Edward Victor Hill was born on November 10, 1933 in Columbus, Texas to the parents of William and Rosa Hill. He was reared in a log cabin by Papa Aaron and Mama Ellis Langram in the Sweet Home Community near Seguin Texas. He was born again on December 14, 1944.
He was married to Jane Edna Caruthers on August 29, 1955. To this union, two children were born, Norva Rose Kennard and Edward V. Hill II. Jane preceded him in death on October 29 1987. He was married to LaDean Donald on March 7, 1992.
He accepted the call to preach the gospel of Jesus in 1951 and in the same year, he was elected president of the National Baptist Youth Convention of America. He was called to pastor his first church, the Friendly Will Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas in 1954. He attended Prairie View College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1955.
At the age of 21, he was called to pastor the Mount Corinth Baptist Church of Houston, Texas. While there, the church grew to become one of the most influential congregations in Texas.
On the first Sunday in 1961, Pastor Hill took charge as Pastor of the historical Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles where he remained the beloved pastor for 42 years. He was a world-renowned evangelist, much loved but often criticized for his unswerving dedication to biblical integrity.
He was considered one of the most significant preachers of the 20th century. He was greatly admired as one who marched across the boundary lines of race, religion, denomination, and political preferences. He was among the first Negro Baptist to preach on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a mainly charismatic Christian network, which began a love relationship for years with Paul and Jan Crouch. TBN Video
His sermons were sound and sure. His heart was as big as the world. Everyone knew that his compassion was toward those who were on the lowest level of society. When he preached, his mind was as swift as lightning and his voice thundered with righteousness. He was armed like a defense attorney protecting his faith.
￼After leading the church to purchase land for a new church location, Pastor Hill was so moved with compassion for the growing numbers of hungry and homeless in South Central, that he delayed the plans for the church and built the Lord's Kitchen instead. This was a facility that served an average of 2000 meals a week to the needy and homeless of South Central. There were also canned foods and supplies which were given out at the Lord's Pantry which was adjacent to the Lord's Kitchen.
Pastor Hill's works, religious, social and civic affiliations were legion. However, he was particularly fond of the fraternity of preachers of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. This led him to establish the Preaching Sons of Zion which to this day is a fraternity of Gospel preachers all over the world who were either saved, licensed, ordained or even adopted by Pastor Hill and the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He ordained and sent out to the nation over 200 preaching Sons of Zion, including his namesake Dr. Edward V Hill II.
He authored two books, "A Savior Worth Having" and "Victory in Jesus" which are collections of life-changing sermons that he delivered over his 52 years of preaching.
His favorite passages of Scripture were Psalms 31, 51, 71 and 91, which he suggested be read sequentially.
Pastor Hill continued to be a world traveling evangelist, political genius, savvy business man, civic leader, gracious humanitarian, and local pastor even when his health began to drain him of his strength. He climbed on planes and stood in pulpits, regardless of his weakness. He gave of himself and his ministry to the end.
Mount Zion was celebrating Pastor Hill's 42nd Pastoral Anniversary when he went home to be with the Lord. As a testimony to their great strength and love for their leader, the celebration continued without a break, though he never attended a service.
On Monday night February 24, 2003, TBN aired one of Pastor Hill's sermons titled, "How to Cope." It was reported that there were over 1 million viewers, which was one of the largest audiences ever. An hour after the sermon aired, Pastor Hill went into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Hill will always be remembered for many of his popular sayings. The one slogan which has branded his ministry for years and continues to be the slogan of Mount Zion is, "If You Have the Faith, God Has the Power."
We will never stop resounding his name and his message, with the only salutation that he used in 42 years, "Yours sure of salvation through Christ."