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Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor and a serial adulterer, has come out of the hole he crawled into (link no longer active) over twenty years ago, and he telling all who will listen that he has been restored.
Restoration in the IFB movement is like a slum lord who remodels a house. The slum lord is only concerned about the rent money so he rehabs the house just enough to make it look acceptable and then he puts the 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.
The following graphic from the PMI website will succinctly describe for readers the focus of PMI.
David Baker, a graduate of Hyles Anderson College, is the pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Columbia, Tennessee.
What kind of church is Lighthouse Baptist Church? Again, one brief quotation from their doctrinal statement 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 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 perverse behavior and helped him get a fresh start at a new church. In the new church David Hyles repeated the same conduct 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, (page no longer available) 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 abusers 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, cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness, might play well in IFB churches, but here in the real world where real hurt most 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 social groups 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, (link no longer active) that he is still a believer in IFB doctrines. 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 Hyles scandals and the Jack Hyles scandal, 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.