San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church said Sunday that its 80-year-old founding pastor, John Hagee, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Matt Hagee, lead pastor of Cornerstone, told the congregation his father had tested positive last week, and that the disease had been caught early.
“He is receiving extremely good medical treatment, and I can tell you that he feels well enough to be upset with his doctors,” the younger Hagee said, prompting laughter from the audience. “He did let me know before I came to church today that he covets your prayers and he looks forward to seeing you again very soon back here at Cornerstone Church.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, “It’s a terrible disease and we wish the Hagee family well and a speedy recovery.”
Hagee’s followers greeted news of the pastor’s illness with an outpouring of prayer.
Writing on Cornerstone’s Facebook page, Cindy Stone Mize wrote, “Praying for Pastor Hagee and President Trump and our First Lady. May you be completely healed and restored to good health immediately!!”
A woman named Wendy Towlerton wrote on the Facebook page: “Dear Heavenly Father, on bended knees I am praying for the President, First Lady and Pastor John Hagee. Please heal them today and wrap your loving arms around them.”
Hagee is founder of John Hagee Ministries, a mega-church on the North Side with more than 22,000 members. His sermons are broadcast in the United States and Canada. He’s an ardent supporter of Israel and founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel.
A Cornerstone biography of Hagee says he has been in ministry for more than 60 years. He was born in Baytown, near Houston.
In July, Hagee, his ministry and four parents of students attending his Cornerstone Christian Schools sued San Antonio and Bexar County officials, challenging an order to delay the start of in-person instruction in schools until after Labor Day to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The suit argued that the order by the Metropolitan Health District “unconstitutionally infringes on the religious freedoms of private religious schools.”
The controversy became moot after Gov. Greg Abbott said local health agencies lacked authority to close classrooms in anticipation of an outbreak.
In 2017, Hagee had a private meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Washington to discuss the U.S.-Israel relationship. The visit included a stop in the Oval Office “to say hello” to President Donald Trump, a Hagee spokesman said at the time.
In church on Sunday, Matt Hagee asked the congregation to pray for both his father and Trump, “as he indeed is struggling with this as well.”
In his prayer, the younger Hagee called on God to “put his hand upon the physical body of our pastor and upon the physical body of our president, and that they would be healed in the mighty name of Jesus.
“No weapon formed should prosper. No virus has the authority over the name that is above every name, and it is that matchless name that we speak today, knowing that it conquers every sickness, every disease. Every issue and challenge in our life is defeated because Jesus Christ has given us victory.”