Dr. John Hull
Pastor of Missions
Over the course of a few years, John Hull went from living the American Dream to living in a beat-up trailer on the Baja Peninsula. Some might call it a change in fortunes, but to John, he was at his richest living in the Mexican desert.
John was a Florida boy through and through, raised in a Christian home on the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale and educated at Florida State University, where he earned a B.S. and M.B.A. in Marketing.
Soon enough, he was on the fast track at Johnson & Johnson, the American Dream within reach. To that point, everything had been smooth sailing. “My life was perfect,” he says.
Over two years though, a few events, including the death of his father and his nephew, would shake him to his core and result in him coming to a realization. “My money and success and my position and whatever couldn’t solve what life threw at me,” he says.
John visited Los Angeles to comfort his sister after her son’s death.
“While we were there, the love of Christ enveloped us through her church like I had never experienced before.”
It changed his whole way of thinking. Upon returning home, he convinced the associate pastor of a Methodist church to teach him the Bible. One day, while studying John 6 at his kitchen table, he realized in the way that without food, his body would die, without Jesus, his soul would die.
“That was my moment,” he says. “It was a ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment, a spiritual high. People thought I was on drugs because I was so stinkin’ happy.”
Within two years of his conversion, he knew he was called to the ministry. He quit Johnson & Johnson, a move his friends thought a mid-life crisis. He sold his house and set out for seminary at Asbury in Kentucky.
While there, he took a class in Kenya. During a life-changing trip to one of the biggest slums in Africa, Kawangware, he visited a church that was his first exposure to a holistic way of doing ministry. Not only was it preaching the Gospel and seeing people come to Christ, but it was also teaching the people how to survive, how to get out of the slum and make a living.
After visiting a church in inner-city Chicago that used the same holistic approach to help the homeless, John knew the direction he was headed.
“I knew I was called to missions,” he says. “I wasn’t called to be a regular pastor. I was called to serve the poor and help those in need.”
After seminary, John felt called to be a missionary in Mexico. He was assigned to a medical ministry on the San Felipe desert side of the Baja Peninsula, working out of a run-down trailer with holes in the floor and no hot water.
“It was the best seven years of my life,” he says. “The people were the most wonderful people I’ve ever lived with.”
In 1997, after hearing John speak at The Woodlands UMC missions conferences, Dr. Robb called him and asked if he’d be the new Pastor for Missions. John accepted and has been overseeing the church’s missions programs ever since.