In the summer of 1989 my family and I moved into a new apartment in Pompano Beach, Florida. We had come down from Brooklyn, New York and were happy to give up the cold and snow of the Northern states. The last tenants had moved out but had left some boxes full of books and old magazines. As I looked around the closets I came upon a box of books by a pastor named Kenneth Hagin Sr. not being a very religious person I was going to throw them out but opened one up and read a few pages. At the time I didn't understand some of the things he wrote about, but it seemed to me that whatever he was trying to say was well written and easy to digest. I threw the magazines away but kept the books by the pastor.
As time went by I forgot all about the faith books by pastor Hagin and went on about the business of finding a job and making ends meet. Twice I mentioned the books on faith I had found and both times people seemed to think very highly of Pastor Hagin which led me to do some research on this man.
Kenneth Hagin was born August 20, 1917 in McKinney, Texas, the son of Lillie Viola Drake Hagin and Jess Hagin. As a child he was not expected to live because of a deformed heart and a rare blood disease, by the age of 15 he was paralyzed and lying in bed waiting to die. As he tells it he had a revelation from Jesus to stand on the Word and receive his healing which he did and was healed. Later he told of dying several times and each time seeing himself in hell. From that day on he taught on the healing power of the bible where ever he could. He started in Texas where he pastored five local congregations for twelve years until he became an evangelist and teacher traveling throughout the South and the Midwest.
He became part of the greatest healing revival of our time along with Oral Roberts, AA Allen, William Branham, Gordon Lindsey and TL Osborne. Where so many of these evangelists would in later years become very controversial, Kenneth Hagin would remain untouched until later years when people started to question his doctrine of having whatever you asked for in prayer. But that was never my concern; I already knew that people had been fighting and arguing about doctrines since time began.
I only wanted to know about the man himself and how he carried out his daily life.
What I found out after twenty five years of searching was a man of decency, integrity and dignity and one who believed that if you did not love your neighbor you were not fulfilling the greatest commandment of God. He never stooped to slandering those who wrote books against him, and there were many of these. He refused to speak to the media about anything even when they called him a false prophet, and false teacher. Leaving it instead to God to vindicate him and he did with some of the greatest miracles and anointed services I have seen.
His son and grandson would follow him into the ministry and in 1974 he founded REMA Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, which teaches men and women to have faith in God's Word above all else. Over 30,000 students have graduated in over 100 countries so far making it extremely successful and giving him a rich reward in heaven. He taught a generation of men to believe God for all things and many became famous preachers, who today have mega churches and live like rich kings, something which he later explained in his book, The Midas Touch, was not what God had intended for the gospel to become.
Today those who wrote books and articles against Kenneth Hagin are mostly forgotten but his legacy goes on in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people like me who found an example of what a real Christian should be, in love, forgiveness , and clean living. When he passed away I felt like one of my natural brothers had left this world to be with Jesus forever.
About Author / Additional Info:
A few links on Kenneth Hagin, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcZhDdKbr78 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vUuL4oR-CI