Harvest Evangelism was founded in 1985 by Rick Hagans after returning back to Alabama after working for David Wilkerson and his ministry World Challenge. In the beginning Rick's vision was to create a Christian 'Coffee House' which could be a safe place for the residents of the community to find a safe space, hear the gospel be presented, and be discipled.
But after a while it was found that a number of the people who heard and accepted the gospel here had nowhere to go. With a number even taking the back off of the stand alone arcade games in the coffee house to sleep inside at night. It was also at this time that Rick was taking men home to live with him, his wife, and then, one child in their small trailer. This gave birth to His Place, the ministry of Harvest Evangelism which offers men a one-year Christian recovery center where men are offered gospel centered discipleship along with various other things which aid them in not only defeating their life controlling addictions but helping them turn into contributing members of society and the Church.
As time went on Rick was also able to stop teaching high school history and Spanish and focus on ministry full time. Though he had been preaching since he was nine years old, this allowed for the growth of Harvest Evangelism's Pulpit Ministry which allows Rick, as well as other ordained staff members of Harvest Evangelism, to travel and preach. A call that has taken him across the world and back preaching the gospel in a number of countries and all over the United States.
It was during this time in the 90's that Rick became disheartened by the seemingly emotional manipulation and short lasting effect summer church camps that he had been regularly preaching at. So one year instead of preaching a summer camp at the beach he, joined by Buff McNickle who was then the youth pastor of1st Baptist Church Thomasville, Al, took a team to Mexico to work with the poor and destitute in the U.S.-Mexico boarder town of Reynosa. Since then Harvest Evangelism has taken over 10,000 people down to Mexico for short term mission trips to work with local missionaries and an orphanage that was started by Rick Hagans and Elma Fonsecaelmafdev in 1998. Harvest Evangelism Missions has also been able to take mission teams to other countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
These continued trips to Mexico brought each person who went face-to-face with unimaginable poverty of these places. On one such trip the week before Christmas Rick was approached by a young boy asking to trade all that he had for a pair of shoes that didn't force his toes to stick out so far that each one could be accounted for. That year all the shoes had been given out along with the money that should have been for gas driving home. But Rick left this young boy with a promise that he would return and place shoes on his feet. That year Rick was preaching at a larger church and off-the-cuff asked if they would help him with this. They agreed. He went further and asked if they would increase their help if he walked across Alabama. They agreed once more. And then once more, he asked if they would up their giving once again if he walked Alabama barefoot, in July. They agreed again. That year Rick walked across the sate of Alabama barefooted and returned to place shoes on the feet of that young boy who called the local trash dump his home. Since then Rick has walked across 38 different states in 25 years. Although after that first year he began to wear boots.
After a number of years of having His Place in operation Rick, and his wife Kim, once again began welcoming people in need into their home. This time around they opened their home to women in need of a safe place to be and grow. This was the start of Hosanna Home. Hosanna Home, like His Place, is a one year Christian recovery home which allows women, and their children up to age 12, to overcome their addictions while being immersed in gospel centered discipleship.
And with the birth of Hosanna Home came the need for yet another safe place for those in need. Rick and Kim, along with the other staff of Harvest Evangelism and a number of partner churches, saw the need for short term safe places for women who have anything but a safe place. This need turned into Hope's Inn, a short term women's shelter to allow women to escape immediate threats such as abuse and homelessness.
With the growth of both His Place and Hosanna Home there naturally came a connection to the men and women who were a part of our lives for a year. This organically turned into our aftercare program. Though this began organically we have now worked on various structures which allow for further help to our graduates. This ranges from further discipleship to help in obtaining housing, aid in continued education, finding employment, financial education and much more.
With all of these ministries Harvest Evangelism began Harvest Thrift Store in 200? to help in the financial cost of caring for as many people as they were. Through the years this store has grown to be able provide a portion of the annual budget of Harvest Evangelism.
For more information about any of these ministries of Harvest Evangelism please please click on the ministries link at the top of the page and then click on the name or logo of the ministry that you desire to know more about.