Serial Adulterer David Hyles Has Been Restored


David Hyles, son of adulterer Jack Hyles, once an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor and a serial adulterer, has come out of the hole he crawled into over twenty years ago, and he telling all who will listen that he has been restored.

Restoration in the IFB movement is like a slumlord who remodels a house. The slumlord is only concerned about the rent money so he rehabs the house just enough to make it look acceptable and then he puts a FOR RENT sign in the window. Behind the paint and underneath the stained carpet is the same cockroach infested house that existed before the slum lord rehabbed the house. So it is with restoration in the IFB church movement and in much of Evangelicalism.

David Hyles has found two preachers to help him rehab his life, Mike Johnston and David Baker. Johnston runs a ministry called Promise Ministries International Center for Biblical Studies (PMI) in Battle Creek, Michigan. PMI is distance bible and pastoral training ministry that focuses its efforts on people in prison.

David Baker, a graduate of Hyles Anderson College,  is the pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church (broken link) in Columbia, Tennessee.

What kind of church is Lighthouse Baptist Church? Again, one brief quotation from their doctrinal statement  (broken link) will tell readers all they need to know about the Church:

“We believe  that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim. 3:16)  and that “every word of God is pure” (Prov. 30:5). We believe that the 66 books (Old Testament and New Testament) of our English scriptures, which is  the King James Bible (1611), were given under the direct supervision and supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit and therefore constitute the perfect, preserved and inspired words of God without any admixture of error (Ps. 12:6,7; Ps. 19:7). We do not subscribe to the heresy that only the “original manuscripts”  are inspired and preserved. This Holy Bible is our sole authority for truth for all Christian belief and practice.”

David Hyles has found two pastors, who hold to his dead father’s philosophies and beliefs, to help him restore his life. Asking IFB pastors, especially those who hold to a perverted, truncated cheap view of grace, to help you restore your life is like asking the town drunk to help you stop drinking.

I am all for people trying to turn their lives around. (though I tend to think change is hard) I am all for people trying to change their ways. However, I think to do so a person must own their past behavior, be honest about their actions, and not expect people to just forgive and forget.

David Hyles, by all accounts, was a serial adulterer. He had sex with numerous women in multiple churches. His sexual conquests are well documented. His father covered up his son’s perverse behavior while at First Baptist Church in Hammond, and later helped him get a fresh start at a new church. In the new church, David Hyles repeated the same predatory behaviors that got him into trouble in the first place.

In 2007, the following appeared on The Conservative Babylon website:

Claims to fame: Son of Jack Hyles; former Youth Minister, First Baptist Church of Hammond; ex-pastor, Miller Road Baptist Church (Garland, Texas); accused serial adulterer; divorcé; cohabitator; alleged child abuser; suspected child killer

Moral apex: As the story goes (we don’t know; we weren’t there), somebody at Hyles’s church discovered porn magazines containing ads for group sex which, they reportedly claimed, featured photos of Hyles having sex with church member Brenda Stevens (by some accounts, the daughter of a deacon). A story soon surfaced that Hyles had had extramarital sex with some 19 female members of the church.

Every one of these women was apparently stupid enough to think she was Brother Dave’s “one-and-only,” according to a voice on a taped phone conversation attributed to Dave’s wife Paula. And, as you can guess, it appears more than a few marriages where destroyed when the truth came out.

What happened next: It appears to outsiders that Miller Road Baptist threw him out, and his wife divorced him and took off with their two kids, and he started living with Stevens (out of — gasp! — wedlock) in Illinois.

Where it gets really tragic: Stevens had a small son, Brent. Dave Hyles was suspected of abusing the boy — who had suffered some eight or nine broken bones in his short life, which had never been treated. Brent was taken out of Hyles and Steven’s Illinois home and given to his biological father in Texas. Within a few months, for reasons beyond comprehension, Brent was returned to Stevens.

And then, in late 1985, 15-month-old Brent was found dead in his crib. Hyles, who had been alone with the child, claimed he found him not breathing, and called police. It has been suggested in a few online articles that Dave’s father Jack arrived before the cops did.

A coroner’s inquest into Brent’s death (at which Hyles took exercised his Fifth Amendment rights — and which the baby’s mother doesn’t appear to have attended) was apparently thwarted because the little boy had been embalmed and buried (reportedly the very next day after his death), before a proper autopsy could be performed. (An empty bottle of Actifed — for which a prescription had been filled only the day before Brent’s death — was found at the scene.)

Without any physical evidence of wrongdoing, Hyles was not indicted. The case remains open.

If those who follow the Hyles story are correct (waving at the Fighting Fundamentalists!), n the mid-1990s Hyles went to work teaching Sunday school at a Pinellas Park Baptist Church in Florida — which reportedly expelled him on charges of adultery. It’s also been reported that he was thrown out of the next church he attended (Berean Baptist Church in Orange Park, Florida), for “sexual misconduct” with three different women.

(One of those women is assumed to be church secretary Joyce Phaneuf, who appears to have been arrested for prostitution in 2003. Assuming this is the same Joyce Phaneuf, her mug shot and arrest report — which notes the tattoo on her right-upper thigh, reading “David’s Girl” — are available at everybody’s favorite finger-wagging site, The Smoking Gun.)

Just when you think it can’t get any more tragic: Hyles, it’s said, finally married Stevens and they had their own child together, a boy named Jack David. In March, 1999, when the child was five years old, Stevens was reported to have run over him with her car, killing him. According to news reports, she claimed he must have fallen out of the vehicle, and she didn’t know it….

What does David Hyles say to reports like the one on The Conservative Babylon? He ignores it and refuses to directly confirm or reject the behaviors he is accused of. Instead, in a blog page titled, David Hyles: My Story, Hyles writes:

Others may be reading this book merely out of curiosity. You heard of me and read many of the horrible stories about me. Now you want to know what I am going to say in defense or in explanation. I trust you will not be too disappointed, but this is not a tell all book. I have no intention of defending myself nor do I plan on trying to separate the truth from the legion of lies. I do not believe it would bring honor to God for me to try and explain what is and is not true. Explanation often leads to excuse or blame and I desperately fear that. You do not need to read about my sins. You just need to know that whatever I did do when I was away from the Father, God in His rich mercy and grace has restored me to HIMSELF. This is a book about grace. I trust that God’s grace and not my sins will be glorified.

In other words, whatever Hyles did or didn’t do he ain’t tellin’. God has forgiven him, it’s under the blood, time to move on. Time to move on meaning, I have written a book I want you to buy.

Hyles has some sharp words for his critics:

First you are hurting the lost. Several years ago I worked with a young man who knew I was a Christian. This young man was searching. He had dabbled into several religions in his search. He respected me and began to question me about Christ. God was working in his life and I felt he was very close to accepting Christ as his Savior. Someone, in an attempt to hurt my business began circulating an email through my workplace and he received it, anonymously, of course. He never again listened to me and eventually our paths parted. I pray every day for God to save him. It was not MY sins that turned him away. No, actually it was the evil spirit of those my accusers who claimed to be Christians. He wanted no part of that.

Secondly, you are hurting the fallen. Countless Christians have seen what you have done to me and to others who have fallen and decided to just disappear rather than being restored. I believe that there have been suicides and other tragedies that could have been prevented if a fallen brother or sister had felt there was hope. You diatribes on your filthy forums serve Satan’s purpose well.

Thirdly you are hurting those who I have hurt. Please hear me on this. Every fallen pastor or Christian leaves hurting people in their sinful wake. I did. I know that. It breaks my heart. David did too and his heart was broken. There is little we can do to repair the damage. Their deliverance must come from God and it will not come from revenge or retribution. It will come only from forgiveness. Please allow God to be God and to deal with his children as He will. Stay out of it and encourage those who have been hurt to find their peace from God not from your vigilante system of internet justice.

Allow me to elaborate on this just a bit more. People who are hurt by a sinner are destroyed by bitterness. No one’s sin can destroy your life. Our loving Father would not allow that. He stands ready as a loving Father to pick you up and mend your broken heart. Sinners (and that includes us all) do bad things that affect other’s lives. For all have sinned… However, if we get them to take their eyes off of the offender and place it on the Savior they can be healed. Closure does not come from our flawed idea of justice. It comes from letting God heal us even as He deals with the one who offended or hurt us.

Fourthly you are hurting you! The manure you are hurling fails to hit me but your hands sure do smell of the filth you have no business picking up. I am sorry for the pain that makes you feel that somehow you will gain some kind of satisfaction from trying to hurt me. I wish this book could give you the peace you are lacking but I sincerely doubt it will.

Finally and most importantly, you are hurting the Father. I have news for you that is not going to please you, but here goes. GOD LOVES ME and I AM SAVED AND FORGIVEN! I fell but, you see, when a Christian falls we do not fall away from grace, we fall into it, hence the name of this book. I am in His grace and one day I will stand before Him clothed in the righteousness of His Son and not the sin of my own.  Why would you dare try and hurt the heart of God? Is it because there is unconfessed sin in your life? Are you so far from Him that you have lost the sweetness of His mercy and grace in your own life? That is sad.

David Hyles, like countless predators before him who refuse to own their past behavior, points the finger at those who attempt to hold him accountable for what he did. Hyles thinks he has a get out of jail free card. He thinks the blood of Jesus has cleansed him from all of his past actions and if God has forgiven him so should everyone else.

David Hyles perpetrated acts against real flesh and blood people, and if he is serious about turning his life around he MUST deal with the men, women, and children he personally hurt. Putting his past actions under the blood, casting them into the sea of God’s forgetfulness, might play well in IFB churches, but here in the real world where real hurt must be atoned for, David Hyles is expected to own his past behavior, make a complete confession, and, as much as is humanly possible, make restitution to those he hurt.

David Hyles is writing a book. Donating all the proceeds of this book to non-IFB programs that help abused women would be a sign that Hyles is serious about getting his life in order. Anyone want to start a betting pool on the likelihood that that will happen? Put me down for 10.00 on “there is no chance in hell or heaven that will happen.”

It is clear from David Hyles’ blog, Fallen In Grace, that he is still a believer in the doctrines of IFB church. No matter what “sins” he committed, no matter how perverse his life was, because of the IFB doctrine of “once saved, always saved,” Hyles was always a Christian. No matter how many people he hurt and abused, he we was always God’s child. (and, according to this pernicious doctrine, I am still a Christian. Once you become a Christian you can never leave, just like Hotel California) This turns the Christian gospel of grace on its head, and no matter what a person might have done, if they, at one time or the other, mouthed the right prayer, they are a Christian.

This is why David Hyles can reinvent himself and start fresh. Like countless preachers before him, his God has hosed off the shit from his life, and he is a clean, fresh-smelling Christian. However, I suspect the people who David Hyles hurt and abused still can smell the shit. Their lives were forever marred by the perverse actions of David Hyles.

I have no doubt David Hyles will convince a lot of people that he is truly a new man and that God has a wonderful, new, exciting ministry for him. Christians love a comeback story and Hyles is counting on their gullibility to make a new life for himself.

For those of us who lived through the David and Jack Hyles scandals, we are not easily fooled. When David Hyles demonstrates true acts of repentance and penitence then people like me might, in time, be willing to give him a twelfth chance. Based on what Hyles has written so far, he sees no need for repentance and penitence. He sees no need to make things right with those he victimized. God has forgiven him and THAT is all that matters.  Because of this, I am inclined to think that David Hyles is just another disgraced IFB preacher trying to make a comeback because he needs some money.


David Hyles’ blog is no longer available.

Repost from October 2012

Comments (19)

  1. Vol-E

    “The world’s greatest men?” There are actual sentient beings among our species who read that and keep a straight face?

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Baptist Fundamentalists are full of themselves, thus “the world’s greatest men.” It is a religious version of, I have the biggest dick. :)

  2. joyce miles

    Dave Hyles tell how you have been “restored” to that 13 yr old girl who you took her purness from. she is now 50 and still dealing with the pain.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thank you for sharing this. We often forget people like David Hyles leave a trail of broken lives, young women’s lives that were forever changed the moment the sexual predator preacher took advantage of them.

  3. Persifler

    Sooooo, what….. did he get his Viagra Rx refilled?

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Good question. :)

  4. BigRedOne

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, but I have to ask: “With the world’s greatest men” Is that a joke? Was that something someone printed up as a sick joke? B.R.O.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Sadly no. When IFB churches were the biggest churches in the country, they had delusional vision of grandeur. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard big name IFB preachers introduced at conferences like they were Jesus or the Apostle Paul. These men were treated like gods and they began to believe their press releases.

      These days their churches are in steep decline or closed. All they have left are stories of a time when they were the kings of the hill.

  5. NeverAgainV

    Jeesus the Catholics never were into this type of propaganda. Granted they have their problems -but I must say I never experienced that kinda stuff being raised Catholic. It was very low key and believe it or not, humble. Very unlike these characters in the IFB.

    Of course the pope is like a god to some…..

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  7. paul easton

    Really never again never came across a Catholic priest who was arrogant and lifted himself as God. We must have attended different Catholic churches for you to think this attitude only exists in the IBF. One of the priests I was around got away with forcing teen boys to act out bondage fantasies. I guess that was okay since they were not a big demonination. Also isnt calling all IBF pastors arrogant and predators as bad as calling all preists child molestors.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Please quote from this article where I said all IFB are arrogant and predators. I would NEVER make such a claim.

    2. NeverAgainV

      I never said there were no abusive priests, I said during my years w/ Catholicism I never saw that type of propaganda used to put priests above the congregation, ie “worlds greatest priests, worlds largest bus route,…etc.”

      I did not see the arrogance in my Catholic church in which i was raised. I never said it did not exist in other parishes, if anything I did mention the RC church HAS it’s problems.

      On the other hand, my experience with IFB pastors was I saw a whole lot of arrogance, however nobody said All IFB pastors are predators.

      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Correct. Arrogance is quite common. Certainty breeds arrogance and IFB preachers are nothing if they are not certain.

  8. paul easton

    Also understand I am not defending him even though I believe God forgives our sins and yes its under the blood there are still condequences for sins and that includes jail time and he needs to admit what he did. But I disagree with aiming hate at one group or steroetyping them.
    Also how is he different from Roman Polanski. He got a get out of jail free card and many in Hollywood now trivialize what he did.
    Serial adulterer you mean like Donald Trump but hey lets not hate him.
    A girlschool in Ireland run by Catholic is guilty of sexual and physical abuse and its being covered up but only the IBF is bad.
    British children host Jimmy Cavill got away wih years of sexual abuse of minors and the BBC covered that up. But again lets only villify one group.
    Only IFB elvate men have you seen how Southern Baptists act. Or the AME church in regards to their pastors.
    My point is not everyone in the IBF are villians and monsters exist elsewhere. M

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I have never said all IFB pastors are anything.

      I was an Evangelical pastor for 25 years. It is what I know and it is what I write about.

      You seem upset that you went to a Ford dealership to buy a new Chevrolet and they didn’t have any. Of course not, they are a Ford dealership. Just because I focus on one brand of Christianity doesn’t mean I have it out for them. The IFB and Evangelicalism is my area of expertise and that is what I focus on. That said, if you had taken the time to peruse this site, you would have found out that posts about the IFB church movement make up a small percentage of what I write about. Yes, I write about the IFB. I also write about sports, photography, chronic illness, chronic pain, politics, technology, marriage, family, and sex.

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  10. Natasha

    As I mentioned in another comment, David Hyles was my first pastor. I actually went soulwinning with Brenda Stevens once. She was considered a model Christian lady at Miller Road for whatever reason. Her ex-husband was a teacher at the church school, and she often substituted for teachers.

    Strangely enough, my mother noticed right away that David Hyles always treated attractive young women far better than he treated other women in the church. After Hyles had been particularly rude to my mother, she retorted, “What, am I not young and pretty enough for you to be nice to?” He looked stunned but said nothing. Later, my mom very nicely told him, “We love you, Pastor.” His response? “They all do.”

    In any case, I think the IFB structure is ripe for hubris because it discourages accountability. “My authority comes from God! Who are you to question it?” I will say that Hyles was a dynamic preacher, but I always found him to be full of himself. And I noticed a certain superiority complex from those who went to Hyles-Anderson, both at Miller Road and elsewhere. The Hylesites were quick to point out the faults in others while minimizing their own.

    There were times when he seemed to genuinely like all the students in the school, but he was also known to publicly call out students who were breaking the rules. I think he genuinely desired to be liked, since his relationship with his father could be best described as strange. (The younger Hyles mentioned from the pulpit that his father asked a young David, “Do you think I’m mean?” When the boy hesitantly said, “Yes,” he was spanked for being rebellious and having a bad attitude.)

    Just a few corrections, though: Brenda Stevens was the daughter-in-law, not the daughter, of a deacon. Her ex-husband, David Stevens, did not take custody of little Brent because he felt that he was unable to take care of him and his brother Andrew. A deacon discovered Hyles cheating on his wife, and Hyles made some cryptic comments from the pulpit about how he needed to repent for “things I’ve done to my wife.”

    He came back to Miller Road and sat in the back row a few times after confessing to the church and being put out of fellowship. The deacon who discovered the affair stormed out of the post-church meeting, in which the adults discussed what should be done about Hyles.

    My mother once babysat for his ex-wife and his sisters during a ladies’ conference, and they were nothing but gracious. (I still wonder how those children, now adults, are doing.)

    If Hyles is sincere about repenting, then I think he should be far more humble. Someone who is truly sorry does not demand forgiveness, instead realizing that he did hurt a lot of people. Instead of going on the defensive, he should be reaching out personally and privately to those he hurt whenever possible. It would be far easier for me, at least, to believe that he is sincere.

  11. Jolynn

    A guy from Texas baptist college was so excited to be photographed with Dave hyles recently. He was also dissing catholic priests who abuse boys…so it’s okay if you are Dave hyles but not if you’re Catholic??? (Yes, I went to Miller Road…don’t even start with me…that man is evil!)


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