IPHC has reached 103 nations across the globe, and Dr. Joseph Agius preaches and teaches on the Maltese islands of Malta and Gozo. Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and is known as the “Island of St. Paul” or “the Island of Paul’s Shipwreck” because he was shipwrecked there (Acts 28). Joseph’s passion for the Word of God is profound, and he hopes his story empowers others to study and live how the Bible teaches us to live.
Before Dr. Agius was born again 35 years ago, he struggled with drugs and was a violent person. His life was in a deep pit when he and his wife, Christine, thought about separating. The final straw was that his mother supported the separation because he was not the husband he needed to be. It was then that he was finally open to drastically changing his life.
Joseph found a pastor who helped both he and his wife to Christ. This same pastor gave Joseph a Bible, and when he touched it, he felt an electric shock and heard in Spirit: “Meditate on this Word. Read it day and night.” In three months, he read the entire Bible; in one year, he had read it three times and the New Testament six times.
Because of this experience and knowledge of the Word, it took some trial and error before Joseph and his wife found and determined the IPHC was where they were meant to be. Dr. Agius originally comes from a Roman Catholic background, and he and his wife attended different churches where they became deeply involved. However, none felt like the right place because they heard teachings and experienced events that were not of the Word of God.
After being introduced to IPHC, hope arrived in the form of a phone call from missionary Larry Bolling in Rome. After researching and studying, Dr. Agius knew Pentecostal teachings coincided with the Bible. Within a week, Bolling visited the Agiuses, and they became members of IPHC with Joseph receiving his minister’s license within a few months.
As Joseph continued his journey, Bolling asked how the IPHC could help him. Joseph’s answer was “sound doctrine” as 2 Timothy 1:13 shares: “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” He had grown weary of seeing and reading materials that did not match up with God’s Word. Unknowingly, Joseph had two resources from Global University that Bolling declared were all he needed. Through these materials, Joseph began 27 years of study. This heart for Christian education led him and his wife to direct Global University in 2009. Together they achieved Global European accreditation. While pastoring, Joseph received five academic degrees, including a D. Min.
This heart for Christian education and God’s Word continued, allowing Joseph to lead evangelism and education on the island. It is important to him that everyone finds the calling God has given them and give their lives to achieving that calling: “I don’t know if God has given me special grace, but since Day 1, He guided me in this calling of starting a church.” In August 1990, his church was registered with the government, and they just celebrated their 33rd anniversary!
When the church began, they rented a small part of a larger building. God said to Joseph, “This must become a 3-story building owned by the church.” At that time, it was an impossible thing to do. In 2019, Joseph had three heart attacks in less than 24 hours resulting in 2 operations. During one operation, he felt he touched the other side of life and spoke to God: “The vision you gave me is not yet ready.” The Lord responded, “You’re going to complete it.” Today, they now have a 3-story building after purchasing an additional floor and building the third, and Dr. Agius’ most recent heart appointment revealed that his heart is healthier than ever before; “God gave me back my youth, a new life, glory of God, and He’s not yet finished with me, I hope” he shared.
After this accomplishment and second chance, Joseph asked God what was next in his life, and God has opened doors beyond Malta in the way of education. While preparing for this transition, Dr. Agius is grateful the Lord provided a family in which he and his wife could wisely invest in and to whom can take over his role as pastor next fall. As 2 Timothy 2:2 reveals, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
Focusing on Christian education is important to Dr. Agius so he can help pastors systematically study the gospel. Studying the scripture in such a way is hard work and needs commitment, patience, and stamina. “We are handling the Word of God, the Word of Truth,” Joseph shares, so understanding the religious, culture, social, and political mores of the different biblical epochs is vital so that inaccurate interpretations do not continue.
Dr. Agius declares, “If I have any breath left in my chest, the last words would be a cry, a calling to the church, in general, in Malta to study and show its self-approved! If we believe in the Lord’s second coming, then that faith in Christ’s coming must be seen in how we live; our life must be a testimony of showing, declaring, and believing that Jesus can come anytime. We need to declare the Word of God to the lost and preach and evangelize the Word of God to everyone. We need to be a people of hope the words need to see.”
Titus 2:11-15 is the basis of Joseph’s conviction: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live
self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
Dr. Agius hopes that his story of salvation through grace and transformation into a witness of God’s Son inspires others. As Christians, we must live our lives in such a way that others see God through us. “Holiness is sometimes a burden for people; however, without holiness we cannot see God,” Joseph says, “if you’re in God’s will and God has not finished with you yet, God will give you the grace to complete it. That’s a promise