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Kenneth E. Hagin was born in McKinney, Texas, the son of Lillie Viola Drake Hagin and Jess Hagin.[citation needed] According to Hagin’s testimony, he was born with a deformed heart and what was believed to be an incurable blood disease. He was not expected to live and at age 15 became paralyzed and bedridden.[3] In April 1933 he converted to Christianity. During a dramatic conversion experience, he reported dying, due to the deformed heart, three times in 10 minutes, each time seeing the horrors of hell and then returning to life.[4]He remained paralyzed after his conversion.[2]


In 1936, he founded his first non-denominational church.[2] He preached his first sermon as the pastor of a small, community Baptist church in Roland, Texas.[5] In 1937, he became an Assemblies of God minister.[5] During the next twelve years he pastored five Assemblies of God churches in Texas: in the cities of Tom BeanFarmersville (twice), TalcoGreggton, and Van.[6] Van, Texas was the last church he pastored before starting to travel.

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