The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) world communication center will open this fall as the John and Diana Hagee Communication Center. President Kermit Bridges announced the naming in honor of the Hagees during the SAGU Board of Regents banquet Thursday evening.
Hagee and his wife Diana pledged $2.5 million last fall and an additional $1 million this spring to help SAGU reach the $21 million needed for SAGU's most expensive project in university history. The Hagee Communication Center will house a performing arts auditorium , classrooms, rehearsal Halls, film screening/preaching and speech labs, black-box theater, TV/film and audio studios, digital editing labs, music practice rooms, Einstein's Bagels and much more.
President Kermit Bridges recently commented, “John Hagee’s impact on the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century is huge. The campus family is proud of the fact he is an alumnus of this institution. We have been blessed by his willingness to invest time and energy speaking into the lives of our students.”
In a special video message to those in attendance, Hagee said, "Diana and I are blessed beyond deserving to have this majestic facility named in our honor." He explained, "This world communication center will train the next generation to send the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world through every form of media."
Dr. John Hagee is a 5th generation preacher and the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee preached his first sermon in March 1958 in his father’s church in Houston. In those early days, he slept in a garage for a year and lived on $7,000 during his first three years of ministry, working odd jobs to keep food on the table.
“Hagee admits that certain things in his past such as his mother’s strong work ethic and his experiences on the football field shaped his message,” commented Jim Douglas of Charisma Magazine.
John is an alumnus of Southwestern and was actively involved as an honor student and athlete when the university provided a high school. He then received a full athletic scholarship to Trinity University in San Antonio as a football walk-on. In 1964, he received bachelor’s degrees in history and education. He coached at Nimitz Middle School. Under his leadership, the football, track and field and basketball teams won district championships. Hagee went on to earn his master’s degree in Education Administration from North Texas State University. In October 1966, Hagee returned to San Antonio and founded Trinity Church, which outgrew its first location and moved in 1972.
Hagee founded Castle Hills Church in 1975 with only 25 families. It also grew quickly and soon moved to a multimillion-dollar complex with 3,300 worshipers. According to Hagee in 1978, “The phenomenal growth of this church can only be explained in terms of the miraculous. The presence of the Holy Spirit to direct and empower gives freshness and vitality.” Castle Hills changed its name to Cornerstone Church and moved to its present location in 1987.
Six thousand people packed into the 5,000-seat sanctuary for Dedication Day. Pastor Hagee had planned for the new facility to hold enough congregants that everyone could attend one service. By February, however, Cornerstone had to return to two services because of the continued growth. Cornerstone has grown to more than 19,000 members.
Hagee has reached people around the world through his television and radio ministry. The ministry began with a vision to televise Cornerstone’s services. The John Hagee Television Ministry began in a 10-foot by 12-foot room with one secretary and one phone. It was run predominantly by volunteers. In what he calls a blind leap of faith, Hagee formed a non-profit corporation called “Global Evangelism.”
The one room office with one secretary has developed into John Hagee International Media center. The center is a 48,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art radio and television production center with television studios, producers, directors, engineers, technicians, 100 telephone counselors, data entry complex, shipping for books and tapes and Executive Offices. They now broadcast throughout the world.
Hagee is also an accomplished author. His works include New York Times best-sellers “Beginning of the End” and “Day of Deception” as well as best-sellers “Final Dawn Over Jerusalem” and “Jerusalem Countdown.”
Vice President for Enrollment and Retention Eddie Davis added, "Throughout his career and ministry, Hagee has used media and effective communication to reach the world. It is fitting that what we have called the World Communication Center will take on Hagee's name -- a name synonymous with international outreach through contemporary media."