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A “Jesus First” Christian and Follower of Jack Hyles Shows Me Some Love

jack hyles 1973
Jack Hyles, 1973

I received the following email from a woman with the moniker Jesus First in her email address:

So glad that you read every email. I agree with the “older” Florida woman who told you the truth. There was No evidence that Jack Hyles ever did anything wrong or he would have been fired too. There was No affair. How sad that you spend alot (sic) of time writing and writing and writing about the sins of others and never consider that God will judge you one day. You look sickly, are you leaving this earth soon?. Also Linda Hyles’s damnable statements about her family would be thrown out of a law of court. There is no truth to her sick boring speech. She is in a cult now, that stupid fool. She ran to her father’s funeral to get her “share” of money, I sure hope she didn’t get any. Johnny couldn’t stand her lies and divorced her 19 years ago. Apparently she couldn’t get another man since she uses her ex’s name.

I continue to be amazed by those who live in denial over what Jack Hyles did years ago. The evidence of his infidelity is there for all to see and either Jack Hyles was an adulterer or there was a colossal conspiracy to make him look like one. My money is on GUILTY as charged for the late Jack Hyles, the narcissistic, megalomaniac former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond Indiana. Hyles’ son David and son-in-law Jack Schaap followed in his adulterous footsteps. While David Hyles escaped punishment for his crimes, Schaap is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for his. Jack Hyles escaped punishment for his adulterous behavior. He was instrumental in facilitating his son’s philandering by securing a new church for him to pastor after his illicit behavior with female First Baptist congregants was revealed.

As is often the case with Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) sexual predators, they escape prosecution, only to set up shop again in a new town or state. With a fresh pool of potential victims, these men continue to abuse until someone, be it a church member or an abuse victim, says ENOUGH and goes to law enforcement authorities and reports the abuse. Even then, the statute of limitation frequently precludes abusive pastors from being prosecuted for their crimes. Often, their victims turn to the internet and public sites like this blog to expose the offending pastor’s criminal behavior. In doing so, they hope that this will keep the pastor from ever being able to use a church as a cover for his crimes.

I find it interesting that most of the email I get from defenders of Jack Hyles comes from women. I can’t quite figure out why this is so. Maybe some of the women who read this blog can help me with this.

If this email is an example of putting JESUS FIRST, I shudder to think what would be written if someone put JESUS SECOND.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar
    John Arthur

    Hi Bruce,

    Why can’t this Jack Hyles loving born again, blood washed , Spirit filled Christian sign her real name? Why is she ashamed of owning who she is that she has to hide her identity? Was she one of your former parishioners (who knows?). I understand why atheists sometimes write anonymously because of the consequences of being identified as such, but (in a land with so many Christian Evangelicals, they have nothing to lose in openly identifying themselves. After all, isn’t that what they are doing when they go to church on Sundays.

    I suspect that she knows you personally and wants you to like her when you see her in public so she writes her invective anonymously. Poor deluded ‘soul’! She ignores all the empirical evidence about Jack Hyles. Saint Jack can so no wrong. In her eyes,maybe, Jack was sinlessly perfect and no amount of evidence can show her otherwise. Her mind is made up and nothing can change it.


    John Arthur

    • Avatar

      Both sides of almost any issue kicked around on the internet have instances of ‘why doesn’t X use their real name?’.

      The woman has drunk the kool aid and by speaking up, as the saying goes, has removed all doubt. But keeping ones identity off the internet is not contemptible.

      I choose to have a proxy name because should my identity be stolen my life savings could be wiped out. I realize the likelihood is quite small, but however slim the chance, why take it at all? It is doubtful any of us ordinary folks have any idea how little internet privacy there is.

      My best regards to you, Bruce, and the others who have the stones to bare your identity and expose yourself to that risk. I choose to be more careful.

      • Avatar
        Bruce Gerencser

        I make no judgment of those who decide to keep their identity private. There have been times over the last 8 years when I have wished I had started out as an anonymous blogger. That said, I do think me using my own name gives my story authenticity and credibility.

        The only time I object to someone being anonymous is when they savage and attack me in the comments. If a person is going to say such things then they should own their words. The fact that they can hide behind a fake identity allows them to brutally attack anyone they please. ‘Tis the nature of the Internet, I suppose.

        There’s been two times over eight years when I have outed anonymous attackers. One was a preacher who started a blog meant to deconstruct my life. It took me all of a day to figure out who he was. Another time I had a man leaving nasty comments and sending me harassing emails. He made the mistake one day of using his work computer to comment. In fact he had been doing so for quite a while. One call to his company’s HR department put an end to his harassment.

        As a public figure, I know that I have pretty much take whatever people dish out. Little victories like the ones mentioned above are rare. Many of the nastiest lovers of Jesus use anonymizer services to hide who they are.

  2. Avatar

    “Linda Hyles’s damnable statements about her family would be thrown out of a law of court. ”

    What the hell is a law of court?
    After growing up with and listening to so many people who think like ol’ Jesus First up there I’ve noticed something I found interesting. She vociferously defends that ‘fine Christian man’, not because she cares about the man at all. It’s more of a way of jumping up and down and saying, “Hey GOD!! Look at me!! I am sticking my neck out here and saying good stuff about yours!! Notice me!! It’s the same mentality that causes athletes to point skyward and give credit to their god. The self-righteous pride of standing up and doing good to show him what good little followers they are. Like being the teacher’s pet.

    • Avatar

      You may be right. It’s kind of like in a really abusive atmosphere, a prison or concentration camp, for instance, there will always be that lackey that supports the abusers. I guess if you’re convinced God is a liar and power broker like human man, it would make sense to try to gain some points like that maybe?

  3. Avatar

    So, I am so surprised she didn’t throw the term “bitter” out there, too. This mean-spiritedness toward others who dare to speak up about the wrongdoings of the so-called “men of God” is disgusting. So self-righteous and uncaring. So very angry!
    Geeze, who would WANT to be with this crowd.
    She claims that Linda’s motives are devious, and that Linda is now in a cult, yet methinks your “Jesus First” woman doth project!

  4. Avatar

    I guess she doesn’t want her faith world to come tumbling down, so she will defend no matter the evidence. Too scary to think that some of these “men of God” are charlatans.

    As far as women defending him more than men, I’d think that men can more easily believe that yes, men have affairs, and yes, powerful men are sorely tempted to have affairs, and that powerful men attract women more easily. Plus, powerful men take action, take risks-that’s how they got to be powerful to begin with.

    I think just as women can see through other women more easily than men can (cause they like women)-other men can see through other men more easily than women can (cause women like men.)

  5. Avatar

    I think fundamentalist women have a need to look up to men and see them as flawless, strong and authoritative. It’s all they hear at church. To suggest men are not those things is to upset the secure little hierarchy of their world. Don’t like the way your husband disciplines your children? It’s not your place to disagree with him. Is he mean and controlling? Be a good christian woman and just support and love him….etc., etc., etc. It only follows that she would show the same blind support towards her religious leaders. And it’s just amazing how much hate comes across in her email. Ironic considering that Jesus is supposed to be all about love…

  6. Avatar

    This kind of thinking literally makes me sick to my stomach. What makes a person hate truth? What makes a person attack truth? Even when it is so obvious? What kind of delusion makes a person think they can force truth to not be true? I cannot relate to it at all. I think of it as one of the creepiest traits that humanity is capable of.

    It seems like people who have been abused and have also become abusers tend to be like this, but I’m sure there is more to it. They have some kind of stake in it that is very real to themselves.

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Bruce Gerencser