Magazine article The Quill

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Public Service: Circulation Less Than 100,000

Magazine article The Quill

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Public Service: Circulation Less Than 100,000

Article excerpt

Circulation less than 100,000

Pensacola News Journal staff

John Allman, Kimberly Blair, Joseph Brown III, Alice Crann, J. Lowe Davis, Gary Hairlson, Michael Spooneybarger, Ron Stallcup, Amie K. Streater

Brownsville Revival: The Money and the Myths

A spontaneous outpouring of Christian spirit turned a onenight revival into a 22-year phenomenon. Fervent worshippers fell limp in the aisles and spoke in tongues. The evangelist himself had been saved from heroin addiction and crime after being born again.

These were some of the stories that came out of the Brownsville Revival, the subject of more than 40 stories in the Pensacola News Journal. Executive editor Teresa Wasson said many revival supporters believe the events at Brownsville mark the beginning of the worldwide revival that will precede the second coming of Christ. "Impressed by their conviction and certain this was an important story to tell, we began a deeper examination of the revival expecting to find evidence to support what the believers were saying," Wasson said. "And we found many passionate, genuine stories of personal redemption."

Wasson said reporting also led to the other side where they found troubling claims about the money and methodology of the Brownsville Revival. "The critics urged us to do what the other news media had not: Take a harder look at the revival," Wasson said. "As we investigated their claims, we found considerable basis for what they were saying."

Wasson said this series was distinguished by the reporters asking questions about the validity of claims of the revival and not about the peculiarity of beliefs. …

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