He’s Back! Acclaimed Illusionist Returns to the Church of God Convention
By Carl Stagner
Will you be his friend? With the expectation of more jaw-dropping illusions and divinely inspired illustrations, John Michael Hinton is back on the Church of God Convention program this year in Tampa. Sure to “break the ice” with any audience, the oft-repeated invitation “to be his friend” extended at previous Church of God Conventions, IYC, and state/regional/local events in the Movement has established a wide circle of people he can count on to welcome him wherever he goes. Recruited to host main sessions as MC in Tampa, as well as present a full show of mesmerizing moments, John Michael Hinton has added yet another irresistible layer of appeal for Convention 2023 and General Assembly.
“I love all my Church of God friends!” John exclaims. “After doing so many events both at the national and district level, you all feel like family! God created me to be on stage. Whether doing ‘magic,’ speaking, or emceeing, I feel most at home on the stage. It is such an honor any time a group entrust their platform to me. I love all-size crowds, from intimate crowds under a hundred to ones in the thousands like these bigger conferences. So thankful to be back with you all this summer.”
Four years old. That’s how young John Michael Hinton was when he recalls getting hooked on “magic” tricks. His father had pulled a sleight-of-hand—the classic pull-a-coin-from-your-ear-then-make-it-disappear illusion wowed the boy’s socks off, and it left an impression which proved providential. These days John Michael Hinton performs illusions in auditoriums packed with people, fooling even the most well-known in the industry—not to mention the very astute among us in the Church of God. A behind-the-scenes look at the man behind the talent reveals an ordinary guy, who fakes the impossible, to point people to an extraordinary God for whom all things are possible. Pointing people to Jesus in creative fashion is precisely what John Michael Hinton has in mind when he serves as guest artist and MC for Convention 2023.
From an early age, John noticed that magic tricks were a great way to make friends; a good icebreaker helps start conversation. After making someone crack a smile by agreeing to “be his friend,” John establishes a level of trust necessary for an unsuspecting audience member—suddenly processing the wide array of possible impossibilities that might or might not happen. More recently, John was able to add to his friends list two people he could have probably never imagined meeting when but a child.
A few years ago, John was selected to perform for world-famous magicians and entertainers Penn & Teller. Thankfully, his moment in the national spotlight went very well, but it wasn’t the success of his trick that stuck with John. John Michael Hinton was most concerned about representing Jesus to the Las Vegas duo popularly known as the “Kings of Sin City,” and he believes he did just that.
Since the last time John Michael Hinton was with the Church of God movement, the acclaimed illusionist has released a new book titled Imaginate. In a step beyond the platform to a world of words, John continues to embrace and espouse something greater than mere entertainment. The creative term expressed in the title of the book, which he defines as a verb, meaning “to create imaginatively in collaboration,” inspires the reader to collaborate with God in artful expression, while embracing God-given purpose.
“God doesn’t create trash! He made us as his self-portrait, so of course he gave us all different creative abilities to bless others and create beautiful things in this world. I love to inspire people to be creative and work in collaboration, both with God, as well as each other, for in this divine process is where we find our purpose!”
Plan ahead to join John Michael Hinton at a special presentation of illusion and inspiration on Saturday morning, June 24, during Convention 2023 in Tampa, Florida!
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.” What an encouraging reality! Be inspired by it, be challenged by it, and experience it firsthand at Convention 2023 and General Assembly, June 22–25 in Tampa, Florida. Learn more and register at www.chogconvention.org.