CBNNews.com - The great faith and testimony of a popular Alabama talk show host has turned his two-year-old son's tragic death into nothing short of a revival.
In an exclusive interview, WZZK talk show duo Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey of the Rick and Bubba Show shared with CBN News how masses are coming to know Christ after Bronner's death.
While speaking at a Christian conference on January 19, Burgess was given the heartbreaking news that his son had drowned, but he stayed to make sure that 7,200 students heard the message of eternal life.
To hear the Burgess' testimony, click on "A Father's Heart" Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
The result? Burgess said, "there were prayers, and there were a little over 400 brand-new decisions for Christ there."
Burgess' unwavering faith through the tragedy stoked a modern-day revival.
"Just at the hospital - my conversations with the medical teams there - they were praying and receiving Christ there," Burgess shared. "When we went on to the memorial service, just under 300 people made a decision to commit themselves to live what they came to believe, and then there were somewhere around 32 people who prayed to receive Christ for the very first time."
But as Rick and Bubba tell us, that was only the beginning.
Reaching the Multitudes
So far, the video of Burgess' testimony has received nearly 900,000 views on YouTube.
"At one time, it was the number one viewed video on YouTube in the world, and Google had the 'Rick and Bubba Show' or 'Rick Burgess' or 'Bronner' in the top five as most-searched," Burgess said.
He noted that more than 20 major media outlets, including Fox, Hannity Radio and the Dave Ramsey Show, have broadcasted Bronner's story to the multitudes. It was also pointed out that the Rick and Bubba Show is syndicated to 50 markets nationally and globally.
"Fox News - they had Bubba on to talk about it," continued Burgess. "They wanted to turn it into talking about pool safety around the house, and Bubba was very quick to say this is not about pool safety; this is about spiritual warfare and a wakeup call for all of us that this is real, God is real and we're in the middle of the battle."
Not Your Ordinary Revival
Burgess' story has reached far and wide, as new life continues to sprout from Bronner's death.
"I can tell you through emails and phone calls, hundreds upon hundreds of people who have pulled off on the side of the road and asked Jesus into their heart," said Rick's co-host, Bubba, who also noted accounts of people being saved in parking lots.
Bubba has never seen such a response to the Gospel.
"So we've seen an amazing pouring out of the Holy Spirit, almost a revival, and what I think is so unique about it; it has crossed denominations, it has crossed economic lines, it has crossed geography, and it has really been unbelievable," Bubba said. "I'm 43-years-old, and I've been a Christian since I was 10 - I have never seen the Holy Spirit poured out and manifest the way it has been these last two weeks."
Bubba went on to share that his nine-year-old son had just prayed to ask Jesus into his heart this week.
Around $100,000 has already been donated to the Bronner Burgess Memorial, which has been established by the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association. Contributions will be used by Rick and his wife Sherri to create a memorial fund to give back to ministries in honor of Bronner.
A Living Testimony
But Burgess' testimony is about more than reaching the masses.
"One woman came by and said, 'I'm a believer and I've never shared Christ. I did it for the first time today because of the challenge of the death of this child and the challenge of what was called for us if we wanted to honor this child and honor your family - that we would be about the business of the Lord,'" Bubba shared.
He relayed another testimony about a group who had just heard Burgess' testimony.
"I had a pastor tell me that he went into a shopping mall and he said there were four or five people laying on the floor and he was a trained paramedic and asked 'What's going on?'" Bubba recounted. "And two of them said, 'We just prayed with these three to ask Jesus into their heart.'"
Burgess then shared a testimony he received about three people receiving Christ in their office after listening to the show.
A Call to Us All
Two weeks after Bronner's death, Burgess' heart hasn't changed.
"I think what this had done for our family and has done for others is we've got to get rid of religious ritual - putting Bible verses up but you don't live it, going to church making sure you volunteer for everything, but yet your life is no different than anyone else," Burgess said. "let's try to stop this ridiculous 90 percent of all believers never share the Gospel one time."
Burgess said that the overall message that God gave him through Bronner's death is two-fold. He expressed that he has been commissioned to tell believers that they need to get right with God, and to offer "hope to those who have never known Him."
After offering my condolences, Burgess had this to say:
"Yes it is sad, and yes it is horrible, and it's very tough, but spiritually in my soul, it is well because I was prepared because of walking with God," he shared. "Now if He had sat down and said, 'This is what I want you to do,' would I have been strong enough to give Him my son - with me having been asked about it beforehand?"
Burgess was quite candid.
"I can't answer that," he admitted. "it would have been a very difficult thing to do, but I'll tell you this: if God allowed my son to be taken in return for the glory that we're seeing, then so be it."
The faithful father concluded with a grateful heart.
"Because He gave His own for me when I didn't deserve it - and He didn't have to - that's the least we can do is be obedient to the message He's given us since the loss."