Rodney Howard-Browne was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and grew up in the Eastern Cape and Transkei. His wife, Adonica, was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and raised in Johannesburg. Rodney gave his heart to the Lord at the age of five and Adonica gave her heart to the Lord at the age of seventeen. They met and married in 1981 and immediately went full-time together into the traveling ministry. Over the next six years they traveled across Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe and Namibia, preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1983, they pioneered a church in the Northeastern Cape and pastored there for two years. After that, Rodney taught classes in a leading Bible School for another two years.
During this time, they had three children: Kirsten, born in 1982, Kelly May, born in 1984, and Kenneth, born in 1987. Rodney and Adonica knew, even before they married, that they were both called to travel around the world to preach the gospel and they had a particularly strong calling toward the United States of America. In 1987 the door opened for them to go to America. Rodney visited America twice that year, preaching in several churches, and in December 1987 the whole family traveled to America to fulfill the call and plan and purpose of God and to move into the new phase of ministry that God had called them into. The Lord supernaturally provided for their air tickets and they came to America with only $300, four suitcases, and their three children, then aged five, three and seven months.
Rodney and Adonica came to America with a passion burning in their heart to see souls saved and lives touched and also with a commission from the Lord. He told them to, "Stir up the churches and tell them to get ready for the coming revival." In order to see a great harvest of souls, the Church must be stirred up and a fire must be lit on the inside of them to see souls saved and the lost brought into the kingdom and family of God. The Lord also told them that He would use them in the same way that He used Joseph in Egypt. He told them that in the end, they would be a greater blessing to their homeland by living in America, than they would if they had stayed in South Africa. Since, then they have had some wonderful meetings in various cities in South Africa, including some that went for up to four weeks, with thousands of people in attendance. In one week of revival in Johannesburg, they registered over 22,000 people at their South African campmeeting. However, they feel that this word from God has truly been fulfilled through the Good News crusades in South Africa!
From January 1988, they traveled across America for fifteen months, all the time praying that God would pour out His spirit upon His people and that they would have a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit that they would never forget. In the sixteenth month, April 1989, the glory of God was poured out in a Tuesday morning service in a church in upstate New York, beginning a revival that continues to this day. That week, hundreds of people were dramatically touched and changed by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and since then, hundreds of thousands of people, around the world, have experienced the life-changing power of God.
When people encounter the presence of God, they are saved, healed, set free, and delivered. When people allow the Spirit of God to do a work in them, their relationships are restored, broken hearts are mended, wounded emotions are made completely whole, and they are filled with love, joy, and peace. No man can do these things—only the Spirit of the Lord—but in order for Him to be made manifest in our midst, He must first be made welcome in our midst!
Rodney and Adonica feel that God has called them to teach the body of Christ, by example, how to create an atmosphere in the church, through the worship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that the presence of God can be made welcome and so that He can touch His children as He sees fit. Jesus said that if He is lifted up then He would draw all men unto Himself. Our job is to lift Him up and not be ashamed of the Word of God or the Spirit of God. Rodney and Adonica teach on how you can have revival in your own life and they have seen the power of God touch and change people's hearts, for eternity, on six continents. No matter what their language is, or their customs, or their culture, in the end, they all respond to the Holy Spirit in the same way.
Rodney and Adonica have seen mighty revivals break out in North, South and Central America, Africa (including South Africa), the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Israel and run anywhere from one to four consecutive weeks. In one year they held a total of thirteen weeks of revival in Lakeland, Florida. Rodney and Adonica felt that God did not want them to run revivals longer than four consecutive weeks in churches, because their commission is to stir up the churches and the pastors, shake them out of their complacency, fire them up to press in deeper with the Holy Spirit, and then leave them to do what God has called them to do in their city.
Rodney and Adonica, and their ministry team, under the banner of Revival Ministries International, travel about 46 weeks of the year, holding weekly meetings in cities across North America and around the world. They also pastor a church in Tampa, Florida, The River at Tampa Bay, which they founded on December 1, 1996 and which now has 3000 members. In the summer of 2001, the Lord blessed them with a beautiful two-year old building on the main highway that is worth twice what they paid for it! In 1997, they started the River Bible Institute, training students in the Word and the Spirit, imparting into their hearts both a spirit of evangelism and of revival. They also started an online version of the Bible School, allowing students of every nation, with access to the Internet, to participate.
Rodney and Adonica have never lost their focus on the most important assignment of their lives and ministry—souls. In 1998, God gave Rodney a dream about a huge soul-winning crusade in New York City, so in the summer of 1999, under the banner of Good News New York, they rented Madison Square Garden for six weeks of focused soul-winning. Street evangelists, ordinary people who had been touched by revival, from every continent were in New York every day for eight weeks, telling people that God had a great plan for their lives and leading them to Jesus. Altogether, 48,459 people made Jesus the Lord of their lives (recorded decisions). In the summer of 2000, it was Good News Shreveport/Bossier in the state of Louisiana—eight weeks of street evangelism, going door-to-door and six weeks in the Hirsch Coliseum. 59,247 souls were saved this time.
In November 2004, it was Soweto, South Africa's turn—in just 10 nights, 177,600 decisions for Christ were recorded at Good News Soweto. In May of 2005, they held their second mass crusade, Good News Umlazi near to Durban, South Africa. They had an accumulated attendance of over 539,000 people over 10 nights and had over 286,750 souls saved in the stadium, and many more over the radio. In October of 2005, they returned again to South Africa for their third mass crusade. In just five nights, 113,000 precious people gave their lives to the Lord in Mamelodi, near the capital of Pretoria. In Soweto, the meeting went out live, across Africa on GodTV, and on two local radio stations, one secular, one Christian. In Umlazi, the meeting was broadcast on three radio stations, one secular and two Christian, and in Mamelodi it went out over four radio stations, two Christian and two secular. In this way, countless numbers of people were impacted by the power of God!
Every night they preached a soul-winning message, gave an altar call for salvation, ministered on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and prayed with the people to be filled with the Spirit and to speak in other tongues. Then they prayed for all those who needed healing, as the people placed their hands on the sick part of their body. Many wonderful healings took place both at the crusade venue and over the radio!
Already, in Tampa, Florida, 328,565 souls have been saved in nearly four years of focused soul-winning in the church and on the streets.
Rodney and Adonica's second daughter, Kelly was born with an incurable lung disease, called Cystic Fibrosis. This demonic disease slowly destroyed her lungs and early on Christmas morning 2002, at the age of eighteen, after being on oxygen for fourteen months, she ran out of lung capacity and breathed her last breath. They had held onto her for as long as they could—she almost died at eleven months and again at three years old—and God had spared her life for all this time, but now they felt her slipping out of their grasp. Kelly's life had always spurred them on—instead of backing off when the devil attacked her body, they pushed back at him! They fought harder, they did more, they gave more, they stretched their faith to see more of God's power in action, they preached more, they prayed more, and they believed for more miracles and for even greater miracles! Kelly was their fight!
As they held her in their arms, as her body lay dying, and before the devil could snuff out her life, they did the only thing that they could think of doing: they offered their precious daughter, the best gift that they could ever give in a lifetime, to the Lord as an offering on the day the world celebrated His own birthday. They placed her into the arms of her Lord and Savior and then vowed a vow. First, they vowed that the devil would pay for what he had done to their family. Secondly, they vowed to do everything in their power, with the help of the Lord, to win 100 million souls to Jesus and to put $1 billion into world missions and the harvest of souls!
Now, they don't expect to do this by themselves. To the best of their ability, they will contribute to this number, but they are also helping, encouraging, inspiring and empowering others to do the same. Already, they have sowed millions of dollars into other ministries who are in the harvest fields. They financially support Reinhard Bonnke Ministries, Acres of Love, a home for abandoned and AIDS babies in South Africa, and many other ministries.