Paul Hughes is descended from a Scotch-Irish and Welsh frontier family who were the principal founders of Gadsden, Alabama. His Hughes ancestry includes pioneers among the Cherokee of North Carolina in 1800, slave owners in Alabama in the 1850's, soldiers in the Civil War across the South, and one of the first female students at the U of Alabama in 1911. Paul's father and uncle were Methodist ministers who preached and lived racial equality in Alabama in the 1950's and were expelled from the segregated church as a result. Paul's uncle, Bob Hughes, a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, is honored in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute as the Executive Director of the Alabama Council on Human Relations. His family still has a part of the cross the Ku Klux Klan burned in his yard in Cahaba Heights during 1959.
"My Dad, Preston, and his brother Bob were true prophetic voices in their generation as preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They stood on the right side of the race issues in Alabama when it counted most. I love this picture with Birmingham's most courageous preacher in the Civil Rights Movement, the late Rev, Fred Shuttlesworth. I am holding the Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Carry Me Home" about Birmingham's racial turning point in 1963. A couple of stories of Bob's contributions to a New Birmingham are told along with many of Fred's. Fred was known for courage. So was Bob. His long overdue biography is now being written. He was probably the most courageous White Southern Preacher in the Civil Rights Movement." Paul Hughes
Paul profoundly encountered Jesus in 1978 while a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. After graduating in 1980, he worked for two years in the business world until answering God's call to interdenominational campus ministry. From 1982 to 2008 Paul pioneered and supervised over two dozen InterVarsity college student fellowships across the Southeast. Paul has prayed on all 105 four year Historically Black Colleges in America. From 1993 to 2006, Paul and Lucy helped establish national Christian college student movements in the countries of Latvia, Ukraine, and Tajikistan.
Paul is committed to continuing the spiritual legacy of being a prophetic voice for Justice and Racial Healing by growing a multi-ethnic community that lives out Jesus' values with unceasing prayer as the driving force. The power of the Holy Spirit released through corporate prayer in authentic community brings real spiritual awakening and on-going cultural transformation. That vision is shared by Bishop Demetrics Roscoe of Living Church Ministries in the historic TItusville Community of downtown Birmingham. He and Paul, along with many others, share a vision for a 24/7 city-wide, prayer, justice, and mission movement.
Paul is married to Lucy Downey Hughes, whose father was born and raised in Birmingham in College Hills next to Birmingham-Southern College, before serving as a United Methodist pastor until retirement in Florida. Lucy's dad grew up attending McCoy Methodist, the same church where Preston and Bob Hughes were both ordained to the ministry. Lucy and Paul have three sons (like Noah!) who are all given wholeheartedly to the leadership of Jesus.
From 1998 to 2006 the Hughes family was the only white family at Sardis Missionary Baptist Church in Ensley. Afterward, until 2010, Fullness Christian Fellowship in Vestavia was their church home. Hope Culture Church, birthed out of the Prayer Furnace by seven twenty year olds, was the Sunday fellowship of Paul and Lucy from September 2010 to March 2016 when Hope Culture merged with Canvas Church. The Hughes family now attends Canvas where Gabriel Hughes, the oldest son, is in pastoral leadership.
Paul is the author of The Finishing Well Series. Finishing Life Well is about following the leadership of Jesus based on the values of the Sermon on the Mount. Finishing History Well is about preparing our generation for the leadership of Jesus at His return. Will Cities Finish Well? is about the regional spiritual transformation that happens as the Praying Church follows the leadership of Jesus together. It is yet to be written while the practice of it is being lived out.
Paul has a long history of participation in local, national, and global prayer, reconciliation, and mission movements prior to founding Kingdom Forerunners on June 1, 2007. Kingdom Forerunners is the non-profit prayer leadership ministry which undergirds the Birmingham Prayer Furnace, Campus Prayer Networks, and Redigging the Wells regional prayer gatherings. Progress Partners, the prayer based Life Coaching ministry of Lucy Hughes was launched in 2014.
Paul's passion is to love and lead his wife and family, fuel campus and regional transformation through night and day prayer and worship, and prepare this generation for the leadership of Jesus fully to be revealed at His return
Gabriel and Jordan, Daniel, Lucy and Paul, Kayla and Caleb Hughes
Bishop Demetrics Roscoe