Ira V. Hilliard, a native Houstonian, was called at the age of nine to preach God's Word. Having waited one year so that his pastor would know he heard from God, Ira Hilliard preached his first sermon on a Mother's Day night at the age of ten. He married the beautiful Bridget E. Harrison on October 4, 1975, who has co-labored with him in building a dynamic ministry that is recognized around the world.
This dynamic couple co-founded the outstanding New Light Christian Center Church ("One Church, Multiple locations") in North, East, West and South Houston; Beaumont and Austin, Texas. Their passion to take God's Word to a hurting and lost generation has resulted in a current church membership of over 20,000 and counting. New Light Christian Center Church is not only recognized around the country as a Mega-Church, but in September 2007 it was honored as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Churches in America.
This Mega-Church also has a nationwide television ministry, a satellite network, an Aviation Division, Light Commerce Credit Union, and an early childhood development center known as Light Christian Academy.
In 1995, after a mandate from God many years prior, Bishop Hilliard started Church Development Strategies Conference. Thousands of Pastors and leaders come to Houston annually to sit at his feet to learn church strategies, growth and development principles. The conference, now branded as Strategies Conference, is recognized as one of the best conferences of its kind in the country.
After a strong witness from God in 2001, Bishop Hilliard developed an organization of Pastors who either see him as a spiritual father or mentor. This organization is called the Association of Independent Ministries (A.I.M.). AIM currently has 1,200 Pastors and is growing daily. A Pastor to Pastors and a man after God’s heart, Bishop Hilliard was confirmed as a Bishop in the Lord’s Church in February 2007.
Bishop Hilliard has been recognized for various scholarly honors and has written several life changing books. His latest book, "The Cup, The Cake and The Coin," released February 2012 has received phenomenal response. A very well known publishing company has already expressed interest in the book. We are certain that it will receive the same rave reviews as his other writings which are all soon to be best sellers. "Maximizing Life's Defining Moments" was released in October 2010. Bishop Hilliard released two books in October 2009 entitled "The Maximized Life Journey-52 Days to Victorious Living;" and "Experiencing The Fresh Fire Anointing-The Textbook for the Spirit Filled Life." In July 2008, "Men at Work" was released from Harrison House Publishers. Prior to penning his recent books, he accepted an opportunity to write for Nelson Publishers after being approached by them, resulting in the release of "Living the Maximized Life." Other significant and noteworthy books include but are not limited to "Mental Toughness for Success;" "Secrets for a Better Life;" and "Victory Over Stress-10 Mistakes Most Failures Make and How to Avoid Them."
With over 130 part time and full time employees to assist him, Bishop Hilliard is committed to creating and cultivating an authentic church experience that glorifies God and exceeds all expectations. His unwavering compassion for people along with his faithfulness to build into God's people, PURPOSE, POWER, and PRAISE will continue yielding great results in the Kingdom of God.
The Hilliard’s have committed to the parental oversight of three lovely daughters: Tina Hilliard-Egans, husband – Terry Egans; Irishea Hilliard, and Preashea Hilliard. The Hilliard’s are also very proud to have four grandchildren: Ira Emanuel, Briona Janae, Ivan Harrison and Jonathan Sean-Michael. All the children and grandchildren have been marked for ministry with all the adult children currently working in full time ministry with their parents.