Reverend John C. Hagee (born April 12, 1940) is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational charismatic church with more than 18,000 active members, and is involved with international televangelism.
Hagee is an alumnus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, south of Dallas, Texas. He is the President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries which telecasts his national radio and television ministry carried in America on 160 TV stations, 50 radio stations and eight networks. The ministries can be seen and heard weekly in 99 million homes. John Hagee Ministries is in Canada on the Miracle Channel and CTS and can be seen in Africa, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and is in most developing nations.
He is also the president and CEO of Global Evangelism Television, which telecasts his radio and television ministry. Hagee has received numerous honors and accolades from national Jewish organizations for his unwavering support of Israel. In pursuit of his support of Israel, Hagee helped restart Christians United for Israel in 2006 as a "Christian AIPAC" lobbying Congress to support Israel. Hagee supports a view, at odds with many of his contemporaries in evangelical Christianity, that Jews (as God's chosen people) get to heaven apart from Jesus based upon their adherence to the Torah.
As a conservative Christian, Hagee has been the subject of numerous controversies.
Some groups consider Hagee's compensation to be excessive for a minister and have asked him to repent.
Support for Israel and Jewish people
John McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement when presented with Hagee's views on the holocaust. Jewish groups have come to Hagee's defense, noting his strong support for Israel and that the same view is shared by some Orthodox rabbis.
Some groups consider Hagee's unwavering support for the Jews to be highly excessive, and that he worships the Jews more than he does Jesus Christ. Many Christians source John Hagee's book titled 'In Defense of Israel' where he specifically says:
"The Jews did not reject Jesus as their messiah because Jesus never claimed to be the messiah.
Christians consider this, citing Galatians 4:25-26, a damnable heresy.
In 1960, he married Martha Downing, with whom he had two children: John Christopher and Tish.
While married to Downing Hagee began an affair with Diana Castro; he divorced Downing in 1975 and left his prior church at the same time.
In 1976 Hagee married Castro, they have three children: Cristina, Matthew and Sandy. He started Cornerstone (not too far from his prior church) around the same time. Matthew serves as associate pastor at Cornerstone Church and often preaches for his father.
Fundamentalist and some evangelical Christians believe the Bible prohibits a divorced person from serving as pastor, especially given that he was guilty of the extra-marital affair leading to the divorce (and subsequently married the woman with whom he had the affair).
- "Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says -- Jeremiah writing -- 'They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,' meaning there's no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don't let your heart be offended. I didn't write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel." Full audio of the sermon available