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Man Endued with the Power of God at Wife’s Funeral

jack hyles praying
Jack Hyles Praying

If you are unfamiliar with Jack Hyles, please read The Legacy of Jack Hyles.

Excerpt from Woman the Completer, by the late Jack Hyles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana:

“Dear Dr. Hyles. I am 24 years of age. I am a preacher boy whom God called to preach six months after I got saved three years ago. I felt led to go to a certain Bible college in a certain state. I attended there until God called me to pastor a small church. I was ordained. From there, God led me back to a certain city in a certain state where I got saved under Dr. Joe Doe. (I’m using ficticious names.) I worked on the staff of Dr. Doe for that summer and started to go to the Letot Bible Institute that fall.

As I started to go to school that fall, I got a full-time position in a church as assistant pastor and youth director. While I was in a certain state, I met and married a wonderful girl, a spiritual girl, a girl that loved Jesus Christ. As we lived in Letot, I was working for a church in a certain place. I seemed to be getting away from soul winning and getting deeper into the books. After awhile I was not doing what God wanted me to do and what God made me to do. I was not knocking on doors and winning people to Jesus Christ. My not being the man of God I ought to be affected my marriage. It affected my marriage to the extent that my wife told me at one time that if I didn’t become the soul winner that God wants me to be, she couldn’t respect me as a man of God, and she thinks. . . .”

“One afternoon as I was leaving from school, my wife and I seemed to be in the flesh. We didn’t have devotions that day and pray as we usually do. I walked out of the house without telling her I loved her and without telling her good-bye. As I got to school, I felt bad, so I called on the phone, and there was no answer. I knew something was wrong. I drove home immediately and found my wife had committed suicide.”

“As we had her funeral in her hometown up North, I went a half hour early before her relatives and friends viewed the body. I walked in and put my head on my wife’s chest in the casket and was hoping that she would lean up and hold me, kiss me, cuddle me, baby me and tell me that she loved me, but she wasn’t there–she was with the Lord. I then fell on my face before the casket and talked with God. Something happened to me there that I can’t explain, but for once in my life I had the full power of God, but what a price to have to pay! As her friends and relatives came by the casket, I stood there like a soldier witnessing and telling them about Jesus Christ. I feel, Dr. Hyles, that God is leading me to Hyles-Anderson College to learn more about Him and learn more about character and discipline and be the man that God wants me to be.”

Does anyone really believe this story is true? I know I don’t. Jack Hyles was a pathological liar, often spinning yarns, half-truths, and exaggerations in his sermons. Such behavior is not uncommon in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist circles.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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13 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Kittybrat

    This is not for one minute true. It’s one of those goddamn lies preachers use to manipulate and confirm. Can smell these a mile away!

  2. Avatar
    Tom Whitten

    To a poor person who can cry at the drop of a hat , it would be true in their eyes. I went to one church where they would show the Billy Graham movies on Sunday nights on occasion. They were pretty bad and we had one woman who’d snort and dab her eyes at the emotional parts and I’d be snickering. If I were raised IFB, I’d probably believe it.

  3. Avatar
    Geoff

    I’m struggling with this. Why did his wife commit suicide? Was it so god could teach him a lesson?

    Obviously the story is ridiculous, but I think it’s especially sad in the way it glosses over the suicide. What led up to it? Was she suffering from depression? Or drink? Or maybe the pastor was abusing her?

    I find it dreadful that this nonsensical little story could be felt to be inspiring to some.

  4. Avatar
    Ian

    I grew up hearing these cautionary tales. They are nothing more than Christian urban legends. Unfortunately, the more they are told and repeated, the more people are prone to believe them. If hi hear the same story from 6 different people, it MUST be true.

    These kinds of phony stories are no different than the ones Debbi Pearl makes up in her books.

  5. Avatar
    Matt Martin

    It kinda reminds me of the stories of the lives of the saints taught to us when we were kids. In catholicism these are called “hagiographies” and they are distinguished from biographies in that they are not true.

    Francis of Assisi is a good example. Most of the events, actions and sayings attributed to him are not true. The church is quite open about that. If you ask why you’ll be told that hagiographies relate the values the particular saint represents. They fill in the blanks about characters from antiquity of who we know very little (especially the martyrs) and who may not have even existed.

    Of course Hyles is not relating a hagiography here and I’ve no doubt if someone had asked the disgusting old fraud if this story was true he’d have insisted that it was but something about this sort of anecdote reminds me of the religious stories from my youth; i.e. it was all bullshit.

  6. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Pastors have some sort of database of Tall Tales and Lessons, don’t they? This sounds like it is a story straight out of that collection.

  7. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Hmm…In almost every form of Christianity–and religion–of which I am aware, suicide is one of the worst, if not the worst, sin one can commit because the person who does it is taking the decision to end their life upon themself, and away from God.

    So…I simply can’t believe that a woman who can tell her husband that he wasn’t being enough of a man of God would kill herself–unless, of course, she was suffering from depression or some other psychiatric illness (which, of course, is entirely possible)

    or that God would tell a supposedly Godly woman to committ the ultimate, unpardonable sin in order to scare the man into following God’s plan for him

    unless, of course, God is a greedily sick motherfucker or the man was suffering from mental illness (also entirely possible).

    This story doesn’t pass through my bullshit detector. Then again, the God of Jack Hyles, or Jack Hyles himself, doesn’t either.

  8. Avatar
    Brocken

    There were several flaws with this story of Jack Hyles. One is that I believe that it demonstrated his general hatred of woman. If some woman doesn’t follow Jack Hyles advice to kill herself, at least Jack Hyles can make up an all likelihood false story of some woman killing herself because she regarded her husband as a failure in being a soulwinner. Two, there was no mention of how she committed suicide. Three, at the very least instead of just one person dying in tales like this there should be multiple fatalities that resulted in the failure to do God’s will or opposing God’s will. The best one (so far) is the one of Rolfe Barnard and some preacher in Oklahoma praying that seven Baptist deacons who were actively opposing their revival meetings would either be converted or killed in order to get them out of the way. At least that tale was more thought provoking. How did those seven Baptist deacon die? Did a tornado kill one of them while he was passed out drunk on the couch, ala Carrie Underwood’s song Blown Away. Were the other six deacons killed because they were were all in one vehicle and the driver was impaired because of cannabis use? https://ktul.com/news/local/teenage-driver-in-deadly-tishomingo-crash-had-cannabis-in-her-system-ntsb-says. Did any of the deacons die due to a stampede of cattle, bitten by venomous snakes. workplace accident, murdered, struck by lightning, etc. the possibilities are endless.

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Bruce Gerencser