Jack Hyles

Testimonies From Former Hyles Followers

The following e-mails were received by BDM from individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the activities of Jack Hyles and First Baptist Church Hammond. To protect the innocent (from harassment and ridicule from those currently in FBCH "leadership"), names, locations, and dates have been suppressed:


I just got done reading the items that you have written on Jack Hyles. You are so right and to the point. I attended Hammond Baptist Schools from third grade until I graduated from high school in ____. My father served on the deacon board there for __ years and my mother taught _______ there for __ years. Needless to say, [no longer do] my parents nor I have anything whatsoever to do with the cult "First Baptist Church of Hammond (FBCH)" [Indiana].

There were other allegations that surfaced while I was a member, such as payoffs to faculty members who threatened to leave or expose things there. Also, they used to have a real thing about publicly humiliating anyone who decided to join another church in the area. There are approximately 15 to 20 other congregations in the Calumet region made up of ex-FBCH members. When I met with Hyles for my Senior [high school] appointment, which he [would] ask all graduating seniors from Hammond Baptist Schools to meet with him, I told him that I was going to attend Bob Jones University (which I did for one year). He basically terminated the session and told me that he would pray for me because he did not understand why I was not going to his school.

I saw numerous heresies while attending FBCH, such as making sure that other biblical denominations that were not necessarily Baptist were not ever talked about. The church has basically operated as a cult since about 1975. I started attending there in about ____, but I never noticed a cult type atmosphere until I got into ___ grade. Then it was like, if you didn't do it their way you were going to hell. If you went against the wishes of Hyles, you were publicly blackballed, evident in the George Godfrey incident when they broke into his house and stole his honorary doctorate from Hyles-Anderson College. I am glad that the exposure is on the web -- too bad more people don't know this. …


For your personal information, I was a member of Miller Road Baptist Church at the time David Hyles was there. I am not vindictive, nor am I covering any man's sin. I hold the preachers of America and the missionaries of the world directly responsible. The pastor and staff of other local churches here in Garland [Texas -- where David Hyles was pastor of Miller Road Baptist Church] also knew of the history and some had even quietly withdrawn support or allowing David Hyles to speak at their meetings. They did nothing!!

I had the opportunity a few years ago to take some young people and my family to The Wilds. I sat across from a pastor and a staff man from Florida. As the conversation turned to where I was from they brought up Miller Road. I sat quietly as they expressed how the church had unsubmissive deacons who had "run out David Hyles," how he was then leading the music at one of the local churches, and how all the "rumors and slander" laid at his feet were no more than unfounded gossip of jealousy and spite by those who wanted to do hurt to him and his father for their consistent stand against modernism. They continued on and on.

You may wonder why I did not raise my voice and tell them of the broken marriages, destroyed family structures, [and] wrecked lives of new believers. I could tell them of the names and addresses of a number of men and women. I could tell them of the former husband of Brenda Stevens [David Hyles' current wife] who sits in church, still faithful despite the immense damage. I could tell of a faithful pastor and friend who has had to leave a pastorate and is currently seeking another, because it became known within the congregation that his wife was one of the many that fell under "David's spell." I could tell of David's divorced wife, now remarried and living in a neighboring town who still carries the memories and bitterness … and the list goes on!!

Why did I keep quiet? At that time I recalled thinking that God in his own timing brought David Hyles to a crucial point of exposure. He allowed him to reach the height of success to have his living exposed so that none could find excuse. I know now I was wrong.

So I ask you to keep publishing the outlandish behavior and heretical teaching of Jack and David Hyles. Place it prominently for all to see.

Would that the men who demand to be known as "the man of God" would raise up, proclaim the judgment upon the men, disband the church, sell the materials and property, shut the doors of the college, and hold forth "the Word of Truth."

Sorry for the length. I suppose my own depravity is so embarrassingly real to me, I have trouble imagining preachers thinking themselves as so "special to God's cause." But by the merciful grace of God and the love of Christ, I would be without the hope I cannot find but with His Word.


I really enjoyed reading your page on this; well, not "enjoyed," but I hope you know what I mean. I graduated from HAC [Hyles-Anderson College] in ____, and returned to teach for ___ years on the faculty there ... The best thing that ever happened to me, after being saved, was being delivered from the cult-like mentality of Jack Hyles. That happened in the late ____s, and the college has "disowned" me. I haven't managed to lose any sleep over it yet! 


I am very interested in some communication with you regarding your exposé on Jack Hyles. You are very on target with your information. I was virtually raised in FBCH, attended grade school and Jr. High school in the FBC school system, as well as two years of college at Hyles-Anderson. I finally fled the Independent Fundamentalist "denomination" -- my first hand knowledge of SO MANY discrepancies in the teachings vs. [practice] had caused me great confusion, frustration ,and turmoil.

An interesting side note for you: As a child I was a classmate and friend of Vic Nischik's son, Jack. To read the documented facts about Jennie and Jack Hyles truly broke my heart. Being raised as a "loyal" follower … I wouldn't allow myself to 'wake up and smell the coffee' (as they say) on that issue for a number of years. However, every other issue you have listed, I have first hand knowledge of, and it is all completely accurate. I suppose I shouldn't doubt your word on that one as well.

My father attended Hyles-Anderson College, as did my sister and one brother. At this point in time, I (strictly by God's grace) am the only one who still goes to church or pursues the Christian life. As a result of living in Hammond for years, there was much abuse in our home and it has splintered our family terribly. I have found that this is the case among many of our former friends and acquaintances from Hammond. There is no spiritual growth in that congregation or student body resulting from the teaching of or study of God's Word. I am almost ___ years old and having been a Christian for [most] of those years, I was virtually ignorant of correct theology until three years ago. And as immature a Christian as they come! I thank God for ripping me away from the radical beliefs of Jack Hyles' brand of Fundamentalism. My husband and I are often amused that (in our opinion) God took us out of "church" to get us into church.

Anyway.....you have truly only tipped the iceberg, Sir, on this particular issue. There are still many who are blinded and, yes, becoming more and more cultish every day. There is WAY more under the surface at FBCH and I have no earthly idea how it all stays so secretive. I have often thought that there must be some way God might allow me to use what I have learned to help other people get out of that blinding lie that is First Baptist Church of Hammond. I tremble to think of the times that I stood on people's doorsteps and led them through a meaningless prayer and assured them that "That's all there is to it -- see you in heaven!" and then walked away from a person who was AS clueless after my visit as they were before. Incredible, isn't it?

[Concerning my abusive father], in ____ my father was an HAC student and a Sunday School bus driver on a Chicago route. My mom taught Sunday School and was in Phoster Club. Dr. Hyles knew them on a first name basis. My father was reported by a neighbor for child abuse. Dr. Hyles had a deacon in the church, Bruce Johnson, represent my parents before the H.E.W. department board and I believe in court as well. The case was closed. However, what no one ever bothered to find out was: Were the accusations true? My dad was a "lucky" one. Many other friends from church were having their children removed from their homes by the Welfare Dept. Even the High School Principal (a BJU graduate) had his daughter taken away and placed in foster care.

The thing was, the reports [of abuse] were absolutely true. My father was extremely abusive. And so were other parents who lived in our neighborhood that attended FBCH. Yet the church was providing legal representation for these offenders. And Dr. Hyles would get up from the pulpit and warn the congregation about how our church had become a "victim" of unfair persecution by the Health Education and Welfare Department! The problem that I currently have regarding that situation is this: I know beyond a doubt that many HAC graduates and students living in the Hammond area are current wife and children abusers. I have friends and former roommates from college who are married to some of these guys. My sister and I saw these girls come to church on Sunday morning with bruised faces and bleeding lips. And the children often looked worse. What is the deal? [Why] is the church still covering for these bums?

My sister is currently being pursued by legal council FOR First Baptist Church. They are demanding that she fly to Hammond and testify in a lawsuit regarding an educably slow woman. They have told her that since she worked in that ________ department, she needs to come and testify on Dr. Hyles behalf, as a favor to him. They have even had college staff members call her and pressure her. (She was a 19__ graduate). Anyway, she and I did not realize until very recently, by stumbling across an article online, that it is a sexual abuse case. We both feel strongly that she should refuse to testify for FBCH, since we both know that this type of abuse happens there all the time, and the church covers.

It's a vicious cycle! FBCH is a powerful place. They manipulate people all over this country. And it is because so many people will NOT open their eyes to what is really going on.


My father is a Hyles follower. He would choose Hyles over my siblings and me.

As for me, I would never set foot back there. Seventeen years, minus all the Sundays I ditched, was too much. That church ruined my childhood. God has completely healed that. I feared Hyles. We basically thought he was a big eye in the sky. We never heard about the love of God. Jesus' name (to my remembering) was hardly mentioned.


I was a member of a Baptist Church here in ________ for a while whose pastor was trained at Hyles-Anderson College. I no longer attend that church, but my boss and his family are very much into the Hyles movement. The thing that struck me kind of' funny is the feeling you get that the people are programmed not to question their pastor or anything that comes out of FBC of Hammond. When looking for some info ... the other day concerning the "repentance" issue, I found your web site and the information about Jack Hyles past. I was shocked! He and his family have always been held up before the people here as above reproach! I did hear about one "Preacher's School" about two years ago, when Jack Hyles had men come on stage wearing dog collars and he wore a robe like the pope. People would ask the "dogs" questions and they could only answer when Dr. Hyles yanked their leashes. I left the church shortly after that.


My name is ____________. I am one of the ____________ of the late Dr. John R. Rice. I can tell you that I have known Jack Hyles my entire life, and everything you mention in your website is either something that I have seen proof of myself, or something I know of. The evil things Jack Hyles did were not known till after [Dr. Rice] was in Heaven, or we obviously would have separated from fellowship with him completely. ... Jack Hyles is a wicked, wicked man, but I saw [Dr. Rice] read the Bible every morning at breakfast, six chapters or more, and I saw him pray, every single day that we were together, crying by himself in his chair, and praying over his open Bible that the Lord would bring unsaved souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I saw [Dr. Rice] when I was a little _____ on his knee, give money to hungry people, give coats away that people had given him. For years when I was a little _____, we lived on the farm [the Rice family] owned. I never saw [Dr. Rice] do anything at all that I felt was something the Lord would hate. I never saw him do anything arrogant or deliberately selfish. He never sold relics, or promoted soulwinning without the backup immediately of the local church in discipling and follow-up. [Dr. Rice] was real -- heart and soul, and one of the best examples of a Spirit-filled Servant of God that I have ever met. He spent his life serving, not on an ego trip or anything close to Jack Hyles' current megalomania. ...


Thank you for printing the article about Jack Hyles. It is all true. I went to HAC for five years and then taught at Miller Road Baptist in Garland for several years. The Hyles family is the one of the worst things that has ever happened to Christianity. The "doctrines" they have taught are nothing more than man-made ideas which confuse and mislead people. After 10 years away from their influence, I am still trying to find out who God really is and what the Bible really teaches. I am convinced they have brainwashed thousands of people and will have much to answer for some day.

I was especially glad to see the sentence about Brenda Steven's baby who died. Justice was not done, but I'm glad the suspicions are out in the open. What happened to that child was only a part of the damage David Hyles did to the people at Miller Road.

Thank you for exposing them.


I found your website just today. I find the articles that you wrote about Jack Hyles very interesting. My ex-husband and I attended Hyles-Anderson College back in the years of ____ - ____. We left the college and church when my husband had only one semester left of school to graduate. I believe everything that you wrote in your articles. There were so many things that have left me feeling very unsettled through the years regarding the church and much more about the college. The women were treated very badly and at times it felt that we were in a prison. Some of the practices were very demoralizing (such as dress code checks). I remember having demerits given to me because my sweater was "to clingy to my breasts." The women were not allowed to leave the campus unless ... on a bus with several others. This was even to go to the mall, go to the doctor, and other needed errands. You had to be chaperoned at all times. Who knows what trouble we would have caused? Today I believe myself to be a strong Christian woman, but have suffered through the years from the lies that have been put into my head about myself and about God.

I remember some of the meetings that the college girls would have with "The Preacher" (Dr. Hyles). If anyone would have walked into the room, they would have thought that all these college age girls were waiting for Elvis to return. We were taught to actually worship him and treat him as an idol. There was a song that we would sing to him to make him come out to the stage: 

"We love you preacher, oh yes we do, we don't love anyone as much as you. If you're not with us, we're blue, Oh Preacher we love you"! 

He would not come out until the girls were in a frenzy. What happened to only preaching Christ and him crucified? Even at the time, these meetings made me very uncomfortable. They seemed to be very sexual in nature. He would speak to us as if we were his girls that he was trying to court or swoon. Being a mother today, I would NEVER allow my daughter to attend these meetings. Hyles' Church and college have hurt many people. Many of the young pastors that have looked up to him (like the one that I spoke of) carry on his legacy of man-worship. I feel mostly for the women who suffer the degrading remarks and humiliation that comes from their beliefs.


I am ____ years old and have been a member of an Independent Baptist Church since childhood. At the age of five, I [trusted] the Lord Jesus Christ. All through my younger years and adult life, I have always looked up to our pastors in the Independent church. What has happened to us? God has not changed!!! I can relate to some of what went on at the First Baptist Church in Indiana. ... I resigned as deacon ... Many of the members came to me with concerns/complaints about our pastor. I met with him and shared these concerns. ... he did nothing about it -- his words "the door swings both ways." As long as you agree with him and don't buck what he has to say -- you're okay. Members are shunned if they disagree.

Some issues:

1. Monies (thousands of dollars) are not reported to any of the members. These monies are spent on non-needed things.

2. Several buddies (of the pastor) are employed by the church. .... without voting upon them or without knowledge of members.

3. Leadership (deacons) has no say so in any matters.

4. There is no accountability.

5. Members say that he has a cult. -- I forgot to mention ... when he came to our church three years ago from another state, he brought along three families of followers (non-family members.) These families sit near the pulpit ... like they are protecting him.

6. He brought in a child-molester (from out of state) to head our media ministry. He knew of this man's past, but failed to tell anyone at the church, [yet] we have many children in our services. I stumbled on this information.

I could go on and on. ... I still have many members that call and they are very upset with what he is still doing there at the church, but they can't [seem to] leave.


I attended HAC in ____ - ____. I so appreciate your web page on Dr. Hyles and the situation in Hammond. My involvement as a teen, here in _______, in going to Youth Conference and our church having Dave Hyles up for our youth conferences in the early 19__s, paved the way for my "worship" of the "success" of Hammond. I went to HAC and thought I "was it" spiritually. This was THE place God was working. It caused a great deal of spiritual pride and, eventually, great confusion and disillusionment!

The real attraction of Dr. Hyles was that you felt loved, cared for, and you knew he was down to earth. As a bus kid myself from an abusive home, Dr. Hyles' screaming, hard preaching, and black and white mentality seemed so normal.

He did lots of fun things for the students; it was a surrogate family for so many of us from abusive backgrounds. My subsequent research into abusive churches and cults frightened me when I saw the striking similarities!

I could tell many stories, but here are the things that made me, after a year down at HAC, not want to be a part of that movement [any longer]:

1. The demands and hours of service were absolutely crazy. The real "spiritual" students were praised for giving their entire lives for ridiculous schedules. Some were often physically ill because of the demands. Where was family life? No wonder so many were falling into immorality. I must note that when I was there, I felt safe and never saw outward signs of immorality or felt Dr. Hyles said lewd things. I guess I was involved when there was still enough Godly influence on the college staff; I don't know.

2. They acted as though they were the only ones with truth. My church back home where I was saved was "not separated enough." That really put a big red flag in my mind.

3. Dr. Hyles would allow us as female students to sit on his car hood while he drove off slowly, after a girl's meeting with "Daddy Hyles,"  screaming, "We love you preacher!" like he was some rock star with groupies!!! He would throw down 10- and 20-dollar bills from the cafeteria balcony at screaming girls. He would allow the girls to pat his back and "touch his garments" so to speak, when he would go to the cafeteria after a girl's meeting to have our free pizza. When I was in it, I thought it was perfectly normal. It took some years to see the inappropriateness of this "hero worship." But at the time it really met "needs" for love, excitement, fun, and significance.

4. One of my roommates, after a Sunday night service, got into the "preacher boys line" outside of Dr. Hyles' office to ask a question. She was not aware she was not to be in THAT line. Well, according to her, Dr. Hyles screamed at her in front of everyone and told her off for being in the wrong line. She related this story, still shaken and in tears in our dorm. We were kind of in shock, and calmed her down by saying, "he's tired, I'm sure he didn't mean it". That was the other red flag in my mind.

I guess things became more cult like in the late '80s and beyond, according to what I have just read on your website. The fallout from this in those of us who followed Dr. Hyles is the most devastating when you start to realize what you were in! It is a personality cult of one man who has complete control of thousands of followers. People start to shut off their thinking when the red flags keep happening. I am so thankful to God that my own pastor was wary of the Hyles' movement and I had a solid church to return to. I shudder to think where I would be right now if I had married a Hyles' follower down there. I certainly wouldn't be sending you this email, because I would think you were of the devil!

Keep on keeping on, sir. Be the watchmen and warn the sheep.


I was a graduate of Hammond Baptist High School and I attended Hyles-Anderson College as well for ____ years.

I was in the same class as David Hyles and it was common knowledge that the behavior which got him into so much trouble later in life was already a problem then. Surely his father was aware of it. But he had his own reasons for a cover-up. ...

I have first had knowledge how these people will lie just to punish people they don't like. I did a radio show which they didn't like. The result was that I received a letter from them demanding a full term's tuition for class I didn't take. I had voluntarily withdrawn from the college the semester before. I called the school and explained that I could not possibly owe them tuition since I was no longer a student. They put me on hold and then came back to tell me that it is correct that I wasn't an official student, but now they claimed I audited all of my courses. Of course, there would be no class attendance records and no grades or other records to show that I audited the classes. But if I didn't pay them for the additional semester, they would refuse to send my records to any other school and I would lose two years of credits. 

I stood by my principles and lost the two years credit because they invented a story. I also know for a fact it was because of the radio show. I gave out an address on the air (but it wasn't my address). The letter demanding extra money or I would lose two years worth of college credits was sent to the address I gave out on the radio. 

It showed me that the people at FBC were vindictive and would do anything to punish people -- even lie. 

I [had also] worked at an all-night health center not far from the college. I can also testify that various top church people would use the gym to meet the people they were having affairs with. The man would check in the men's side. The woman would go in through the ladies side. They would then meet in the common area outside the locker rooms and sneak off somewhere to be together -- it was a two story gym and quite large so there were plenty of places to hide. Since I worked the late night shift the place was often empty. That was a good time for "lovers" to sneak into the locker rooms and use private changing booths. 

The FBC was a cesspool of hypocrisy and I'm glad I got out.


I was in a "Hyles" church in ____________ for __ years. ___ years ago I left -- thank the Lord I woke up.  My former pastor idolized Jack Hyles, attended every Pastor's school, quoted him endlessly, and modeled our church after 1st Baptist Church of Hammond.  Many teens from our church attended the college and are still there. Two families have moved to Hammond to be "under Jack Hyles." I cannot tell you the twisted concepts that Jack Hyles has passed on to pastors all over this country, but the letters I've read on your web site from other people who "woke up" give me reason to see that I wasn't crazy in leaving that church and I was and am not "unstable" as my former pastor told me.

Why did I stay in that environment so long? I wish I could tell you! I saw how the church treated other families who left, and talked about them from the pulpit after they left, and then shunned them completely (just as we were told to do from the pulpit). The thought that I would be in the same shoes if I left was more than I could bear. But I finally left and it has taken 2 years to even begin to see the guilt leave me. Words cannot express the distorted view of God that a "Hyles church" can give to a person. My biggest pain is that I raised two children entirely in that atmosphere and I can see the scars that were left in their lives and on their hearts because of it! May God forgive me for that -- and He has!!!

Don't let this web site stop letting people know what is happening.


Thank you so much for your website -- I wish I had known about it before yesterday. My life changed when a graduate from HAC became our Pastor when our previous man moved away. I wanted so badly to do what God wanted me to do -- I struggled to know His perfect will. The new pastor told me that it was God's will for me to go to HAC, [even though] my parents had heard some things about the college and felt I shouldn't go. These were loving, active people in the church. The pastor said they were being used of the devil. I was so upset that I couldn't sleep feeling this war going on. The Pastor would leave notes in my notebook at school , "Did you sleep well last night," and other things that I now view as a form of mental torture. 

I attended a year at HAC -- it has taken me over 8 years to feel as though I'll make it now. … I have had nightmares through all these years about that place and not being able to escape. The inappropriate behavior of Jack Hyles is overwhelming. At times I wanted to go to 20/20 or a place like that so he would be exposed and people would see him for what he is, but I was always overwhelmed with fear that they would find me.


I read your web site about Hyles. I had heard some faint rumors years ago, but ignored them. I was raised in a church that was 100% supportive of Hyles. It was KJV-only and I was a loyal follower. I had to memorize over 800 verses by the time I graduated from the Christian school. I attended from 4th grade to 12th grade and then I went to a KJV college in Ohio. I have NOTHING good to say about that church (FBCH). I ran a bus route (the most [geographically] dangerous) and picked up kids from the projects. I had my route canned because I brought black kids to church. My three years there was a living nightmare! Then I attended a large fundamental church in ____________. What I thought was a nightmare from the college days became worse in this Hyles copy-cat church. … We left devastated and destroyed. After being back in the U.S. for 8 years ... still attending a Jack Hyles pro church, [we] finally left because of the pastor's spousal abuse.  

After that I started investigating the Christian school where I grew up. I questioned former students and found out that they came from sexual abuse homes, physically abusive homes, homes involved in witchcraft, and so on. It was so revolting to find this out! Praise God! I'm out of it!


I have known of Jack Hyles for a good many years. The information presented on this site is mostly something I am not truly familiar with. However, what I do know is that I am not happy with my contacts with those ministers who were following him. Lies, half truths, and gossip have often characterized my contacts with them. I have first hand knowledge of the misconduct of three of their pastors, one of whom pastored the church where God has given me the pulpit. I found out, after he was gone, that people began confessing their sins to The Lord, and It turned out that this "pastor" (I use the term loosely) was using cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, all the while decrying these in public, but outside the church he even gave these things to members of the congregation, and used them with them. I also found out that he also had had two affairs with women in the church.

As to Jack Hyles himself, I attended one of his "Pastor's Schools." I was never so disappointed in all my life. The very first meeting of the conference had him crying out to the crowd, "What are ya?" The reply came back, "Idiots." God forgive him, he had trained all these people to call themselves "RACA!" As the days wore on, I became more and more disenchanted, fed up by the time we left to come back to _________. Since I returned from Hammond about __ years ago, I've received dozens of communications from [Hyles] inviting people to various conferences at his church. He had a greatly inflated opinion of himself, to say the least. In all of those letters he [might have] mentioned Jesus, Lord, God, Holy Spirit ... once, if you were lucky. Yet his own name might appear between twenty or thirty times. He was truly a sad case ... I guess he died in February. I don't know how he could face The Lord Jesus -- he was a heretic who left a wake of troubled people with a mechanistic Christianity, that didn't ever get to Godliness, just a hellish legalism.


Thank you so much for all of the informative articles you have posted concerning Jack Hyles. I have grown up in an independent Baptist church, and am now an independent Baptist preacher. I was saved at age 10. One of my first converts was a friend the same age. I had the joy of leading him to the Lord one night as he slept over. I saw him grow spiritually and mature in the Lord. When we were teens, we had a youth pastor who was a HAC grad, and a loyal Hyles follower. He strongly influenced both me and my friend, and encouraged us to attend HAC. After high school, he [my friend] went to HAC, and I attended Bible college in _______________. While I was in School, I received a phone call from my HAC friend. He was frantic and full of worry. He warned that I was in a liberal college, and out of God's will. He claimed my college had no soulwinning program (untrue), no dress standards (again, not true) and "rock" music in the church's services. I was amused at my friends inaccurate statements and asked where he heard them. He said Dr. Jack Schaap [a Hyles protégé] told him these things. After much time and many phone conversation, I have noted some distressing opinions expressed by this person. Some things my friend has said are: 


I read with great interest the article on Hyles. Unfortunately, when I was growing up we did not have a computer in our home. If we had the information on Hyles, it would have been a great help to me. My father is a Baptist minister and sadly became a Hyles devotee when I was a teenager. My father  and a large part of his family were brainwashed by this idiotic thinking. I was forced to endure pilgrimages to Hammond and seemingly endless hours of ranting [by Hyles]. I have often wondered why as a child I could clearly see this for the cult it was, but my parents could not.


Recently I had a harsh conflict with a Hyles-Anderson graduate. The man actually assaulted me. I had expressed my concerns about Hyles' teaching. The man then began [trying] to convince me of the same false teaching of Hyles (specifically what Hyles taught about salvation only through the KJV). 

He became very sarcastic and was wanting to take the conversation outside the church and "settle it" out there (meaning he wanted to fight). I said that we should not continue the conversation and he continued to press me with the issues. … as the man pressed me intensely in the conversation, I did say to him that Hyles was an adulterer and an heretic. 

The man actually took me by the throat and raised his fist. Fortunately he didn't strike me, however, he did inflict pain when he slammed his palm to my throat and took hold of me by the throat. … I let the associate pastor know what happened and talked to the pastor afterwards. The man had gone to the pastor and told him what happened. The man did come to me and "apologize" BUT said, "I warned you three times and you wouldn't listen." The gall of the man! I was the one that wanted to cease the conversation! I told him that if he was asking for forgiveness, then I forgave him. He walked away.


Thank you for helping to spread the information about Jack Hyles & the cult he lead. We've been out of that cult for about 17 years. The longer we are away the clearer we can see. All the unscriptural teachings I heard & believed while under his spell! I am completely convinced, now in hind sight, that Jack Hyles actually hated the Word of God & true men of God. If one were a true Bible scholar, knowledgeable of the Word of God, one would [easily] be able to see all the heresy taught at First Baptist Church & Hyles-Anderson College. He regularly railed on Bible scholars. He made fun of anyone who even thought about going on to seminary after graduating from college! He didn't want people to know their Bible! Then they would see the false teachings. What a sick man. ... he helped create many sick, unlearned preachers that are now all over the country. 


I just happened to stumble across your web page and I was very surprised by what I read. I am a grad of HAC many moons ago. I have first hand knowledge of some of the things people on your web site are talking about. I've been out of the loop for sometime now and I am glad that now people have seen what I was saying while I attended there. It's sad to admit that I wasted 4 good years there and have to tell people that I went there. I am not a reporter or have anything that has to do with the media. just a fellow grad who also been lied to all the years of my service there. and even though I didn't attend church there, my church also was a staunch follower.


I was one of Jack Hyles' personal body guards from 1978-83. If you only knew the actual man. I met with him personally and saw his megalomania and personal greed. I have talked with many of his personal staff and found their stories to be reputable when proclaiming his escapades and sexually perverted tendencies. There was one staff member at Hyles Anderson College, a Bill McFadden, who had sex with a student in the chapel tunnel; when it was reported, the incident was swept under the rug and dismissed. Jack was not going to let this ruin his monarchy. Jack was more like Jimmy Swaggart or James Bakker than a man of God. I feel most sorry for his son David, who was a "victim" of his fathers debauchery and gutter life. I worked with David as well.


I grew up in an independent Baptist church from the nursery. I have had two preachers in my entire life -- both Hyles-grads -- both ran off with women from the church. When I was in the 11th grade, I decided that I would NEVER go to HAC, because I was so afraid I would marry a man from there that would cheat on me just like my preachers did.

I am 21 years old, and I went to HAC for 3 yrs. The first year I went because of my dad. The second year I went back because my boyfriend (who also attended HAC) told me I wasn't right with God if I didn't. My third year I felt so guilty about not going back, I went to appease my conscience.

As I sat in chapel day after day, I became more and more rebellious. I am the type that likes to think things out for myself, so I had a hard time letting someone else think for me. I got extremely disgusted when the President of HAC got up and said, "You are at your highest level spiritually by being here. If you leave, and don't finish, it will be all down hill from there."

It annoyed me and made me very angry when Tom Vogel got up and introduced the idea of Founders Park. -- The park wasn't so bad, but it was the part when he said that there was going to be a life-like statue of Jack Hyles in the middle where people from all over the country can come for years to come and pray.

Anyway, just wanted to email you and let you know that I know exactly what you are talking about.


Let me join in with the others and say thank you [David Cloud] for your wise discernments of the ministry of Jack Hyles. Praise God and Halleluiah!

My ex and late husband ruled our home with every word spoken by Jack Hyles. He let our little girl of 6 years of age scream and cry herself to sleep every night in the dark because Hyles said we should teach our children there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark. He was going to throw out our only TV because Hyles referred to it as an idiot box, but then found out that Hyles had seven TVs in his own house, so we kept ours. He ruled the children and me with an iron hand, and was physically violent with us because Hyles said that men were the ruler of their families. Even though people were aware of our home life, I was told that divorce was out of the question. And I listened to them until our very lives were in jeopardy, and I divorced him. I broke from the church, but stopped in briefly on a Sunday morning one time and a lady asked me how could I stay away -- how do I feel not attending FBC any more? My reply? One word -- "Free." That's how I felt; free at last. Cult? -- Oh, yes.

And I, too, deeply regret sending each of our children through the Hammond Baptist School system. I once wrote a letter to Hyles stating that if a student's parents were not on the staff of FBC or their schools, or smart enough to make the school look good, or their parents did not have mega bucks to give to the FBC ministries, then the student was treated shabbily. Hyles' response to me was that I was a very good letter writer. Period.

I returned to attend a funeral years after I had left the church, and listened to Hyles, now as a free person and no longer a cult member, and discovered that the first 20 minutes of his funeral service had to do with himself; the last 10 min., he talked about the deceased.

I sang in their choir for years, was a Foster Club member, and was a loyal attendee to their Women's Spectacular each year. I feel I have earned the right to finally speak out. 

P.S. Hyles would describe IN DETAIL how he spanked his daughter, using the words "lift up her little dress." Every time he said it, my system automatically cringed. It was not a statement to make in front of thousands of people.

9/23/02  [To David Cloud]

I grew up near the Bill Rice Ranch, in Murfreesboro, TN. During my high school years, I worked on the ranch (1961 -1966), and Dr. Hyles would often speak there. I was caught up at first in him, but later, as I married and moved, I began to say to my wife when we would go to hear him preach, I wonder who Jack Hyles will exalt tonight? -- Himself or the LORD? Sadly, It was always HIMSELF. We stopped attending His meetings years ago when everybody thought he was the BEST!!

My sister, after graduating from TTS went off to Hammond to teach at First Baptist Elementary School. While there, her eyes were opened also. She has told me of things that happened that I could hardly believe. For example, Dave Hyles many affairs.

It is so sad that this man, Jack Hyles, has destroyed so many people's faith in the church and the LORD.

9/23/02  [To David Cloud]

Jack Hyles was not only wrong on salvation and repentance, he was also a class "A" fraud. I graduated from his college and seminary in the 1980s. I attended First Baptist Church of Hammond for seven years. I played their game quite well, not knowing any better at the time. I "won" more souls there than anyone in my time there. I was awarded "The Sword of the Lord Award for Evangelism" in recognition of my "numbers." (They were in the thousands.) I taught "soul winning" in Pastor's School.

Jack Hyles would say and do anything to validate his ministry and his massive ego. Numbers were ALL that mattered to him. I have seen buses full of black children who, while not being allowed in the bus ministry, were driven down the alley behind the church, told to repeat a prayer, and counted as "souls won on church property" during big days. It was a disgraceful practice!

In all my years in Hyles' church I was NEVER able to find ONE person whom Jack Hyles personally led to the Lord, even in his own fraudulent way. He was big on sending others, but he himself NEVER went!

Thank you for reminding folks what a fraud this entire ministry was and is. His son-in-law now runs the show. He is a man who is thoroughly compromised by his detailed knowledge of everything that went on there for twenty years -- the moral degeneracy of Dave Hyles, the child molestations, the rampant affairs, divorces, debauchery and adultery, the lust and fornication on the part of so many staff members, the cultishness, the siege mentality, the twisted doctrine, the arranged marriages, and so much more. I have seen it all firsthand.

Hyles' supporters are now saying that a new day has dawned. The truth, however, is that Jack Schaap (Hyles son-in-law and successor) is a deeply compromised man. Until he makes that institution accountable for its sins of the past, he deserves not one whit of respect from Christians. He knew of ALL the abuse and turned a blind eye to it all in order to preserve his ecclesiastical inheritance. In effect, the man sold his soul. He watched more lives ruined by two decades of abuse than most people will ever know. I saw him many times around his father-in-law, Jack Hyles. He was a like a little puppy. I remember being so embarrassed for him.

9/23/02  [To David Cloud]

I am a Hyles-Anderson grad, and everything you said is right on the mark. Some of us truly tried to present the Gospel clearly, but we had nowhere near the numbers the "big boys" did. If the Hyles and Grays and Neals and all the others who are having "thousands saved," presented salvation as a complete change of life, you know what the results would be. When I sat in the auditorium in Hammond for seven years (2 degrees), I hardly ever saw anyone coming regularly who looked [or acted] like they were newly saved people. Oh, they might come once, but that was it. Let's face it, if they were having 15-20,000 baptisms a year (that wasn't so either, but that's another story) and only 1% were real and began attending, they would have needed to add seating for another 500 people every 3 years or so. It never happened. What a fantasy. This all panders to pride and arrogance, which is the driving force behind all these ministries. I could go on and so could you, but for what ... the deluded will never be convinced anyway. I think I would rather stand before God with a few truly saved from my labors than a multitude pointing the finger at me for confirming them in their unbelief.

9/23/02  [To David Cloud]

It is certain that Hyles-Anderson, for a long period of time, did teach the heresy that repentance is not part of the gospel, and many of their graduates have left there and taught this false gospel. Furthermore, while I was at Fairhaven Baptist Church + College [Valparaiso, IN] (I graduated in Spring 2000), I saw firsthand instances where people from Hyles' school would come to where we had bus kids, go through the entire area, gimmick them to a Saturday "church party," and baptize them all to count them as "saved." It made me and my fellow bus workers very angry! Thankfully, they would then abandon them so that we could continue to take them to church and teach them the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ. There was one time that they did this in a project we picked kids up in, and they baptized practically everyone, except for one kid who we picked up regularly. We asked this kid why he did not get baptized, and he told us that they had baptized him twice already, and he did not want to be baptized again. He did not understand the gospel, either, so he was not born again. Anyway, I say all this to say that I am in agreement with you about the soul-damning results of Hyles-Anderson methodology and their former anti-repentance theology.


As far back as 1960 the Detroit Bible College Chorale, of which I was a member, toured with a theme of Westward Ho. We traveled to Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri, and came back by way of Hammond, Indiana, stopping for a "concert" at FBCH.

Our stop at First Baptist was anything but a blessing. After being "used" by the church to sing 18 stanzas of an invitation hymn to initiate "decisions" such as salvation, dedication, rededication, membership, transfer-membership, service on the bus staff, ad nausea, the director of the chorale had to visually put his hand up to us to say by gesture: "Keep your cool, gang. It will be over soon, and we'll be out of here." That's how oppressive it was OVER 40 YEARS AGO! 

It is a sad commentary on the evil heart of pride, and a detriment to the cause of Christ Jesus our Lord. And it certainly did not help the Baptist cause nationwide even though I am not a Baptist. Unfortunately, it did have the effect of turning me and others away from a denominationalism of this type known for its superficial invitations and sermons. I'm not so sure this practice did not also occur in many Baptist congregations across the country to a lesser degree. 


I am also one of those converts of Jack Hyles bus ministry back in 1981. I was in the Navy stationed at Great Lakes NTC, when approached by two men form Hyles Church. They "whizzed" me through the Scriptures, and kept asking, "do you believe"? I said yes out of politeness, but it was all so fast. It seemed like we went through the salvation plan in less then three minutes, then all the sudden we were praying and I was told I was going to go to Heaven. Wow! I felt like I had been dragged to salvation. I had no clue what I had just agreed to! 

I even went to the church and was baptized that Sunday, I don’t ever remember saying or agreeing I should do this, but I found myself in this long line of men being baptized. I remember saying to myself, you better get baptized, and you would not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It was all at a very manic pace.


My father was a Hyles follower for years. My sister went to HAC where she met her husband. Our family was so steeped in his philosophy we would not make a move without consulting Mr. Hyles' many books and articles. My father thought that he [Hyles] was doing right, but I could tell that he struggled with his [Hyles] teachings for years. We were deep in the cult, though, and there was no turning back. Hyles ruined our family ... I have struggled for years myself hating Hyles for his sick teachings and his ability to sway so many people in his direction. I realize now that the man may not have been saved himself. My father was a good man who loved the Lord with all his heart. His only mistake was to listen to Hyles and believe that he was a man of God when he was not. My father passed away in 1997, no longer believing Hyles was the great man he once thought, yet not quite ready to denounce his teaching or to believe that he was as bad as he really was. But now in heaven, he knows the truth, and the truth is the mighty Dr. Jack Hyles is not there.


I write this letter with much sadness. I started attending First Baptist Church in the 1960s. I was only in grade school and my family was very involved there at the time. The Jack Hyles that I remember back then was a preacher who was on the right course. His sermons from back then still have an impact on me today. Something happened to him around 1968. He changed. He became obsessed with numbers and the people that were close to the Hyles children knew that things in the Hyles household were not what they should be. The cover-up was to begin. I left the church when I graduated from their high school, which was the best thing I ever did. I realized it was like a cult and Jesus helped me realize through a lot of circumstances in my life not to let any man take His place in my faith and worship. 

I went back to the church after Jack Hyles died to see if the church would go back to what it started out to be many years ago. It is with much sadness that I have realized that the church under the ministry of Jack Schaap, his son-in-law, is going to be worse than what Jack Hyles ever thought of being. Jack Schaap has encouraged FBCH church members to make Jack Hyles an idol. Besides the money the church has blown with paintings on sides of buildings and statues that were made and disliked by the family ($300,000.00 out the door), only to be discarded and replaced with new ones ( at the church's expense), the church bought Mrs. Jack Hyles a 2002 Jaguar to help her get over the normal grieving process of losing a husband, and make her feel better (according to the local newspaper that had a front page story about it). I guess she needed it to go along with the new Kasper Suits that the adult Sunday school class bought her every month. I would love to ask Mrs. Hyles how she can look herself in the mirror and sit in the front row of the choir and see all the widows whom barely have enough money for essential things, yet she is using their tithe for her luxuries. I feel sorry for Cindy Hyles Schaap, I guess she was too young to have remembered her preacher dad before he corrupted himself from power. It truly saddens my heart; his ministry could have ended so differently. 


I went to HAC/FBC for 8 or 9 years. I was expelled from college 2 times. I have only told my story to about 5 people. And it took me 10 years to really face the truth and quit fooling myself. I cannot believe how stupid I was to fall for all that stuff. It may have been because I was young. Either that or an easily influenced person.

I had never attended a Christian school. I was raised in a Christian home. Parents were both married still and we attended church every week. My parents had about the same morals as they teach at FBC -- [except for allowing of] the woman wearing pants and I could go to rated G-rated movies. ... When I first learned of FBC and went, I loved it. I think I liked the bigness of it all. And I liked the excitement from behind the pulpit. I started riding the bus to First Baptist as a bus kid from Division ___. 

When I graduated high school, I attended a Junior College in the area. The following year I applied to HAC. ... My first year at HAC, no matter what I said or did, I was considered a "ghetto" bus kid, [even though] my father was well off and I lived in a $300,000 home. So being 17 years old, I decided to make up a "bus kid" profile for myself. I made up all these lies about my parents and myself. Said I was in a gang and did drugs, etc. I started to play the tough guy act at the college. ... Finally, HAC decided it was best I leave for the safety of myself and the college. 

[Some years later, I re-enrolled in HAC.] I was determined in my heart to do right and graduate and go out and start a girl's home. By now I was already into the frame of mind that "Dr. Hyles was the greatest." I thought Vic Nischik was a lunatic -- because that is what Dr. Hyles said, so I believed it.

It makes no sense to me why [HAC] was not biblical in how they treated people. It angers me that so many teenagers went there looking to go into full time Christian service and ended up on the sidelines, because they didn't fit the mold and bow down to the people there. So many people ended up hating God and out of the ministry and church too. It is a very sad sad place they run there. It is people worship. I sat there and watched several staff members have relationships with girl students -- when they [the staff members] were married. The whole place is pathetic and needs to be exposed as it really is. I have read Voyle Glover's book and Vic Nischik's book -- something I never dared back then -- but my eyes have been totally opened at the farce that place is.


Well, all I can say is FINALLY someone believes what I have said about Jack Hyles. He turns male HAC grads into Mini Jack Hyles -- here is an example: Our pastor Bill Wininger at the North Sharon Baptist Church in Grass lake, MI was also a graduate of Hyles Anderson College. Some of our classes at NSBC were held in the church basement. The pastor would call many girls up to his office one by one -- some to fondle, some to just hold and say I love you too. He even at one time gave me money for McDonalds, but only if I  gave him a very tight hug. He was always hugging me, telling me he loved me, and with a grin on his face, watch me as I would walk away in my skirts. No one would believe anything we said and we were all considered liars and listening to Satan. 

The child molestation charges in 1990 with Tim Leonard and Mark Foller were all said to be of the devil and all the 3-10 yr olds were lying. I dared to say I thought they were guilty and I thought I was going to get beat for saying that. ... Bill Wininger also told me to quit feeling sorry for myself when I tried to tell him about the abuse at home. This HAC graduate condoned women being treated like the scum of the earth, children being abused. When I left the state after I graduated in 1994, and told everyone I would NEVER go to HAC, I was considered a heathen. Then in 1995, my cousin had caught Pastor Wininger in his office. having an affair with a lady member of the church. She left her husband but no one believed my cousin.



I am proud to have been given the opportunity to read your articles regarding the Jack Hyles ministries and schools.  

As a child, my parents were divorced while I was an infant. My mother worked hard as a single mother for RCA in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon RCA's factory closing, my mother made the choice to move to Indiana, for a better opportunity with work and mostly because of a new school which had just been started. My mother felt that a young girl should learn the ways of being a lady and that with a religious upbringing, I would have a better chance for my future. 

From the moment I arrived in Schererville, Indiana, I began a life of anguish and fear. Because my parents were divorced, I was often used as an example to my class mates and made to feel inappropriate and inferior to the rest of my peers and the teachers within HB schools. The rules I was given involved ideas I had never learned prior to attending HB. I was told pants on a girl were unacceptable for school or church, and that television and music, aside from hymns sung in church, were works of the devil trying to persuade me into a "demonic ways" so that I might become a soul serving in Hell. 

On one winter day, I was very ill and had missed 2 days of school due to scarlet fever. My mother had bundled me up from the cold and I was wearing pants as we traveled to the doctor and to the drug store afterwards. When we entered the drug store, I noticed a teacher from HB was looking through some greeting cards and I faintly tried to smile at her. She gave me a disdainful look and then proceeded to leave the store. A couple of days later I returned to school and I was immediately called to the principle's office. I was counseled and given the option of explaining why I would have been seen in public dressed as a man. I was told that it was abnormal for girls to want to wear pants and asked if I would like to be a man instead of a woman when I grew up. After several minutes of discussion, I was told that girls were not normally paddled for their mistakes but that boys were harder to learn their lesson and needed more persuasion. At this time a large narrow paddle approximately 12 inches long, with large holes cut throughout it, was removed from the counter behind the desk. I was told to stand up and remove my underpants. When I began to cry, I was told that if I wished to live the life of a boy, I should be treated as such. I was then told to lift my skirt and hold it above my waist. I was "paddled" severely that day. I went to school as a  9 yr old little girl that day, but I had lost my childhood. From that day forward, every teacher or adult I came into contact with became someone I feared. 

I was called to the principle's office on several occasions during my period with HB. I began to believe that I would never become an "acceptable" Christian girl. I continued to live the nightmare for 6 years until my mother was finally transferred in her job to a suburb of Chicago, and I was permitted to attend a public school. At that point, it was if I had to undergo deprogramming. I didn't fit in with "normal" kids my age and I was already of the opinion that I was inferior to everyone else from the treatment I had received with HB. At 15, I was checked into the University of Chicago Hospital for a nervous breakdown and psychological evaluation. I spent 6 weeks trying to recover my life and realize that I was perfectly normal. The doctors did a full physical workup on me and determined my virginity had been taken from me.  My mother could not believe it and she began questioning every move I would make. ... My mother couldn't believe that someone in the religious faith would harm a child, much less a 9 yr old child. She eventually moved us back to Ohio, thinking it might help with my dilemma. My mother was fooled like so many others have been. ... Just as Jack Hyles died, my Mom has since passed away and there is not one day that goes by in my life that I don't experience difficulty or question whether I am normal or if I was somehow not Christian enough  in God's eyes to avoid the torment I went through. In many ways, I guess you could say the ministry of Jack Hyles still rules over my life from the grave. I can only hope that somewhere in life each of us find a way to overcome our weaknesses and move forward. Maybe your website will help some of us do so.



Reading all of these articles brings back such sad memories. Honestly, it makes me want to cry for what HAC did to my walk, my life -- to the way I viewed myself in God's eyes as a result of my experience there. 

I attended HAC in fall of 1983. I had attended a small Christian school for 3 years, but did not grow up in Christian home. The first year was fine, as I got accustomed to rules. I thought they were odd and tough, and I was surprised at the cult-view people had of Jack Hyles. But to say anything was out of the question was unthinkable. My freshman year ended with some demerits for going to see a movie …  I saw the rules as very inconsistent towards me, compared with other students whose parents were either in the ministry or strong supporters of Hyles. Over the summer, this treatment boiled over inside me -- and not because I was far from God. In fact, because I thought God AND the school would want to know how I felt, to do the honorable thing, etc. I would come back to school and go to some ‘friends’ on staff. 

My sophomore year started with me telling, very calmly and humbly, that I felt maybe things were a little cultish and at times skewed. My sophomore year ended about 4 weeks later, with expulsion from loads of demerits -- for minor infractions that weren’t even violations -- but I couldn’t argue them with anyone. 

I went back and tried to right myself (and because I still believed Hyles was the MAN and if I wasn't there, I wasn’t in God's will). left a year later, and struggled with my broken identity as a child of God for the next 10+ years. I couldn't begin to tell you the details of what happened/happens at that school -- just "Thank You, HAC" -- for weeding me out and making sure I knew my place in God's eyes.


I have read the articles about Jack Hyles and the personal testimonies of former HAC students and faculty and FBCH members, and I thought I was the only one that was a "VICTIM."

I don't know where to begin, so I will start at the beginning if you don't mind. My Dad divorced and now remarried, went to HAC around '74 with his new wife he had met in Florida, while he was involved in the "hippie Jesus" age in the early '70s. They sold everything they had to move up there to attend this college so he could be a preacher. I, in the meantime, was in foster care in North Carolina because his ex-wife, my mother, could not afford to keep me, and the courts could not find my Dad. In summer of '76, I was 5 years old, my Dad came to me and took me up to Hammond to be with him and his new wife. By that fall, I was thrown into the grade school there at FBCH to be brainwashed. My teacher had told my parents that I was a very smart child and I became bored very easy, because I finished my work before the other students and I would help the other kids in my class with their work. I would get spanked for that. 

My dad would follow the Hyles handbook on child raising, and was very abusive. When he would take me in the room to spank me, he would have me remove my pants and he would turn out the light, it was dark outside, and he would use his belt and he would not care where it hit. Many times I went to school the next day with bleeding welts on my back and legs and would have a black eye from where the belt hit me in the face. There were times when I was sent to school without food and I would beg for food from my friends. Once at the school, my first grade teacher took my lunch away from me and threw it in the garbage for talking in class. I had already gone two days without food and was so eagerly wanting that lunch that after school I went to the dumpster and tore open the garbage bags until I found my lunch. Another time my Dad took me into a field and made me run, and if he caught me he would beat me until I was bleeding. Needles to say, being only eight years old, he caught me. 

We left there when I was nine and moved to California, where my Dad tried to take-over several churches from Pastors he worked under. Between him and my step mom, they caused several church splits. Eventually they started a church in Fresno, CA with an attendance of 65, which about 50 were kids my Dad picked up in the back of his pickup for every service. They could not keep adults in the church because they would run them off with Hyles-doctrine. During this time, my Dad was still very abusive.

I graduated from High School and to make my parents happy -- I went to HAC. I made it a point to see if I could break every rule in the rulebook and not get caught, I succeeded. I returned home and joined the military where I served in Special Ops for 14 years. While I was in Florida at Mac Dill AFB, I met my lovely wife who I have been married to for 10 years, and have never raised a hand to her because I had seen first hand what that will do to a family. 


My wife and I attended FBCH [1973-1987], and both graduated from HAC, where we both served on the staff, and taught in the school system, after graduating. Your reporting is quite accurate. I personally witnessed and knew more than I want to share. 

Thank you for your web site. Keep up with the good work, because our Lord and God will be the One whom we all will one day give an account to.



Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, for your newsletter exposing even this small percentage of abuse that goes on at HAC. My husband and I attended the "church" and college from 1991-2001. I cannot begin to describe the emotional and spiritual turmoil we went through at the hands of Jack Hyles and his band of merry men. 

We were newly married and very involved in our church when a Hyles grad came to be our new pastor. He was totally devoted to Jack Hyles and FBC. This was during the height of "the battle" as Hyles called it, yet the members of our church never heard a word about it and only knew that FBC was THE place to be and the epicenter of Christianity. It became our Mecca, and Pastor's School was our yearly pilgrimage. Our church changed dramatically over the next three years. We started to do things to please our pastor, and think in terms of "what would Jack do?' We attended the Pastor's School in 1991, where there was INTENSE pressure put upon the delegates to surrender to preach. "If God didn't call you so what? You can still volunteer! After all, God has done that is the least you can do ..."  Needless to say, my husband went forward. Two months later we had sold our house loaded up our possessions and left for the holy-land, Hammond, Indiana! I was four months pregnant with our third child, and we had no job (Dr. Hyles had told us to sell our house and worry about the job when we got there). There was a man on staff whose job was  to help students get jobs (he had one contact which he always used) and find apartments (again, one contact in lovely crime free Gary, IN!).

Of course, the longer one went without a job, or the worse the place you had to live, the better, made for great sermon illustrations! My husband was a great singer and was singing a lot in church and banquets, which gave us a pass to some of the inner circle there. Red flags started almost immediately, there was hero worship everywhere, and the things they chose to uplift and praise seemed so anti-doctrinal. Swallowing hard, we tried to make the best of it, after all it must be us that was bad and sinful, as everyone else seemed so happy to be told how pathetic we all were. Plus we weren't quitters and weren't ready to say we've made a terrible mistake and come home. Our home pastor would have considered that a failure; we couldn't disappoint him and our proud parents.  People often ask why we didn't just leave?  You have no idea the amount of power they sway over you. 

My poor husband got only 3 to 4 hours sleep at night during the week while going to night college. I say college loosely, as his classes all consisted on how to build a church just like Jack Hyles, and the required readings were all Hyles books or books by faculty extolling Hyles. Every night he was told how stupid he was, and lazy he was, and wicked he was, and his only salvation was this college and learning how to model himself after the great and wonderful Jack. Then came the weekend, but if I thought I'd actually get to see my husband, I had another thing in store for me. We were told the Sailor ministry (at Great Lakes Naval Training Center] was more "family-friendly" than the bus ministry because we all could participate together. All that meant was that our whole family was required to be their indentured servants. My husband left for the base at six in the morning, and I didn't see him again until four in the afternoon, when he would pass by me in line as I helped serve the meal we had prepared for 100 men. Then he was off again until midnight when he would return with five to ten men (sailors) who I would have a meal waiting for. Then they would all shower and we would make them a bed on our floors and lock ourselves and our children into our bedroom, then up the next morning at five to make the sailors a "home-cooked breakfast." Then a full day of preaching and feeding the sailors again at our ministry base. If you ever missed a week you were told you didn't love your sailors and wanted them all to go to Hell. There were weeks that our children only saw their dad for a few hours on Friday nights. It's amazing that they didn't seem to care if we loved our children enough to spend some time with them to keep them out of Hell, no wonder MOST of the faculty and staff kids ended up "rebelling" and leaving the place. 

Meanwhile, I was taking a few classes where I was told how I was not submissive enough, and was going to ruin my husband and his ministry if I had the audacity to complain about not seeing him enough. This was God's man and if he wasn't succeeding, it was my fault. Oh, if I could only be like Mrs. Hyles or Mrs. Evans. Once I was told there was an opening to do a job that was a HUGE honor. Just to be asked was considered prestigious and that I was doing God's business. It was to clean (for free of course) Mrs. Evans house, as she was too busy traveling and changing America to actually take care of her own home, or make her meals, or even do her hair and make-up every day. I was told "America needs her" and to clean her house was a great honor. Puuuuleaseee!!  This sort of thing went on all the time. We were grunts there to do the bidding of these great  men and women of God. To question anything was totally taboo, and considered disloyal. My husband and I after a few years of this felt so beat down and like complete failures it was easier to just go along rather than fight it . We knew by now the place was totally hypocritical and a farce, yet they still had enough sway over us not to leave. That would be the ultimate failure. People who left were spoken of in hushed tones, like someone who had died. Besides, where were we to go?  Every other church that was not 100% Hyles, was bad. Our children would surely go to the devil out there in the abyss. After Jack Hyles died and the complete idolatry took over, we finally had had enough; to escape from there was worth all the recriminations we would receive.

Well like most, we floated around not knowing what to believe or where to go (no  one was TELLING us now). I went through a few years of bitterness from being so manipulated (how could they call themselves Christians), then sadness for the lost years, and finally now thankfulness to God for being freed from there. My husband went through an extreme period of depression and guilt. We finally feel like we have healed from the experience and are happy, if not a little wary, and back in church serving God. There is only one word to describe that place -- CULT!  If not one of the sexual scandals or monetary escapades was true, what that place does on a day to day basis, to all those unfortunate enough to have fallen into their way, is enough to shut their doors forever. May God have mercy on their souls.  


I stumbled upon your website rather accidentally; I graduated from Tennessee Temple in 1975.  I don't remember much about doctrinal concerns, but I do remember John R. Rice and others.  I specifically remember Jack Hyles being the speaker at a conference in Philadelphia, PA in 1976.   The hotel banquet hall was large and his preaching was so loud a hotel staff member went to a closet on the balcony to turn the volume down.  I'm guessing they had complaints from hotel guests.  Once Hyles realized the man  had turned the volume down, he stopped in the middle of his sermon and accosted the man as he was walking away.  He demanded that the man turn the volume back up, and embarrassed him for interfering with his message. 


I attended Hyles-Anderson College from ____.  There is permanent nerve damage to my hearing from extensive amplified screaming. My family was destroyed by Hylesian Fundamentalism. The most difficult thing for survivors of Hylesian Fundamentalism is the task of embracing truth that has been couched within lies that have hurt them. I could tell you stories that you have never heard. Regardless of what you already know, you would be shocked! My family was destroyed by Hylesian Fundamentalism. Twenty years ago, schisms were created that have still not healed. Though thoroughly churched (and believers for many years) many members of my family mistakenly placed their hope in men. Disappointed, they no longer even attend church.  


I attended multiple youth conferences while I was a teenager (1976-1979), and attended Hyles-Anderson college for one year. I left after that year to pursue education at a different school. I am so thankful! Others were deeply scarred. I have never, ever spoken to anyone but my parents, my wife, and my brother-in -aw about why I left. But here it is: (1) Dave Hyles telling dirty jokes to students while he played basketball with us. I could not reconcile this close personal image with his public image; (2) Being actively discouraged from reading important books by various great Christian leaders because I had not yet completed every book by Jack Hyles and John R. Rice; (3) Joe Combs' meetings with ministerial students about how to keep a wife, which included some rather sick and debauched advice. I'm sure equivalent advice would have been available around the water cooler at work or in a pornographic magazine. It simply couldn't be found in Scripture; (4) The idolatry of students toward Dr. Hyles himself, which seemed only to be encouraged by every structure, event, and even by every sermon he preached.
As a young man I read the New Testament extensively and faithfully. And I could see absolutely no correspondence between the attitudes of these men and the attitudes of Scripture. I left. I was called arrogant by some. "You don't really believe you know better than these men of God, do you?" My answer is still the same today: "I don't, but I know what God's Word says."


Letter from a Hyles Supporter to David Cloud:

Mr. Cloud, I don't know if you will personally read this e-mail, but I read your article on Pentecost vs. Hylescost. What kind of "Christian" is a man that would critique a man of God? How could you possibly say such horrible things about a man of God that is serving the Lord and doing exactly what God put him on this earth to do? Until you pastor the World’s Largest Sunday School, and see over 5,000 people saved in a day, you have no right to speak as you did about Dr. Jack Hyles. No decent Baptist would say negative things about another Baptist preacher. Therefore, I don't believe that you are a Baptist. I can't believe that I even allowed myself to even read such a disgusting article. I attend Hyles-Anderson College, and First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. I WILL STAND FOR JACK HYLES, AND EVERYTHING HE PREACHES, I will not let anybody put him down. If you say that you are who you really are, you would too. If I let people know about this article, you will have thousands of people against you. Jack Hyles is doing far above more for the cause of Christ than you can ever do" (emphasis added).

Reply from David Cloud:

Hello. I am sorry that you feel the way that you do, but I have the responsibility before God to judge preachers and their message by the Word of God (1 Cor. 14:29; 1 Thess. 5:21; Acts 17:11), and I intend to continue to do that in spite of the bitterness that is poured out toward me by those who blindly follow men. Your attitude of unquestioning loyalty to a man is not Scriptural, but is cultic. No preacher is above being judged by the Word of God. No preacher has the authority to demand unquestioning loyalty. A godly preacher, in fact, does not desire unquestioning loyalty. Like Paul, any godly preacher is pleased when people judge him and his message and his ministry by God's Word (Acts 17:11). A preacher's only authority is the Bible, and when he strays from that, he has no authority whatsoever.

The Bible describes a man like Jack Hyles, and his name was Diotrephes.

"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who LOVETH TO HAVE THE PREEMINENCE among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, PRATING AGAINST US WITH MALICIOUS WORDS: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God" (3 John 9-11).

Diotrephes had a HEART problem. He was a proud man; puffed up in his own estimation; he wanted to be "top dog." Diotrephes had a WILL problem. He ruled the church by his own will, but the pastor's job is to rule by God's will. The church is God's flock, God's building, God's husbandry. The pastor is not to be lord over God's heritage (1 Pet. 5:3). Diotrephes also had an AUTHORITY problem. He felt he was an authority unto himself; whereas the pastor's sole authority is the Bible. It is to the man who speaks "the Word of God" to whom God's people are to submit (Heb. 13:7). The supposed Christian leader who attempts to lead the church by man-made tradition and philosophy is to be rejected, not obeyed.

THERE ARE MANY DIOTREPHES IN THE INDEPENDENT BAPTIST MOVEMENT, BUT JACK HYLES IS KING OF THEM ALL. Any preacher that would allow his people to wear "100% Hyles" buttons (as Hyles did some years back) is a Diotrephes. My friends, beware of the spirit of Diotrephes. Don't be caught up in the cultic clutches of such men. They will try to usurp the place of Jesus Christ in your life and will rob you of your God-given right of private interpretation and judgment. They want people to be dependent upon them. God-ordained pastors have real authority and are to be obeyed as they obey the Bible (Heb. 13:7,17), but a Diotrephes exceeds this God-given pastoral authority and lords it over God's people in a carnal manner.

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 1/2006