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A Lifetime Experiencing the Miracles of God

GROWING UP
Marilyn was born near the Texas panhandle. Although she felt loved as a child she endured some negative events that could have destroyed her. Her home life was dysfunctional at times because her dad suffered from depression and mental illness. As the depression intensified, he became verbally and physically abusive. Then at 11, Marilyn’s uncle started sexually abusing her. The abuse suddenly stopped a year later, but the damage had already been done. She thought there was something wrong with her and wanted to end her life. Her emotional stress did not get better until seventh grade. She began getting positive feedback on her good grades and began to pull out of the downward spiral she was in. It would be decades later before until she was healed from the pain of her childhood.

At 16 years old Marilyn went to Bible camp and became a Christian. Her faith continued to grow strong when she went to college and started attending a Bible study. After graduation, Marilyn met Wally who became her husband for 57 years. She became Spirit-filled and embarked on a life of ministry as a pastor’s wife. Together they witnessed many miracles and experienced God’s faithfulness.

She witnessed some amazing miracles take place in her family. God healed her mom of breast cancer and stopped her dad from killing her mom one night when he was in a murderous rage. Her dad was healed of depression and mental illness and his health was restored.  

PIONEER IN MINISTRY AND MEDIA
As Marilyn answered the call on her life to share the gospel she encountered many roadblocks because she was a woman. When she started to speak at churches many of them wouldn’t give her more than five minutes to talk. She learned to maximize whatever time she was given. She also held small home Bible studies that grew and multiplied. At one point, she was holding 22 Bible studies a week. People began to ask her about producing a five-minute radio program that aired once a week. She contacted a Christian radio station in the 60s about purchasing air time, but they would not even consider her request. “The anti-woman-preacher bias was not just in the church, it had infected almost every aspect of the Christian culture,” shares Marilyn. She continued to stand her ground and eventually the station executives let her purchase air time. Her radio program was very successful and aired each weekday across the United States, but she felt like God was saying radio was not enough. Television was the next most logical step. She proposed a Sunday morning television program to the station’s decision makers (all males), but was told that she would fail. A couple of years later her breakthrough came on educational television. Then she had another huge break in 1973 when she was selected as a Bible teacher on the TBN network. She did that for years and then decided it was time to produce her own daily television show. The program became a success across the United States. More than 45 years later the daily Bible teaching program now called, Today with Marilyn and Sarah has the potential to reach over 2.5 billion people every weekday and is available on many media outlets.

Throughout her ministry Marilyn has been presented with many opportunities. One of those came when she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University in 1986. Oral gave her a word about her ministry. He told her God would bless the ministry and use her in international ways. After this time the international call upon her life slowly became more evident. Oral also asked her to serve on his Board of Regents. A year later she would lead the board. She also became the first woman to join the Board of Directors of the largest church in the world, Dr. David Yonggi’s Church Growth International in South Korea.

DEALING WITH CLOSED DOORS
For over 10 years she prayed and asked God for an opportunity to enter China. In the mid-1980s she met a man who was going there to deliver road equipment. She asked if he knew any way that she could get into China to minister. He told her, “I can get you in. You will be able to get there and minster to the underground churches.” She went over there with a group of 150 people and the plan was to take 10,000 Bibles to bless the underground Chinese Christians.  Each person in her group carried a suitcase filled with Bibles along with their personal suitcase. When they arrived at the airport the scanners were a concern since they would reveal the Bibles in their suitcases. They all prayed. The scanner broke just before their suitcases were to be scanned. Her group all made it through customs with no issues. Since then she has made over 38 trips to China and God has always protected her and her ministry team.

MIRACLES OF GOD

  • Multiplication Miracle in Cairo – In 2008, Marilyn’s ministry had a huge training meeting in Cairo for pastors and leaders. They expected about 2,000 in attendance, but 5,000 showed up for the meeting. Many of these leaders had traveled very long distances to attend. The problem was only 3,500 box lunches had been delivered and counted. After all the lunches had been distributed to the 5,000 attendees there were still 1,200 extra boxes. “God had performed a miracle of multiplication right before our eyes,” shares Marilyn.
  • Smuggling Bibles into Vietnam – In the 1990s Marilyn took a group of people to smuggle Bibles into Vietnam. Since they couldn’t do overt ministry, they focused on prayer walks and praying for the people. They also met some underground Christians and found out about a revival going on at a rubber factory. Marilyn wanted to meet these Christians. She traveled at night by car about three hours outside of Saigon and then got on a motorcycle. For the next 30 minutes, she held tight to the driver as they traveled through the plantation to reach the factory. It was pitch dark and the terrain was rough. When she reached the factory 1,000 people were waiting for her to share the gospel. She left at 4:30 in the morning and traveled by motorcycle to return to their vehicle. When they got back to their car the driver said, “We got to get out of there quickly.” While in the factory, the police came looking for an American Christian woman. When they got to the car they asked where she was and were told she was in the plantation. The terrain was too rough for the police vehicle to travel so they waited by the car.  Just a few minutes before she emerged from the plantation, the police had gone to get something to eat. God had once again protected her.

LESSONS YOU PASS ON TO FUTURE GENERATIONS
Whether Marilyn is training a Bible class or mentoring individuals she strives to pass on the following five lessons she has learned through her life and ministry:

  • Embrace the process – Marilyn’s ministry did not start out airing on television to billions of people. Her process started out with home Bible studies. The ministry grew slowly until she began to teach on radio and then on television. Don’t short change the process by trying to take short cuts or you will fail to develop the faith you need to do what God has called you to do.
  • Put God’s word first in your life. – Marilyn spends each morning reading the Bible, praying, and memorizing scripture.  When you have scriptures memorized it allows you to minister to others as well as yourself with words of life.
  • Pray as if your life depended on it, because it does – “Praying and having intimacy with God is the foundation of a fruitful life,” shares Marilyn. Press into God and make time with Him each day.
  • Implement Wisdom in Life and Relationships – If you walk in wisdom, God will take what looks like a disadvantage and turn it into an advantage.
  • Give generously – You can give time, money, love and compassion. “It doesn’t matter how broke we are; we can always find a way to give something to someone,” shares Marilyn.

Mentioned in the Video

 

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Guest Info

Credits

Author, latest: It’s Not Over Until You Win (Marilyn Hickey Ministries, 2019)

Founder of Marilyn Hickey Ministries more than 45 years ago

Evangelist who has traveled to 137 countries sharing the gospel

Co-hosts with her daughter Sarah on Today with Marilyn and Sarah, a daily TV and online broadcast that reaches hundreds of thousands every day

Received a Bachelor of Arts in Collective Foreign Languages from the University of Northern Colorado and an Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University

Married to the her late husband Wallace (Wally), for over 57 years

Two grown children and five grandchildren

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