Rick Hagans has been preaching since age 9 when he felt the Lord call him to go preach to some homeless hippies he saw on the evening news. He ran away from home to go preach, but was caught by the police as he tried to hop a freight train he thought would take him to the "city". The police, his parents, a pastor and even a psychologist called in on the case convinced Rick not to leave home at only 9 years of age. He did however begin to preach around his community earning him the nickname of "Preacher Boy". Many elderly people in the Auburn-Opelika Alabama area call him that to this day (even though he is now 45 years old). Rick recently proclaimed from the pulpit of the Times Square Church in the heart of New York City, that "God is true to His call, and finally, after 30 years...I finished my trip. I am preaching in the city, just like He called me!" Today Rick continues to preach at Times Square Church most every month. God didn't just "call him to the city" but also continues to use him there.
Preaching for 36 years, 25 years of it full time, has brought Rick a lot of experience. He has preached in over 300 different churches, in 25 states and in 10 different countries. Even as a "charismatic Christian" much of Rick's work remains in main-line denominational churches. Rick believes one of God's purposes in his work is to let the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian etc... ministers he works with know not all Spirit-filled ministers are the stereotypical "weird, decisive, rebellious" type so many traditional pastors fear. It must work as Rick's preaching calendar stays filled with revivals in 15-20 mainline churches every year, many of them are repeat engagements where the pastor says "We must have you back."
Rick also preaches in Pentecostal churches across America, including the famous Times Square Church in New York City where he is a regular guest pastor. Pastor David Wilkerson introduced Rick with this statement; "God has placed His own heart of love for people within Rick Hagans. He is a man of vision."
Rick continues to do much of his ministry work outside the 4 walls of the church. He has helped found two church and an orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico where he takes 250-300 people on short term mission trips every year. He has also just returned from India where he ministered to hundreds of native missionaries and was the guest evangelist at the largest church in Southern India, Madras' Apostolic Pentecostal Fellowship.
Perhaps Rick is best known outside the church world for his yearly walks that have taken him across 14 states and the entire length of the infamous Cherokee Trail of Tears. Rick does these walks to raise shoes for needy people in Mexico (with over 50,000 pair raised to this date). He also feels that by walking all those miles and miles he keeps in touch with what the American people are thinking and feeling. His walks have been covered by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN , Paul Harvey News, American Armed Forces Radio, NPR, and James Dobson Family News and Focus. He was chosen by WSFA TV in Montgomery, AL (a NBC affiliate) to run with the Olympic Torch in 1996 based on his first barefoot walk across Alabama.
Rick ran for Alabama's 3rd Congressional District seat in 1996. Although he did not win, he raised a lot of interest running unashamedly as a spirit-filled street minister. One of his opponents, Don Sledge now serves, along with his wife Yvonne, as directors of His Place the Christian re-hab men's home Rick founded. Bob Riley, (Alabama's current Governor) the gentleman who won the seat has said, "I've never in my life met a Christian like Rick Hagans." Mr. Riley has had Rick up to his Washington D.C. office to hold Bible Studies and prayer on numerous occasions. In fact, Rick had an open invitation to hold Bible Study and Prayer there on Capital Hill every month. Congressman Riley in fact nominated Rick to represent his district during congressional hearings last month regarding President Bush's Faith Based Initiative in Washington D.C. Governor Riley has recently had Rick to Montgomery to speak at the Bible Study that he holds for his cabinet there.
Rick has diplomas from Kenneth Hagin's Rhema Bible Training Center and David Wilkerson's Institute of Christian Training. He also graduated with honors from Auburn University with a degree in Social Work and Psychology. He finished a Master's Degree with highest honors from Auburn University at Montgomery and is currently working towards a Doctorate of Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Rick says he agrees that education alone doesn't make anyone a "man of God", but then he says, "neither does ignorance".
The ministry Rick founded and is President of, Harvest Evangelism Inc., includes a men's discipleship home and ministry school (former addicts) called His Place. His Place houses 20-30 men who find Biblical solutions to life's problems.
Harvest Evangelism also has a similar home for ladies called the Hosanna Home. It was founded to reach out to women with one thing in common, those who are hopeless. We give them hope, Jesus. Then we teach them to live their lives according to His will for their lives.
Rick is involved with various types of street ministry through the efforts of Harvest Evangelism from national outreaches such as the one to Mardi Gras and regular state and local outreaches. Rick's work has received official commendations from the Governor of his state and the Mayor of his city. Another interesting side-light to Rick's ministry has been the accommodation of other ministers including world-renown ministers such as David Wilkerson and David Jeremiah, both of whom have included testimonies involving Rick in recent books they've written.
Rick is married (for 23 years now), to Kimberly Bryan Hagans, herself a Rhema graduate and minister in her own right. She is gifted and called to teach and disciple women to follow Christ. They have 4 children. R.C., 17 years old is a Junior in High School who loves laughing and high school wrestling. Winchester, 13 years old who is like his dad, loves the outdoors gets in trouble like his dad did at his age. Elliot, 9 years old is a blond-haired, blue-eyed darling of a child whom everyone falls in love with and who loves everybody. Rikki-Dreamer, 6 years old and was miraculously adopted off the very streets Rick works on in Mexico. As her name implies she is a dream come true, whom we hope sees all her dreams fulfilled in Christ.
Rick and Kim were house parents at a State run girls home for two years and have also cared for dozens of other foster-children. They continue to keep their home and lives open for all type of needy (and interesting) people.
Rick and Kim believe in and base their life's work on the scripture, Matthew 25:34-45:
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me."
Then those "sheep" are going to say, "Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?" Then the King will say, "I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was meyou did it to me." Then he will turn to the "goats," the ones on his left, and say, "Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited."
Then those "goats" are going to say, "Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?"
He will answer them, "I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was meyou failed to do it to me."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon