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65 Years of Ministry

Diana Hagee

On March 5, Pastor John Hagee will celebrate 65 years of ministry to the Lord’s work.

God has allowed an abundant spiritual harvest to grow from the seed of commitment Pastor Hagee planted when he answered the Holy Spirit's call on his life 65 years ago. Pastor Hagee is a man of uncommon courage, vision, conviction, and moral clarity. His dedicated service has blessed countless around the world in the past six and a half decades. And with God’s blessings, Pastor Hagee will continue to build his legacy for many years to come.

Allow me to give you a small snapshot of Pastor Hagee’s extraordinary journey.

John Charles Hagee was born on April 12th, 1940, in Goose Creek, Texas. He is the second of four sons born to Vada and William Bythel Hagee. John Hagee spent the first 12 years of his life in the Channelview area, where his father and mother pastored the First Assembly of God of Channelview Texas.

Johnny, as the congregation referred to him, began singing in church at the age of five. My mother-in-law, who was John’s greatest inspiration, taught all her sons to sing and play an instrument at an early age—training that Pastor Hagee uses to this day.

After leaving Channelview for the evangelistic field with his family in 1952, John began singing with the original “Hagee Family Singers.” His older brother played the bass, his mother the accordion and piano, his father the guitar, and John played the Hawaiian guitar (ukelele) and saxophone. In the years they were in evangelism, the Hagee family would provide the special music and preaching for the two-to-three-week revivals they held in churches throughout South Texas.

John and his family remained in the evangelistic field until his father accepted the pastorate of the First Assembly of God Church in Houston, Texas in 1953.

During his time in Houston, John worked at an orphanage which planted the seed for a caring
and nurturing environment to single expectant mothers and their children—The Sanctuary of Hope, a dream he saw come true some four years ago. Another significant connection that motivated John’s future endeavors was his friendship with his Junior High football coach, Herman Goldberg. His friendship with this dynamic role model would later inspire Pastor Hagee’s unconditional love for Israel and the Jewish people through Nights to Honor Israel and pioneering Christians United for Israel.

During his time at Reagan High School, John excelled in both academics and sports. He was in the top of his class and a four-sport varsity athlete. As a result, John set his path to West Point Academy, however, something happened on that journey which significantly changed the course of his life. On the second Thursday of January 1958, while sitting on the back pew of his father's church, John heard God’s call on his life as he attended one of the many revivals under his parent's pastorate. It was from that pew that John walked to the altar and personally accepted Christ as Savior and Lord.
John’s spiritual transformation was so profound that he withdrew from Reagan High School the following day and immediately enrolled in Southwestern Bible Institute, now known as Southwestern Assemblies of God University, in Waxahachie Texas. He preached his first sermon the first Sunday in March 1958 at his father's church in Houston.

While at Southwestern, John toured with the Harvester Choir, preached revivals every weekend, attended classes through the week, and worked at a church furniture factory to pay his way through school. After graduation, John decided to go into full-time evangelism.

In 1962 John determined to attain further education. He received a full athletic scholarship to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas as a football walk-on. While at Trinity, he received his Bachelor of Science in history and education. After graduation in the summer of 1964, John coached for the Northeast Independent School District at Nimitz Middle School. Under his tenure, the football, track and field, and basketball teams won district championships.

In the fall of 1965, John enrolled in North Texas State University, where he received his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. After receiving his formal education, John Hagee returned to San Antonio and founded Trinity Church in October 1966.

Trinity Church soon outgrew its first location and moved into a larger sanctuary in 1972. In 1975 Pastor Hagee began Castle Hills Church, which also outgrew its sanctuary and eventually moved to the present location of Cornerstone Church in 1987.

It is impossible to adequately express how privileged I am to be a part of this remarkable man's life and ministry for the last 47 years. During this time, we have been privileged to have raised five children, welcomed five in-loves into our family as well as thirteen amazing grandchildren. Pastor Hagee and I are deeply grateful to God for the opportunities He has afforded over the last 65 years of ministry, and we look forward for the years to come.

Pastor John Hagee is a 5th generation pastor and the 47th descendant of his family to preach the Gospel all the days of his adult life. Pastor Matthew Hagee is following in his father’s footsteps, he is the 6th generation pastor and the 48th descendent of the Hagee family to preach the Gospel.

Our prayer is that Pastor John Hagee’s faithful legacy to the Lord’s work will inspire generations to come.

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