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Early 1900s—Land and Ministry Prayed For
Pentecostal evangelist Willard Pope held a revival in the small community of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Among those baptized in the Holy Ghost was a young man named Rupert Bailey.
When Rupert was not working on his parents’ farm, he would spend hours in the pasture reading the Bible and praying. Rupert prayed for the future—for people’s souls to be saved. He had a vision that a mighty work of God would be raised up on that place. He seemed to have a burden for lost souls in years to come.
What was the Bailey farm is now the home of RHEMA Bible Training Center and Kenneth Hagin Ministries.
August 20, 1917—Kenneth Erwin “Dad” Hagin Born
Kenneth Erwin Hagin was born to Lillie Drake Hagin and Jess Hagin in the small town of McKinney, Texas. The doctor held out no hope for young Kenneth. He weighed barely two pounds, and later tests would show that he had a deformed heart.
The doctor, J.C. Erwin, thought the baby was dead and told Granny Drake to dig a hole in the garden and bury the infant. Granny took him outside and stopped by the smokehouse to get a shovel. Holding the shovel in one hand and the infant in the other, she noticed a “spark of life.” Kenneth was alive.
Granny quickly took him back into the house and asked the doctor what to do with him. Still seeing no hope for the baby, the doctor pulled out a packet of formula mix, told her to prepare it and feed it to him, and said, “That will last longer than he will.” Recalling this incident later, Brother Hagin said, “But I outlasted it.”
April 22, 1933—Kenneth E. Hagin saved after going to hell three times
Raised as a Southern Baptist, Kenneth attended church every week. He thought he was saved, but he had never had a salvation experience with the Lord. However, on the 22nd day of April, 1933, in the south bedroom of 405 North College Street in McKinney, Texas, that salvation experience came in an unforgettable way.
As Kenneth lay on the bed of sickness, his spirit left his body. He descended through the earth and continued down until he stood before the very gates of hell. Just as he was about to enter, a voice from above sounded in an unknown tongue. Immediately, Kenneth found himself returning to the earth’s surface.
This happened twice more. During his third ascent to the surface, Kenneth finally proclaimed Jesus as Lord. He knew that if he did not do so, he would descend a fourth and final time.[For a more detailed account of this story, see Rev. Hagin’s books I Went to Hell and I Believe in Visions.]
1934—Kenneth E. Hagin receives a revelation of faith
Born again but still bedfast, Kenneth studied God’s Word. Finally, he came to the verses that would transform his life and become a cornerstone of his ministry: Mark 11:22–24.
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
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.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The truth about faith in God’s Word began to drop into his heart. He saw that receiving God’s promise came as a result of believing God’s promise. Kenneth recalled that moment in his book I Believe in Visions:
I saw exactly what that verse in Mark 11:24 meant. Until then, I was going to wait until I was actually healed before I believed I had received my healing. I was looking at my body and testing my heartbeat to see if I had been healed. But I saw that the verse says you have to believe when you pray. The having comes after the believing.