Kenneth Erwin Hagin (August 20, 1917 - September 19, 2003) was a famous Pentecostal preacher, recognized as a leading light of the Word of Faith movement. He received an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University in the 1970s.
Pastor Hagin was born in Texas, the son of Lillie Viola Drake Hagin and Jess Hagin. Baby Kenneth was so small and motionless that the doctor thought that he was stillborn. As an adult, Pastor Hagin and his wife raised two children who are now influential Christians themselves: Kenneth Hagin, Jr., the pastor of Rhema Bible Church and President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries, and Patricia Harrison, the owner and publisher of Harrison House, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Lord blessed Pastor Hagin with an amazing memory that allowed him to memorize large portions of scripture and other materials.
Hagin died five days after lapsing into a coma due to a heart arrhythmia in September 2003.
Healed as a Youth
Pastor Hagin was sickly as a child, suffering from a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease. He was not expected to live and at age 15 he was confined to his bed. In April 1933, Kenneth was saved. He had passed away three times in 10 minutes, each time seeing the horrors of hell and then returning to life. In 1934 he was again in his deathbed, but was raised therefrom by "the revelation of faith in God's Word".[Citation Needed]
In 1936, he began his career in the ministry, pastoring a small church in Roland Texas. Over the next twelve years he pastored five more Assemblies of God churches in Texas.
Pastor Hagin's favorite scripture was Mark 11:23: "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith".
Establishing a faith-based corporation
In 1949, the Lord called Pastor Hagin to take up an itinerant ministry as an evangelist. In 1963, Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association was incorporated, and the offices of the ministry moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1966. That same year, he began his media ministry, broadcasting on a Dallas radio station. By 1967, his broadcast became a regular feature on the airwaves; Pastor Hagin's "Faith Seminar of the Air" is still enjoyed by Christians today.
Over the years, the small radio-based media ministry expanded into a conglomerate, including: Faith Library Publications, with over 65 million books in print; "RHEMA Praise," a weekly television program enjoyed on the Trinity Broadcasting Network; "Faith Seminar of the Air," a radio program heard on many stations nationwide and on the Internet; "The Word of Faith," a free monthly magazine with roughly 250,000 subscribers; travelling crusades; RHEMA Correspondence Bible School; and the RHEMA Prayer and Healing Center, located on the Rhema campus in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
In 1974, Hagin founded RHEMA Bible Training Center USA, which now has training centers in fourteen countries and has 23,000 alumni. In 1979, he founded the Prayer and Healing Center there to provide a place for the sick to come to "have the opportunity to build their faith",. Its Healing School continues to be held free of charge twice daily on the RHEMA campus. There are many other outreaches and RBTC graduates throughout the world.