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This Week in AG History -- March 10, 1974

Raymond H. Hudson, former general treasurer of the Assemblies of God, was used by God to preach, reach, and teach, but his skills in finance were a blessing to the national office, districts, and individuals.
Raymond H. Hudson (1918-2010) is remembered as a faithful pastor, evangelist, district officer, and Assemblies of God National Office executive. His final appointment was general treasurer of the Assemblies of God. He was highly esteemed by his colleagues. General Secretary Joseph R. Flower said, “Brother Hudson’s gentle demeanor and infectious wit and sense of humor, combined with a depth of spirituality, have made inroads into the hearts of all with whom he has had contact.”

Hudson was born in Celina, Texas, and grew up as the son of a sharecropper in McKinney and Limestone County, Texas. At age four or five, he was already sensing the call of God on his life. He remembered standing at the top of the stairs in his home with a little New Testament and preaching to an imaginary congregation. That urgency to preach never left him.

“I can never think of a time when I didn’t want to be a preacher,” Hudson said.

Life was simple and hard. There was no electricity in their home. Hudson liked to tell the story that they had running water: “I ran to the well and back with the water bucket.” That was the running water. There were also cows to milk every day. Hudson learned to pick cotton in his boyhood years. By the age 13, he was the fastest cotton picker in the area. No one could equal his speed and agility.

In 1926, A.E. Davis first brought the full gospel message to the nearby community of Thornton, Texas. It was during his ministry that a miracle happened in the Hudson household. Raymond’s mother, Lessie May, became critically ill with diabetes. She had reached the last stages of the disease when she requested special prayer. She could hardly make it onto the platform, but when she was prayed for, she received an instant healing.

Hudson said, “She threw her hands in the air, shouted, and ran across the platform.” This experience affirmed to young Raymond that God answers prayer.

Although he had long sensed the call of God on his life, he did not fully surrender to Christ until he was 14. Two years later, he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit in a prayer meeting, and two years after that, at age 18, he accepted his first pastorate in Thornton, Texas, in 1936. It was there that he met Onie Marie Stewart, who later became his wife.

After three years of pastoring, he felt a need for a greater understanding of God’s Word. So he resigned his church to attend Shield of Faith Bible Institute in Fort Worth (now Nelson University). Onie Marie was also attending the Bible school, and their friendship blossomed. He graduated in 1943. During his last year of school, he began pastoring the Assembly of God in Perrin, Texas. While pastoring at Perrin, he married Onie Marie Stewart on Oct. 15, 1943. Hudson was ordained by the Texas District Council of the AG on June 9, 1944, and his wife also became an AG minister.

Following his ministry in Perrin, Hudson pastored a short time in Aubrey, Texas, before accepting an invitation in 1946 from First Assembly in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he pastored for nine years. During his tenure there, Hudson helped the church to grow from 40 to over 300, and a new church facility was constructed.

In April 1955, Hudson was elected superintendent of the New Mexico district, where he served for 13 years (1955-1968). During that period, he oversaw the building of new district offices and established a home missions program to reach out to both the Anglo and the Native American people of New Mexico. He also set up a Church Builders Plan in New Mexico which served as a working model for the Church Loan Department at the AG National Office for many years.

After a brief period pastoring First Assembly in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and a short time working at Southwestern Bible College in the area of development, Hudson was invited to head the Stewardship Department at the AG National Office. The Hudsons moved to Springfield, Missouri, in 1969. He traveled extensively with estate planning and stewardship seminars. Then in 1972, Hudson was appointed as church loan officer. In that capacity, he set up the Church Builders Plan on a national level, which provided low-cost debt retirement loans to churches. He headed the Church Loan Department until October 1973.

Because of his years of service in church finance, Hudson was nominated and elected to serve as general treasurer (1973-1988). In that position, he had oversight of several departments — Audit, Benevolences, Central Mail, Church Loan, Finance, Stewardship, and Deferred Giving and Trusts. He was chairman of the board for Hillcrest Children’s Home and Highlands Child Placement Services. He oversaw Aged Ministers Assistance and Disaster Relief for the Assemblies of God. He also served on boards for Evangel College (now University) and Maranatha Village.

After 15 years as general treasurer, Hudson and his wife retired and moved to Hobbs, New Mexico, where he had time to enjoy fishing and other pastimes.

Looking back on his life of ministry, Hudson shared a pearl of wisdom: “Every person needs to recognize that life and all its resources and the responsibilities that come with our jobs constitute a trust given by the Lord. We need to sharpen our skills to the finest degree and ask the Lord to help us do our very best.”

Read one of Raymond Hudson’s sermons, “Entertaining a Royal Guest,” on pages 4-5 of the March 10, 1974, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “It’s Just the Beginning,” by Paul Radke

• “New Life Singers in Japan,” by Jim Braddy

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel
archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Glenn W. Gohr

Glenn W. Gohr is the reference archivist at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, Missouri.