Table of Contents
1. All Men Are My Teachers
2. Sing As You Ride
3. Texas Baptist Premillennial Fellowship
5. The Greatest Shall Be The Servant of All
6. “So Nigh is Grandeur to Our Dust”
7. Why Can´t We All Just Get Along?
8. “I Love Lucy”
9. Your Wife is Human, and So Are You!
10. I Never Make Decisions
11. My Opponent Doesn´t Have to Be My Enemy
13. “What´s the Difference Between the Critic and the One Who Criticizes the Critic?”
14. Jesus Before Mama
15. “There Are No Little Churches!”
16. Keep Your Testimony Fresh
17. Give Everyone of These Women Boys
18. I´ve Studied Myself
19. Joy in Serving Jesus
20. Fighting Fundamentalists
21. How to Make Another John R. Rice
23. Full of Grace and Truth
24. Full of Eloquence?
25. Cannibals, Scrambled Eggs and Extract of Beef
26. If You Stay Here, You Pray Here
27. I´m Not a Preacher Boy Anymore
28. I Cannot But Speak the Things I´ve Seen and Heard
29. The Song of the Soul Set Free
30. Footprints in the Sands of Time
31. All Your Sermons Have Hooks
32. Ball Point Pens!
33. Preaching by Faith
34. God´s Simple Plan of Salvation
35. Perseverance Personified
As a young pastor barely 21 years of age, I realized I could not give to my people all that they needed. I could give them the zeal and dedication of youth, but not the wisdom and experience of years. I decided then to introduce my people to older men. I chose only older men to preach in Bible Conferences, evangelistic crusades, etc. Though my purpose in bringing them before my people was to give to my congregation what I could not give them, a blessed byproduct was the influence that these older men had on my life. I treasured the memory of my elderly pastor speaking to me and to my people words of wisdom that he had discovered. I then found that his 88-year-old pastor was still alive. I invited him to impart his wisdom to us. I owe a great debt to these men and others seasoned by experience and tested on the battlefield.
While still a very young pastor, I spent a part of every Friday afternoon with a 90-year-old retired missionary. I sat by his bedside, which soon became his deathbed, and I listened to his wisdom. Much of the success of my early pastorate I owe to these seasoned and experienced veterans who taught me what others had taught them.
While still in my late twenties, my path crossed with the great Dr. John R. Rice. To my amazement, he asked me to speak at his Sword of the Lord Conference in Toccoa Falls, Georgia. On the program of that conference were such men as Dr. John R. Rice, Bob Jones, Sr., Dr. Bill Rice, Dr. R. G. Lee, and other great men of God.
Dr. Rice continued having me speak in Sword of the Lord conferences, which opened many other doors for me to share the platform with great man of the faith. As a young preacher, I spoke and Traveled with Dr. Rice, Dr. Jones, Dr. Lee, Dr. G. B. Vick, Dr. Ford Porter, Dr. Oswald Smith, Dr. Lester Roloff, Dr. Joe Henry Hankins, Dr. Charles Weigle, Dr. Walter Wilson, who then walked streets of pavement, and now walk streets of gold.
I wondered then why God allowed me as a very young pastor to become close friends with such men. I do not wonder now.
I am convinced that God wanted someone to deliver to the following generation what these men delivered to me.
One tool that was used in this endeavor was our nationwide Pastors´ School in 1999, where over 7,000 people assembled as I taught them for an entire week what I was taught by these great giants.
Now what I taught them is available to you. This is a book authored by great men of the past and written by a conduit through which their experience and lives can flow to you.
-Dr. Jack Hyles
Chapter 1 All Men Are My Teachers
It all started in the bedroom of a little house between Marshall, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana, in the bedroom of a very sick man. A man who was an invalid, 90 years of age, who served throughout his lifetime as a missionary to the country of Norway. His name was Gustave Norling. Every Friday afternoon, as a young preacher, while pasturing a little country church I would go to the bedroom of Dr. Gustave Norling. I would go see this retired missionary, and sit beside his bed and ask him questions. Dr. Norling was a strong Premillenialist and the college I attended was an amillennialist college. Dr. Norling was not very popular at the college and I was even less popular.
I went out one day and I told him, “I have got some good news for you, Dr. Norling.” He said, “What´s that, Brother Hyles?” I said to him, “I´m quitting college.” I thought that he would be pleased because he was not any more enchanted with East Texas Bible College than I was. Dr. Norling raised himself up just as far as he could on his arms and said, ”Mr. Hyles, don´t you do that.” I said, “Well, why? There is not a single professor in that college who has any fire. Why should I go to that college?” He said these words to me that changed my life: “Brother Hyles, there is not one single well-rounded Christian man teaching in that college. But,” he said, “Every man who teaches there knows at least one thing that you don´t know. Now go find out what that one thing is from all the men, and maybe you can be the well-rounded Christian that I want you to be.” He looked at me, pointed his little bony finger in my face and said, “Now you go back to college, son,” and “son” went back and graduated from college!
I sat down when I got back to my little office and wrote these words down which became one of the mottos of my ministry: “Every man knows something that1 I do not know. I must probe until I find it; hence, all men are my teachers.”
The next day I walked into class at East Texas Baptist College. It was a Bible class taught by Dean Smith. I stumbled. I slipped on a piece of paper. I looked down and the paper on which I slipped was called The Sword of the Lord. I had never heard of it before. I picked it up and I saw the picture of Billy Sunday on the front. There was a sermon there by Billy Sunday, and I sat there in Bible class and read that sermon. It was the most inspirational class I had ever attended at East Texas Bible College! I got acquainted that day with a man named John R. Rice. Oh, I had heard his name just a tiny bit here and there, but I didn´t know who he was or what he did. I didn´t know that he had a paper. I subscribed to The Sword of the Lord. We got a bunch of little renegade preacher boys at East Texas Baptist College and formed a John Rice Club. It was not the most popular club in the college. We got together and we heard that they were going to have a Sword of the Lord Conference in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, which was just about a four or five-hour drive from where I was, maybe less. So we started saving our money. Only one of us saved enough money to go. His name was Wendell Whitehead. The rest of us didn´t get to go. Wendell Whitehead went to Siloam Springs. He heard Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. He heard Dr. John Rice, Dr. Bill rice, Dr. R. G. Lee, and others. He came back, and we all wanted to shake his hand because he shook the hands of these man. I said, “Let me shake your hand, the one that touched John Rice.” I never thought that I would see John Rice. I never thought I would see Bob Jones, Sr. I just wanted someday to sit in an audience and be able to hear them. I thought that all hope was gone.
In the process of time, we moved to Garland, Texas, and I took a little church with about 44 people. We had a family in the church named Manchek. One day the Mancheks came to me and said, “Brother Hyles, we would like to have you and Mrs. Hyles over to eat dinner with us one night next week.” I said, “I am not sure that we can come.” She said, “Well, I have a cousin named Fairy Sheppard who works for a man named John R. Rice. Maybe you have heard of him?” “Heard of him? He is my hero! I have never seen him, nor met him.” She said, He is in revival meeting this week at Galilean Baptist Church in Dallas. Now, we have asked him to come eat. We would like you and Mrs. Hyles to join us for a meal.” I said, “Let me check my schedule and see if I am booked!” A few evenings later, we sat in the home of the Mancheks. Right across the table from me was John R. Rice.
It wasn´t long after that, that I got a letter from Dr. Rice in Wheaton, Illinois, where The Sword of the Lord was located at that time. It said, “My Dear Brother, I would like you to preach at the conference at Great Lakes Louise, Georgia, near Toccoa Falls.” He said, “Dr. R. B. Riley will be on the program along with Dr. Bill Rice, Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. and others. I would like you to preach.” I thought that I got somebody else´s letter! I called The Sword of the Lord and said to Viola Walden, the secretary, “I got somebody else´s letter that he is inviting to preach.” She said, “No, Brother Hyles, that is your invitation. Dr. Rice wants you to preach.”
Not long after that, I sat on the platform hearing Dr. R. G. Lee preach “Payday Someday,” and then they introduced me. I looked at my outline. There was never an outline that looked as anemic as mine did. A B-12 shot would not have given it life. The title of my great message after “Payday Someday” was called “The Autopsy of a Dead Church,” one of the great manuscripts of all time as I shared the pulpit with R. G. Lee.
The next day at noon we sat around the table and there were many of these men about whom I´m telling you. I sat there at the table and I thought of Gustave Norling, who said, “Don´t quit, Brother Hyles.” He said, “You learn.” He said, “By all means, you learn from older men. Brother Hyles, you are a young man. At your church, have older men come to preach for you, because there is something an older man can give that you cannot give to your people. There is something he can give to you that you can get nowhere else. They might not be as spectacular. They are not going to be as dynamic as younger men, but you have older men preach in your church.”
Chapter 2-Sing As You Ride
Dr. Charles Weigle was my good friend. Dr. Weigle lived to almost 100 years of age. He was one of the happiest men. He taught me how to shout. He taught me how to praise. He taught me how to life your hand with holy hosannas and sing glory to God. Charles Weigle was an evangelist. His wife decided that she no longer wanted to be a preacher´s wife. He pleaded with her to stay with him, but she refused to do so. Charles Weigle, in the middle of his evangelistic success, had to say goodbye to his wife. His wife left him because she would no longer be a preacher´s wife, never to return. As soon as she left, he sat down and wrote, “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.”
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.
All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed his strong and loving arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
Every day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love,
But I´ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till someday I see His blessed face above.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There´s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me!
There was a day, 50 years ago, when no one knew me outside of East Texas, and no one knew my good friend, Lester Roloff, outside of the state of Texas. We were young men, just getting started. We used to call each other every Monday morning and discuss the day we had in our churches. Very few men have been as close to me as Lester Roloff. I recall the day he got his first invitation to preach out of Texas. He called me on the phone and said, “Brother Jack, I have got an invitation to preach way over in Chattanooga, Tennessee.” He was shocked to death and so very, very pleased. Everywhere he went, he sang- sometimes on key, sometimes off key- but he sang! Anytime he was preaching, he was apt to burst out singing, “Living By Faith.”
I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain;
The Lord I know ruleth o´er everything,
And all of my worry is vain.
Tho´ tempests may blow, and the storm-clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I´m never alarmed at the overcast skies;
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me thru,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care tho´ the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return to this earth some sweet day,
Our troubles will then all be o´er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
Living by faith, in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I´m living by faith and feel no alarm.
Probably the father of our modern missionary movement was a good friend of mine for many years, the very famous Canadian, Dr. Oswald J. Smith. Oswald J. Smith wrote many of the songs that you sing, but you are not aware that he wrote them. Likewise, Oswald Smith was the father of the “faith promise plan” and the modern missionary movement. Oswald Smith was the pastor for many years of the People´s Church of Toronto, Canada. Every year, for many years, I preached there. I knew him well. I never knew a more stately and proper man. I never knew a man who looked like the Secretary of State-not the one we have now. (The one we have now reminds me of a movie star named Lassie.) Dr. Oswald Smith was the epitome of a Christian gentleman-tall, always proper, rather dignified. Some of the sweetest memories that I have are in the office of Oswald J. Smith. One day I walked into his office and I said, “Dr. Smith, do me a favor.” He said “What, Brother Hyles?” I said, “Sing me the song that you wrote.” He said, “Which one?” I said, “Sing for me, Dr. Smith, ‘Then Jesus Came.´”
One sat alone beside the highway begging,
His eyes were blind, the light he could not see;
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows;
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee.
From home and friends the evil spirits drove him,
Among the tombs he dwelt in misery;
He cut himself as demon pow´rs possessed him;
Then Jesus came and set the captive free.
“Unclean! Unclean!” The leper cried in torment,
The deaf, the dumb, in helpless stood near;
The fever raged, disease had gripped its victim;
Then Jesus came and cast out ev´ry fear.
So men today have found the Saviour able,
They could not conquer passion, lust, and sin;
Their broken hearts had left them sad and lonely;
Then Jesus came dwelt Himself with in.
When Jesus comes, the tempter´s pow´r is broken;
When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.
The most charming person I ever met, and certainly the most charming personality I ever met, was Dr. Bill Rice. I never met a man who could win an audience like Dr. Bill Rice could. He was a cowboy. Anybody that knew him knows that Bill Rice was a West Texas cowboy and one of the most amazing men. I loved him dearly. I spoke at his funeral service. He thought I was smart. He called me “Solomon.” I used to call him “Solomon,” because he was wise enough to think that I was wise. He would call me on the phone. “Hey, Solomon, I have got a problem that I need you to help me solve, neighbor.” He wrote as a cowboy. He wrote this song, “Sing as You Ride.”
Sing as your ride in the round-up of life.
Sing as you ride through the day and the night.
Sing as you ride, for with Christ by your side,
He will never once fail you to the end of the trail,
So just sing as you ride.
Many men who are just names in history to thousands of you today were my dear, personal friends. Everyone that I speak about in this book, unless I tell you differently, is someone that I knew not just casually, but personally. Now for these years, I have been privileged to have walked with these men, my personal dear friends. At the age of 29, I was thrust into conferences sharing the pulpit with the famous men that I am writing about. In this book I will tell you what they taught me. To some of you, I will be a boring old man reminiscing about his youth. To others, I will be a conduit through which can flow truths and experiences from them to you.