I met Fritz Brown when he contacted me about an event he was coordinating. Christians United For Israel (CUFI) and Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM) were hosting a Pastor’s Luncheon and Middle East Briefing at the Marriott Convention Center in New Orleans. Fritz wanted me to write an article. I was happy to oblige. Later, Fritz returned the favor by meeting me at a restaurant to tell me his story.
Fritz was raised Catholic until his mother was born again and received the gift of tongues at a Catholic Charismatic meeting. His father, a former Baptist who no longer attended church would not have understood her practice of speaking in tongues. His mother often retreated to the bathroom and turned on the faucet to pray. Her prayers were soon answered when his father returned to Christ and was also filled with the Spirit. His parents joined The Christian Teaching Center, an independent Word of Faith church in Lafayette. Their spiritual lives flourished, but their children were slow to follow in their steps.
Fritz remembers going to the altar at The Christian Teaching Center and experiencing the power of God in such strength he could not stand, but God wasn’t real to him. He resented having to stay at the church, sometimes until midnight, while the congregation prayed. Fritz turned his back on God by the time he was thirteen. He stole money from the offering basket. While parents prayed, he enticed the other teenagers to go outside and shared his drugs with them. He quit school to spend the day smoking dope with his brother. His friends were racists, drug dealers, thieves, brawlers, prostitutes and pimps. One friend went to prison for rape, another one was involved in a murder and another committed suicide.
Fritz paused to reflect on his praying mother before he told me how he accepted Christ. “A couple of years ago, before my mother passed away, I felt I needed to tell her something. I went to her home, sat next to her, grabbed her by the hand and said, “Mom, I owe my soul to you. If not for your prayers, I would not be here today. At some point, you will pass away, but I want you to know that I owe my soul to you.”
When Fritz was seventeen years old, he was taking a shower when his mother walked into the bathroom. Shocked by the intrusion, Fritz peeked around the shower curtain. His mother grabbed his socks and shook them. A bag of weed fell on the floor. “Boy,” she said, “God told me to come in here and check your clothes.” His mother picked up the bag and walked out.
Fritz finished his shower, dressed, and walked to his parent’s bedroom to confront his father. “You got something that belongs to me.”
“Son,” replied his father, “tonight is a defining moment in your life. You have a decision to make. You can choose the right path or you can continue living the lifestyle you are living.”
Fritz extended his hand palm up, “You have something that belongs to me, and I want it now.” Tears streamed down his father’s face as he placed the bag of weed in his rebellious son’s hand. Fritz closed his fingers around the prized possession and turned his back to his father’s sorrow. His feet were heavy as he walked out of the bedroom. When he stepped into the kitchen, he looked at the bag of weed in his hand. His father’s words tugged at his heart. Fritz threw the bag on the floor and walked out of the house.
“I don’t remember if I quit that night or if it was the beginning. Not long after that, on Christmas Day 1982, I took my brother’s Bible and drove to a cave I knew about in north Louisiana. I wanted to be alone and seek God. The weather was bad, and the rain coming down in torrents. I didn’t feel like it was working. I told God forget it, put my stuff back in the car and went home. I was watching a secular TV program with my girlfriend when I broke the silence with an unusual declaration, ‘Come Sunday I will be a totally different person.’ I had not said anything about the Bible or God. She looked at me with the devil in her eyes and said, ‘You’re not going to get religious on me are you?’ I think we both knew change was coming.”
Fritz’s life changed when his mother invited him to a meeting with Evangelist Jesse Duplantis. He was touched by Rev. Duplantis’ testimony and could not wait till the end of the service so he could receive God. Fritz walked to the altar as he had years earlier, this time with different results. He yielded his life to God and collapsed on the floor in the overwhelming presence of God’s love. After his conversion, he attended all of Rev. Duplantis’ meetings that were in driving distance from his home. He willingly made himself available to assist the evangelist, and they developed a relationship.
Five months later, he attended an ordination service at the Louisiana Assemblies of God’s annual business meeting. His heart was stirred to pursue ministry. He contacted several Christian colleges and was praying for direction when he felt compelled to attend a service Rev. Duplantis was holding in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. After the service, Rev. Duplantis invited Fritz to the pastor’s office to talk.
“Fritz,” said Rev. Duplantis, “I want you to pray about something. I’m not going to tell you what it is. I want you to say, ‘Lord, I am praying for whatever Jesse told me to pray about’” Fritz walked out of the office knowing he would work for Rev. Duplantis one day.
At this point in my conversation with Fritz, he stopped telling me his story and prayed. From the moment, we sat down there was excessive noise making it difficult to talk. Two women had arrived with their children in tow. There were a lot of tables and other area’s the children could have played. They choose to play at our feet. Slight exaggeration, but you get the point. They were making a lot of noise. Instead of addressing the women oblivious to the problem their children were creating for us, Fritz bound the devil’s interference. He was barely praying above a whisper. There is no way the women could have heard him. Fritz concluded his prayer. Immediately, the women gathered up their children and left. A scripture came to my mind, “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).
Fritz continued to seek God for direction and added praying according to Rev. Duplantis’ instructions. The following year, Fritz drove a friend to Buras. On his way home, his car broke down. He was near the office of Jesse Duplantis Ministries, so he called his friend for help. Rev. Duplantis sent his brother to bring Fritz to the auto parts store. On the way to the parts store, they stopped at Duplantis’ office. While they were there, Rev. Duplantis invited Fritz to fill out an employment application. He did.
The next meeting Fritz attended, Rev. Duplantis introduced him as JDM’s new employee, even though he had not been officially started working yet. His first official duties as a JDM employee were at a church in Alexandria not far from the cave where Fritz sought God and assumed nothing had worked.
Fritz is still employed by Jesse Duplantis Ministries, and he is an ordained minister. He never made it to Bible College, but he is well educated through is devotion to studying God’s word and having received on the job training from one of the most successful evangelist of our day.