Home is Home, no matter what!
Rodney Morgan Howard-Browne, a burly, 6-foot charismatic preacher was born June 12, 1961, in Port Elizabeth, South
Africa. He grew up in the Eastern Cape (Transkei). His wife Adonica, was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe but grew up in Johannesburg.
Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne committed his life to Christ at age 5, and was filled with the Holy Spirit at age 8. In 1979, while
praying for hours seeking a deeper spiritual experience, he challenged God:
"'Either You come down here and touch me, or I will come up there and touch You,' he prayed in desperation. Suddenly,
his whole body felt like it was on fire. He began to laugh uncontrollably. Then he wept and began to speak in tongues. 'I
was plugged into heaven's electrical supply,' he later wrote in his book, The Touch of God. 'And since then my desire has been to go and plug other people in'" (Julia Dulin, "Praise
the Lord and Pass the New Wine," 8/94, Charisma,
Howard-Browne moved about, pastoring for two years at Rhema Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, prior to moving to
the United States in 1987. He became an itinerant preacher, with small engagements, throughout the country. It was in April,
1989, while Howard-Browne was preaching in a church near Albany, New York, that the holy laughter outbreak began. Browne recalls
that he felt a sensation like a heavy blanket coming over him. Soon he began to witness people falling out of their seats,
some laughing, others crying. From that point on, his reputation began to grow. In 1991, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke laid hands
on him as a sign of impartation.
He established the Rodney Howard-Browne Evangelistic Association in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the spring of 1993, Karl Strader, pastor of Carpenter's Church in Lakeland, Florida, invited him to preach. Scheduled for
a one-week appearance, he was carried over for three more weeks.
Since the services were broadcast on radio, many people
began showing up at Carpenter's Church to experience what they heard on the air. It wasn't long before Howard-Browne was appearing
on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). It was only shortly afterward that Howard-Browne's influence began to envelope
the Toronto Airport Vineyard through the visit by Randy Clark. From that point, it was spread from the Toronto Airport Vineyard
to churches throughout the world, primarily through the Vineyard movement.
Or can it? Not to be outdone by Rodney Howard-Browne
of the Vineyard movement, suddenly we learn from Charles and Frances Hunter (a.k.a. "the Happy Hunters") that they were experiencing
this phenomenon many, many years ago. It's only in 1994 that they decided to let us know about it in their book, Holy
Laughter. Frances Hunter states that she fell under the power of the Holy Spirit at a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship
banquet in Houston. She neglects to mention the year, but they were new to the charismatic experience at the time, so it must
have been sometime in the 1960s or '70s at the latest. After falling down with Charles, she found herself glued to the floor,
unable to move. Then she began to erupt into uncontrolled laughter for about one-half hour. After which the Holy Spirit allegedly
released her from His grip.
He calls himself ``a boy from South Africa that God sent to America as a missionary'' and sometimes the “Holy
Religion has made him prosperous. He came to this country in 1987 with just $300, and a “guitar.” Satirically,
he says that his wife only had a car, and that is why he married her. Now, he and his family live in one of New Tampa's most
exclusive gated communities.
Howard-Browne is the pastor of The River at Tampa Bay, a high-energy, racially mixed church in Tampa he founded in
December 1996. Nearly 1,000 people spend about four hours in a service led by ``the Holy Ghost bartender,'' as he calls himself.
This year (2005) he felt God sending him back to South Africa for more souls to be saved there. He first held the Good
News Soweto revival in Johannesburg and things happened. At the request of Rev. T.A. Ralekholela, the township of Umlazi (South
of Durban) was the next destination. That’s where Good News Umlazi took place and signs and wonders followed. Having
seen God working so much in his country, he said, “I am happy; I can’t even sleep at night. Because this happens
in my home country.” Amazingly, he donated buses (to carry people to and from the vicinity of Umlazi), lights for the
stadium, thousands of rands to lucky people, and scholarships. For instance, I have never seen anything like that before,
let alone heard about it. Usually, a revival campaign seeks funds from the attendees, not this. Dr. Fred Roberts (Durban Christian
Centre) donated R100 000.00 to the campaign.
Bearden, M. Holy Ghost Bartender. The Tampa Tribune, June 27, 1999
Rick Miesel (Editor & Compiler), Biblical Discernment Ministries (BDM): Holy Laughter: Rodney Howard-Browne and the
Toronto Blessing* http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/holylaugh.htm
Copyright BDM. All Rights Reserved
Parts of this information have been included verbatim and have
been adapted from material copyrighted by BDM. Used by permission