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IFB Pastor Jack Hyles Tells Unsubmissive Woman to Kill Herself

Jack Hyles

If you are unfamiliar with Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) demigod 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:

This is every man’s right. Each has only one life to live. God looks down and sees that every man is incomplete. God gives a man a woman, and that woman is supposed to complete that man. If you fail to do it, it won’t be done. If he dies without ever having it, it’s because you didn’t give it to him. You have taken from him what is every man’s right. Every man’s right is to have a completer. That’s why God made you!

A lady came to my office not long ago and I gave her this truth. She said, “I’m not going to do all that stuff.”

I said, “I’ll give you an alternative suggestion.”

She said, “What?”

I said, “Go over here to the bridge over the Chicago River and jump off.”


“Go jump in the river.”


I said, “You’d go to Heaven, and your husband wouldn’t have to live in hell!” Listen to me, especially you young ladies, you unmarried ladies, you ladies who haven’t been married long. I’m trying to help you. I’m not trying to take any freedoms away from you. I’m trying to give you a liberty that you’ll never enjoy unless you become what God has made you to be.

I said to that lady in my office for counsel, “Look, you are standing in the way. Your husband is a good man. He’s not going to have anybody else. You’re standing in the way of your husband ever having a completer. You’d be a lot better off, young lady, in the early days of your marriage, if you would go over and jump off the bridge so your husband can have in his lifetime someone to complete the circle.”

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
    Geoff Downs

    Hi Bruce, First time ever commenting here. Although I’m not a atheist , I go with my wife to her church which is a IBF church KJV style, and I’ve been around it a long time , I’ll have to say that these type churches are full of this kind of silly radicalism. It does seem to be toning down though . it doesn’t seem as wacky as it was years ago. Maybe because I’m in the “liberal northeast”. I remember a story told by a preacher preaching on tithing that when he preached to this certain congregation about tithing that they were so filled with the spirit and generosity that they just kept on filling up the collection plates so much that he had to stop them all and tell them they were giving too much, and the ushers started walking back so the people could take some money back . Once I heard that I realized that a lot of the stuff I heard in church was nonsense. I enjoy reading about your story and your blog. From what I’ve read Jack Hyles seem like a real turd.

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    Well, if she’s not submissive, then she’s not likely to listen to anything that lunatic has to say to her. Ah, I think I see the problem clearly now, that you’re somewhat of a sociopath, Pastor Hyles. Thanks for speaking to me in private, as I now know to get as far away from you as fast as possible, as you might be quite homicidal. Wish I’d thought to speak with you privately long ago, we could have saved ourselves from exposure to any of your murderous fantasies.

    I cannot imagine ever talking to anyone in the church I grew up in about anything delicate or private. Quite frankly, I was always fairly aware that no, I certainly didn’t want ‘whatever it was’ they had, because they clearly were not very happy people and seemed a little too forward in attempting to convince other people that they really weren’t happy, either.

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      Jada, people constantly being unhappy and talking nonstop about how little money they have, and giving envious looks when I about a vacation or some new item, led me to stop attending church except for communion every once in a while.. I was more well off than many in the church but far from rich.

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    I sat an listened to a pastor tell a story about counselling a young depressed girl. She was always calling him and after a time he got tired of it all, thinking she was only after attention. As she had many times before she expressed a desire to just kill herself. One day she called him again and as she once again expressed a desire to die he told her to go ahead and kill herself.

    And she did.

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    Finn DaPirate

    Let me say first that, my mother is a good woman and good mom. Misguided, but good. That being said, my mother would play cassettes of Jack hyles for us to go to sleep with. It was terrifying. She took us to see him preaching once. Also terrifying. I visited his college also. He made a big show of giving the females money and told them to buy something pretty to attract a good husband. I was disgusted.
    I now don’t do church but can’t get rid of the fear.

  5. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Children, exposed to Christian hatred preached as love, always always know that harm is being done and fear it right down to their bones. We carry it with us for life, this kind of harm and though we can move beyond it and call it bullshit, it still haunts us because it was mortal fear in our lives and it was put there by our own best caregivers, ‘for our own good’ (gag me).
    Christians teaching their children IFB religion are sick people harming children. When I call it abuse, I mean exactly that! Decent human boundaries have developed over time because indecency does such harm. When evangelical Christianity has a vaccine, history will begin to offer some clarity on just how much harm has been done to people over the centuries. I’m an older man now and don’t suppose I will live to see that day but it will be one to celebrate, a far greater accomplishment than a moonwalk.
    Finn DaPirate, I’m sorry your mom jurt you like this…. mine did too and mine was a good person too… As you say, misguided but good. We live with some mortal fear from our youngest years but we know it was not right; it was wrong to do that to us. I wish you peace, the poetry of calm, the knowledge that you are just okay and do not need to be in fear but deserve deep peace, some joy in being, a favorite song or two. Thank-you for telling. It helps me to know that I am not alone. You know what happened too. My dad used to say that I tended to exaggerate but I always felt that I couldn’t make them feel how deeply harmed I was, no matter the words, the effort, the stories; none of it could convey it to the heart of the pain. Silly children…

    • Avatar

      The local radio station in my town used to have a 5 minute long probably IFB sermon every morning. I hated it, my mom just ignored it, even though I begged her to put on a different station. I have to say now that it did save me, from ever falling for fundigelical nonsense.

      It also gave me a BONE DEEP hatred of the song “amazing grace”

      • Avatar

        The IFB is weird. Steven Anderson and friends loathe Calvinists like John Macarthur for teaching predestination, yet they believe God has preordained gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders to hell. They believe anyone who isn’t a straight heterosexual is a vile, God-hating animal out to molest children and openly calls for government to execute gays. Some, like Donnie Romero, Bruce Mejia, and Roger Jiminez, have openly praised a mass shootings at a gay bar and said the shooter should’ve killed more of them.

        John Macarthur is strongly anti-gay and said that serious Christians should publicly rebuke and (if the child does not renounce his homosexuality) to disown their children. But he believes a homosexual can repents and work to become heterosexual. Macarthur isn’t as inflammatory, shouty, and in-your-face as Anderson, but is controversial because he believes in predestination and Lordship Salvation (another trigger point for the IFB)

        Macarthur was previously recorded saying that he thinks a Christian can take the Mark of the Beast and go to Heaven, despite Revelations warning that anyone who does so is damned to hell forever.

        Macarthur is rumored to be a millionaire who lives a lavish lifestyle despite denouncing the prosperity gospel espoused by people like Joel Osteen.

        • Avatar
          Barbara L. Jackson

          This kind of disgusting belief exists many places in human society. Being disowned by her family Deborah Feldman (sp?) wrote ‘Unorthodox’ her family were Hasidic Jews who believed anyone outside their group including other Jews were ‘unclean’. Somehow we need to allow people religious freedom without allowing them to commit child abuse.

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    Reading the last two replies reminds me of the original, most powerful and popular conspiracy. . . religion. Is it any wonder why I am worried about the dangers of them?

  7. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Serg, When one reads ‘in context’ what Hyles says it not only confirms one’s first gag of disgust, it encourages me to tell you to run for your life from the church; flee as if it was on fire and raging mad. Because it is mad, raging mad. Hyles was a monster in a suit. If you can read the excerpt above and then sit down to comment to Gerencser about context, then I really question your heart and whether or not it is hardened by evangelical viruses.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    Any therapist, social worker, teacher or anyone else in the “helping professions” would be banished his or her line of work for advising someone to commit suicide. For that matter, so would a cop.

    I must say that this is the first time I’ve heard of a religious leader telling someone that she can still go to heaven if she kills herself. I was brought up (as a Catholic) with the notion that killing one’s self is a cardinal “irredeemable “ sin. Other churches or religions teach the same, or at least frown on taking one’s own life.

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    I’d rather think Hyles was a vicious liar than actually telling a woman to kill herself. Although from what you’ve posted about the man it seems he is capable of saying the most egregious things.

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    Went to college the same time as Cindy did. I baby sat for Linda’s baby. Mrs.Hyles was one of my teachers
    Those poor ladies had to live under the same roof of that ÷//<//<>>><///#@#@##’so
    called pastor
    I was there during the mess of it all
    I went to school with Brenda and couldn’t believe the torment of her 2 boys. Hyles was a disgrace and cult of a liar, yet people thought he was God.

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    It’s interesting that romance movies will use “you complete me” in a very different way than the IFB or other fundamentalist patriarchal religions do. There’s a difference between “I appreciate you as a person and see your strengths and worth and that you consent to be with me” and “I am a man and deserve to have a female submit to and complete me so I can carry put my desires in life”. Hyles’ take is one of male entitlement and women being an instrument for male actualization. It’s disrespectful, demeaning, and abusive.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    At the library tonight, went from unlimited data, to zero data. It amazes me that anyone could ever sit and listen to a Jack Hyles type for many years. Then again , I wasn’t raised in church stetting, and didn’t know anyone who was, growing up. How DID this Hyles become such a wack job ?! The warning label should be : don’t leave your brains in the car !

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