At the age of 17, Pastor Hagee walked into the pulpit for the very first time…after a miraculous change of heart that only God could have orchestrated. He was set to attend West Point, after receiving an appointment by Lyndon B. Johnson. He was done with church life, but God had other plans.
The first sermon Pastor ever preached was, “A Place Called Calvary.” The center of the Gospel is the cross…the place that cleanses each of us from sin, redeems us and sets us free. Isaiah 40:8 tells us, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God stands forever.” May the Word of God always be the centerpiece of Cornerstone Church.
Pastor Hagee built the first church on Nacogdoches Road in San Antonio, Texas…pastoring there from 1966-1972. He was only able to get $65,000 in bonds from a security company in Houston, as a personal favor. No bank would touch a church with no financial history. But persistence overcame resistance and by God’s grace, the church was built.
The small congregation sold the bonds and bought the property, but that’s all the money they had. So, we worshipped at a rented store front on Loop 410 for four months, then at the Trinity University Chapel for six months. Every Sunday, an offering was taken and supplies were purchased to continue building that first church.
Our first Sunday in that church, we had a roof over our head with naked studs on the side. There was a concrete slab with an organ and a piano. It was winter time and when we sang, smoke came out of our mouths because it was so cold. It took us a year to finish that building, but we did it! On dedication day, the church was packed and heaven came down!
The second church was Trinity Church on Fourwinds Drive in Windcrest. Pastor Hagee pastored there from 1972-1975. The church exploded, and two services were quickly needed to accommodate the crowd.
The third church was the Church of Castle Hills, where Pastor Hagee preached from 1975-1987. The church filled up quickly, so we started a building program with only half the bonds sold. God miraculously provided for us, and everything was paid on time and in full because we serve a God without limit! On dedication Sunday, the building was filled to overflowing.
Pastor knew that God had a bigger plan for Cornerstone, and he asked the church board about getting into television ministry. They said absolutely not; our church had all the debt it could handle. So, Pastor and Diana sold some personal property and bought three RCA cameras. A small studio was built on the church property, and that’s where Global Evangelism Television (GETV) was launched. At the onset, you need to know that the ministry was barely reaching the parking lot and a few areas in our city. It was certainly nowhere near “global.”
The fourth church is the church that Pastor Hagee and his son, Matthew Hagee, currently pastor, Cornerstone Church on Stone Oak Pkwy. This church was dedicated in 1987 with a prayer of blessing by Pastor Hagee’s late father, Rev. Bythel Hagee.
The press said that the church was too far for anyone to attend, but the sanctuary was filled to overflowing on dedication morning. More than 6,000 people were in attendance when the fire marshal showed up. On March 11, 2018, Pastor Hagee celebrated 60 years of ministry and passed the torch to his son, Matthew Hagee.