Hagee in Washington, D.C., July 2007
John Charles Hagee
April 12, 1940
Goose Creek, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Bachelor of Science, History and Education; Master of Education Administration|
|Alma mater||Trinity University|
University of North Texas
|Organization||John Hagee Ministries|
|Spouse(s)||Martha Downing (1960–1975) |
Diana Castro (1976–present)
John Charles Hagee (born April 12, 1940) is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee is the founder and National Chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel. His televangelist message is broadcast nationally in the United States as well as elsewhere, via his non-profit corporation Global Evangelism Television and others.
Life and career
Hagee graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio with a Bachelor of Science in History and Education in 1964. He was on a football scholarship and appeared on the academic dean's List. Hagee received a master's degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas in Denton in 1966 and completed his theological training at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie.
Hagee founded a series of churches in San Antonio, Texas, each church outgrew its previous building. In 1966 he founded the first Trinity Church, in 1972 the second trinity Church, the Castle Hills Church in 1975, and finally in 1987, Hagee dedicated a 5,000+-seat sanctuary and named it Cornerstone Church.
Matthew Hagee, Hagee's son, is the executive pastor of Cornerstone Church. Hagee has received honorary doctorates from Oral Roberts University, Canada Christian College, and from Netanya Academic College.
Television and radio
Hagee is the CEO Global Evangelicalism Television (GETV) and president and CEO of John Hagee Ministries. Hagee appears regularly in Christian television networks such as Trinity Broadcasting Network, and US national televangelist radio and television programs. Hagee's programs are broadcast on 50 American radio stations, 160 American TV stations, as well as the Miracle Channel and programming in New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and Europe.
In 2007, Hagee stated that he does not believe in global warming, and he also said that he sees the Kyoto Protocol as a conspiracy aimed at manipulating the U.S. economy. Also, Hagee has condemned the Evangelical Climate Initiative, an initiative "signed by 86 evangelical leaders acknowledging the seriousness of global warming and pledging to press for legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions."
Relationship with Israel
The San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council awarded Hagee with its "Humanitarian of the Year" award. It was the first time this award was given to a non-Jew. Hagee was presented with the Zionist Organization of America's Israel Award by former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. This award was given by the Jewish Community of Dallas, Texas. He also received the ZOA Service Award.
Hagee links the establishment of Israel to the prophecy and the second coming of Jesus, in his 2007 book, In Defense of Israel, he wrote: "The rebirth of Israel as a nation was an unmistakable milestone on the prophetic timeline leading to the return of Christ". The Christian Research Institute has strongly criticized Hagee's 2007 book, In Defense of Israel, for apparently arguing that Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah for the Jews, only the Savior for the Christian Church, and therefore, that attempts should not be made to convert Jews.
In April 2018, the Jewish News Syndicate in partnership with the Israel Embassy in Washington DC released a list of the 70 greatest American contributors to the US-Israel relationship in honor of the upcoming 70th anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948. On the list, Hagee was awarded the position of 27 out of 70 for his work raising over 100 million dollars for Jewish and Israeli charities and founding Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in America with over 4 million members. On May 14, 2018, while Hagee was in Jerusalem for the opening ceremony of the US Embassy, his son Matt Hagee accepted the Israeli Embassy's award on his father's behalf in a private Washington DC ceremony.
Starting in 1981 in San Antonio, following Operation Opera, Hagee has organized "A Night to Honor Israel", events that express solidarity between Christians and Jews on behalf of Jerusalem, the State of Israel, and the United States.
Hagee has been criticized for his statements about Israel, the Roman Catholic Church, and Islam. Journalist Bill Moyers claims that Hagee and other evangelicals are working toward supporting the religious right. He states, "Someone who didn't know better could imagine from the very name Christians United For Israel—CUFI—that pastor John Hagee speaks for all Christians. Well, he doesn't ... What these fellows have forged is a close connection between the [George W. Bush] White House and the religious right."
After Hagee's 2008 endorsement of U.S. Presidential candidate John McCain, a furor arose over comments, broadcasts, and writings made by Hagee that were seen as anti-Catholic. After discussions with Catholic leaders, Hagee made an apology, which was publicly accepted by Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights president William A. Donohue.
Hagee's interpretation of the historical role of Hitler and the Holocaust in relation to the foundation of the state of Israel has stirred controversy. Hagee interprets a reference in Jeremiah 16:16 to "fishers" and "hunters" as symbols of positive motivation (Herzl and Zionism) and negative motivation (Hitler and Nazism) respectively, both sent by God for the purpose of having Jews return to the land of Israel, even suggesting that the Holocaust was willed by God because most Jews ignored Herzl's Zionist call. Following the broadcast of Hagee's remarks in late May 2008, some orthodox and conservative Jews came forward to defend Hagee against charges of antisemitism, although other Jews applauded McCain for distancing himself from Hagee.
Hagee has been described as demonizing Muslims and making false claims about Islam, especially through his rhetoric regarding Islam's intolerant and violent nature. In his book Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee describes how "Islam not only condones violence; it commands it." He has sometimes compared Islam's violent nature with Christianity's loving nature, as when he writes that "Islam instructs its followers to kill their enemies, but Christianity instructs its followers to love their enemies." He has described the Quran as teaching Muslims to kill Jews and Christians: for example, in a September 18, 2006, interview on National Public Radio's show Fresh Air, host Terry Gross asked Hagee if he believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," and Hagee replied: "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." John Esposito has described Hagee as "among the most hardcore Islamophobes."
Hagee, along with pastor Mark Biltz, promoted the blood moon prophecy. Hagee wrote about the prediction in his 2013 book, "Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change." The prophecy stated that a tetrad which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse was a sign of the end times as described in the Bible. The tetrad ended with the lunar eclipse on September 27–28, 2015. Hagee and Biltz's speculations did gain mainstream media attention in publications such as USA Today and The Washington Post. The prediction was criticized by both scientific sources and other Christians.
In 2002, Hagee endorsed the conservative State Representative John Shields in the latter's unsuccessful bid for the Republican primary for the District 25 seat in the Texas Senate. Hagee dubbed Shields's opponent, incumbent Jeff Wentworth, "the most pro-abortion" of 181 legislators in both houses of the Texas legislature.
In 1996, Hagee spoke on behalf of Republican presidential primary candidate Alan Keyes, who in 2004 lost the U.S. Senate election in Illinois to Barack Obama. In 2008, Hagee endorsed Senator John McCain in the presidential contest against Barack Obama. In 2016, Hagee endorsed Donald Trump in the presidential contest against Hillary Clinton.
- A Lifetime of Music (2013)
- The Invasion of Demons (1973) — Old Tappan, N.J., Revell, ISBN 0-8007-0576-9, Bibliography: p. 157–158.
- Like a cleansing fire (1974) — Old Tappan, N.J., Revell, ISBN 0-8007-0685-4
- The Beginning of the End (1996) — ISBN 0-7852-6772-7 on the New York Times Best Seller list (NYTBSL) and #1 book in the United States in 1996 in the Association for Christian Retail non-fiction division
- Day of Deception (1997) — on the NYTBSL
- Final Dawn Over Jerusalem (1998) — listed as the #1 book on the NYTBSL
- His Glory Revealed (1999)
- From Daniel to Doomsday: The Countdown Has Begun (1999)
- God's Two-Minute Warning (2000)
- The Revelation of Truth (2000)
- The Battle For Jerusalem (2001)
- Attack On America New York, Jerusalem, And The Role Of Terrorism In The Last Days (2001), revised version of The Battle For Jerusalem
- Devil's Island (2001) — first novel
- Avenger of Blood (2002) — second book in the novel series
- The Life Plan Study Bible: God's Keys to Personal Success (2004) — editor
- The Seven Secrets: Unlocking Genuine Greatness (2004)
- Life Lessons to Live By: 52 Weeks of God's Keys to Personal Success (2005) — (daily devotional)
- Jerusalem Countdown (2006)
- What Every Man Wants In a Woman/What Every Woman Wants In a Man (2005) — co-authored with his wife, Diana.
- In Defense of Israel (2007)
- Financial Armageddon (2008)
- Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs that we are the Terminal Generation (2010)
- The Power of the Prophetic Blessing (2012)
- Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change (2013)
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