Matthew Hagee 2016,
John Hagee 2016,
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Pastor Hagee is founder and President of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his national radio and television teachings throughout America and the nations of the world, and is now seen worldwide twenty-four hours a day. Hagee is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of his non-profit corporation, Global Evangelism Television (GETV).
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Matthew Hagee is the youngest of five siblings. At age 12, he told his father, John Hagee, the senior pastor at Cornerstone Church, that he, too, wanted to be a minister. Mentoring began, and Matthew preached his first sermon at 17.
This is the second in a series on the changing leadership of the city’s three largest churches.
The portrait of a gray-haired John Hagee that flashes at passing traffic on Loop 1604 from a digital billboard in front of Cornerstone Church carries the title “senior pastor.”
It could also say global TV evangelist, skilled businessman, face of modern Christian Zionism, controversial Republican operator and End Times sage. He built the church from 25 congregants almost 40 years ago. Today, Sunday morning crowds average 8,200.
Four years ago, he had open-heart surgery. At 72, he shows no sign of slowing down.
But the same billboard flashes a portrait of his designated successor.
The youngest son of five siblings, Matthew Hagee, 34, in many ways is a chip off the old block.
He sings with like talent. He preaches with like fire, crescendo and humor. As the church’s executive pastor, he logs the same long hours, supervising about 500 employees at the church, its school and affiliated TV ministry and crafting weekly sermons late into the night.
“Every hour I’ve ever lived and breathed, I’ve always known I wanted to be a preacher,” he said.
Officially, Matthew Hagee’s future role at the top has not been announced. But it’s widely understood.
For now, the Sunday morning pulpit still is his dad’s. Sunday nights, however, are his.
Like his father, he makes his way to the stage from a tightly secured hallway. A digital clock in the sanctuary counts down the fixed 6:30 p.m. start on megascreens above.
Before a recent service, he paused to record a TV promo, hair neatly combed, his physique trim. In three years, he dropped 180 pounds, mostly through swimming and smaller food portions.
He displayed a complete ease in front of the camera. From their teen years, he and his sisters have been singing before national TV audiences.
The band, choir and congregants waited for his cue to start the worship service that night. From a pew below, his father looked on.
“A parent’s greatest joy is to watch their children grow and to develop into responsible and productive citizens,” John Hagee said in an emailed statement. “I could not be more proud of Matthew’s development as a leader and pastor. Every time Matthew leads the worship service, I am reminded that the day will come when he will lead Cornerstone Church and all of its related ministries on his own. At that moment of transition the church, the television ministry and the school will be in very good hands.”
At age 12, Matthew had told his father of this aspiration. The mentoring began. He shadowed church department heads. He cleaned cabins after church camp. He acted in youth dramas and did puppet shows. He traveled with his dad.
Matthew Hague’s expanded duties have freed up his father to focus on Christians United for Israel.
Citing a biblical mandate to honor the Jewish people, members have lobbied Congress and brought together U.S. and Israeli politicians, Jewish and Christian clergy and conservative talk-show hosts.
John Hagee has been an outspoken critic of Iran, radical Muslim ideology and Christian anti-Semitism. His statements about gay people and Catholicism have sparked theological and political controversies.
Matthew Hagee said he’s mindful of the magnifying glass created by the nature of his father’s advocacy. But when his turn at the helm arrives, he’ll bank on family roots as a sixth-generation preacher.
“In a lot of ways, I’m somewhat of an old soul in a young man’s body,” Matthew Hagee said. “When it comes to (my father) and I, our convictions are identical. The methods may be different from one generation to the next, but the same could be said of the differences between he and his father, and my grandfather and my great-grandfather.”
On his plate these days is the need to tend to an ever-expanding campus.
The Difference welcomes Mrs. Kendal Hagee to the set as Matthew’s very own guest co-host. Join this dynamic couple as they discuss the realities of marriage and family with special guest, Kay Wills Wyma, author of “Cleaning House.” Wyma describes the twelve month program she put into practice within her household to rid her five children of the attitude of entitlement.