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.
August 8, 1934—Kenneth E. Hagin raised from the bed of sickness
After receiving a divine revelation of faith, Kenneth knew he had been healed. The Holy Spirit said to him, “If you are healed, then you should be up and out of that bed.”
With the devil fighting him every step of the way, Kenneth began to proclaim that he was healed and that he would stand and walk. He slowly struggled to a standing position, grasping the post of the bed that had held him for 16 long months.
At first he was dizzy. Then feeling started returning to his legs. “It was like two million pins pricking me,” Kenneth said. Soon the pain subsided and he began to walk around his room. He told no one about this but did it again the following morning.
The next morning, Kenneth got out of bed, dressed himself, and, to his family’s amazement, joined them at the breakfast table.
August 16, 1936—Kenneth E. Hagin preached his first sermon as a pastor in Roland, Texas
Kenneth was eager to share the Gospel with anyone who would listen, preaching whenever and wherever he had the opportunity. He used to say, “I’ll preach from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico, telling everywhere I go that Jesus saves, heals, and is coming again.
And I’ll preach it from the Louisiana border to the New Mexico state line.” (At that time he thought covering Texas would be covering a lot of ground!) In 1937, Rev. Earl Rogers re-opened a little community church in Roland, Texas and asked Kenneth to take over the pastorate. Kenneth accepted. Over the next 12 years, Kenneth pastored churches in the Texas towns of Tom Bean, Farmersville, Talco, Greggton, and Van.
November 25, 1938—Kenneth E. Hagin married Lois Oretha Rooker
In the words of Mrs. Oretha Hagin: In early summer of 1938, while I was away visiting my aunt, a new pastor for this Pentecostal church [in Tom Bean, Texas] arrived. His name was Kenneth E. Hagin.
When I got back from my visit, naturally I heard a lot about the new minister. My girlfriend, Mary Jo, and I decided to get a peek for ourselves through the church window before the service. I took first peek. He was standing in the pulpit. And he was so handsome! I told Mary Jo, “He’s mine if I never get him.”
The first dates of our summer courtship took place in Sherman, Texas, the nearest town of any size. Everybody went to town on Saturdays in those days. Kenneth would ride into town with the family he was staying with—I would ride into town with my family. We would meet at the drugstore. And there, over pimento cheese sandwiches and malted milks at the back corner table, we first got to know each other.
September 3, 1939—Kenneth Wayne Hagin born
On Sepetember 3, 1939, Oretha gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. They named the child Kenneth Wayne Hagin. For years he would be known as Kenneth Hagin, Jr.
March 27, 1941—Patsy Guylene Hagin born
In Mrs.Oretha Hagin's own words: The Lord gave us two lovely children, Ken and Patsy. When Ken was born, my husband wasn’t there. But as soon as he saw the baby, he took him ever so gently in his hands and gave him to the Lord. He did the same thing with Patsy just 19 months later.
June 1943—Kenneth E. Hagin received the gift to teach
While walking across the floor of the parsonage in Farmersville, Texas, Kenneth felt something drop down inside of him. “It just clicked down on the inside of me like a coin drops inside a pay phone,” Brother Hagin later recalled.
“The anointing to teach had dropped inside of me.” To prove this gift out, he began to hold Wednesday afternoon teaching meetings. These meetings were so successful that people began to arrange their work schedules in order to attend.
February 1949—Kenneth E. Hagin enters the field ministry
In June of 1946, the Lord sent Kenneth to pastor a church in Van, Texas, telling him that it would be the last church he would pastor. His first sermon as a traveling minister was at a church in Sachse, Texas, pastored by Rev. V.E. Tipton, whose daughter, Lynette, later married Kenneth’s son, Kenneth Wayne Hagin.
When Rev. Hagin entered the field ministry, his teaching gift was a needed complement to the healing revival of 1947–1958. He later said that his gift of teaching helped bring stability to what people received in healing meetings. “If people are going to maintain what they get from God, they’re going to have to possess it by faith,” he said, “and that’s the only way they’re going to hold on to it.” The more he taught on faith, Rev. Hagin said, the more people were able to stay healed.
May 1950—Kenneth E. Hagin told to ‘Go Teach My People Faith’
While ministering in Houston, Texas, Kenneth heard an audible voice from God saying, “Go teach My people faith! I have taught you faith through My Word. I have permitted you to go through certain experiences, and you have learned faith, both through my Word and by experience. Now, go teach My people what I have taught you.” From that time on, Kenneth had an increased determination to teach faith in God’s Word.
January 23, 1963—Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association Incorporated
Chartered with headquarters in Garland, Texas. Its stated purpose: “To promote the cause of the Christian Religion by engaging in evangelistic and missionary work.” Appearing at the bottom of the association’s first stationery were the words “A Ministry of Revelation.”
December 30, 1965—Kenneth W. Hagin and Lynette Tipton Married
While Kenneth W. Hagin was serving in the military overseas, Lynette began to write to him. (Their families had been friends for many years.) She even sent him a picture of herself. They began frequent correspondence.
Six months later, his term of service came to a close, and he returned to the States. His father had been holding meetings in California where Kenneth W. was due to arrive. When he came through the Oakland Army Terminal, his dad asked him, “Well, son, what do you want to do?” Clutching Lynette’s picture in his hand, he responded without hesitation, “I want to go home.” Canceling plans to do some sightseeing in California, the Hagins drove straight to Garland, Texas.
As Lynette opened the front door, Kenneth W. swung open the screen door, grabbed her, and gave her a big kiss! And the rest is history.
January 1966—Kenneth W. Hagin Enters Ministry
While managing the home office of the Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association, Kenneth W. Hagin assisted his father-in-law, Rev. V.E. Tipton, who pastored Southside Assembly of God in Garland, Texas.
May 1966—Tape Ministry Begins
For the first time, Rev. Hagin made sermon recordings available for purchase. Of course, they were available in both 5- and 7-inch reel-to-reel formats!
September 1966—The Ministry Moves to Tulsa, Oklahoma
Following the Lord’s direction and guidance, Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association moved its offices to 1029 North Utica in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The building had been previously occupied by the ministry of T.L. Osborn, a healing evangelist, missionary, and contemporary of Brother Hagin’s. For a brief time after the move, Kenneth E. and his wife, Oretha, lived in the upstairs portion of the building.
November 14, 1966—First Radio Broadcast
In a letter to his partners, Brother Hagin wrote:
We began our radio broadcast on Station KSKY, Dallas, Texas, on the 14th of November. I believe this new outreach of the ministry will be a blessing to our many friends in that area, and that it will also cause many new friends to want to share in our ministry . . . and most important, help them grow in faith, and in the knowledge of the Word of God.
June 1967—Kenneth W. Hagin Ordained
His ordination took place at Austin, Texas, through the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God. After ordination, Kenneth W. returned to Garland, Texas, to serve as associate pastor under Rev. V.E. Tipton, his father-in-law, at Southside Assembly of God.
April 1968—The Word of Faith Magazine First Published
The premiere issue of The Word of Faith was mailed to 200 people whom Brother Hagin and Mrs. Oretha knew personally.
July 22–29, 1973—First Campmeeting
Held at Sheridan Christian Assembly in Tulsa. Campmeeting speakers included Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, Rev. Roy Hicks, and Rev. and Mrs. J.R. Goodwin, with music by Vicki Jamison and Sharon Bell.
During this Campmeeting, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, Rev. Hagin said, “We’re going to start a Bible training center.” He wasn’t even aware he had made such an announcement and had to listen to the tape to hear it for himself.
September 1974—RHEMA Bible Training Center Opens
Under the direction of Kenneth W. Hagin, RHEMA Bible Training Center opened its doors in borrowed facilities at what is now Sheridan Christian Center on Sheridan Road in Tulsa.
“Many times through the years,” Brother Hagin said, “when I left a seminar where I had been teaching on faith, I’d cry all the way back to my hotel room. ‘Oh God,’ I’d say, ‘the world ought to hear this message. It’s not my message—it’s the Word of God. We’ve got to get it out somehow!’ It seemed like it was fire burning inside of me. I knew we had to get this message out, but I didn’t know how we were going to do it. But when the Lord led me to begin a training center, God’s plan became clear.”
December 2, 1974—First Mention of the Prayer and Healing Center
“I saw it in the Spirit—that He wants us to have right here in Tulsa a healing—a prayer—no, put prayer first—a prayer and healing center where people can come . . . . We’ll go out to some of them, but some of them need to come and stay until they do get healed.” —Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin
July 1976—RBTC moves to Broken Arrow
After RBTC began, the needs of the ministry quickly outgrew its facilities on North Utica Street in Tulsa. At the Lord’s direction, Brother Hagin purchased two buildings and 55 acres in Broken Arrow. The two original buildings are now the Administration Building and part of Rooker Memorial Auditorium. Another 55 acres would be added later to provide plenty of land for expansion.
May 1979—‘What Is That Sound?’ Prophecy Given at Graduation
RHEMA Bible Training Center’s purpose has been clear from the start. But it was dramatically emphasized in a prophecy given through Brother Hagin during the 1979 graduation ceremony in Tulsa. Here is an excerpt:
What is that sound? What is that sound that I hear?
It’s the sound of many feet—it’s the sound of beautiful feet.
It’s the sound of feet going forth with the good news.
Who are these that make this sound of tramp, tramp, tramp, as they go tramping along.
Who are these?
Yea, they are those chosen of the Lord, called of God, equipped by His Spirit . . . .
Yea, they are those who do know their God.
They are those who do know His Word.
They are those who know the mighty Name—
The Name that’s above every name, the Name of Jesus. . . .
Yea, they are those with the message of deliverance—
The message of healing, the message of victory, the message of God.
Who are these and from whence have they come?
Where are they going?
Yea, they come from the very bosom of the Father—from the right hand of God.
For their Master, even the Lord Himself, as He ascended on High,
Gave gifts unto men.
And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
They come from the very Throne of God—from the right hand of authority.
Where are they going?
They’re going to the uttermost parts of the earth.
They’re going where an empty hand is reaching out for help.
They’re going where there is a hungry cry—
Hungry for the bread of this life and for the true Bread of life—
Where he’s crying out for help.
They’re going around the world to tell the story, to proclaim the message,
To do the work that God called them to do.
October 1, 1979—First Session of Prayer and Healing School
Brother Hagin always had a strong desire to help those who suffered in pain and sickness as he once did, and he wanted to provide a place where faith could be taught and ministered to people on a daily basis.
Classes are still ongoing today, with Prayer School, morning and afternoon Healing School, and well-equipped prayer partners are available to pray with people by phone throughout the day.
Each year, Kenneth Hagin Ministries receives hundreds of testimonies telling of victories in the lives of those ministered to through the Prayer and Healing Center.
May 1982—Lynette Hagin Named Director of RHEMA Bible Training Center
May 1983—Kenneth E. Hagin Receives Honorary Doctorate From Oral Roberts University
1985—RHEMA Bible Church Begins
As RHEMA Bible Training Center grew, more and more students were looking for a church to call home. Itinerant teachers and evangelists were looking for a base from which to operate.
The Lord spoke separately to Kenneth E. Hagin and Kenneth W. Hagin about beginning a church with Kenneth W. as pastor. When the two men spoke to one another about it, the Holy Spirit confirmed the step within each of them.
February 28, 1985—Landmark Prophecy for Kenneth W. Hagin
I see something like a light that is covering the entire campus of RHEMA. The dynamics and the movement and the direction of that great thrust of God will come out of this man who is on the platform here [speaking of Kenneth W.] . . . .
God is making and creating and forming and doing all the things that He needs to do for this . . . and many shall come from many directions, and they shall be blessed. Not only students, but others shall be blessed at this place. — Lester Sumrall Prophecy delivered at RHEMA Bible Church.
April 1985—Introduction of RHEMA Ministerial Association International (RMAI)
Established under the direction of Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth W. Hagin, RMAI offers ministerial credentials (licensing and ordination) to qualified RBTC alumni. RMAI was designed to assist and equip ministers to reach their maximum potential and effectiveness.
During a prayer session early in RMAI’s formation, Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin was present and spoke the following prophecy:
Here’s what the Holy Ghost is saying . . . . This is a step in the right direction. For in these last days there is a work that must be done. And it will be done. But the work can be done much more quickly and more effectively with people banding together than with just one individual.
Just as in the natural, if one individual has only so much strength, that’s as far as he can go. But if others join their strength, even in the natural, with his strength, then they’re able to move forward and do much more.
May 20, 1994—Kenneth W. Hagin Receives Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Faith Theological Seminary in Tampa, Florida
May 5, 1996—RHEMA Praise Television Program Makes Its Debut
RHEMA Praise can now be seen all over the world through various Christian television stations and satellite networks. The program can also be viewed online.
September 19, 2003—Brother Hagin Goes Home
On Friday, September 19, 2003, Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin went to be with the Lord. The stories recounted at his memorial service, held the following Wednesday at RHEMA Bible Church, described a man of love, faith, and prayer who talked little in private and who enjoyed being around his family.
February 19, 2004—Lynette Hagin Ordained
Mrs. Hagin was ordained during the Thursday night session of Winter Bible Seminar 2004. Craig Hagin and Denise Burns, Lynette’s son and daughter, presented their mother with a beautifully framed RMAI ordination certificate.
At the close of the Thursday night service, Rev. Phil Privette, through the gifts of tongues and interpretation, spoke these words to Lynette:
You went down one woman, but you came up another!
For the glory of God and My Power shall rest mightily upon you.
Oh, ears shall be anointed to hear what I have put into your heart.
Revelation shall come forth.
You’re stepping into that new realm—
The realm of My Spirit, saith the Lord of Glory.
Yes, and I’ll continue to speak to you throughout the night—
Words that will bring forth encouragement and light and prosperity and blessing to the Body of Christ.
I’ll give you that strength, saith the Lord of Glory.
Yes, you have been faithful over little; now you’ll be faithful over much, saith the Lord of Glory, for the best is yet to come!
The new level of anointing is resting upon you this night as you go forth in My Word and My power—in demonstration of the Holy Spirit!
And a new depth of prayer shall come upon thee, saith the Lord of Glory.
June 28, 2007—Oretha Hagin Goes Home
Mrs. Oretha Hagin went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 28, 2007. At her memorial service, she was described as a Proverbs 31 woman, a woman of faith and prayer, who supported her husband throughout their nearly 65 years of marriage and ministry.