Scott Hagan speaks at Martin Luther King Jr event

President Hagan keynotes MLK Jr. event in Sacramento

North Central University President Scott Hagan is slated to give the keynote address at the MLK Jr. Celebration on January 14 at the Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, California. Before becoming North Central’s president, Hagan served as senior pastor of Real Life Church in Sacramento.

Previous keynote speakers at this event, which is one of America’s largest MLK celebrations, have included Dr. Bernice King, Francis Chan, Dr. Efrem Smith, and Luis Palau.

Passion for diversity

Hagan is passionate about building healthy diversity in the organizations he serves and the communities in which he lives. He served as an executive member of Sacramento’s Martin Luther King Committee from 2005 to 2017, and in 2011 he was awarded the “Difference Maker” award by the MLK Committee of Sacramento for outstanding civic leadership and unity.

In the May 2015 issue of Ministry Today Magazine, Real Life Church (pastored by Hagan) was acknowledged as one of the 21 Most Influential Churches in America when it comes to diversity.

In speaking about the power and importance of diversity for North Central, Hagan frequently says, “I want North Central to look like heaven,” referencing Revelation 7:9, which says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

Breaking the ethnicity barrier starts with the heart

Hagan’s heart for hard-wiring a focus on diversity into the organizations he serves was born in his early years of ministry. In a May 2013 article in Ministry Today Magazine, Hagan wrote:

“… We’ve learned … that breaking the ethnicity barrier first requires a ‘miracle of the heart’—an inner awakening that changes your core attitude and thinking about yourself and those who are culturally different.

“In the early church, Peter and Cornelius were the first to experience this miracle of the heart (see Acts 10:34-11:18). It had been 10 years since the day of Pentecost, yet the church was still oddly exclusive. Having never captured that spirit of Jesus which made “whosoever will” feel as though they “belonged,” the church after 10 years primarily was all about converting Jews and few others.

“But the Holy Spirit revealed to these two men that something was desperately missing in their lives and in the church. The chasm between the Jew and the Gentile needed healing, and it needed to happen now.

“For churches to break the color barrier, we as leaders of the church must model our own personal necessity for multi-ethnic friendships. Otherwise, our congregations will see our attempts as mere token experiments to grow a struggling church.

“Because I now seek to experience God’s completeness for the church, I want next-door neighbors and working relationships with friends of diverse ethnicities. Without those kinds of relationships in my life, I would again feel incomplete, a condition that for me is now totally unacceptable.”

Hagan looks forward to bringing a message of continued hope for racial unity as the Sacramento (and Minneapolis) communities commemorate the work and life of Martin Luther King Jr.

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