Who Was Jack Hyles?

Who Was Jack Hyles? June 16, 2016

Who was Jack Hyles? Why is it important that we should know about this man?

Jack Hyles

Dr. Jack Frasure Hyles (September 1926-February 2001) was the leading figure in the Independent Baptist movement. He was born and raised in a very small town in Italy, Texas, and lived close to the poverty level. By the time he reached age 18, he entered the U.S. Army and served as a paratrooper in World War Two. He and his wife, Beverly, were married while he was serving. After the war ended, he entered college to attend East Texas Baptist University and after graduating, began to preach at different churches as an itinerate preacher. He finally found a church of his own, becoming the pastor of Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, located in highly populated Dallas County. The church grew from 44 to over 4,000 members in a short time. Just after taking the pastorate at Miller, Hyles left the Southern Baptist Convention and began an independent Baptist Church. Today, this church has over 100,000 adherents and it averaged around 10,000 baptisms during the last 5 years of his ministry. This was the beginning of a very impactful life.

Hyles-Anderson College

During his pastorate at Miller, he founded and was chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College in 1972 but also became the superintendent of Hammond Baptist Schools. Hyles-Anderson College trained over a 1,000 pastors and missionaries, some of which are still serving in the United States and on foreign mission fields. Miller church also owned and operated a rescue mission that is still in operation today. The pastors that were trained at Hyles-Anderson College did much of the same preaching that they had learned at Hyles-Anderson College. After pastoring the Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, he moved to Hammond, Indiana where he pastored the First Baptist Church of Hammond. There were about 700 members who attended there, most of them middle to upper-class. It wasn’t long before many of the congregants left the church because of his preaching style. It was very convicting of those who were lukewarm, in his eyes, but the remainder of those that stayed at Hammond, bought into his preaching style and his passion for soul-winning and serving the poor. They saw his great love for those who most would ignore but he also thought it of supreme importance to witness to the lost. To Hyles, there was no greater joy than in leading someone to saving faith. For him, a soul won many years ago will give dividends for eternity. This may have been why he ended up writing 49 books and pamphlets that dealt with salvation and serving as the Body of Christ, based upon Matthew 25.


The Superchurch

Amazingly, Time Magazine featured Jack Hyles and his church as a “Superchurch” because Sunday school attendance was almost 14,000 which moved the church membership to over 30,000. By 2001, the First Baptist Church of Hammond had over 200 Sunday school buses in operation, transporting between 7,000 and 15,000 students. He was adamant that only those who read the King James Version could really be saved (which of course is untrue) and felt that the Baptist Church was the original church that was started in A.D. 31. The Washington Post thought of Hyles as a “spit and fire” preacher, which was considerably rare then and even more so today.

Later Years

The Chicago Sun Times once wrote an article about Jack Hyles and it said “When he chose the interests of poor, inner-city kids over millionaire church members, they said he’d never keep the doors of his church open” but of course, Hyles “proved them all wrong.” [1] He was driven to do good for others because he knew it was as if he were doing it for Christ (Matt 25:40) and as a soulwinner, he was consumed by the compassion for the poor and disenfranchised and helped them immensely, not only by providing for their needs but pointing them to Christ in the hopes that they would place their trust in Christ…and multiple thousands did.


Jack Hyles is worthy of our admiration because of the model for the church that he left and upon which he had found in Matthew 25. He saw Jesus as saying to him and to the church, “For I was need hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:35-36) and the final outcome of these good works for Christ (Eph 2:10) would end with Jesus’ words, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

1. Falsani, Cathleen Brother Jack Hyles of Hammond dies at 74 Chicago Sun Times, February 8, 2001.


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  • pud


    Tony Alamo was the founder of the seemingly benevolent Alamo Christian Foundation, which attained popularity through its younger members preaching their particular version of the gospel out in the streets. These sessions often ended up with potential future members being taken in for a meal and a meeting with the church. This helped the foundation grow in size during the 1970s and spread their conservative message relating to homosexuality, abortion, and sexual deviance.During this period, the foundation relocated and expanded its horizons, setting up drug rehabilitation programs and establishing a television presence in addition to other businesses apparently intended to help people get back on their feet. The church faced plenty of controversy as it began to grow, with several lawsuits being made against Alamo in addition to accusations that he used his position to wield a cult-like power over his followers.Beneath the surface, it appears that Tony Alamo himself was not immune from the practices against which he regularly preached. He began to face additional accusations that he had been sexually exploiting children under the banner of his foundation. The evidence mounted against Alamo, and he was convicted of 10 sex trafficking offenses relating to minors and given 175 years in jail, which at the age of 79 amounted to life in prison for the former preacher. Furthermore, the victims of his operation have been ordered to receive a $525 million compensation package that will be paid for from the ministry’s pockets. Despite these convictions, Alamo’s website still protests his innocence, and the church continues to operate, though it is likely that many of its assets will need to be sold off to pay the compensation fee.

  • pud

    ““For I was need hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me”

    Why didn’t imaginary “jesus” cure leprosy or cancer? Or even teach the Iron Age idiots to wash their hands?

    Maybe because NO such imaginary guy existed? DUH!

  • Mr_Fastbucks

    Jack Hyles is NOT worthy of admiration. He was a master manipulator who cared more about his attendance and conversion numbers than the lives of the people he was supposed to be serving. He treated his family poorly. He treated those who worked for him poorly. And he left his ministry in the hands of his son-in-law who is now in jail for raping an underage girl. His college trained a disproportionate number of pastors who abused their parishioners financially, mentally, and sexually. Jack Hyles is a stain on the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement that will not wash away any time soon.

  • Marie Smith

    Want a more realistic article about Jack Hyles and the cult he started?
    See Chicago Magazine’s article published on Dec 11, 2012, entitled “Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church”. This church and college have been a perv factory. Hyles taught members to blindly loyal – to the point where he had people wearing 100% Hyles buttons and even (from the pulpit) said he could ask a particular deacon to drink poison and he would.
    Jack Hyles was a narcissistic cult leader.


  • John

    I can’t believe there are people defending Jack. Jack is not worthy of any type of admiration at all.

    • Jack Wellman

      Can you tell me why sir? You have not told us why Jack Hyles is not worthy of admiration? Hyles was a tremendous soul winner. How many have you lead to faith in Christ? What is more important than that?

      • Mr_Fastbucks

        And where are all of those souls Jack won now? How many actually became followers of Christ? I’d put the “backslide” rate at about 85%. So he racked up some big numbers while he was on Earth. Do you think the Almighty cares about that?

        You can’t even get your facts straight about Hyles. He left Texas in 1959. He didn’t start HAC until 1972. I suggest you do a little more research. Did anyone tell you that Jack sent his son back to Miller Road where he nearly destroyed the church due to his serial adultery?

        You need to do a better job defending Jack’s legacy. Because what you presented here was weak. But it is what I’ve come to expect from those who were trained in his image.

      • Marie Smith

        This verse says it perfectly. Jack Hyles founded a perv factory and
        allowed many to be damaged. He handed his ministry over to a pedophile.

        “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and
        land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold
        more the child of hell than yourselves.”

      • Usefull

        Jack Wellman – If you had written this during the years of Jack Hyles enormous media numbers and Pastor’s school pomp, I could maybe understand. But in 2016, when decades of his wickedness have been clearly exposed by so many, it is truly inexcusable. Do a little more research before writing again about a person that you know so little about.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    He was a sexual predator and you’re praising him?!?!??!! Give me a break!