. So he was gonna go in for that one service. Kelsey was two and a half weeks old that Friday. I told Steve, I said, I believe the pastor’s gonna ask you to stay.
Jeri Hill (02:44):
And he said, Nope, I’m coming home. We’re gonna go on vacation. I’m going for one service and I’m coming home, and we will celebrate before I go to the Czech Republic vacation. I need a vacation. You need a vacation. I hadn’t been allowed to travel for the whole nine months of the pregnancy. And so he, I said, Well, I’m just telling you that the pastor’s gonna ask you to stay. And so he goes, That Saturday meets with John and Brenda, and they have supper that night, he didn’t even have Steve sit on the platform that Sunday morning Father’s Day. He didn’t want the people to be going, Oh, wait a minute. Somebody’s on the platform who, you know, this is different. What’s going on? So he had Steve set on the front pew, not even on the platform with him, and he invited Steve to come up to preach.
Jeri Hill (03:41):
He had just lost his mother. John Kirkpatrick had just lost his mother five weeks prior. So he wasn’t really feeling up to preaching or whatever. And he was excited to have Steve come in and Steve preached this message about the wonders of the Lord and all Heaven came down. And I didn’t hear from Steve till four o’clock in the afternoon. And he said, Honey, all heaven came down. And I said, I knew it would. God had been moving for a long time, been really pouring out his spirit. And when that call came at four o’clock, he said, John, kill Patrick would like for you to fly in tomorrow with a seven year old, a three year old, or four year old, and a three week old. And we’ll vacation here this week and I’ll preach in the evenings. And so it sounded like it was gonna be a one week service time. And I said, Well, that sounds like a fun vacation, <laugh>. That’s, that’s.
I said, Well, that sounds like a fun vacation, <laugh>. That’s, that’s the perfect vacation. Right. And so I flew in the next day, and five years later we never left. But the, not the first year, we did move nine times because we didn’t know how long we would be there.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:21):
And the revival was happening every night of the week? Yes. It broke out. People started coming from all over the world, all over the United States. They lined up for hours in order to get into the revival. Yeah. And people were repenting. Yes. Every single night. Every single night. And, and so what was that like for you as the wife of the evangelist and suddenly he is studying all day, preparing for his sermons, ministering every night. Yeah. People are getting saved. It must have been a glorious time, but what was that like for you as, as the evangelist wife?
Jeri Hill (01:03):
Well, because when I first got saved and I found out that my life was not my own, I wanted to do and be a part of whatever God wanted to do it, this revival was not manmade. It was not man planned. God showed up. God started touching people, and I was on board with whatever God wanted to do. From the time I got saved, that did not change whatever God wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to see done. And so, you know, staying in a hotel that first week, then the resident’s in for two months, a woman’s house. We rented for two months, another house we rented for two months, We go home for Christmas, Steve comes back saying, you know, going back for that Friday night to see if people were gonna show up. And he said, they’re showing up. It’s just as if we had never taken a Christmas break and they’re showing up.
Jeri Hill (02:08):
So there were certain times we did take breaks, and sure enough, we go back and we stayed there for a couple more months in somebody else’s house. Somebody else’s house for a couple months, because this, this was along the coast. So they had vacation homes that you could rent for a few, few months. We did that and moved nine times the first year. And then we decided to sell our house in Texas. And we felt like we were supposed to stay. And it felt like you were in the river and you were being floating in this river of God, and his presence was enveloped around you. These messages, I think it was because for six, we had been married 16 years. So I think for 16 years of staying in the word of God, staying in the presence of God, and wanting him that we wanted it then too.
Jeri Hill (03:15):
It didn’t change only it was like the desire of our heart to see God’s power, to see his presence, to sense his presence, to walk in his presence the whole time. And it, you know, I sat on the edge of my seat for me, watching Steve preach like that, I was like, I was blown away by the messages he preached. I was like, Go, baby, Go. Yeah. Come on. Come on, baby, Come on. You know, I would, That’s how I felt sitting there on the pew. But also I was praying for everybody who was listening to these messages that the message and the word would fall on the soil of the heart that was ready. God prepare their heart to receive, prepare their heart to want more of God, prepare them for. And so that’s how, even though I didn’t get a chance to speak, but I felt like I was there for Steve, there, for the kids, and there for the people, you know, that they would get right with God. Yeah. It was exciting. Five years. It was very, very exciting.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:33):
Right now, you are working on writing a book, telling the story behind the story. And I think your book is gonna be absolutely phenomenal once it is released. But let’s kind of go through the story of how you got to Brownsville and then what happened in your life after Brownsville. So the beginning is before Christ. B.C. Tell me a little bit about that and what that was like.
Jeri Hill (05:07):
Well, I was not raised in church, so I have no foundation like that. My mom was raped and I was born out of that rape. And, but my mom, she made me feel, she told me this as I was older. She goes, I was a good thing that happened in a, from a bad situation, but I still felt like I was not created by God, that I was created of the lust of man. And so, because of that being my foundation, I had a lot of issues to deal with. My mom married, had two sons in that marriage, divorced on welfare, social services, and food stamps, everything very poor. She was raising three kids all by herself. She was not a victorious woman. She, we went to church periodically, Generally. It was Eastern Christmas, so I knew about the birth of Christ and the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, but I didn’t know how that applied to me, had never had that come alive to me.
Jeri Hill (06:20):
So by the time I’m 10, she remarries 12. I’m smoking and drinking 15. I’m smoking pot 16, I’m doing and selling drugs. And at that same time, we moved from North Dakota to Michigan. And in Michigan as soon as we get there, this pastor comes and knocks on the door and invites us to his church. Well, I’m not interested. Okay, thank you. Goodbye. Shut the door. And then he came back the next Saturday. And to shorten the whole story, I was full of hate and bitterness towards men, ma hatred towards God. I thought if God was really real, then all these bad things wouldn’t have been happening. And there was a lot of hatred in the home, a lot of fighting, a lot of beatings and, you know, cursing and everything. It was just a horrific life. And this pastor’s showing up and saying, Jerry, Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life.
Jeri Hill (07:21):
Yeah, right. You know, I’d roll my eyes. He came for two years telling me that Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life. Kept coming back, leaving teen challenge tracks writing a note on the, on a piece of paper if I wasn’t there to let me know that he had come by. And I, I thought, This man is a pest. He just will not relent. He keeps coming back over and over and over. And I ended up in jail for selling drugs. And that started God showing him, showing up and making himself real during that time. And he spoke to me in jail and he said, Jarris, don’t you understand. Don’t you really understand? But it was my mom’s voice 25 miles away. And I hear it in jail, but I know that that was God, that would, God would be the only one who could do that.
Jeri Hill (08:26):
And I get outta jail and I ask my mom about it, and she said she’d been fasting for me because she had gotten saved in there. There was a change happening in my mom. And I think that that pastor was inan answer to her prayers. She knew I needed help. And so she kept praying for me, and she was very encouraged to hear that. I’d heard her voice in jail. But immediately I leave somebody shows up and I go off to Flint, Michigan. Well, there’s a billboard in Flint, Michigan that has John three 16 in it, on it. And I hear God, speak to me for I loved you. I was like, You might as well leave me alone. This is not, I, I’m not worth it. Give up everything. And I hear it for a whole week. Every time I pass that billboard for I to loved you, for I to loved you.
Jeri Hill (09:21):
I was like, God, leave me alone. I can’t change and I’m not worth it. So just give up. And then I go from there, and I’m staying in a farm, a farmhouse up in the attic, laying, sleeping on a mattress up in the attic. I’m a hippie back in the seventies, and I have a dream. And Jesus is standing at the foot of the bed and his hands out stretched blood dripping from his hands. And he said, For you, I died. And I sat up in the bed expecting to see Jesus there at the foot of the bed. And he wasn’t there. I started weeping. I grabbed my knees and I’m weeping. I’m saying, God, I cannot change. Give up on me. And then I go to a bar and end up with friends going to their house. And I’m there for 10 days and nothing’s going on.
Jeri Hill (10:14):
But for five weeks, every single day I’m hearing something from God. And then I’m in this mobile home and a knock comes at the door. And there was that pastor, I’m out in the country in Michigan, outside the city. He was doing his normal visitation rounds. He went to every house in every city that he ever pastored and knocked on every door, and only stopped knocking on that door if they were already involved in a church. He he was about to faint when he saw me. He said, Just this morning, I said, God, I’m not giving up on this girl. Where is she? And he goes out for his normal door knocking, and there I am.
Jeri Hill (11:03):
And he came in and talked to me. He was by himself. And he said, All I know is that Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life. And he leaves. And I’m standing there in the kitchen, and God says to me, If you don’t give in to me, I’m gonna give up on you. And that’s what I had been saying to him. So he did this reverse psychology on me. I don’t know what it was, but it made me call the pastor and tell, or call his house. He hadn’t even gotten home yet. But I called his house, talk to his wife, and said, if he could work it out for me to go into Teen Challenge, I was ready to go. And sure enough, he calls me the next day. He had, there was a bed at Teen Challenge. It would be available on Monday that my mom would pick me up and take me.
Jeri Hill (11:51):
I was so angry at Life. Bitter. God had to really get a hold of me and show me that he loved me. And it doesn’t do it the same way with every person, but he loves every single person. But because I didn’t believe I’d been created by God in the beginning, he had to show me that he did have a plan. And if I could manifest to you the anger and bitter bitterness that ruled and reigned in my life it would be the opposite of what I feel today. Totally. The opposite. Well, I went into Teen Challenge on that Monday, gave my heart to Jesus. Didn’t know what that was gonna look like. Didn’t know how that was, didn’t know anything. Didn’t even, I had opened the Bible once and I thought, nobody can understand this. And I closed it. And they, in that first year, unfolded the whole word of God for me, and showed me from Genesis to Revelation in the first year. And it taught it to me. And I, I thought, Oh my gosh, my eyes were opened and I knew that I was I was his and whatever he wanted, I was going to be a yes girl. I was gonna say, yes, God, whatever you want, that’s what I want. And oh, it was the most eye-opening thing. And my eyes have never been clouded over since. And it, they stayed.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:27):
And then at what point did you meet Steve?
Jeri Hill (13:31):
Well, I met him at Bible school. He had, at age 12 had been smoking, drinking, doing drugs and everything.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:39):
So was this when you were in Teen Challenge or This was after Teen Challenge.
Jeri Hill (13:43):
After Teen Challenge. Okay. But he had been doing drugs and Jim Summers had witnessed to him in 69. And then Steve ended up in jail in 75, and he had been arrested 13 times. He was facing 25 years in the penitentiary in 75. And he had an experience with God. And two weeks later he was arrested, put in jail. He gets he’s in jail until February. I’m in Teen Challenge, and God leads me to the altar to pray for my future husband in February. That weekend. He leads him, leads me to pray for him. God, something’s happening in my husband’s life. My future husband’s like this month or today. I felt like it was that day. And then come to find out later on in Bible school, when Steve and I met that it was in February, that February 8th, that his lawyer and judge had gone playing golf. And Jim Summers had asked for them to probate Steve Teen Challenge. And I know that I played a part in Steve getting probated.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:58):
God had you already interceding for him before you had even met. Yes. And so that was with, with David Wilkerson. Talked to me about the impact that, that David Wilkerson had on your
Jeri Hill (15:11):
Life. Well, after he went through Team Challenge, I went through Teen Challenge. We ended up in Bible school, David Wilkerson School in Texas, and
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:19):
The Twin Oaks
Jeri Hill (15:20):
Leadership Academy. He the 25 guys. 25 girls. I didn’t even notice Steve really until December. And then I got moved into the office. I’d been cleaning Brother Dave’s house, and they moved me into the office and Steve was the gopher. So he had to come into the office, get the list, and I noticed him really for the first time. There’s not very many students there, but he just didn’t stand out to me. But something happened. As soon as I started working in the office, my heart started beating out of my chest. And I said, I bind you Satan, in the name of Jesus, you are not gonna distract me. And I got up at three o’clock in the morning binding the enemy. I’d walk out of the, the <laugh> out of the prayer closet, and I’d see Steve. And again, my heart started beating outta my chest.
Jeri Hill (16:17):
I said, God, you’re not listening to me. I did this for two months. Finally, I went and talked to my advisor, told him that I was having an issue that I couldn’t get victory over. And it was Steve and I didn’t want to tell him who I just had. I wanted him to pray for me, but he wouldn’t pray for me until I told him who. And so then he prayed for me and Steve that right after I met with that person Steve came up and showed me something. And I just wanted to get away from him, just get away, You know, I wasn’t encouraging him at all. And Steve came after me and he goes, Jerry, what’s going on? What’s up? And I said, Nothing God can’t handle. And he goes, Well, tell me what it is so I can pray for you.
Jeri Hill (16:57):
I said, You don’t have to know what it is to pray. He goes, You’re right. It runs down to the dorm. And he goes in there to pray. And the next day he goes and talks to his advisor. He comes up into the, the office spins around in a secretarial chair, and he said, They know about us. And I’m like, What? I’m thinking to myself, there is no us and I’m having a combo with God. And I go, God, this is not how this was supposed to turn out. I was supposed to be delivered from these emotions. And I said, Do I not have a, a say in my life? And God said, No, I didn’t have a say. And Steve was twirling around in this secretarial chair, and come to find out Brother Dave, two months prior, he said, Be watching Steve and Jerry.
Jeri Hill (17:51):
God’s gonna put them together. And so the staff were already watching us. It started two months prior to that. And I’m binding the enemy. It started that way in Steve’s life two months prior. And Steve had been in his prayer closet raising his hands, going, Father, and thank you for Jerry Larson. You’re gonna give me her as my wife. And so here I was binding the enemy. He was thanking God. Brother Dave knew. He just, he told the staff to be watching. And I knew that it was a carryover from when God got ahold of me. I knew my life was not my own and he was in charge. But it took me a while to trust Steve. You know I trusted Brother Dave and I left everything else and his hands. But three weeks Steve asked me to marry him. We’d never had a date. We’d never held hands and we’d never kissed. And a year later we got married, but we did our internship with Twin Oaks at Outreach Ministries with Jim Summers.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:04):
And that’s in Alabama? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And talk to me about that time in Alabama.
Jeri Hill (19:09):
Well, that was our second year of the Bible School. It was on the job training. So we did all the we did homework, we had to send back in and God working on our character, changing things in us, and had one day that we could spend together. That was Monday. And we mowed lawns, painted houses, and save money for a wedding that was coming up in the following year. And we went out to Twin Oaks at the end of the year. We were married already. And went for the second graduation. And I worked at the girls home. Steve worked at the men’s home, and so he worked in the office as as well. But it was all part of, you know, just giving and speaking into these girls’ lives, I wanted to speak into girls’ lives because God had done something in me and I wanted to pass it on. But I wasn’t perfect <laugh>, you know, I was very young in the Lord, very, very young.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:14):
So then once you got married, you went right into ministry?
Jeri Hill (20:19):
Well, I had been involved in ministry,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:22):
It it, but together.
Jeri Hill (20:23):
Yes. Yes. The ironic thing was Jim Summers, when we came back from the honeymoon, he said, Jeri, I want you to take a step down from ministry for a year and get used to being married to Steve and becoming one with him. And I, I bowled my eyes out because I’d been involved in these girls’ lives. I just assumed that I would come back and be working at the girls’ home. I walked into the office actually and went reporting for duty. And then he calls us in the office and tells me that I need to stay, take a step down. And so that was all very challenging. We didn’t, we weren’t making very much money. They gave us housing. And that first year, I ended up getting a secular job, but I took it as a ministry, started leading people to the Lord on my job, opened a, started a a discipleship program before the doors were opened and ended up being invited to speak at different churches and things like that. So I still wanted to be, you know, in the secular world, you can really make a difference in the marketplace. That’s where you really meet people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:40):
And when did you move to Panama City?
Jeri Hill (21:45):
I can’t remember the exact year, but it was I think we had been there a year and a half.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:52):
So you went from Alabama
Jeri Hill (21:53):
To Panama City?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:54):
Down to Panama City. And, and what’d you do in Panama City?
Jeri Hill (21:57):
We were youth pastors there, but that just how that happened. We were on vacation in a tent, and Steve, that Sunday morning said the pastor’s gonna ask us to come work with him. And I said, What do you mean? He goes, I, I just really believe the pastor’s going to ask us. And and sure enough, the pastor walked in the side door and walked up the center aisle and came right to a, shook a few hands on the way up, and then walked right up to Steve and said, What are you doing for God? Can you come work with me? And six weeks later, we were there in Panama City as youth pastors, but I really believe that it was a, God had to do it that way because Steve would never have left Jim. And because it was so supernatural and God spoke to him, and it actually happened we did it, but we really felt like it was a way for him to maneuver us through this.
Jeri Hill (22:57):
Because the whole time we were there in Panama City, he was getting a phone call from Tallahassee, and that pastor was begging for Steve to come there and work. We had already been with that pastor during our first year. We were children’s pa, not children’s pastor. We were fifth and sixth grade teachers with that pastor in Huntsville. And it grew from six young people, fifth and sixth graders, to about 60. Wow. And we evangelized our neighborhood and filled up the bus, brought ’em in, taught him, and we had him in our backyard so that, that youth, that pastor moved to Tallahassee and wanted him there. But I don’t think Steve would ever have gone from here to there. God had move him from here to get him there.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:47):
So, So now everyone knows Steve Hill as a great evangelist, great revivalist but not everyone is at that place in,
Jeri Hill (23:57):
He was, he was big on evangelism.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:00):
Yeah. Do you feel he was called as an evangelist
Jeri Hill (24:04):
At that point? We felt like every single Christian was called to evangelism. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, the evangelist part didn’t come till about 91.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:14):
So how, how did the evangelism manifest in those early years as, as youth pastors…
Jeri Hill (24:21):
It started that first year, evangelizing our neighborhood and having kids come to our backyard. Then we went to Panama City, and we started out with six young people, and we evangelized, and it grew to about a hundred, over a hundred in 10 months. And then we moved to Tallahassee. And there’s a whole nother story reason why we moved on to Tallahassee, but we started out with about 30 young people in three years. We had over 300, and then it was all evangelism. We did Tallahassee harvest festivals, and had Nikki Cruz come in and speak at the FSU campus. We set up a stage, we set up another stage, did another Tallahassee Harvest Festival. But Steve never preached it. He organized it. And so he brought in all these bands to sing, but then Mylan Lafa preached and even worked the tent until that two o’clock in the morning. But we did all the preparatory stuff. He loved to organize things like that. And so evangelizing and touching their lives like that and organizing things to make that happen, that was what he did. And he preached on Wednesday nights to the young people. <Laugh>,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:49):
When did he start using props to preach? Was that in that early days?
Jeri Hill (25:55):
No, that was
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:55):
A, Or that was much later.
Jeri Hill (25:57):
That’s a big jump. Brownsville.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:59):
All right, let’s, let’s, let’s wait until we get there. Okay. So, so then you’re in Tallahassee, and then you decided to go to Costa Rica for language school?
Jeri Hill (26:09):
No, we went to Mexico. Took
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:10):
Oh, you went to Mexico?
Jeri Hill (26:11):
Yeah. Took 10 kids to Mexico. Okay. We had never thought about missions ever.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:16):
Where’d you go in Mexico?
Jeri Hill (26:17):
Mexico City. Okay. And we took 10 kids there. We were handing out tracks and we, we were loving at people was standing in line for these tracks and things like that. And we mostly shared one on one our testimonies, you know, about the love of Jesus. We were only there for one week. And at the end, we were sitting on a bus, We were doing a tour of the, what do you call the pyramids? We were sitting behind another couple, and Steve’s talking to me, he goes, What do you think about going into missions? And he had just recently got his ordination. So he’d done all of his paperwork and everything to get his ordination and with the ag. And so he we’re just talking and I said, Okay, let’s do it. And the couple in front of us turn around, and they were in Mexico for one year from Argentina.
Jeri Hill (27:14):
And they said, We need missionaries in Argentina. If you’re thinking about the mission field, consider Argentina. And we went, Okay, God, what do you wanna do through all this? So when we left, we went back, we saw so many different little signs of things about Argentina, and he immediately resigned the church. We immediately had a, a garage sale and started selling everything. Then he applied permissions and they said, Whatever you do, don’t resign your position. Don’t sell all your possessions because you gotta get approved first. And so there’s a little, I’ve got a little paper in there about the whole story, but Steve took me to the beach in Jacksonville. We didn’t have enough money for both of us to go to fly. So he, I stayed. He goes, I’m gonna go up there for three days. You stay here and fast and pray. I’m gonna go up there and let them know my burden, our burden. And I go, Okay, I’ll stay here and I’ll fast and pray. And he went up there and within, I mean, it went very quickly. Within two months, we were approved as missionaries. They said it normally takes two years, and they said it could take another two years to raise your funds. And it, by August in Mexico, the following year, August in we were in Costa Rica. We had already been approved, raised all of our funds. We were in Costa Rica learning Spanish.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:44):
And so you learned Spanish. How, how long did that take?
Jeri Hill (28:47):
We were there for a year. Okay. And we moved in with a Costa Rican family.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:52):
And so did you become pretty fluent in Spanish or
Jeri Hill (28:57):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:59):
So then you went to Argentina.
Jeri Hill (29:07):
Yes. After language school. And they, you know, arg in Costa Rica, it’s at the end of every single word it seems like. And then we go to Argentina and they don’t even say that they speak Spanish. Alan a look at this. I know <laugh>. I go, No, You know, And, but I didn’t realize that Castano was Espanol, you
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:35):
Know, Just more proper.
Jeri Hill (29:37):
Yes. And so it took a while to develop that a little bit better, but you know, it’s been 20 years since then, or more, 30 years since being in Argentina. And it comes back, you know? Yeah. But I haven’t, I don’t get to use it all the time every day, but I can communicate.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:58):
So in Argentina, you were doing church planting? Yes. And, and so tell me what that looked like.
Jeri Hill (30:05):
Every six months we planted a new church. We would go into an area with flyers. We’d put up a, a banner across the street saying, Hey, su thema. And we’d pass out tracks. We’d have ma aim teams come in to hit the streets. We had maps teams come in to help build the building. Within six months, the church was full. We generally had a pastor that was already picked out for that church. We did eight churches in seven years and helped finish a children’s home. It wasn’t our children’s home, it was somebody else had started it, but they couldn’t complete their building. So we helped finish it with maps teams coming in, helped start a, a bible school. And, but in the bu, sitis area, three churches in the nail, Ken area down there, five more churches.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (31:01):
Now, when did you start having kids? Was that, did you have kids when you were in Argentina?
Jeri Hill (31:06):
We adopted Ryan. Okay. In 1987. Okay. Brought him home from the hospital. He was four pounds, four ounces. Wow. We had never put our name on a list or anything like that. They knew that we didn’t have kids, and we were open to whatever God wanted. So when we heard that there was a baby that needed parents, we said, they said, Do you want to adopt? And Steve and I talked about it, and we said, How can we say no when we hear of a need?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (31:33):
And Ryan was from Argentina. Argentina,
Jeri Hill (31:37):
Yeah. Wow. And then three and a half years later, or three years later, we get a call from somebody else saying, We know you adopted one. There’s a girl that’s 14, she’s pregnant and she can’t keep the baby. Would you be open to adopting this baby? And so we said, Yes. And we adopted again in Argentina. And it, they have a year to change their mind. And after a year, then you can complete the adoption. And then and in that time when Ryan was 10 months old, I lost twins. Almost died in Argentina. And then when Shelby was born when she was a year old, we had moved from Argentina to Spain, and I got pregnant in Spain and lost that baby as well. Be it, there were tubal pregnancies.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (32:28):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. So then there was a period where you were serving as missionary evangelist. And so it was, So you went from church planning. Yep. And then tell me about how the calling came to being evangelist. How did you know that, that that calling was, was on your lives?
Jeri Hill (32:51):
Well, it was pretty crazy that, you know, we could plant eight churches in seven years. And it was all because of evangelizing, passing out tracks and praying with people on the streets. It was all that In 91, Steve got missionary evangelist status, which meant he could go to any country in the world. And at that time, things were getting financially difficult in Argentina. Things, prices had gone up. And, and so we asked if we could move from Argentina. We actually stationed from the States. But when he was in his office and he was praying, and that in his journal somewhere, it says that God confirmed his calling to be an evangelist in 91. And to me, I felt like we had been evangelizing from the day I got saved. You know? And so
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (33:56):
I think he was called to be an evangelist since before the foundations of the world, and just starting to walk in that. And
Jeri Hill (34:04):
Then, well, in 91, I walked into the office and he was on his face praying, and he was crying out to God. It was different because every day I saw him on his face, me on my face, him on his face. But this day was different. And he said, God, I know how to do this and this and this, and this. Naming the things that he’d been doing as a missionary church planner. He said, But God, when he said that, But God, I felt like somebody punched me in the gut. I don’t wanna do it in my own strength. I want you to do it through me. And I stepped out. I didn’t want to interrupt his time with God. I didn’t wanna go over there. I was holding Shelby in my arms. I didn’t want interrupt it. I didn’t want to go in and, and join in on the prayer to detour what God was doing.
Jeri Hill (34:54):
Instead, I walked out, and this was the second floor. And I sat at the top of the stairs, and I started just going like this with my hands. Yes, God, do it through him. Jesus, do it through him. Jesus, do it through him. And I was weeping at the top of the stairs and something shifted. We had been working in the ministry like this together, but something shifted that day, and it intertwined like this. And I felt like we were one in the spirit. And I was, Yes, God, do it through him. Jesus. Do it through him. And everything shifted. Shelby was about six months old. Ryan was going on four, and he did his first trip to Kuo Chile. All heaven came down in Kuo, Chile. And he preached in the, the market square. And people were getting saved. People were, their feet were being frozen to the concrete.
Jeri Hill (35:50):
They couldn’t move. Cars were pulling in, and they didn’t know why they were pulling in. God was bringing them in. And he, Steve would get in the car and leave people to Jesus and then get out that next door and get in the next car. And he was going from car to car, leading people to Jesus. But it was like God was doing it through him. And from there, at the end of 91 is when we went to the States to raise some funds to go to Spain. We’re gonna plan a church in Spain. And, but we were in the States for six months, and I couldn’t go with him to Spain because Shelby needed her her passport. And it took a couple of weeks to get the passport. Then she gets the chicken pox. And so I had to get a letter from the doctor that couldn’t travel with her unless she was you know, she wasn’t contagious anymore.
Jeri Hill (36:49):
And then I had a battle with mice. Oh no. Have you heard this story? Mm-Hmm. No. Tell me the story of the mice. Well, Shelby was a great sleeper. One night, I’m on the floor in the living room. I’m reading my Bible. I’m eating some licorice, and she wakes up screaming. I went in and got her, pulled her out. She was claw to get out of me, out of the crib. She gets in my arms, I turn out the lights, I leave the lution, my Bible on the floor. I put her down in my room to go to sleep. The next morning, I noticed that the le bag had been attacked. And I called the maintenance people to come. They set traps the next morning for mice. Were in each of the four traps. They set, they set him again the next day, four more mice, set ’em again the next day, four more mice.
Jeri Hill (37:44):
And it’s getting close to the time, you know, where I’ve gotten the tickets, and I know I’m gonna be leaving, so I’ve gotta be cleaning up the apartment and getting it all done. And then I noticed that there was mice droppings all over her crib. She would not go back in her crib. There was mice droppings on the bed where Ryan used to sleep. And all of a sudden it blew up in my brain that they were chewing on my baby’s chicken fox store sores. Oh, I was freaking out. Totally freaked out. We didn’t talk every single day. Steve was in Spain. He took Ryan with him because we knew I was gonna be coming soon. And ha having to take care of just one child was easier than taking care of both. So Ryan went with Steve and one, after finding 12 mice and finding the mice droppings, and this is blowing up in my brain.
Jeri Hill (38:34):
Steve calls and he says, For we’ve been here five weeks, Nobody’s getting saved. Nobody wants God. Nobody is open. And that’s all he’s talking to me about. And in my mind, I, my mind is only on the mice. And Steve goes, You’re being really quiet. What’s the matter? Our baby’s been chewed on my mic, and I just blew up. He goes, Honey, get a grip. I told him the whole story, you know, He goes, Honey, get a grip. And I went, I hung up on him, and he called me back. He said, Please tell me you didn’t just take up, hang up on me, that we got disconnected. And I said, You don’t care about our child being tuned on my mic. And so we we’re on the same page. You know, he’s, he’s all of a sudden through the lines, you know, he is trying to comfort me that this is a pretty big deal. And we hang up and everything’s good. He’s, we’re on the same page. I went out, I had been reading Leonard Greg Hill’s book. I had left a marker in the book. And in the book it, when I opened it up, it said, Some of you are hunting mice while the lion devours the land.
Jeri Hill (39:53):
I fell on my face and started weeping on the carpet. Mm. And I, for tw, for the first 30 minutes, I was repenting first for being distracted. I was distracted by the passport. I was distracted by the chicken. Ps I was distracted by the mice. But that line, because I had just been battling the mice, it jumped off the page. And I knew that I hadn’t been distracted and not been praying for Steve. For the next two hours after I repented, I wailed before God for Spain, wet and wet and wet, and wet and wet. It exhausted me that I cried for the people of Spain, that their hearts would be softened, that they would be receiving the word that they would hear his heart. And I, I balled and squalled for two hours, and I got up off the chair, and immediately after I was done weeping, Leonard and Martha call me.
Jeri Hill (41:01):
They’re just down the street. Leonard and Martha, they’re both on the phone. And I, he calls me and I told him the whole story. And he goes, Oh, it wouldn’t even have spoken to you if you hadn’t been chasing mice. And Leonard, and Martha goes, Lynn, don’t discredit what God is doing in her. He goes, Oh, you’re right. You’re right. Yes, you’re right. <Laugh>. The next call I get from Steve, he goes, Honey, oh, the power of God came down in the park. I didn’t think anybody was listening once again. Nobody was gonna get saved. I remember speaking the message, dropping the mic, Ryan is standing next to me, picks up the mic, and then all of a sudden I cry out to God and I go, God, where are you? And he said, I’m right over there. And there was a guy in the crowd covering his face with his hands.
Jeri Hill (42:04):
He goes over to him and he goes, What’s going on with you? He goes, He starts shaking. And he said, I want what you’re talking about, but I don’t understand it. This is scary. This, this, this power of God that’s coming. That’s right here. It’s just, it’s scaring. He has his hands over his face, and he is just shaking. And Steve goes, Who else feels the same way? Who else is, is feeling this? And all the hands went up and they all started shaking under the power of God. And Steve was shaking, and he let him all to Jesus over a hundred people in that one group. And when it was all done, he said, After it was all done, honey, it was so super natural that it was too overwhelming for me that I had to run. And I sat down on a bench and I slumped down the bench and I said, God, what was that? And the power of God came down in that. And it, but I believe it went back to 91. And then in 92, God had to remind me that I’m supposed to be one in prayer, in, in spirit with him. Not He. He needed that.
Jeri Hill (43:23):
And all heaven came down and they planted the church, people got saved. And then few days later, I ended up in, in Spain with them, and the church got planted. It was gra
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (43:38):
What city was that in Spain.
Jeri Hill (43:41):
Granadas in Grata. Gra Spain. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (43:43):
Okay. So during this period of being a, a missionary evangelist, you were in Spain, but then what other countries did you start to work in?
Jeri Hill (43:53):
We ended up going, we were stationed in the US going back and forth, but then he heard that, God, the doors were open in Russia. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And there was a pastor in Sweden that we had gone and been in his church, and he was sharing some things that he was doing in Russia, going, doing house churches. Every single place that the train stopped, they were doing house churches. And we felt like it was, that was our next step was Bar Viche Belarus. And went there and planted a church. And my English and Spanish didn’t work there. <Laugh>, we used translators a lot in,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (44:37):
But the Holy Spirit still worked there. Yes. Okay. So then, So the props, Yeah, the props
Jeri Hill (44:44):
Started at Brownsville. Okay. And so we had been going from 92, 91. Yeah. January of 92 until Brownsville broke out.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (44:57):
And so Brownsville started Father’s Day, 1995.
Jeri Hill (45:01):
Yes. And so we had been going all over to all these different countries. Steve, most of the time our kids were getting of school age, so I didn’t get to go on the trips all the time. The only time I got to go is if we were gonna go for three months more, three months or more. And so he did a lot of different countries and
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (45:20):
Okay, let’s talk about the props. How, how did that
Jeri Hill (45:23):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (45:24):
Because it was the props, but then it was also these powerful illustrated sermons. Yeah. That brought people to a point of repentance. Yeah. And people would come up and, and cry out to
Jeri Hill (45:36):
God. Oh, I know. He’d hold up a question mark, and he would preach a mess message on that, an exclamation mark. The word, if he’d hold up the word, if he made all of those props. Any of the, you know, the paper ones that, you know, things like that. He, he did those most of the time. And then antique stores the alarm clock he’d be, he’d get a message, he’d get a, a prop and he’d do a message from it, or he’d get a message and he’d search for a prop.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (46:11):
And which were your favorite?
Jeri Hill (46:13):
All of them. All of them. I mean, I went down the aisle in a wedding dress. The crown, the the alarm clock. I’ve got the, the scale, the balance, and I’ve got an huge hourglass. All things that he would use as props. The two dolls separated at birth, and he had these two dolls made up. And one’s a hippie doll and one’s a preacher doll. And he got that spiritual birth death of Mr. Me, which he had a tombstone made up for. Anybody else would’ve done a, you know, a styrofoam type tombstone. Not steam, No, it was granite and it’s heavy <laugh>. The camera one was pretty intense, where he’d pull out, he’d be, God’s taken pictures. And he’s, while he is doing that, he says, God saw you walk across the street and gives somebody some water. And just as he does it, he’s taken a picture of this girl. And later on, she said, I actually did that that day. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, and it was all those messages and all those props and everything that he did during that whole time, it, the best word I can describe it as is God. It was God.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (47:48):
So Brownsville went on for five years. It was phenomenal. People came, Steve’s
Jeri Hill (47:54):
Part was five
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (47:54):
Years from all over the world. And you went from obscurity beforehand. No one knew who you were. Right. And then afterwards, probably everybody knew who you were. What was that like?
Jeri Hill (48:11):
You know, some people said that he became like famous or something, and Steve would always say, There’s only one person that’s famous, and that’s Jesus. Everybody else is only well known in some circles. And that’s really, you know, you’re not well known to everybody in the world. But it did not change him. He would minister one on one. I mean, Wake Americas on the way to an awake America. The only job of that driver was to get Steve and myself to, from point A to point B. I saw somebody in the, in the alleyway, in the gutter. And I said, Turn to Steve. And I said, There’s somebody in the alley right there. I think they need to know Jesus loves them. He goes, Okay. And so I opened the door, I got out, Steve got out, he goes, We’ll walk to the arena. And he shut the door and told the guy to go on. And we went into the alley administered to this guy in the alley that was on the way to an awake America.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:21):
Wow. Okay. So after Brownsville finished, you went back to the nations. So you started to travel. Yes. And, and what, what were some of the nations that, that you worked in?
Jeri Hill (49:36):
I would say I’ve been to 60 different countries. And so I would say Steve had been in from before. And that time 200, I mean a hundred mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, a hundred different countries. Malaysia, Singapore, all of the Scandinavian countries, all of Europe. He was in Cape Town, South Africa. He was in all of Latin America, Canada. We didn’t do, if we were to just kind of narrow it down to the ones he didn’t do a lot in, you know were, were Iran and Iraq and places like that. But yeah, everywhere.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (50:17):
And you saw that same hunger for God everywhere, everywhere that you went. Yes. And people would come down to the altar. They would, Yes. They would pray, they would repent. They would,
Jeri Hill (50:30):
In Japan, in back in the green room, the pastors said, The people in Japan will not run to the altar. They are reserved, so don’t expect it. Yeah. And Steve goes, Okay, Alright. I won’t drag out the story on my end of it, but I ended up outside weeping and wailing outside. And I came back in and Steve preached the message, and they ran to the altar. And they were not even they, the pastors were in shock. And Steve called me up, you know, to pray with him, to walk around and pray with him. And all heaven came down. Yeah. In their lives, which I’m not gonna tell what I was doing out there. I was out actually evangelizing. And then when she went to go get more tracks, spirit of intercession came all over me, and I was bawling.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (51:30):
I think I’ve heard you tell that story before. Okay. So then you, you moved to Dallas and you started the Heartland World Ministries Church in Dallas?
Jeri Hill (51:41):
Yeah. Well, after we moved from Brownsville, we were in Dallas already traveling out from Dallas. Yeah. But while we were there, we started, Yes, Heartland. Yeah. And that was all focused around evangelism too, raising up teams to evangelize the city. And by the time we finally got a building, we were running three services Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday morning, and only seated a thousand. So each night there was a thousand people in each one.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (52:14):
And then you also started working on an online school of evangelism. And lots of people have
Jeri Hill (52:20):
Gone through that, that when Steve came up with cancer, he thought, you know, he had been doing front lines. He had been doing only different websites and things, and serious about God. And he was also, you know, he is recording a lot of things in the, in the building. But then he started recording for soe the School of Evangelism. And he was not able to finish that, but he wanted to raise up people. We had at Heartland, we had the church, but we also had a Bible school, Heartland School of Ministry. And so we raised up a lot of people from the school there. And then he wanted to have something to leave behind. So he started preparing for soe and then we we were able to finish it. Me and my kids and their spouses worked on finishing it so that we’d have a, a pretty decent online school of evangelism that’s available for people in churches, because every disciple should be involved in evangelism. It, the Bible says to, you know, for the fivefold people, the pastor, the teacher, the evangelist, the prophet, and the apostle, that they should be training the saints to be doing the work of the ministry. And part of the work of the ministry is evangelism. Every single disciple should be involved in telling people about Jesus.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (53:48):
Yeah. Well, if you’re listening to the Evangelism podcast, you, you have a heart for evangelism. I want to encourage you to go and enroll in the Online School of Evangelism. What’s your website if somebody’s interested in,
Jeri Hill (54:06):
Together in the harvest.com
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (54:08):
Together in the harvest.com. So go there. You can find information about the School of Evangelism. It will be a tremendous blessing to you. And you can learn from so many different evangelists from Steve Hill and many other great evangelists that, that taught in the School of Evangelism. And it’s so amazing to hear the, this phenomenal story of how God used you and your husband. You know, God does not just call individuals. He calls families. And so the, the thousands of people that were saved, the people that repented, it wasn’t just a calling that was on Steve Hill’s life. It was the prayers and the support and the ministry that God called you to as well. And so, thank you so much for sharing and telling the story of the great miracles that God did. It’s amazing.
Jeri Hill (55:07):
I love it. I love what God’s doing, and he wants to raise up other people to do it. The Bible says the laborers are few and the harvest is ready. So let’s lay, raise up more laborers for it to be done. Pass it on.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (55:22):
Amen. Amen. Thank you for being on the Evangelism Podcast.
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