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Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences
by Jack Hyles
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HE DRANK A TOAST TO JESUS
"I'LL GIVE TWO 'FIFTHS'"
THE DOG STARTED THE FAMILY ALTAR
I WON THE CONTRACTOR
SAVED IN THE BATHTUB
SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF ADAM AND EVE
THE SOUL-WINNING COURSE SAVED HIS LIFE
IT PAYS TO BE A LOUD-MOUTH
CONVERTED UNDER HIS CAR
HE DIED AND WENT TO KENTUCKY
HE PREACHED TO ONE MAN
FAMILY SAVED THROUGH "DEDICATION SERVICE FOR HOME"
SHE WALKED THE AISLE DURING THE OFFERTORY
"I HAVE BROTHER HYLES' BLOOD IN ME"
THEY COULDN´T GO TO THE MOVIE
I'M HALF JEW MYSELF
"PLEASE, JESUS, SAVE JIM!"
"BLESS ME, REVEREND"
I STAYED IN THE GIRLS' DORMITORY
SAVED ON THE EXPRESSWAY
THE PRODIGAL SON
SAVED ON THE WAY TO PRISON
"KEEP PREACHING IT."
"I DON'T FEEL IT"
HE'S A DEACON NOW
SHE WON SEVEN PEOPLE ONE HOUR AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED
SEVEN PEOPLE WON BECAUSE THE PREACHER PAID THE BREAD MAN
SAVED ON HIS SON'S CASKET
WINNING THE "MEANEST MAN IN TOWN"
AT THE WRONG HOUSE
THE CEDAR PULPIT
THE FRIENDLESS RANCHER
I PUMPED THEM TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
"DEAR LORD, KILL THIS MAN"
THEY PRAYED FOR THE PEWS
THE DEATH OF MY FATHER
HE PAID HIS OLD DEBTS
"YOU'RE MY BEST 'FRAN'"
THE CORPSE WHO WON A SOUL
THE WINNING OF THE CITY COUNCILMAN AND HIS WIFE
AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL TEAM SAVED
SHE WAS A HE
PREACHING ON A BOX IN A GARAGE
"I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME"
A CHEMICAL ENGINEER SAVED ON AN AIRPLANE
I WON HIM UP A TREE
"WHAT'S A BLOODY MARY?"
THEIR CHILDREN ATTENDED THEIR WEDDING
HER HUSBAND CAME IN
THE CUSTODIAN IS A SOUL WINNER TOO
HE HAD STUDIED FOR THE PRIESTHOOD
TOO TIRED TO SHOUT
UNORTHODOX WAYS OF WINNING SOULS
HE MADE THE BAPTISTRY
MEDICAL DOCTORS I HAVE SEEN SAVED
ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED
A LIVING ROOM REVIVAL
"WE 'BUSTED' EVERY BOTTLE OF THAT CASE OF BEER"
A LAWYER GOT SAVED
THE BROTHERS WHO WON EACH OTHER
HE COULDN'T EVEN SPELL THE WORD "JESUS"
WINNING THE BEST MAN
SOUL WINNING AMONG POOR CHILDREN
A FIVE-DOLLAR TIP
About five years ago I won one of her husbands. A few
days ago I won the other one. Oh, you are asking for an explanation? Here it
On my regular Friday afternoon soul-winning
visitation, Friday, January 27, 1961, it was my privilege to win a Catholic
man to Jesus Christ. His wife was already a Christian and had prayed for him
for years. The next Sunday he came forward in the services and was baptized.
About a year later it was found that he had cancer and
could not live long. He lingered about a year and was in and out of the
hospital during this period. Finally, he was sent home to die, but the
strangest thing happened. He would not go to the bedroom; neither would he
use a hospital bed. He wanted to die on the sofa in the living room. Here he
stayed for weeks. This was the same sofa on which he had been saved. This
was the place where he wanted to die.
One morning I was summoned to the house, and in a few
hours he died in my arms. Our right hands were clasped just as they had been
two years before at the same place. Both of us were on the sofa just as we
had been two years before.
It has been several years now since that event.
Recently his wife fell in love again; but once again, she had fallen in love
with a Catholic. Upon our first meeting, it was my privilege to win him to
the Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, was baptized the following Sunday, and is
very faithful to attend all the services of our church, even the Wednesday
It became my privilege to unite this middle-aged
couple in marriage. As I walked back to the study after the ceremony, I
rejoiced as I thought that "I had won both her husbands." Both of them had
been Catholics, and each became a faithful member of First Baptist upon his
The aforementioned couple are faithful and active
members of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. Not only do they
attend regularly the Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening
services, but they are very loyal and generous Christians.
HE DRANK A TOAST TO JESUS
"I drink a toast to your Jesus!" These blasphemous
words were said by probably the meanest man I ever saw converted. When I
told him about Christ, he opened a can of beer, toasted it to Jesus, and
asked me to leave. He cursed as I walked to the car. However, he looked so
much like my father, I could not get my mind off of him. Again and again I
went to his home; again and again I was asked to leave.
Word came that he was in the hospital. I went to the
hospital to see him. He was courteous until I mentioned Jesus. Again I was
asked to leave.
I looked at him and said, "Dutch, suppose you are
right and I am wrong. Suppose the Bible is not true and Jesus is not the
Saviour and there is no Heaven or Hell. What have I got to lose?"
He replied, "Nothing. We both go to the grave, that's
all." Then I said, "Dutch, suppose I am right and you are wrong. Suppose
there IS a Heaven and a Hell. Suppose Jesus is the Saviour."
His mouth dropped open and the most startled look came
across his face. "I would be in a fix, wouldn't I? You know, Preacher, you
can't lose either way, and I only have a 50-50 chance." Then he shook
himself, regained his composure, and told me he was not interested in "that
God had spoken to his heart. Within a few days he
called the church office, begged for a preacher, and was saved. The next
Sunday he walked the aisle and was baptized. After he was baptized he sat on
a chair at the edge of the baptistry, and only half dressed, he looked into
the water and said, "Aha, you old baptistry! You think you are so hot! I
have drunk enough whiskey to fill you twice. But, bless your heart, I ain't
never gotten so much fun out of whiskey as I had getting baptized in you
Today Dutch is in Heaven. He received Christ as his
Saviour, and all because of persistence. We kept going and going. Yes, the
old fellow is toasting Jesus today, but not quite like he did before. This
time it is a genuine toast, with heavenly manna and heavenly juice in
"I'LL GIVE TWO 'FIFTHS'"
"Okay, I'll go to church with you tonight-but just to
keep you from nagging," Leon said.
He did come to church; he heard the message on the
subject, "The Funeral of the Old Man." He was a drunkard.
He was a big, barrel-chested, broad-shouldered,
contractor-but a drunkard. I went back during the invitation and asked him
if he would be saved.
"I don't know what being saved means," he replied,
"but I sure would like to have a funeral for my 'old man.'" He came down the
aisle, buried the "old man," and became a new creature in Christ.
In a few days he went back into the tavern again. "The
drinks are on me!" he shouted to the boys in the tavern. This time the drink
was Living Water as he stood up at the bar and preached the Gospel of Jesus
Christ to his old crowd. This he did every week while I was his pastor for
many years. He became one of the most effective soul winners I have ever
seen. Almost any Sunday morning you could see him with a motley crowd of
visitors coming in the church. People who were sitting over near where they
sat moved over quietly to avoid the odor. When the invitation came, one by
one they would come, professing their faith publicly in the Saviour.
When Leon was saved, I told him he should give a tenth
to the Lord. He said, "Preacher, I don't know what this 'tenth' business is,
but I have two 'fifths' in the car I am willing to give up for Jesus."
The last time I saw him, he was still after souls. A
few months ago I preached in Fort Worth, Texas; he brought two souls down
the aisle to Jesus Christ that night. At last report, he was a deacon in his
church and was busily engaged in soul winning.
THE DOG STARTED THE FAMILY ALTAR
A few years ago during the Christmas season I went to
a home on a Friday afternoon. The husband was there alone. He was so pleased
to see me and pleaded with me to come back in the evening as he and his wife
were having domestic problems. That evening I did return and led them both
to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It was a beautiful sight. We knelt at the sofa beside
a beautiful Christmas tree, and each of them was sweetly converted. I knelt
between them. Our heads were bowed, our eyes were closed, and we were
praying, when suddenly I felt a cold, moist something on my cheek. It felt
like a piece of liver, though I must confess I have never had a piece of
liver on my cheek! I opened my eyes and found it was a Cocker Spaniel dog.
Being afraid he would interrupt the soul-winning
experience and be used of Satan to keep the people from Christ, I grabbed
the dog around the neck, stuck his nose in a pillow on the sofa, and held
him firmly. (All of this time the couple was praying and being saved.) The
dog squirmed for a while. I squeezed his neck harder. Then he became
motionless. I thought to myself, "Brother, I guess I have won two souls and
killed a dog!"
I was afraid I had choked him to death. What a joy it
was when all of us got off our knees to know that not only had the couple
been saved but the dog was still alive. I guess he had decided he enjoyed
kneeling with us; in fact, after we got up, he remained in the kneeling
position with his nose between his paws.
A year later during the Christmas season I related
this story from the pulpit. The couple came to the platform after the
service and told me this amusing yet wonderful story:
The night after they were saved, at the same time, the
dog came to the same sofa and got in the same position as if he were
praying. He continued to do this every night until the couple decided that
they had better do the same thing; hence, they started a family altar.
The man then informed me that for one year they had
been having devotions, and every night the dog had joined them.
Probably by now you are snickering or laughing, but I
wonder if that dog had more Christianity than some of our readers.
I WON THE CONTRACTOR
"I would like to talk with you concerning the contract
for another building." These words I spoke to Mr. R. D. Estes upon the
completion of a new auditorium for a pastorate in Texas. The building had
not yet been dedicated, and I was handing him the final check when I made
the aforementioned statement. He was somewhat startled. He realized that our
church had gone in debt to construct the auditorium and was amazed that we
would be interested in a contract for another building so soon.
"Where will this new building be built?" he asked.
"Oh," I replied, "it has already been built." Then I
proceeded to tell this 65-year-old contractor of the building not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens. He was a very strict businessman of the old
school, so with little emotion he heard the story of Heaven and the contract
that Christ had already made and purchased with His own blood. At the
conclusion of hearing the old, old story, Mr. Estes knelt to pray; and with
a substantial check of final payment in hand he prayed the sinner's prayer
and received the Saviour.
The next Sunday we dedicated the new building that he
had built. He was the first convert to walk the aisle in the new structure
and was baptized in the first baptismal service. "I built the building and
then got a building from this job," were the words of this well-to-do
contractor as he left the service on Dedication Day.
While preaching in Texas recently I had the blessed
joy of seeing this contractor come to the services and was pleased to find
out he is still attending God's House, hearing God's men preach.
SAVED IN THE BATHTUB
A few years ago I was in a Bible Conference in
Houston, Texas. After a morning service, I returned to my room at one of the
large motels on the north side of Houston. To my surprise, the door to my
room was open and I heard singing coming from the bathroom. After checking
the room number with my key, I realized I was in the right room. Perhaps
someone else was in the wrong room.
I hollered through the door, inquiring who was there,
only to find it was the Negro maid cleaning out the bathtub. She was
actually down in the tub cleaning out the ring.
I asked her if she were a Christian. She said, "Mercy,
no! I am as mean as the devil." I got my Testament out and showed her the
plan of salvation. All the time she was in the bathtub. After I showed her
how to be saved, she knelt in the tub and received the Saviour.
I have laughed many times about this and have jokingly
said, "I guess I am the only preacher in the world who ever won a lady in a
bathtub!" This is just another of the many unusual experiences that God
gives to soul winners. We should be on the lookout constantly for people who
need the Saviour.
I have won people to Christ in train stations, in bus
depots, on airplanes, in grocery stores, in barber shops, in shine parlors,
in service stations, in garages, in school buildings, on ball diamonds, and
in many other places. There are many hungry hearts waiting for someone to
tell them the story.
SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF ADAM AND EVE
A few days ago a lady in our area whom I had won to
Christ died. Upon hearing of her death, I relived the experience of her
One Friday afternoon I went to her home and found
immediately that she was a Catholic and had been reared near Rome, Italy.
(She was in her mid-fifties when she died.) After chatting with her for a
while, I brought up the subject of her salvation only to find that she knew
absolutely nothing about the Bible. So I started from Adam and Eve and
explained salvation's story to her in detail.
I told her that one time God made a man named Adam and
a woman named Eve.
"Is that right?" she replied.
"Yes, He made Adam out of dust and He made Eve from
"Well, isn't that unusual!" she replied.
"Then God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden."
"Oh, how nice."
"Then one day something happened. Adam and Eve did
something wrong. They ate the forbidden fruit and ran from God's presence
and were spiritually dead."
"Oh, how sad that they did that," she remarked.
Then I proceeded to tell her that immediately God
promised He would provide a sacrifice through the seed of woman. I told her
that Jesus was that sacrifice and that He died on the cross.
She could hardly believe what she heard. "Isn't that
nice! That is so fine."
Then I proceeded to tell her that He died for her.
"Oh, that makes it better."
Then I told her about Heaven, and she could hardly
believe what she heard. She was like a little boy at the zoo for the first
time and was almost clapping her hands for joy as she heard for the first
time not only the story of Christ but the story of Adam and Eve and really
what the cross was all about.
When I asked her to bow her head and pray the sinner's
prayer, she did so gladly but unconsciously prayed in Italian. When she
finished praying, she looked up and asked, "Am I saved now? Will I go to
Heaven when I die?"
I told her that if she had put her faith in Christ as
her Saviour, she would go to Heaven.
"Well, I just did. Didn't you hear me?" She did not
realize she had prayed in Italian.
I replied, "Maybe you did and maybe you didn't. I
heard you pray but I have no idea what you said."
"Oh, I prayed in Italian, didn't I? I guess I will
have to do it again."
You should have seen the look on her face when I told
her that God knew Italian very well and that He had heard her prayer and
saved her soul. She seemed pleased not only that she was saved but that God
was so well educated.
Happily she came forward the next Sunday professing
her new-found faith in Christ. Though she died soon after, she no doubt is
in Heaven having some "Italian fellowship" with Christ.
THE SOUL-WINNING COURSE SAVED HIS LIFE
A number of years ago I taught my little course on
soul winning at the Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. After
the course, one of the men was driving back to his home town to get his wife
and return to the evening service. He stopped and offered a ride to a
hitchhiker on the way and proceeded to use the soul-winning method of the
"Roman Road" on the hitchhiker.
After explaining the wonderful story of salvation, he
led the man to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It was one of those
unusual experiences when Heaven bends low. In tears, the hitchhiker reached
in his pocket and pulled out a deadly weapon, showed it to the soul winner,
and said, "I secured this weapon a while ago with which to commit a murder.
I got in your car with the plan to kill you, rob you, and steal the
automobile. If you hadn't won me to Christ, you would now be a dead man."
He handed the weapon to the soul winner. He even
returned with the soul winner to the service that evening, came forward
during the invitation, and professed his faith publicly in Jesus Christ. Not
only that, but he stood behind the pulpit and spoke to nearly a thousand
people concerning his salvation.
It was an experience never to be forgotten to see the
soul winner, the potential murderer, and the weapon all before us with the
two men arm in arm, rejoicing because it pays to be a soul winner.
Here is at least one fellow who owes his life to a
simple little soul-winning course taught to a small gathering one afternoon
in Florida. Soul winning always pays!
IT PAYS TO BE A LOUD-MOUTH
One time while I was preaching in Dallas, Texas, I
took time off to drive out to the nearby town of Garland, where I had
pastored for nearly seven years. I enjoyed looking at the little city and
reliving some wonderful experiences. The biggest blessing of all was driving
up and down the streets and pointing to houses where I had won folks to
I chuckled as I passed one house four doors from the
church where I had pastored. I told a friend who was with me the unusual
story behind the conversion of this couple.
One Sunday morning a handsome couple walked into our
services and said, "We have been hearing you for weeks. We thought we would
see what you looked like. We live four houses from the church, and though we
are Methodists, we attend church nowhere. We try to sleep on Sunday morning,
but we can't sleep because of your hollering. No matter how hard we try, we
simply cannot get our rest. Since we have to hear you anyway, we thought we
would come to see what you look like."
One evening the next week I went to their home and led
them to Jesus Christ. As long as I was Pastor in Garland, they were faithful
and loyal members of our church.
They had also become interested in our church as they
had seen the people carrying folding chairs across the street between Sunday
school and church. We did not have any Sunday school space and had only
enough folding chairs for the auditorium. Hence, we borrowed an empty house
across the street. People would come to Sunday school and then carry their
chairs across the street, leaving the auditorium empty. An hour later the
Sunday school pupils would come back across the street bringing their chairs
with them. If someone came early to preaching, he had no seat; the building
The aforementioned couple saw several hundred people
carrying chairs across the street from the church, and their curiosity was
aroused. Since they had been "hearing" the preaching anyway, whether they
liked it or not, they simply had to come and see what was going on.
Maybe it pays to be a loud-mouth after all!
The couple mentioned still faithfully attends the
services of their church.
CONVERTED UNDER HIS CAR
When I got to his house, he was working under the car.
He was lying face up on a creeper and could not see me as I arrived.
"Hyles Mechanic Service!" I shouted.
"Who called you?" he asked.
"I was not called," I replied, "I was sent."
"Well, roll yourself under and see if you can see what
is the trouble."
I got another creeper, laid down on it, and roiled
myself under the car with him.
"Looks like to me you need the valves ground," I
"How can you tell from under here?"
"I am not talking about your car. I am talking about
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I am Pastor Hyles of First Baptist Church."
Then he became inquisitive, and I explained to him
that he needed Christ as Saviour to make him a new creature and that he was
in worse shape than the car. With both of us lying on our backs looking up
at the bottom side of the car, I told him how to be saved. When time came to
pray the sinner's prayer, he closed by saying, "Lord, I am just coming for a
general overhauling." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.
The next Sunday he came forward in our service professing his faith in
HE DIED AND WENT TO KENTUCKY
The midnight ring of a pastor's phone usually means
that Someone has a heartache or a sorrow. I had such a call recently.
Someone's unsaved relative had a short while to live. I went to the hospital
and found that he was aware of his condition and knew that death was
Hurriedly I told him the story of Christ and that
through faith in the finished work of Calvary he could be saved. He and I
both agreed that we should hurry as his minutes were few. I placed my mouth
close to his ear and talked distinctly and rapidly.
I asked him if he completely understood. He whispered,
I asked him if I could pray. He answered
affirmatively. I prayed very briefly, realizing that this moment might be
his last one. Then I asked him to pray, and this he did just above a
whisper. Then he took my hand as a token of his acceptance of Jesus Christ
I looked up and saw him weeping and smiling for joy.
Quickly I wanted to lead him to assurance as time was precious. "Now do you
know you are saved?" I asked.
"Yes, I do," he whispered faintly.
"Do you know you are ready to die?"
"Yes, I know that."
"Can you say to me that you are now a Christian?"
"Yes, I can."
Then I asked, "Since you are so near death now, where
are you going when you die?"
He looked up with a smile on his face and said,
I guess this is the only time I ever laughed in the
face of a dying man. Little did I know that if a person gets saved he will
someday die and go to "Kentucky!" (There are some who would prefer purgatory
and maybe a few others who...well, enough for that.)
To say the least, the man was saved. He thought I was
talking about where his body would be placed. He got the idea and I think
chuckled on his way to Heaven. Believe me, I doubt if he is in Kentucky
today, but I thank God he is in Heaven.
HE PREACHED TO ONE MAN
One reason that personal soul winning is near to the
heart of God is that God's heart beats so for the individual. The Psalmist
reminds us in the eighth Psalm that God is mindful of every person and
desires fellowship with each individual.
A number of years ago something happened that so
graphically illustrates this. While I was pastoring in Texas, we helped to
start sixteen branch churches. One of these was pastored by a young high
school football player named Carmen Hartsfield.
One Saturday Carmen came by the church dressed in his
overalls and asked if he could borrow some folding chairs for his branch
church. One of our men, whose first name was Cortez, volunteered to help
Carmen in the loading and unloading of the chairs.
When they arrived at the little church in the country,
they unloaded the chairs and prepared for the services on the Lord's Day.
Cortez, the layman, said to Carmen, the young preacher, "I feel a little
backslidden today. I feel my spiritual battery needs recharging."
Carmen informed him that he had his Bible with him and
that his prepared message for the next day was in his Bible. He suggested
that Cortez sit down in the little chapel and that he would try out the
sermon on him. Cortez did so while Carmen opened his Bible, read the
Scripture, and preached the full-length sermon.
Cortez, who was a very demonstrative-type Christian
started hollering "Amen" while Carmen was preaching to him. Suddenly the
side door of the chapel opened and an 18-year-old lad peeped in. (How would
you feel if you entered a country building on Saturday afternoon and saw a
man in overalls preaching to a congregation of one while the congregation of
one responded loudly with "Amen"? That's how he felt!)
The young man was a little startled but nevertheless
took off his hat and had a seat in the chapel, thereby doubling the size of
the congregation. Carmen kept preaching, overalls and all. Cortez kept
hollering "Amen" as the fellow looked more and more confused.
After the entire message was concluded, Carmen asked
the congregation (of two) to bow their heads for prayer. Then he asked, "Is
there anyone here who is not saved who would like to be saved? If so, would
you raise your hand."
To Carmen's utter surprise the young man raised his
hand for prayer. Carmen then announced that the congregation would stand and
sing "Just As I Am Without One Plea." As Cortez sang the solo, the other
half of the congregation came forward, knelt at the altar, and received
Christ as Saviour.
This is just another illustration of God's interest in
The young preacher is now pastoring a thriving Baptist
church in the state of Maryland. It was my privilege to fellowship with him
FAMILY SAVED THROUGH "DEDICATION SERVICE FOR HOME"
As I have taught soul winning across the country, I
have said again and again, "Get the Gospel to every person some way. Do not
leave without presenting the Gospel to them."
Sometimes a person is having home problems and will
ask you for help concerning his home condition. Start with Romans 3:10 and
tell him how to be saved; this will help the home. Perhaps a person is
having trouble with his children and wants some help. Start with Romans
3:10; getting saved will help him rear his children right. Suppose a person
is having some business difficulties. Start with Romans 3:10 and show him
how to be saved; this will help him become a better businessman.
It is always dangerous to get off the subject. It is a
good idea while talking to a lost person to stay on the subject of salvation
and to get the Gospel to him some way before you leave.
I was visiting in the city of Hammond and knocked on
the door of a third-floor apartment. A man, his wife, and four children
lived there. I had the most difficult time getting them unsaved, or shall I
say, getting them to admit they were unsaved.
"Are you a Christian?" I asked.
"Oh, yes," replied the man. "I have been a Christian
all my life, and my wife became a Christian when she was three years old in
the Catholic Church." Of course, this did not ring true, so I backed up and
"Have you been saved?" I asked him.
"Oh, yes," he replied, "I have been saved all my life,
and my wife was saved when she was three years old in the Catholic Church."
Again I backed off and tried. "Are you born again?"
"Oh, yes," he said. "I have been born again all my
life, and my wife was born again when she was three years old in the
"Well,'" I said, "since you are saved, born again, and
on your way to Heaven, let me show you some Scriptures about Bible study so
you and your family can have Bible study together." (I was going to show him
Romans 3:10 and the plan of salvation and get the Gospel to him.) Was I
surprised when he answered that he and his wife were taking a Bible
correspondence course from a fundamental school at that time!
"Are you sure you are regenerated?" I asked.
"Oh, yes," he answered. "I have been regenerated all
my life, and my wife was regenerated when she was three years old in a
Catholic Church." (Boy, was I on the spot!)
Then I thought of a good idea. I said, "How would you
like for me to discuss the family altar with you and show you how your
family could pray together every night?" (Once again I was going to start
with Romans 3:10 and get the Gospel to him.)
"There is no need for that," he answered. "Each of our
children is required to have a private prayer time each day, and we have a
family altar each night. We know how to do it because we do it regularly."
"Are you sure that you are God's child?" I asked.
"Oh, yes. I have been God's child all my life, and my
wife became a child of God when she was three years old in a Catholic
Church," he answered.
To be quite honest with you, I could not think of a
single way to get the Gospel to him or even to get him to admit he was lost.
Prayerfully I continued my conversation, and suddenly the Holy Spirit led me
to say this: "My dear brother, since you have such a good home, what you
need to do is have a formal dedication service for your home. My, you take
correspondence courses, you study the Bible, you have family altar-you
certainly should have a regular formal dedication service for your home."
His eyes lit up like headlights on a car! He liked
that idea tremendously. "When could you get a copy of that service?" he
"It just so happens I have a copy of it now," I
"Aren't we lucky?" he said to his wife. "The Pastor
has a copy of this formal dedication service with him."
He sent his children to the bedroom to dress. (They
were in pajamas already.) They came back with white blouses and shirts on.
His wife went in and fixed her hair, and he went in and got a white shirt
and tie on and came back for the formal dedication service. I proceeded with
"In this service," I said, "we start off with
Scripture reading. My first Scripture is Romans 3:10." Then I read all the
Scriptures I had been trying to read for an hour, using them as Scriptures
for a dedication service of the home. After I had told the entire plan of
salvation using the "Roman Road," I then said, "Now let us bow our heads,
please, for our dedicatory prayer."
I prayed a prayer asking God to bless the home and
then asked the man to pray a prayer after me. He gladly did. I inserted the
sinner's prayer, "God be merciful to me, a sinner, and save my soul. I do
now receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour and trust Him to take me to Heaven
when I die." Then I asked the wife to pray the same prayer, followed by each
By the end of the prayer time, we were all weeping.
"That concludes the service," I said. "By the way, when did you say you were
Then he replied, "I have been saved all my life, and
my wife was saved when she was three years old in the Catholic Ch .... Oh,
no, no, no! I just got saved a minute ago when I prayed that prayer!"
"I did too," said the wife, and a little revival
meeting broke out.
It always pays to get the Gospel to everyone with whom
you talk. Get the Gospel to them some way. Many can be reached.
SHE WALKED THE AISLE DURING THE OFFERTORY
A Catholic lady was saved in her home. She was asked
if she would be willing to make a public profession of her faith in Christ.
She inquired as to what this meant. We told her that she should come forward
in the public invitation the next Sunday morning at our church. This she
agreed to do, but never having been in a Baptist (or even a Protestant)
service before, she was confused about when to come forward. We simply told
her, "When the other people come forward, you come forward too."
She understood this. She said, "When do the other
people come forward?"
We explained to her that every Sunday many people come
forward professing their faith in Christ and that she would see them coming
down the aisle. We told her that when she noticed others coming to the
altar, she should come to the altar too.
Sure enough, the next Sunday morning she was sitting
back in the back of the building next to the aisle and waiting for the
opportunity to present herself as a new convert and follow the Lord in
believers' baptism. She had remembered very carefully that she was to walk
the aisle when the others walked the aisle. However, never having been in a
Baptist church before, she had no idea when this would be in the service.
The service progressed as usual until offering time.
On the last stanza of the offertory, sixteen ushers came down the aisles.
Her mind began to click: "When the others come forward, I am to come
forward," she thought. Hence, she stepped into the aisle and followed the
ushers to the front.
Our ushers were trained to line up across the front;
she lined up with them, sixteen ushers and one lady. They placed their hands
behind their backs waiting for the prayer; she placed her hands behind her
back. (I guess she thought this was "Men's Sunday" as far as being saved was
In many churches this would have ruined the service.
In our church it made the service. To the glory of God, we stopped the
offering and told the people that the lady was making her public profession
of faith in Jesus Christ.
Mr. Carter was his name. He was a cancer patient in
Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas. As I witnessed to him, he was
antagonistic. The harder I tried the more angry he seemed to get. His
rudeness embarrassed his wife who was observing the conversation from a
After seeming to have failed, I simply bowed my head
and began to pray. As I prayed, he suddenly shouted, "I believe it, and it's
When I finished praying, I asked him if he had
received Jesus Christ as Saviour. He said, "I just did, and it's wonderful!"
He prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, interrupting the prayer occasionally to
say, "Lord, it sure is wonderful!"
Upon completing his prayer, he turned to his wife and
said, "Honey, it is so wonderful to be a Christian. You ought to be one,
"Well, I think I am a Christian," she replied.
"No, you ain't!" he said. "You ought to try it and get
what I got. It's wonderful!"
I then proceeded to tell her how to be saved, being
interrupted periodically by Mr. Carter's saying, "Do it, honey. It's
wonderful" She then began to pray the sinner's prayer only to hear him say
again and again, "Ain't it wonderful, honey! Ain't it wonderful!" She, too,
received Christ as Saviour.
Salvation is not the result of a feeling, but isn't it
refreshing to be present when faith manifests itself in joy?
I gave him a little Testament to read. Three weeks
later I was called to preach his funeral. As I approached the pulpit of the
funeral home in McKinney, Texas, I noticed his hand on his heart and in his
hand was the Testament I had given him. "It was his last request," said Mrs.
Carter. A new Christian like Mr. Carter best described his salvation with
the simple words, "It's wonderful." As I left the hospital and as I left the
funeral home, as the soul winner I could best describe my joy by simply
saying, "It's wonderful!"
"I HAVE BROTHER HYLES' BLOOD IN ME"
A call came from the hospital that one of my members
whom I had won to Christ was seriously ill and in desperate need of blood.
My last impression was to contact as many men as I could. They all went to
the hospital, but none of them had the right type blood.
It became so urgent that I even went to the hospital
to see if my blood were the right type. (Brother, that is really urgent!) To
my surprise and their delight, my blood was the exact match.
As they were giving her the transfusion of my blood,
her color began to come back, and she faintly asked, "Whose blood is this?"
The doctor answered that it was "Brother Hyles"
She opened her eyes and faintly whispered, "Oh boy! I
know I will go to Heaven now. I have some of Brother Hyles' blood in me."
THEY COULDN'T GO TO THE MOVIE
In a former pastorate we visited the same home week
after week after week. A different couple from our church went by each week.
Finally it was decided the Pastor should go by. I took with me a
soul-winning partner; we knocked on the door and waited for a response.
To my surprise, the man came to the door dressed up,
and all the family appeared prepared to go out for the evening. They were
sitting on the sofa and chairs in the living room.
"Come on in," he said. "I have been expecting you."
Then he proceeded to tell me the following story:
"We have been visited by your church every Thursday
night for weeks and weeks and weeks. We gave up watching our favorite
television programs. Tonight we had decided to go to a movie to avoid having
to listen to someone else from your church. We got dressed and began to go
out to get in the car and go to a movie when I said to my wife, 'I can't do
it, I can't do it, I can't do it!'
"You can't do what?" she asked.
"I can't leave home to go to a movie. I won't enjoy
it. All I will do is sit in the movie wondering which nut from that church
came by to see me tonight!' (Little did he realize that nut was the Pastor.)
'My curiosity would kill me if we went. Let's just get out of the car, go
back in the living room, sit there with our good clothes on, and see who it
"So come on in. I have been expecting you! I know what
you are going to say. I have heard it over and over and over again. Now that
my curiosity is satisfied, get it over with."
I told him the same thing he had heard before, but
this time God spoke to his heart. He, his wife, and his family received
Christ as Saviour; and the next Sunday morning they walked the aisle
professing their faith publicly.
He was baptized that night, as I remember, and became
one of the finest members of our church. The last I heard of him, he was
president of a school board for a Christian school, and a successful
businessman. He and his family are still busy for God in their church.
I´M HALF JEW MYSELF
It is amazing how the Holy Spirit can give wisdom and
leadership to soul winners. A year or so ago I was out soul winning on a
typical soul-winning day. I knocked on a door to make what I thought would
be another average, usual call.
Immediately upon hearing the purpose of my visit, the
little lady said that she was Jewish and would not be at all interested. She
was obviously cool to what I was saying. I prayed for the Lord to give me
wisdom and for the Holy Spirit to lead me as I talked to her.
Suddenly I said, "I am glad to hear that you are
Jewish because I am half Jew myself." (With my Texas' accent, I was somewhat
less than impressive.)
She looked a little startled to find that I was half
Jew. I then proceeded to say, "And besides that, I have an Elder Brother who
is all Jew." This really shook her up. I could tell that she did not have
any idea that I was talking about the fact that I had become a new creature
in Christ and that He was my Elder Brother.
Still she said nothing. (Perhaps she was stunned.) I
continued, "Yes, that is Right. I am half Jew, my Elder Brother is all Jew,
but any day now I will become all Jew too."
By this time her curiosity led her to exclaim, "What
in the world are you talking about?" Then I explained to her that Jesus, my
"Elder Brother" was born to Jewish parents and reared in a Jewish home. I
explained how I had been born again through faith in Him and that now He had
become my "Elder Brother." Then I explained that Jesus was coming at any
minute to change me into His likeness.
I could tell she was very interested, and in a matter
of a few minutes she, too, had an Elder Brother who was a Jew, was half
Jewish herself, and was expecting to be made in His likeness at any moment.
As you go soul winning, ask the Holy Spirit to lead
you. It is wonderful to follow His leading.
"PLEASE, JESUS, SAVE JIM!"
"Please, Jesus, save Jim. Please, Jesus, save Jim."
These were the words spoken to God by a fine Christian
lady in many a prayer meeting. For months and months I heard her pray,
"Please, Jesus, save Jim. Please, Jesus, save Jim." Sometimes she would
crawl as she prayed. I would remind her of God's promises, and she would
keep crying, "Please, Jesus save Jim." Jim was her drunkard husband.
Months passed, and one Christmas night (Christmas came
on Sunday that year) Jim came to the services. He sat on the back row in the
left corner of the church. His wife, strangely enough, was not sitting with
him but was sitting in the back of the auditorium near the middle.
How she had prayed again and again, "Please, Jesus,
save Jim." In the middle of my sermon that night, Jim jumped up and said he
could not wait any longer, he had to get saved right then! I stopped the
message, received him at the altar, and he was marvelously converted.
Suddenly I heard a commotion coming from the back. The
salvation of her husband was more than she could take. She started crying,
"Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!! Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!! Thank
you, Jesus, for saving Jim!!" She walked down the aisle hugging everyone who
was available and crying, "Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim." She came to
the platform and literally picked me up and shook me like a bottle, all the
time crying, "Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!" (I felt like crying,
"Please, Jesus, save Jack!")
What a time we had that night as many others followed
Jim to the altar and received Christ as Saviour.
Keep on praying, keep on witnessing, keep on hoping,
keep on working-God's promises are for us as much as for the lady mentioned
"BLESS ME, REVEREND"
A few years ago my mother was visiting in my home. (At
that time she lived in Texas.) It was my soul-winning day, and so I asked
Mother if she would like to go soul winning with me. Though she was already
in her seventies, she consented to go, and we had a wonderful afternoon.
First we led a little lady to Christ in her beautiful
new home. (She is still a faithful member of our church.) Then several
minutes later and several miles away we led a little lady to Christ who had
an eight-year-old daughter who was still the size of a baby, retarded,
afflicted, and blind. (Mother was particularly impressed, as her first baby,
born years ago, never walked or talked until she died at the age of seven.)
We then went across the street and won a
seventeen-year-old girl whose entire life is spent in a wheelchair.
After these wonderful experiences, we then drove to
Indiana Harbor, which is several miles away, where we had the name and
address of a lady who was unsaved. We drove down Main Street and found the
address to be a store building. After inquiring we were informed that she
lived in the rear of the store building in a humble apartment.
She greeted us warmly in a Spanish accent; in fact,
she spoke with very broken English. How pleased she was that a pastor had
come to see her. She asked me if I had come to bless her. Knowing that if
she got saved, she would be blessed, I replied affirmatively. Oh, how
pleased she was that the pastor had come by to bless her!
Then upon hearing that she could be forgiven of her
sins by coming to God for herself, that all the penance had been paid by
Jesus on the cross, that she could pray to God for herself, and that she
herself could even become a priest, she was so ready to accept salvation as
a gift from God. After she had prayed the "sinner's prayer," she assured me
of her intentions to walk the aisle the next Sunday. (This she did.) As I
started to leave, she said, "Father, you forgot to bless me!" Then I
explained to her that God would have to bless her, but I would pray with her
and for her.
How faithful she was through the years. Every Sunday
she would make it a point to come to me between Sunday school and preaching
to give me a word of encouragement and a warm smile. Though she was up in
years and lived with a son many miles from our church, she got up early
every Sunday and came these miles. Many of these Sundays she had to ride a
She was poor (but rich); she was simple (but great).
When she would go on a trip, she would always drop a card to the pastor.
Sometimes the words were misspelled, but love was obvious in every line.
There was only one heartache in her life, and that was
her unsaved son. Again and again she requested prayer, and again and again
she asked what it would take for her son to be saved. How burdened she was
for his salvation!
Then one week upon returning from vacation, a note was
in my box telling me that "a Mrs. Rodriguez" had died. She had been buried
in my absence. She was just "a Mrs. Rodriguez" to most of the people in the
church, and to many she was just a little hard-to-understand
Spanish-speaking lady who sat back in the back during the service. Her
offerings were never big, her talents were few, but I felt that I had lost a
real friend. My mind wandered back to the afternoon my mother and I had been
in her home to "bless her."
The following Sunday morning I told the story in my
message. At the end of the message, who do you think came forward receiving
Christ as Saviour? It was her son. Now in Heaven she has found out what it
would take to win him.
Though this dear lady has gone to Heaven, her son
still attends the services of the First Baptist Church of Hammond.
I STAYED IN THE GIRLS´ DORMITORY
Once I spoke at a Bible Institute in Georgia. When I
arrived at the college, I was taken to my room. Was I surprised to find that
I was staying in the girls' dormitory! Yes, you got it right the girls'
dormitory. This was enough of a shock, but that wasn't all. I stayed in the
back corner of the girls' dormitory, which meant that I had to walk past all
of the rooms and through a big parlor to get to my room. In the parlor there
were sofas, pianos, etc. where the girls would lounge. Hence, when I entered
the dormitory I had to cry loudly, "THERE'S A MAN IN THE HOUSE!" Then the
girls would scamper, each to her own room, peeking out the door to be sure I
was safely tucked away in my own room before they came out again. What
embarrassment! Can you imagine coming in after a service at night, hollering
loudly, "There's a man in the house!" and then walking awkwardly past the
dormitory doors and down the parlor to your room!
We had a wonderful conference. On the closing night I
spoke on a burden for lost sinners. After a wonderful service and a time of
fellowship around the altar with many of the people, I returned to my room.
For the last time I was to walk into the dormitory, holler loudly, "There's
a man in the house!" and timidly walk down the middle of that parlor that
seemed to be a four-lane highway down the middle of Main Street.
To my surprise, however, all the girls were waiting
for me at the door. I immediately thought perhaps they were giving me a
little farewell party. Then I noticed that each girl had her housecoat on,
her hair rolled up, and the usual "junk" on her face. Can you feature how I
felt when I walked in the dormitory to find all those girls waiting for me
in such a condition? (I guess I felt like Solomon when he came home at
When I inquired as to the purpose of their waiting up
for me, they all began to praise the Lord with tears running down their
cheeks, telling me of some wonderful things that had happened. Several of
them had gotten so burdened for their loved ones that they had come back to
the dorm and made long-distance calls to them. Several loved ones had been
saved over the telephone. What a tremendous revival we had as we rejoiced
over the salvation of mothers and fathers!
One girl had called long distance to Pennsylvania, and
with a sobbing voice she won her daddy to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Winning folks on the telephone is not really a new
thing with many soul winners. It has been my joy to win several people to
Christ over the telephone. Just a few months ago, after our evening service,
a young man was so under conviction that he called me and said that he had
to get saved immediately. I told him over the phone how to be saved. I
prayed with him; he prayed the "sinner's prayer" and was sweetly converted
over the telephone. The next Sunday morning he came forward and was
There is a fine lady in our church now whom I led to
Christ over the telephone a few years ago. This is just another way of
winning souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I left the Bible Institute I was made to rejoice
that I had stayed in the girls' dormitory. My awkward walk and timid crying
of "There's a man in the house!" became worth it all as many of the girls
had become telephone soul winners.
SAVED ON THE EXPRESSWAY
One of the darkest days in a pastor's life is when he
leaves a church where God's blessings have rested through the years. Such
was August 23, 1959, when our family left the Miller Road Baptist Church of
Garland, Texas. The day was brightened, however, with a wonderful
Two couples had driven from Fort Worth, Texas, (about
fifty miles away) to be in our services. One of the men introduced himself
as being someone whom I had won to Christ. Since I did not recall such an
experience, I asked him when this took place. Then he told me a wonderful
story. These were about his words:
"I was driving down the expressway one morning about
6:00 on my way to work when I decided I would like to hear some music on my
car radio. The first station I got was carrying a program that was a
religious one, and some fellow named Jack Hyles was hollering, 'You better
get born again or you will go to Hell!'
"The program was obnoxious to me. I even cursed as I
turned it off and made note of its location on the dial so I would not make
that mistake again. The next morning on the expressway about the same time,
I decided to look for some music but watched the dial very carefully so I
would not even get close to this 'Hyles' fellow.
"The more music I heard, the more my curiosity was
roused as I wondered what that nut was saying this morning. Finally my
curiosity insisted that I turn him on again. I liked him even less than I
had the day before. Again I cursed him and wondered why the F.C.C. would
allow him to remain on the air.
"The next morning at the same time and the same place
I looked for music when again my curiosity got the best of me and I wondered
what he was screaming about this time. Again I turned to the same station.
Again I was disgusted. Again I cursed. But this particular morning as I
reached for the dial to change the station, you, Brother Hyles, said,
'Hey, you on that expressway, don't touch that dial.'
I was startled but obeyed.
"Then you said, 'Now pull the car over beside the
expressway and stop.' This I did. Then to my surprise you said, 'Now open
the door and get out of the car.' I found myself obeying again, and even
obeyed you when you said, 'Now get on your knees beside the car and ask God
to save you.'
"Praise the Lord, I did what you said, and I was saved
beside the expressway shortly after 6:00 that morning! Now I have driven
from Fort Worth this morning to thank you for winning me to Christ."
The strange thing about the entire story is that I do
not remember making such statements (I hardly ever remember anything I say
that early in the morning), but I do recall that for a number of years I
broadcasted live from the auditorium from 6:05 to 6:30 a.m. over KSKY in
I thought this was a wonderful story but had little
hope that the fellow would hold out considering the uniqueness of his
conversion. A few years later I was preaching at the Rolling Hills Baptist
Church in Fort Worth, Texas, on a New Year's Bible Conference program when I
told this remarkable story. After the sermon a fellow walked up, put his
hand out, and with quivering lips and moist eyes said, "I am that man, and I
am now preaching the Gospel."
THE PRODIGAL SON
As a young preacher I was invited to preach a revival
meeting at a rather large church in Houston, Texas. I was told as I entered
the elaborate auditorium that the church was not emotional and that
emotional practices and methods should not be used. (Boy, did this cramp my
style!) It was a very formal church with much ritual.
I preached Sunday night and nothing happened. Monday
night nothing happened. Tuesday night nothing happened. Wednesday night
nothing happened. I prayed nearly all night Wednesday for God to give us
revival. About 5 o'clock in the morning sweet assurance came that we would
have revival. I went to bed for a few hours sleep with the perfect peace
that revival was coming that night.
That night after I had preached, a lady whom I had won
to Christ in the afternoon came forward; but during the sermon the strangest
I preached on the subject, "The Prodigal Son." It was
the fifteenth time I had preached that particular sermon, and it was my
custom to name the characters in the story. I had always called the prodigal
son "Bill" and his brother "John." I would explain that Bill went off to a
far country and spent all, while the brother, John, stayed with the father.
This particular evening I started the sermon something
like this: "Tonight I am preaching about two brothers. One was named..." (To
save me I could not think of the name "Bill.") I told a little more of the
story, hoping that I could think of the name of the prodigal son as I told
it. Then I said again, "This boy who left his father and went into a far
country was named…er...ah..." (My mind was still blank. I could not think of
the name "Bill" to save me.) I told some more of the story, and finally in
desperation I shouted, "His name was...er...ah...ah...his name was John!"
Now I had used the brother's name for the prodigal
son. So I thought I would use the prodigal son's name for the brother and
simply exchange names for the sermon. I said, "His name was John, and his
brother's name was..." (I still couldn't think of the name, "Bill.") So I
backed up and tried again. After having for the first time called the
prodigal son John instead of Bill, I again said, "His brother's name was..."
and still I could not think of "Bill."
By that time some folks were snickering a bit, and I
said emotionally, "His brother's name was...er...ah...er...ah...oh, his
brother didn't have a real name. They just called him 'Little Bud.'" So I
proceeded to call Bill "John" and John "Little Bud."
Boy, did I have a time with that sermon, trying to
remember to call Bill "John" and John "Little Bud" and not even remembering
the name "Bill" at all. I finally stumbled through the message, gave the
invitation, and let my mind wander back to the prayer meeting I had the
night before and the assurance that I thought God had given me that revival
was coming that night. Certainly revival could not come out of this message,
Just before the invitation dosed, a young man walked
toward the aisle. When he got to the aisle he turned to walk to the rear of
the building. When he got to the back row, he stepped over some people and
threw his arms around a lady sitting in the center of the back pew. They
both began crying and rejoicing. They broke to the aisle, literally ran down
the aisle, and fell on their faces in the altar.
The Chairman of the Deacon Board was sitting on the
front row. When he saw what happened, he fell on his face and hugged both
the young man and the woman. Suddenly the Pastor literally jumped into the
altar weeping and praising the Lord. The choir was so overcome they could
not continue singing the invitation song. Real revival broke out. (To save
my soul, I could not imagine what was happening; I just knew I liked it.)
Finally the Pastor composed himself enough to ask me to lead the closing
prayer. This I did, and confused as I could be, I walked toward the exit
Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. The church
secretary literally pulled me around and shouted, "How did you know?"
"How did I know what?" I asked.
"How did you know to preach on the prodigal son?" she
said. "A year ago the twenty-year-old son of our Deacon Chairman left home
and had not been seen since. To our surprise, when we arrived at church
tonight, there he sat. He was the young man who came forward. His mother was
the lady on the back pew. His father is the Chairman of our deacons. He came
home tonight just as the prodigal son did! Who told you that he was here so
that you could preach on the prodigal son?"
Knowing nothing about the story, I was beginning to
see the picture of how God had given revival. I turned to go back to my room
and praise the Lord for the wonderful victories, and suddenly the secretary
turned me around again and said, "Who told you his name was John?" I was
stunned beyond speech. My "mistake" was the leadership of the Holy Spirit,
and it was He who made me forget the name "Bill."
By this time I needed to get to my room to rejoice
when she turned me around again and said, "And who told you that he has a
little brother who stayed at home whose nickname is 'Little Bud'?"
I returned to my room rejoicing that God has chosen
the weak things of this world to confound the wise and that in our weakness
we are made strong.
SAVED ON THE WAY TO PRISON
A little lady stood timidly at the Greyhound Bus
Station in Dallas, Texas, trying to generate enough courage to pass out a
Gospel tract. Finally this little introvert took a few from her purse and
gave one to each passenger boarding a Greyhound bus. It was 7:00 in the
A few days later I received a letter from the state
penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. As I dictate this experience, I hold the
letter in my hand. May I quote from the letter, which is over thirteen years
"Dear Jack F. Hyles and Mrs..... I am writing this to
tell you about myself and what a wonderful job I think you all are doing
trying to bring God's Word to sinners like myself.
"I will tell you about myself. I have been to Texas
prison two times and have lost my family, my wife, and three children. I
lost them and then it seemed I didn't have anything to live for or anyone to
care what happened to me. So when I was released from prison last May the
2nd I started drinking and got in trouble again. I have a crippled leg but
no one would give me a job so I could do the thing I wanted for my babies.
They are in Buckner's Orphans Home in Dallas and I don't know where my wife
is. My babies think I am working in Huntsville. They don't know I am in
"Here is how I got this little tract from one who
cares. I was standing in the Greyhound Bus Station on January 16 around 7:00
a.m. I had just got out of the county jail in Dallas. I was in a deep study
about what to do and where to go as I thought I was all alone in this world.
Someone walked up by me and handed me this tract and smiled and went on.
Then I looked down and read it and started thinking about what it says and
made up my mind to get this life of mine straight and live for our Lord and
Saviour and try in some way to take God's Word. I know down in my own heart
that I was never alone. God was with me and waiting for me to open my hand,
heart, and mind and let Him come in. I know in my heart how wonderful life
can be with our Lord. I have been down to the bottom drinking and in prison.
I know that if you will ask, you shall receive. I know He will help sinners.
I wish there was just some way I could put it on paper what He had done for
me and what He means to me.
"Tell Mrs .... she will never know how happy she has
helped make my life by just handing me that tract that morning. May God
bless and take care of you all and keep you. Carry on your work for God. Mr.
What a wonderful story about what a little bit can do!
But the story doesn't end there!
A little over a year passed. One Sunday night at our
church in Garland, Texas, after we had had several come forward for
salvation, a man came down the aisle and said, "My name is E.R.H. A little
over a year ago I wrote a letter from the penitentiary telling you how I was
saved through a tract given me by a little lady at the Greyhound Bus Station
at 7:00 a.m. on January 16. I am now out of the penitentiary and have come
many miles to see if I could meet Mrs ..... and thank her for winning me to
What an impressive and spiritual scene when Mrs...,
short and thin and timid, extended her hand to the convert and received his
gratitude for her winning him to Jesus.
"KEEP PREACHING IT"
A number of years ago in the Miller Road Baptist
Church of Garland, Texas, a retired preacher came to visit our services, and
then began one of the sweetest of life's experiences.
He had been preaching for nearly a half a century and
had known personally Billy Sunday, Paul Radar, and many of the old
patriarchs. The old preacher's name was James Moore. He looked like I think
Moses must have looked in that he had snow-white hair and a sweet, Christian
smile. He was in poor health, and his voice was squeaky from preaching
thousands of sermons.
We secured for him a platform rocker and let him sit
in the altar during the services. He would rock as I preached, clapping his
little hands together and faintly saying, "Amen, amen, amen."
Oftentimes he would come to me after a service and
say, "That was good preaching, Billy." I would remind him that my name was
Jack, not Billy, and he would reply, "Oh, that's right. You preach so much
like Billy Sunday, I thought you were he." I would hug him and kiss him and
thank him for his encouragement.
Regularly he would come by on Monday morning just to
remind me of a mistake that he made when he was a kid preacher. It was
always the same mistake I had made the Sunday before. Yet he never once
criticized me; he was always telling of "his" mistakes. Many a Monday
morning I hugged him and kissed his bearded chin. He was a dear, sweet
encouragement to me.
One Sunday night near midnight a call came from the
local hospital. The nurse there said that an old, white-haired man was dying
and was calling for a "Brother Jack." Knowing that I preferred the word
"brother" to "reverend" and that my first name was Jack, she thought that
perhaps he was calling for me. Immediately I rushed down to the hospital to
find that it was my dear Brother Moore who was dying. He had just suffered a
heart attack that was to be fatal. As I walked in he looked up, and with a
breathy voice he said,
"Come in, Brother Jack. I am just about to go to
Heaven. In just a few minutes I plan to see Peter, James, John, Elijah,
Moses, and others. Is there anything you want me to tell them for you?"
To save my life, I could not think of anything to have
him tell Elijah for me. I just hadn't thought lately about what I wanted to
tell Moses, Paul, and Peter; so timidly I said, "Tell them 'Hi!'"
Then he spoke to me about some things he wanted me to
do for him after he went to Heaven. (These things I carried out to the
letter after he died.)
Then he did something that you could tell was planned.
He took the oxygen mask off his face, reached out his hands and placed them
around my right hand, looked at me, and forced his last words. They were,
"Brother Jack, …k-k-keep...preachin' it!"
He placed his right hand over his heart, formed a
cross with his left arm over his right, and dropped his head to his chest,
whereupon I thought that I must be hearing the rustling of angel's wings. I
stepped out in the hall as the angels came and took his spirit to the
presence of his Saviour.
After I felt the job was finished, I stepped back in
the room. His head was still on his chest, and his arms were still crossed.
All that could die of him had died, and I bowed my head and promised the
Lord that I would "keep preachin' it."
"I DON'T FEEL IT"
Salvation is not the result of a feeling but the
result of faith. Though sometimes a feeling comes as a result of salvation,
I think there is a definite danger in stressing the feeling, for anyone who
knows the plan of salvation and trusts his eternity in it is saved. When
some are saved, they cry; others laugh; some do nothing. Occasionally,
however, a person is saved who expresses his joy in a unique way.
Such was the case of a lady who visited our services
in Garland, Texas, where I pastored for nearly seven years. Her daughters
had been saved in our church, and she would attend on Sunday evenings though
she was a strong Catholic. Her daughters would pray fervently for her
salvation, but her answer was always a negative one. She did, however, enjoy
coming to our services. She thought my preaching was, to say the least,
unique, and she came with her daughters often to hear me.
She was a lady of refinement and some means, and I
prayed diligently that God would save her. One Sunday night I felt impressed
to go back and speak with her during the invitation. "Wouldn't you like to
be saved?" I asked.
"Yes, I would," she replied, "but I don't feel
anything. When I get saved, I am going to feel it.'"
"Salvation is not a feeling," I said. "It is by grace
"But I want to feel it," she replied.
"Forget the feeling," I said.
Then she said, "Pastor, if I ever get saved, I am
going to have a feeling before I do."
A little bit frustrated and irritated, I said, "Come
on to the altar, and let's see if we can get it."
She then said, "It won't do any good. I don't feel
anything." But she did follow me reluctantly to the altar.
When she got there, I said, "Now let's kneel and
"It won't do any good. I don't feel anything," she
Like a general of the Army, I said, "Kneel anyway!"
She knelt, making a "cross" as she did, and placed her
hands under her chin like a little child saying "nighty-night" prayers. Then
she said, "This is silly. I don't feel anything, Pastor."
I then prayed for God to convict her and save her.
Then I asked her to pray. "It won't do any good," she said. "I don't feel
I replied, "Pray anyway. Ask God to have mercy on your
soul and save you from your sins. Tell Him that you are trusting Jesus
"But I don't feel it," she said.
I said abruptly, "Pray anyway!"
She began to pray cautiously and doubtfully.
"Dear...Lord .... have mercy on... me a...sinner…and save-Brother Hyles, I
think I am beginning to feel it-my soul. I DO NOW RECEIVE JESUS-I am feeling
more, Brother Hyles!-as my Saviour and trust Him to take me to Heaven. I
FEEL IT NOW! I FEEL IT NOW! I FEEL IT NOW!" she cried.
She continued praying the "sinner's prayer" and put
her faith in Jesus Christ as her Saviour. One of her daughters, who is not a
real emotional person, suddenly stood to her feet and said, "Hallelujah!
Mother just got saved." She was baptized shortly afterwards and is still a
faithful Christian. One of her daughters is now the wife of a successful
Of course, she was not saved by "feeling it." She was
saved by trusting Jesus. However, it is certainly an occasional refreshment
when someone enjoys salvation enough to be demonstrative. The secret to all
of it was the praying and witnessing of those two daughters and the fact
that they were not weary in well doing. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9,
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if
we faint not.”
HE´S A DEACON NOW
I thank God for every conversion and certainly
minimize none, but occasionally there comes across our path an unusual
experience of salvation that makes us rejoice more than usual.
In our church we have a fine lady with three wonderful
children who for years prayed for their unsaved husband and dad. Our church
prayed, and my own heart was burdened about his salvation. Again and again
we witnessed to him, but to no avail.
Recently his son was preparing to go to Tennessee
Temple College, and it came to the last week of his life at home with his
dad still unsaved. I became especially burdened about him that particular
week, and I simply had to go by to see him again. The son was to leave for
college at noon on Sunday, immediately following the morning service. I went
by on Saturday to make one last effort to give the young man a Christian
father at least one day while living at home.
As usual, the father was courteous but seemingly
disinterested in becoming a Christian.
I left the home that Saturday with a heavy heart,
feeling that I had failed. Trying to salvage something out of the visit, I
pleaded with the man to come to church with his family the following day. I
said, "Paul, you only have one more chance to sit in church with your son
before he goes off to college."
The next morning their 13-year old daughter rushed to
me saying, "Dad's here! Dad's here! Dad's here!"
The boy going away to college caught me in the hall
and said, "Pray for Dad. He is here!"
Hundreds of our people were thrilled and electrified
to see him in the service. Hundreds were praying during the entire service
for the salvation of this one man. (Bear in mind, the son was leaving for
college as soon as the service ended.)
The invitation came. He did not come forward. His son
put his arm around his dad and pleaded with him to be saved. Still the
answer was "no." The invitation was now coming toward its close when I felt
I simply had to go back and speak to Paul.
"Paul," I said, "this is the last chance you will ever
have to look at your family while they are all at home and say to them, 'You
have a Christian father.' In a few minutes your son will leave home for the
last time. Let him say good-bye to a Christian dad." I could say no more. I
was weeping so much I could not speak, when suddenly Paul broke for the
aisle, came to the altar, and received Christ.
During the rest of the invitation I kept saying to my
Music Director, "Have the choir sing louder." He reminded me after the
service that the choir could hardly sing at all for weeping.
In a matter of a few minutes Paul, as a Christian,
said good-bye to his son. That night during the invitation, Paul reached
over to his wife and said, "I don't have to sweat so much now!"
In a few days I received a lovely letter from the
daughter telling me about her new daddy and what a wonderful dad he had
become. I doubt if he has missed any service-Sunday morning, Sunday night,
or Wednesday night-since he was saved. He is truly "a new creature."
Just recently the aforementioned convert was dedicated
to be a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Hammond. He is one of our most
faithful and active members.
SHE WON SEVEN PEOPLE ONE HOUR AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED
God's people should witness at every opportunity.
Ezekiel 24:18 is a striking passage of Scripture that tells us that Ezekiel
obeyed God's commandment the next morning after the death of his wife.
One Sunday morning two very attractive ladies came to
visit our services. They were neatly dressed, but it was obvious that they
were not regular church-going people. They were very striking in their
apparel and attractive in their appearance. Each lady was perhaps near 25
years of age.
I met them at the front door and welcomed them to the
services. "Is Pastor Hyles here?” they asked.
"I am Pastor Hyles," I replied.
"Well, we have come to get religion," they said. (Oh,
brother! There are millions of people who already have religion but who are
in desperate need of Jesus Christ and the new birth.)
I asked them why they had this sudden urge for
religion. They replied that the night before they had been to a movie and
seen "A Man Called Peter," the story of the late Peter Marshall, who for a
number of years was Chaplain of the Senate. They said that this movie had
stirred them to realize their need of religion. Since I am not for Hollywood
movies or the usual "religion," I pursued the conversation even further.
They stayed for the message, and they got more than
religion. Both of them were born again that morning. The next Sunday each
lady brought her husband. Both of the men were very handsome and charming.
They, too, received Christ as personal Saviour and were born from above. All
four of the young adults made beautiful Christians and served the Lord
One day I received a call about noon that one of the
young men had been taken to the hospital. That morning on the job he had
taken a severe headache and lapsed into unconsciousness. I rushed to the
hospital and arrived just at the time of his death.
As I walked in and began to speak a few words of
comfort to the wife, she said through her tears, "Come in, Brother Hyles. I
want you to meet a friend whom I won to Jesus Christ just as my husband was
I could hardly believe my ears! To think that while
her husband was lying a corpse she could sweetly introduce me to a new
convert whom she had just led to the Saviour!
She assured me that God's grace was sufficient, and I
told her that I would meet her at her home an hour later to discuss plans
for the funeral service.
When I arrived at her house, she said, "Come, Pastor.
I want you to meet some new converts." Then she introduced me to six people
that she had won to Christ since I had talked to her an hour before in the
hospital. These were people who had come to give her consolation and had
Think of it! In approximately one hour following her
husband's death, she had won seven people to Jesus Christ. This lovely,
charming, and talented young lady had found something real and even better
than religion. She had realized that a Christian should seize upon every
opportunity to win others to Christ.
SEVEN PEOPLE WON BECAUSE THE PREACHER PAID THE BREAD
At the First Baptist Church we try to reach all
classes of people, but much of our time, effort, and money is spent in an
attempt to reach those for whom few really care. The work with the deaf, the
class for the Spanish-speaking people taught in the Spanish language, the
class for the retarded children, the work with the educable slow who are
teenagers and adults, the church-owned rescue mission, the many bus routes,
and other things are but expressions of our love for the often unwanted
ones. One of our works has to do with the poor and hungry.
One day while in one of my more unselfish moods (which
come far too seldom, I think), I took a ten-dollar bill, changed it into
smaller money, and went to a poor section of town to see what fun I could
have giving it away.
I saw about forty little children on a playground
watching the ice cream man go by. I called him back, and you should have
seen the faces of the little children as they were awarded their ice cream
bars. (Many of them still come to our Sunday school.)
While walking around the poor neighborhood, I noticed
a bread truck stopping in front of a house. The bread man got out, put two
loaves of bread in front of the door, and knocked. I watched him pick up the
bread and start back to the truck after finding no one at home. I stopped
him and inquired as to why he was not leaving the bread.
"These people don't pay their bills," he said.
"How much do they owe?" I asked.
"$1.67." I took some change from my pocket and paid
"Do you live here?" he asked.
"No," I replied.
"Are you a member of the family?"
Again the answer was, "No."
"Oh," he said, "just a good friend."
Again I replied in the negative.
With a puzzled look, he asked, "Do you even KNOW these
"No, I do not."
I will never forget the look on his face as he
scratched his head and said, "What are you, some kind of a nut?"
"Yes, I guess that is what you think I am," I replied,
"some kind of a nut."
About that time an old car drove up behind the bread
truck, and a very poorly-dressed lady got out and ran to the bread man. "How
much do I owe you?" she asked.
With the puzzled look still on his face, he replied,
"Nothing. This fellow just paid the bill for you."
"Who are you?" she asked.
"I am Brother Jack Hyles, Pastor of the First Baptist
Church in Hammond."
In just a few minutes I won seven people in the family
to Jesus Christ, and they all were baptized the next Sunday morning.
One of the greatest sins of the New Testament church
is that we have forgotten the down-and-out, the needy, the handicapped, the
lonely, and the unloved. There are many people in your neighborhood and mine
that could be reached if the church had a heart.
The family mentioned above is still faithful in their
attendance to a fundamental church.
SAVED ON HIS SON´S CASKET
It was a typical Sunday morning at the Miller Road
Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. At that time, the church was very small. A
lovely young lady walked in carrying a baby in her arms. At the end of the
message when the invitation was given, with the baby still in her arms she
walked the aisle, receiving Christ as her Saviour.
Two days later I went by to see her husband. He was in
the garage working on the lawn mower. I told him the way of salvation, and
he received Christ immediately.
A few days later the aforementioned lady's brother
moved in with them. Two of our men went by, and they led him to Jesus
Christ. Shortly afterwards, the brother was killed in a car accident. At his
funeral I told the story of the three conversions mentioned above.
At the end of the message, the deceased boy's father
stood to his feet and said, "Preacher, I would like to be saved." He then
stepped toward the aisle of the little funeral chapel, walked to the front,
threw himself over the body of his 25-year-old son, and received Christ as
Saviour. When this happened, others followed, and the sweet revival
atmosphere permeated the funeral home.
What happens to converts like these? The last I heard,
the man who was won in the garage became the Superintendent of the Sunday
school of a church in Colorado and then later at a church in Texas. The man
who was saved leaning over the form of his son? At last report he was
Chairman of the Board at a Methodist Church.
Whether in the altar of a church with a babe in arms,
in the living room of a home, in the garage repairing a lawn mower, or in a
funeral chapel, it pays to go soul winning.
WINNING THE “MEANEST MAN IN TOWN”
Sunday morning nothing happened. Sunday night nothing
happened. Monday night no one was saved. Tuesday night nothing happened.
I was preaching a revival meeting in a little country
town that was reputed to be literally filled with bootleggers. Discouraged,
I went to my room after several nights and resolved to pray all night if
needs be for revival to come. In the wee hours of the morning, God gave me
the answer: Since there were so many bootleggers here, why not try to win
the meanest man in town?
At breakfast the next morning I asked the pastor who
he thought was the meanest of the bootleggers-in other words. the meanest
man in town. He immediately gave me the name. (Let's call him Mr. J.D.) I
said, "Let's go see him."
"Not on your life," replied the pastor.
"Then I will go alone, but I wonder what he is going
to say when I tell him that you said he was the meanest man in town?"
"Let's go," said the pastor.
We drove up in front of the bootlegger's little shack,
which was just barely large enough for a bed. He was out in the front yard
cooking breakfast on a piece of iron over a homemade fire. He lived in a
typical hermit fashion with no kitchen and no table, just cooking out of
doors and roughing it. It was just about sunup when we got out of the car.
I walked up to him, stuck out my hand, and said, "Are
"Yes, I am," he replied gruffly.
With forced courage I said, "I understand you are the
meanest man in town."
He abruptly asked, "Who said that?" The pastor gulped.
(This is putting it mildly!)
"Never mind," I replied. "I just wanted to tell you
something. This is a wicked town, and when it goes to Hell, it will be on
your hands. If you got right with God, scores of others would too. Not only
will you face your own sins, but you will face the sins of the entire area.
I have come to tell you how to get right with God."
I proceeded to go down the "Roman Road" with him, and
to my delight, and yes, even surprise, he dropped to his knees beside the
improvised stove and received Christ as Saviour.
Word spread around the little town like a prairie fire
that J.D. had "gotten religion" and that he was going to "join the church"
that night. So they came from far and near to see if it could be true. Sure
enough, there was J.D. sitting right in the middle of the auditorium, all
dressed up in his Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. Many bootleggers were
there-some in the audience, some looking in, and some sitting in their cars
on the outside.
When the invitation came, old J. D. pulled down his
coattail, stepped out in the aisle, and, walking like the county sheriff,
made his profession of faith in Christ. Eleven others followed, and the
little town saw revival in the next few days,
There are no impossible cases! Again and again in the
Word of God we are reminded that no one is beyond the reach of God's love
AT THE WRONG HOUSE
I was visiting a Mrs. Turner on Indiana Street. Now,
Indiana Street is only one block from Truman Street. Since the words
"Turner" and "Truman" are a lot alike, I accidentally went to Truman Street
instead of Indiana Street. I came to the right number, however, knocked on
the door, and asked if Mrs. Turner were in.
"No," she said, "My name is McDowell."
I said, "This is Indiana Street, isn't it?"
She said, "No, this is Truman Street," and then I
realized that I had the right number but the wrong street.
I turned to walk away when suddenly the Holy Spirit
prompted me to witness to Mrs. McDowell. I told her my name and where I was
from, and immediately she went into near-hysteria. When she finally gained
control of her emotions, she said, "I can't believe it, for when you knocked
on the door, I was on my knees next to my sofa asking God to send a preacher
by to tell me how to be saved."
>From then on it was easy. I did tell her how to be
saved, and she did receive Christ. I thought I was on Indiana Street looking
for Mrs. Turner; the Holy Spirit led me to Truman Street to win a Mrs.
A similar experience took place a few years ago when,
as I was winning a little lady, she prayed, "Dear Lord, thank you for
answering my prayer of this morning that you would send a preacher by my
A few days ago I was in Texas and saw one of my
converts, a Mrs. Tillett, whom I won to Christ years ago after finding I had
the wrong house. I had knocked on the door and asked for a certain lady.
"She lives a few houses down," answered the lady at
"But are you a Christian?" I asked Mrs. Tillett. She
began to weep, and in a few moments I led her to Christ.
Shortly afterward her husband was saved, and a few
days ago we rejoiced with each other about this experience which took place
many years ago.
One of the ladies saved at the wrong house is still a
faithful attender of the services at the First Baptist Church of Hammond.
THE CEDAR PULPIT
When in my early twenties I was out soul winning one
day in a little East Texas town called Marshall, where I attended college
and where I pastored for three and a half years. I drove out on the Longview
Highway to visit a Mrs. Clark. There in a beautiful brick home I led her to
the Lord Jesus Christ.
As soon as she was saved, she began to beg me to go
across town and witness to her unsaved sister, Mrs. Hamilton. I promised her
that I would, and in a few moments I was on my way. Since Mrs. Clark lived
several miles west of Marshall and Mrs. Hamilton lived at the extreme east
end of Marshall, it took me about twenty-five minutes to make the drive.
When I arrived at Mrs. Hamilton's house, I knocked on
the door and she answered very quickly. I said, "My name is Jack Hyles. I
just won your sister to Christ, and she was very insistent that I drive over
and tell you how to be saved."
"Oh, yes," said Mrs. Hamilton. "I am already saved. My
sister couldn't wait until you got here. She called me on the phone and led
me to Jesus Christ"
The next Sunday both couples came forward during the
invitation and professed publicly their faith in Jesus Christ. Mr. Hamilton
made me a lovely cedar pulpit, and to this day the same pulpit is used in
that little country church.
Isn't it refreshing to find a new Christian winning
souls so soon?
THE FRIENDLESS RANCHER
He was a 72-year-old rancher with a beautiful diamond
ring, and obviously a man of great wealth. He sat down beside me, and I
struck up a conversation. "Where do you live?" I asked, as we traveled on a
TWA jet airliner.
He said, "On a ranch between Phoenix and Tucson."
I asked him about the size of the ranch, and he
informed me that there were hundreds of acres and many houses with scores of
workers. He was obviously a big-time operator.
"Do you and your wife live alone in your ranch house?"
"My wife died a few months ago," he said. This was my
Then I asked, "Do you ever think about having someone
come and live with you?"
"Oh," he said, "if I could find somebody who would
come and live with me, a friend to keep me company, I'd give anything in the
world." He had chauffeurs and servants, and he owned a big ranch with
hundreds of acres, but he was as lonely as he could be.
I said, "I know Somebody Who would come and live with
"You do? Does he live in Phoenix?"
I said, "He sure does. He lives everywhere."
He said, "Who is it?"
I proceeded to tell him about the Lord Jesus Christ
and how He indwells all who put their trust in Him. I told him that Jesus is
a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother," and that once a person
trusted Him, he would never be left or forsaken.
This wealthy old rancher began to tremble and weep,
and on the TWA jet airliner he bowed his head and unashamedly prayed the
"sinner's prayer." I then led him to assurance that Christ was with him and
in him. He believed and was happily converted.
As I got off the plane, he winked at me and gave me
the "high sign."
"We'll be seeing you," he said.
Yes, it was "we" then, for he would have Someone to go
home and live with him.
I PUMPED THEM TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
Occasionally I am asked to tell about the first soul I
ever won. The first people that I won I actually didn't win, but I was the
one responsible for their being saved.
The day after I got saved, I told James, one of my
playmates, that I was saved. I remembered that the preacher told me I now
had a mansion instead of a shack. (I didn't know what a mansion was, but I
lived in a shack, so I knew a mansion was better!) My friend startled me
when he asked, "What is a mansion?"
My first attempt at soul winning had been thwarted by
a limited vocabulary, but I was not to be denied. I asked him if I could
"pump" him to Sunday school on my bicycle the next Sunday and he agreed.
He lived a mile from the church. I got on my bicycle
the next Sunday morning, rode a mile to his house, and pumped him to church.
I then rode a mile back, got his brother, George, and pumped him to church.
Then I rode back, got his kid brother, and pumped him to church. Still I
wasn't satisfied! I went back again, got his big sister (Boy, was she fat!),
and pumped her to church. (First I pumped up the tires!)
I had ridden my bicycle a total of eight miles before
Sunday school. The preacher talked to each of the four, and they were saved.
The funny thing was that after they were saved I lost my burden to pump
them-they walked home!
It is strange that something like this should come
across my mind, but this simple story shows that real salvation brings with
it a desire to tell others. I could not win a soul to Christ because of a
lack of vocabulary, but I did have a bicycle and I could pump my friends to
someone who could tell them how to be saved.
I have won hundreds and thousands of souls since then,
but I doubt if any has given me more satisfaction.
"DEAR LORD, KILL THIS MAN"
Occasionally in soul winning the startling is
necessary. One day while visiting on the north side of Hammond, I was having
an especially good time winning souls. (In fact, I won twelve that day.)
Toward the end of the day my faith was increased, and I was greatly
encouraged when I came to a house where the man began to knock at
Christianity. He said he didn't have any time for that "junk" and that he
had no confidence in my religion.
Though I would not advise this for a regular practice,
I said, "Well, if I am a fake, then so is my religion. Let's find out. I am
going to bow my head and pray for God to kill you," whereupon I bowed my
head to pray and call his bluff.
As I began to pray for God to kill the man (I don't
know whether this is good theology or even good ethics, but I did it!), I
felt a tap on the elbow and heard him say, "Hey, reverend, don't pray that!"
I just kept on praying something like this:
"Dear God, help him to get saved now or kill him."
Again he tapped my elbow and said, "Reverend, I am
ready to get saved now!" This he did, and he had, I think, a wonderful
experience of salvation.
One of my assistants was out visiting recently and had
an urge to pray similarly. (Maybe he had been running with me too much!) His
faith was not quite as big as the faith of his boss, or perhaps he was more
sane than the boss; but he prayed for God to break a man's leg because the
man seemed to be antagonistic toward God.
A few days later the man called the church to tell my
assistant that there must be something to this Christianity after all
because he had broken an arm! Now he was ready to talk business.
Now I am not sure why it was an arm instead of a leg,
but I am sure there is something to this Christianity business. There is
something to this soul-winning business, too. Would to God we had some
Christians who would do it regularly!
THEY PRAYED FOR THE PEWS
Thank God for soul-winning laymen. Recently I was
reliving an experience that took place the night before the dedication of a
new building in a former pastorate. The new building was an auditorium, and
it was a large one. There were 208 new pews in a building 130 feet by 100
The midnight before Dedication Day I went into the new
building, bowed at the altar, and began to pray for God to bless the
services the next day. The lights were out, and the only light was supplied
from a shopping center across the street.
While kneeling at the altar I heard a noise in the
back of the building. I looked back and saw the silhouettes of two men.
Immediately I thought of burglars. There were so many nice new things in the
building that could be stolen. So I got on my hands and knees and crept back
to where they were. I could just see the headlines in the paper the next
morning: "Young Pastor Captures Two Escaped Convicts!" Stupid me, it never
dawned on me the headlines could have read, "Young Pastor killed by Two
Escaped Convicts." Nevertheless, here was my chance to be a hero.
Just before I was to leap on them and capture them
single-handed in a blaze of glory, I heard one of them speak, and I
recognized that the voice was the voice of one of my good men. They did not
yet know of my presence, so I continued to listen. I heard something more
beautiful to my ears than music.
These men were putting their hands on each pew in the
auditorium and praying for the power of God to rest upon each pew. One would
place his hands at one end and the other at the other end, and they would
say something like this: "Dear God, send Your power upon the people who sit
in this pew tomorrow and every Sunday; and though our church is getting big,
help it always to have the Spirit of Christ and the blessings of God. Thank
you, dear God, that our families were saved here, and may our church always
be as it is now."
They did not know it, but I listened while they prayed
over every one of those 208 pews. I chuckled, I cried, I laughed and had to
stifle shouting. When they had prayed over the last pew, I revealed to them
that I had been there all the time and had joined them in praying that God
would send His power.
The next day 2,550 people overflowed the auditorium
and 52 people were saved. Some of these were folks led to Christ by these
two men who quietly and humbly had given nearly all their night before
Dedication Day to praying for souls.
THE DEATH OF MY FATHER
People often ask me why I stress soul winning so much.
There are many reasons, but one of the main ones is wrapped up in the story
concerning the death of my father. On January 1, 1950, my father sat in my
service-about five or six rows back. He was a rough, tough man and used to
be an amateur wrestler. I was his preacher boy.
On December 31, 1949, I found my father in a tavern. I
walked inside that tavern and said, "Dad, you're going home with me this
weekend. You're going to Marshall, Texas, with me today and I'm going to
preach to you tomorrow on New Year's Day."
Dad looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and sort of
half drunk said, "I'm not going."
(He weighed 235 pounds, was over 6 feet tall, and was
every inch a man.) I said, "Dad, you weigh almost twice as much as I do, but
you are going with me. If I have to drag you bodily, you're going with me."
I took my dad to the car and on to Marshall, Texas. On
New Year's Eve night we had a Watch Night service, a blessed time. I said to
my father, "Dad, are you having a good time?"
He looked at me, smiled, and great big tears rolled
down his whiskered cheeks as he said, "Son, they don't have this much fun
where I stay."
I took him outside the building and said, "Dad, I'm so
happy! I want you to be one of my deacons. I want you to get saved."
Dad began to cry, "Son, I would love to be one of your
"Dad, would you receive Christ?"
He didn't receive Christ that night. The next morning
I preached to him. He actually dug his fingernails into the pew as he wept
and cried, but he didn't come. I closed the service and said, "He'll come
tonight! He'll come tonight!"
That afternoon we went out in the pasture near the
little country church. I put my arm around his big shoulders and said,
"Daddy, I've always wanted you to be a Christian. I'm a preacher, a pastor;
but, Dad, you drink, you curse, you are separated from Mother; our home is
broken. Wouldn't you receive Christ as your Saviour?"
My dad put his arm on my shoulder, looked me in the
eye and said, "Son, I'm going to do it! I'm going to do it! But I'm going to
do it in the spring or early summer. I'm going to Dallas to sell out and I'm
going to come to East Texas and buy a little fruitstand or grocery store and
go in business down here. I'm going to hear you preach every Sunday. I'm
going to receive Christ and let you baptize me."
That was January 1, 1950. I lived for the spring and
the summer. Every time I baptized anyone in that little country baptistry, I
pictured myself taking my big old dad and lowering him into the water and
raising him in newness of life. I looked forward to that day. I longed for
it. I lived for it.
On May 13 I preached a radio sermon at 9:00 a.m. Then
I went out to the little parsonage in the country and sat down to read the
DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The telephone rang. "Reverend Jack Hyles, please. Long
distance calling." I answered, and a man on the other end of the line said,
"This is Mr. Smith. Your dad just dropped dead with a heart attack on the
I put my head in my hands and said, "Dear God, it
isn't fair! It isn't fair! I've been trying to get folks right with God, and
now my own dad has died and as far as I know was unprepared."
I wept and prayed as I went to Dallas, Texas, and
followed the hearse down to the little cemetery in Italy, Texas, and watched
them put my dad's body in the grave. A few days later I went back and knelt
on the mound under which my daddy's body rested and said, "Dear Lord, You
help me and I'll preach every Sunday like my dad was in the crowd."
Now I never go to bed on Saturday night without taking
the only picture of my dad that I have, looking at it and saying, "Dear
Jesus, tomorrow when I preach, I want to preach like Dad was in the
I have tried to keep that promise. How important soul
winning is, and how important it is to make every service an evangelistic
HE PAID HIS OLD DEBTS
One afternoon it was my privilege to lead an elderly
barber to Jesus Christ. He soon walked the aisle and was baptized. With this
comparatively unspectacular beginning follows one of the most spectacular
stories in my ministry.
A few days later in a public service the quiet,
unemotional barber rose and asked if he could speak from the pulpit. Rarely
do I grant such a request, but I felt moved to do so on this occasion. He
said something like this:
"Last week I was saved. Since then I have been
traveling a great deal of the time. I first went to Brownwood, Texas, to a
hospital to pay a bill I have owed for over thirty years. My oldest son was
born in that hospital over thirty years ago. I had cheated them out of the
bill. Now I am a Christian, so I drove over 150 miles to pay that bill.
"I then sought to find the doctor who delivered my son
and to whom I had owed money for that delivery for these many years. I paid
"After settling up in Brownwood, I then drove to
Abilene, Texas, where I paid some more debts incurred at the birth of
"Ladies and gentlemen, I have driven most of the week.
For the first time in over a quarter of a century I am free of debt and my
conscience is clear. I am a Christian now and I plan to live as a Christian.
I am the happiest man in the world."
He then left the pulpit to join an electrified
audience. Most of the people knew him and many had patronized his barber
shop for years. Needless to say, it wasn't long until his wife was saved as
well as his 31-year-old son, the son's family, his teenage daughter, his
young married son, this son's wife, and many others.
Recently I learned of the death of this barber. My
mind wandered back to that public service when he announced he had made it
right with his neighbors because he had made it right with his God. He is
now with Christ because Jesus paid his debt, and he is receiving rewards
because he himself paid his honest debts.
Soul winning pays.
"YOU'RE MY BEST 'FRAN'"
Many little children are saved because of our bus
ministry. Some of our most blessed experiences have come through this labor
of love. At this time we have several of our "bus products" in Christian
It is not unusual for several of these little ones to
meet me after baptism and want my autograph. (One day I signed a little
fellow's Bible and found that it was the fifty-third time I had signed the
Not long ago I tied a little four-year-old boy's shoe.
As he walked away, he said, "Mama, did you see God tie my shoe?"
Often I'll get one child on one side of me and one on
the other side, put my hands behind their necks, and say, "When I say three,
you kiss this cheek and you kiss this cheek." Then I say, "One, two, three-"
I move back, and they smack each other!
One little girl came not long ago and she said, "Would
you sign my Bible?" I said, "Yes." She was about six or seven, she wore
tennis shoes, and her hair was straight. Nobody curled her hair on Saturday
night. Nobody polished her shoes. Nobody would greet her at home when she
returned and say, "Honey, did you learn anything in Sunday school?"
Her father was a drunkard; her mother was a
prostitute. But this little girl heard me say one time that I loved her. I
said, "I love you, honey." And every time she would pass me, she would say
to her friend, "He loves me. He said he did."
She called me, "Mr. Brother Hyles." She would say,
"Mr. Brother Hyles, you are my best friend." She would pronounce it "fran."
"You are my best fran." I would hug her and kiss her.
One morning she came and said, "Mr. Brother Hyles, you
are my best fran, and I am moving out of town."
I said, "Honey, I am sorry you are moving."
She said, "I said, you are my best fran, and I won't
be coming here any more."
I said, "Honey, I am going to miss you."
She said, "DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID? YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO SEE ME ANY MORE, AND YOU'RE MY BEST FRAN!"
I said, "Well, honey, I am so sorry, and I wish I
could see you, and I hate to see you move."
The little girl, poor little thing, put her hands on
her hips and looked up at me and said, "Well, ain't you gonna cry?"
And I said, "Yes, I am." And I did. We wept together
and I kissed her good-bye. She had no one to love her, no one to care for
There are thousands of little ones who are like those
our Lord spoke about when He invited the little children to come unto Him.
Let's go get them and tell them of the Saviour.
THE CORPSE WHO WON A SOUL
On a recent Sunday morning dozens of people flooded
the aisles of our church receiving Christ as Saviour, and many were
baptized. Most of them were won to Christ by our soul winners. During the
invitation a man came forward and related this story:
"I am an undertaker. This past week the body of a
twelve-year-old girl was brought into our funeral home. I was going through
my usual tasks of embalming the body and preparing it for burial when
suddenly the stark realization came before me that life is short.
"I looked at the body of the girl whom I was embalming
and fell under conviction. Immediately I dropped to my knees, cried for
mercy, and asked God to save my soul. I know I am saved. I know that if I
died today I would go to Heaven, and I came to First Baptist this morning to
make it public."
There are two things of interest about this story.
First, there is a girl whose body probably had won its only soul. There are
many people who will win more souls in death than in life, and no doubt many
lives have been taken for this purpose.
The second thought that came to my mind was a thought
of thanksgiving to God for the testimony of the First Baptist Church. When
the undertaker thought of making public his decision, he immediately thought
of First Baptist. This is because of our evangelistic emphasis. When a
church makes enough noise about soul winning, people associate soul winning
with the church.
Many folks came forward that Sunday, but none thrilled
me quite as much as this undertaker who was won to Christ by a corpse.
THE WINNING OF THE CITY COUNCILMAN AND HIS WIFE
It pays to be nice. When soul winning it always pays
not to reveal your identity early. When teaching soul winning, I suggest
that one make some positive impression in the mind of the sinner before
revealing his identity. This could be done by simply a "Good morning, how
are you?" or "What a lovely home you have!"
A vivid illustration of this occurred in a former
pastorate. I learned that a certain lady had started a campaign against me.
She was not a member of my church. In fact, she had never seen me, but she
had read some articles I had distributed in the local high school against
dancing. She decided that I was a disgrace to the community and should be
pressured into leaving, so she started a first-class campaign against me and
I heard that whoever she was, she was a very
influential person in town, so I went to the mayor, who was my personal
friend, and asked him if he had heard any rumors. He suggested that I go and
talk to a certain city councilman's wife, and he intimated that she was the
The next day it was snowing (in Texas!). I took my
Assistant Pastor and we went to see the city councilman's wife. Bear in
mind, she had never seen me. When she came to the door, I gave her a smile,
a friendly "Good afternoon," and told her how lovely her home was. She
invited us in, and I saw a twelve-year-old girl in the house. "Is this your
sister?" I asked.
Blushingly she said, "No, this is my oldest daughter."
"It couldn't be," I said. (Boy, was I pouring it on!)
"Yes," she said, "we married rather young."
"Well," I said, "she certainly doesn't look much
younger than you." (Boy, was she falling for it.)
About that time a cute little curly-headed girl came
toddling in. I picked her up, gave her some candy, bragged on her beauty,
and immediately won her friendship.
After about ten minutes of such behavior, I put my
hand out and said, "By the way, my name is Jack Hyles," and I prepared to
duck. I didn't need to duck, however. Her mouth flew open a foot (and that
is about how big it had been), and she said, "You are....Jack Hyles? Well, I
already know that most of the things I have heard about you are not true."
She apologized and invited me to come back to see her husband that evening.
This I did, and to top it off, I won her to Christ, I
won the city councilman, and I won the twelve-year old daughter to
Christ-and I had won the hearts of the entire family.
It pays to be courteous, it pays to be nice, and
sometimes it pays to be unknown.
AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL TEAM SAVED
When a person is saved, his life should be changed.
While preaching along this line recently I was reminded of a wonderful
Many years ago I was preaching a revival in a small
Louisiana town in a very small church. One night the young lady who had the
lead in a senior play in a nearby high school was converted. The next night
she brought her boy friend, Dwayne, with her to the service. Dwayne was the
quarterback on the state championship football team, and the first night he
came, he too was saved.
The following night he brought the entire football
squad with him. They sat on the front rows of the church. To my delight (and
quite frankly, surprise) the entire squad came forward during the invitation
and received Christ as Saviour. You never saw so many big husky fellows in
the altar in your life as we had that night.
After the service Dwayne and the football squad went
to a restaurant to eat. Of course, everyone knew that they were members of
the state championship football team. When the food was served, the big
burly fellows started to eat when suddenly Dwayne stood up in the busy
restaurant and said, "Wait, fellows! We are not heathen any more. We're
Christians! Christians pray before they eat."
All the fellows gulped down the food that they had in
their mouths at the time and bowed their heads. Then Dwayne shouted again,
"Fellows, this ain't no way to pray. Christians are supposed to get on their
knees to pray."
The entire football squad got out of their chairs and
down on their knees beside the tables. The other customers watched them
thank God for the food, and knowing Dwayne, I am sure the prayer was a
Within twenty-four hours the entire town knew that the
football team had been saved. How long did it take the entire town to find
out that you got saved? Do they know it yet?
SHE WAS A HE
I was sitting in a California coffee shop one morning
eating breakfast. (I'm not really a breakfast eater.) I think I was drinking
some juice and I did get some scrambled eggs that morning. I looked over the
booth behind me and there was a lady, or so I thought. I could only see the
back of the person. I threw my coat over the back of the seat and
accidentally hit the person behind me. I said, "I'm sorry, ma'am." Then "he"
turned around and "he" wasn't a woman! "It" was a "he." So I said, "Please
forgive me. I didn't mean to embarrass you. I didn't mean to be unkind. When
I saw you from the back I really thought you were a lady."
He said, "That's all right." He was very nice about
So I said, "My name is Jack Hyles and I'm from
Hammond, Indiana." He told me his name and said he lived in that city. He
must have been around twenty years of age. I said, "Look, I'm eating alone;
you're eating alone. Why don't you join me?" He hadn't gotten his order yet
so he came around and we had breakfast together.
We were chatting, and I told him, "I'm Pastor of the
First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana."
He said, "You don't like long hair on a man, do you?"
"That isn't the issue," I replied. "The issue is that
we both have to die. We both have to face God. We both have to spend
eternity either in Heaven or Hell. Do you know that if you died today, sir,
you'd go to Heaven?"
"Why no, I don't know that."
There in the booth in the coffee shop I led this
long-haired person to Jesus Christ. He had a wonderful experience and wept
as he trusted Christ. I then paid for his meal and mine, left a tip, and
went my way.
That isn't all the story. I went to my room, got
ready, heard someone else preach, and then I preached. I then had lunch and
went back to my room to work. I improvised a desk on a chair and was
dictating some letters when suddenly I heard somebody knock on the door. I
answered the door and there was a nice-looking gentleman who said, "I wanted
to come back and tell you what I did."
"What did you do and who are you?" I asked.
Surprised, he asked, "You don't know who I am?"
"I'm sorry, I don't."
"Why, we had breakfast together this morning!'"
I couldn't believe it! He was the proudest thing you
ever saw in your life. He was smiling like he just discovered a gold mine.
He said, "I thought you'd be glad to see me." He'd been to the barber shop
and gotten a haircut. He didn't know I stayed in the motel but here's what
he'd done: He came back to the motel where the coffee shop was, went to the
desk, and asked, "Do you have any reverends staying here?" One lady said, "I
think we have two here," and he said, "Give me their room numbers. I'd like
to talk to them." He finally argued her out of the room numbers and came to
show me he had gotten his hair cut.
That doesn't mean that the man wouldn't have been
saved if he hadn't gotten a haircut. It just means that in this particular
case, getting saved gave him better sense, too!
PREACHING ON A BOX IN A GARAGE
One Saturday I was soul winning with one of my
daughters. We went to a house on the north side of Hammond only to find that
no one answered the door. Suddenly we heard some noises in the garage behind
the house. Upon opening the door to the garage we found about a dozen men
having a drinking party as they worked on a couple of cars.
I witnessed to the man of the house and received in
reply only jeers and heckling from the entire group. Again I tried to
witness courteously; again my voice was drowned by heckling and jeering.
Suddenly I felt impressed of the Holy Spirit to
preach. I jumped up on a box in the corner of the garage, opened my Bible,
and shouted, "LISTEN TO ME!" Listen they did. You never saw such a sober
drunk crowd in your life. I proceeded to preach a sermon on the sins of
My little daughter hovered in the corner and was
afraid (So was I!), but I was caught out of myself. They stood silently and
stunned as I delivered my message. When I finished I abruptly came down,
took my daughter, got into the car, and drove off.
The next morning as I walked into my pulpit to preach
I saw in the center of the front row of the balcony the man who had hosted
the drinking party. When invitation time came he was the first one to come
down the stairs and down the aisle. When I took his hand, he said, "I am the
man who lives in the house where you preached yesterday. When you finished
your sermon, I said to myself, 'You better get right with God.' Now I want
to be saved."
Within a few weeks over a dozen people in that man's
family and inner circle of friends had been saved, all because of a sermon
on liquor preached on a box in a corner of a garage. All this was made
possible because a preacher and his little daughter went soul winning
"I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME"
Our church is located in the downtown district of
Hammond. Thousands of transient people walk by the doors of our buildings.
One Sunday night during the song service I looked back and saw a man in rags
with his nose pressed against our plate-glass doors looking longingly into
our beautiful auditorium. One of our fine men went back and invited him in.
He was amazed that he was welcome in such a lovely place.
Timidly he had a seat on one of the back rows. He
listened intently as I presented the claims of Christ, and during the
invitation he came forward to receive Christ as His personal Saviour.
After I had baptized, I went to my office to fill some
appointments and do some counselling and then started home. For some strange
reason I felt compelled to go back to the auditorium. This I did, only to
find the old ragged man sitting on about the fourth row from the front. He
was alone. He had a songbook and was singing.
I approached him and told him that no one was left in
the building but the custodian and me and that he must leave so we could
turn out the lights and lock the doors. The old man began to tremble and
tears flooded from his eyes as he said about these words: "Reverend, I don't
want to leave. Don't make me go! Don't make me go! Don't make me go! Please,
reverend, let me stay."
Then he raised a trembling finger and pointed toward
the darkness of the night through the back doors and said, "Reverend, out
there I found nothing but heartbreak, emptiness, and misery. In here I found
love, happiness, and joy. Please, Reverend, don't make me go. Don't make me
go! Don't make me go!"
Then I thought of the rescue mission that our church
owns and operates. I told him that he could stay there for awhile. As the
old man walked out in the darkness of the night, I wondered how many
millions of others are in that darkness, uncared for and unloved. Oh, that
the churches might reach them with the Gospel.
This reminds me of an event that took place not long
ago in Hammond. I went by the hospital one morning to visit one of our men
who was having surgery that day. I talked with him briefly and prayed for
him. I needed to rush to the office to conduct my morning broadcast.
As I walked briskly from the hospital room, I heard a
quivering voice say, "Reverend, Reverend, O Reverend!" I turned and saw an
old man in the bed beside my member. He was crying. He put both of his hands
around mine and said, "Reverend, please pray that prayer for me. That same
prayer you prayed for him, would you pray it for me?"
As best I could, I prayed the same prayer that I had
prayed for my member. Then the old man, weeping and trembling, said, "Thank
you, Reverend. I am over eighty years of age, as far as I know, you are the
first person who ever prayed for me." He was easy to win to Christ.
O dear reader, there are millions for whom no one
cares and whom no one loves! May we reach them with the Gospel of Christ and
show them God's love for sinners.
A CHEMICAL ENGINEER SAVED ON AN AIRPLANE
A few years ago I was flying to Denver, Colorado. A
very fine-looking, middle-aged businessman was sitting next to me. Soon I
initiated a conversation. After a brief chat I inquired as to his business.
He said, "I am a chemical engineer," and then he asked me if I knew anything
about chemistry. I replied that I knew a little. (I know that H20 is water
and that I had dropped chemistry in college for the safety of the building
and the tranquility of the faculty. Since that is a little, I told him that
I knew a little about chemistry!)
He then asked what I thought about a new formula. I
told him that I felt that since the formula was new, we should not make a
hasty decision concerning it. He was very impressed with that statement and
told me that he felt the same way. He said it was refreshing to find a
layman who knew something about chemistry.
He then called off another formula even more
complicated than the first and asked my opinion about that one. I replied
that there were probably some good things about that formula but there might
be some bad things also and that probably we should be for the good and
against the bad. Still not realizing my ignorance, he complimented me again
because of the good grasp I seemed to have on chemistry.
Now that I had succeeded in making my ignorance sound
like knowledge, he then asked me concerning my business. Suddenly I found
myself telling him that I was an ambassador. This really startled him. He
sat up in his seat and said, "Sir, I did not realize that I was in such
important company. Do you mean that your citizenship is in a foreign
Chuckling under my breath, I answered affirmatively.
(Philippians 3:20-"For our conversation (citizenship)is in Heaven; from
whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. ")
Then he asked, "Do you really represent a king in
Nothing could be closer to the truth than that, so I
said, "Yes, I do."
Once again he sat up in his seat, startled and
impressed. "With your accent," he said, "I am surprised."
Then I assured him that I had been in this country
representing the King for many years and had picked up many of the
characteristics of this country (far too many, I was afraid).
Then he asked the question: "Who is the king and what
is the country?"
I said happily, "The country is Heaven and the King is
Jesus," and in a few minutes he, too, was an ambassador from my Country with
faith in my King.
A report came to me several weeks after this
experience that this chemical engineer had joined a Baptist church in the
state of Michigan.
I WON HIM UP A TREE
Recently I was out soul winning. I knocked on a door
of a certain house and no one answered. Someone shouted in a male voice,
"I'm up here.'" I looked around and couldn't see anyone.
"Up here," he shouted.
I looked up and sure enough the man of the house was
up a tree. He had some kind of shears pruning the limbs of the tree and was
out on a limb. I told him who I was and he said he would come down.
"Never mind," I replied, "I will come up where you
are." So, the best I could, I climbed the tree, crawled out on a limb beside
the one he was on, and began to talk with him. I finally asked him if he
knew when he died he would go to Heaven. He said he didn't and I asked him
if he would like to know. He said he would. I began to read the Scripture to
him and suddenly I thought of Zacchaeus. I asked him if he ever heard of a
fellow in the Bible who was saved up a tree. He said, "No," so I turned to
Luke 19 and told him how Zacchaeus was saved up in the sycamore tree. He
thought that was the funniest thing. I explained to him that as God saved
Zacchaeus while he was up a tree, God would save him though he was out on a
limb. I told him the plan of salvation, and we bowed our heads (I did not
shut my eyes) as he prayed the sinner's prayer.
I thought, I have won folks to Christ in every
conceivable place; on airplanes, in bus stations, in airports, in grocery
stores, in drug stores, in barber shops, in shine parlors, in motel lobbies,
but never had I won someone to Christ up a tree. Why not go "out on a limb"
and go soul winning!
“WHAT´S A BLOODY MARY?”
One day I was sitting on a plane when the stewardess
came by and said, "Would you like to have a Bloody Mary?"
I'll be honest with you. I never heard of a "Bloody
Mary" and I didn't have any idea what it was. I didn't know it was a drink
so when she asked, "Would you like to have a Bloody Mary?" I looked up,
grinned, and said, "I didn't even know she was hurt."
The stewardess looked at me, grinned a bit, and said,
"Are you kidding me?"
“No, I don't know what a ‘Bloody Mary´ is.”
She told me it was some kind of drink. I'm still not
sure what it is, but anyway she came by a little later and kidded me about
it and I kidded her. When she brought the drinks up to the area where I was
sitting, she had some kind of whiskey in a glass. Would you believe it? She
tipped over the whiskey glass and poured it on my lap! There I sat with
whiskey on my trousers. She said, "Oh! Of all the people on the plane you're
the last one I would have wanted to spill whiskey on."
I replied, "At least we agree on one thing: I'm the
last one I'd want you to spill whiskey on." We both laughed.
"You're a nice fellow not to complain about that," she
I explained, "Well, I'm not a nice fellow in my heart,
but I'm trying to act nice on the outside."
As I left the plane an hour or two later, the
stewardess stood in door of the plane telling everybody good-bye and I told
She said, "Could I say something to you?"
"You're the nicest fellow I ever waited on."
So I said, "Say, I could do something a lot nicer than
that for you."
"I could tell you the best news you ever heard in your
"What news is that?"
"Could I stand here on the side until all the other
passengers get out? Then I'll tell you some good news."
She said, "Sure." I waited there in the door of the
airplane, and then I took my Testament and told her about the Lord Jesus
Christ. She bowed her head, prayed the sinner's prayer, and said she was
receiving Jesus Christ.
THEIR CHILDREN ATTENDED THEIR WEDDING
One Saturday in a little country church outside of
Marshall, Texas, I was cleaning the baptistry. (Yes, I did most everything.
I turned the lights on, turned the lights off, turned the fire on, turned
the fire off, cooked the bread for the Lord's Supper, filled up the glasses,
and then cleaned up the mess.) This particular day I was cleaning the
baptistry so I could fill it. We didn't have any running water or modern
facilities, so I had to get a long water hose, hook it up to a hydrant that
was quite a distance from the church, and run it many feet up into the
baptistry. Yes, it was all cold water; there was no hot water at all!
I had the baptistry almost cleaned when someone came
in the back door of the church building.
"Is the Reverend here?"
I said, "I am the Reverend." I had on tennis shoes, an
old pair of trousers, and a T-shirt!
He said, "Well, you're mighty young."
"Yes." (I think I was 22 at the time.)
"We want to get married."
I said, "Well, I don't marry people on the spur of the
moment like this and besides, look at me, I'm a sight! When do you want to
"Now," he said.
"No, I couldn't marry you now, not at all. I don't
believe in that."
"Pastor, would you like to meet our children."
I said, "Your what?"
"Our children." There were six children with the
"What do you mean?" I asked.
The man said, "We were married to each other and had
six children but we weren't saved. We separated and divorced. Both of us got
saved and now we want to get married again."
Well, who would turn down that! I put my broom down,
stuck my old dirty rag in my back pocket, and with a T-shirt, an old pair of
trousers, and a pair of tennis shoes on I said, "Dearly beloved, we are
gathered in the sight of God and these assembled witnesses to unite this man
and this woman in holy matrimony..." The angels in Heaven bent low and
turned their attention from the big cathedrals of the world to a little
country Baptist Church.
After the wedding, I led several of the children to
HER HUSBAND CAME IN
I was out soul winning one day and knocked on a door about 4:00 in the afternoon. A very lovely, kind lady answered the door. I walked in. Normally I wouldn't have gone in, but the weather was not quite what it should have been, so I went in, sat down right inside the door, and left the screen door open. I told her about the Saviour and we chatted for awhile about Christ. It wasn't long until tears began to come, conviction began to settle, and I could tell she was ready to be saved. I got on my knees to pray but she didn't, so I was kneeling right in front of her. After she received Christ, I said, "If you really meant that, would you place your hand in mine, please." She placed her hand in mine. It never dawned on me how this looked! I was on my knees, holding her hand, looking up into her face, just like a proposal. Would you like to guess who walked in? You guessed it! Her husband entered the room! How would you feel if you were on your knees, looking up into a lady's face, and she was sitting on a chair
They became members of our church and served the Lord
THE CUSTODIAN IS A SOUL WINNER TOO
Recently we had a wedding at our church. At 4:00 two
of our fine young people were married in our chapel. Some of the guests
arrived early, and one of the families asked to see the auditorium. Our
custodian unlocked the doors and showed them the auditorium. As he did so he
asked the man, "Sir, if you died today, do you know for sure that you would
go to Heaven?"
The man who had come for the wedding said, "No, I'm
not sure that if I died today I would go to Heaven."
The custodian asked "Do you have a few minutes?
There's still time before the wedding. Let me show you." So in the
auditorium our custodian led a man to Jesus Christ. Isn't that a wonderful
Then I got to thinking of two rather humorous
experiences. I was pastoring in Garland, Texas, and we had two custodians.
We were having a soul-winning campaign trying to win everybody we could to
Christ. One day one of the custodians came running to my study saying, "Hey
Preacher, come quickly."
"What in the world is it?" I asked.
"We've got a man on his knees but we can't bring him
in." I went over to our auditorium. There in front of the auditorium in the
flower bed between two bushes was a man on his knees. He was a well-dressed
salesman who sold custodial supplies. The custodians had witnessed to him
and asked him to pray, but they couldn't win him. He was on his knees,
however, so the men said, "Hold it! Wait a minute, and we'll go get the
Preacher." I then won him to Christ there because of two faithful
One of the sweetest, most humorous experiences took
place in a city out West several years ago. I arrived at the church about 45
minutes early for a service one morning. Nobody was there but the custodian.
He hadn't met me yet so I walked in and told him my name, but he didn't hear
it very well. We chatted for awhile. Finally he said to me,
"Mister, could I ask you a question?"
I said, "Sure."
He said, "Do you know, if you died today, you'd go to
Heaven?" (Of course, that sounded word-for-word like my soul-winning book.)
I said, "Well, I think so."
He said, "Mister, would you like to know so?"
I said, "Well, sure, who wouldn't?" So he started
telling me how to be saved. I let him because I wanted to see how he would
do it. He used my little Roman Road plan right down the line and told me how
to be saved.
I said, "You know, I think I've done that."
When?" he said.
"Oh, years before I started preaching."
"What did you say your name was?"
"Jack Hyles." I thought for a moment I had a heart
patient. Then I put my arm around his shoulders and said, "You stay with it!
Custodians can win folks to Christ, too."
Those three experiences reminded me of blessed men who
have been custodians for me through the years, men who have a heart for
souls, men who have a burden for the unsaved. Maybe today your job is not
that of being the preacher, the choir director, or a deacon. Maybe you hold
an office that would not be considered one of the big jobs in the church,
but you can make your job big if you'll do the biggest job in the
world-winning folks to Jesus Christ.
HE HAD STUDIED FOR THE PRIESTHOOD
One Sunday night after I had preached, baptized, and
returned to my study, I found a young man waiting to talk to me. He was
obviously a young man of culture and refinement. This was his story:
He had been to seminary to study for the priesthood.
Questions began to arise as to why they did not teach more Bible in the
seminary, and the professors were unable to answer these questions to his
satisfaction. These and other things led to his resignation and withdrawal
He then became a doubter and a "religious drifter."
The following is what he said:
"I have no emotion and no feeling about God or
"I spent three years in the service and saw men die by
my side. My thoughts were, 'That's their tough luck and my good luck. Glad
it wasn't me.'
"I had no emotion over anything.
"In January I was invited to the First Baptist Church.
I did not like your preaching at first; however, I did feel that you were
sincere, and I returned. Again and again I returned. I became more and more
interested in what you were saying. You seemed sincere and honest.
"This morning as you were preaching on Thomas, the
doubter, you spoke of the fact that Jesus loved Thomas and that He loved
also the doubter sitting in the audience. I knew immediately God gave you
these words for me. I was that doubter.
"For the first time in years I found a lump in my
throat, and my eyes filled with tears. If what you have is real, I want it."
In a few moments I told him the same old story that I
have told from coast to coast and around the world. We bowed and prayed, and
he received Christ as his Saviour.
It was a real thrill for me to tell him after he was
saved that he had finally become a priest. He had studied for the priesthood
but found an acceptance to Christ makes one a priest immediately.
The next Sunday night he was in the service again. The
interesting thing is, that night another man came forward who had also
studied for the priesthood in a Catholic seminary.
This young man is now married and regularly attends
the services of the First Baptist Church of Hammond.
TOO TIRED TO SHOUT
One day I went soul winning with Bob Keyes, who was
then my Assistant Pastor. Bob was an excellent soul winner and still is. I
was doing the talking and the lady had a little baby who was misbehaving.
About the time the lady was ready to get down to pray, the little boy said,
"I want my bottle."
Mama stuck the bottle in his mouth.
"I don't want my bottle."
She took it out.
"I wanna bottle."
She stuck it in.
"I don't want my bottle."
Then I prayed silently, "Lord, do something about this
little rascal or he is going to mess up the whole thing." Do you know, he
stopped and looked spellbound, as if he were in a trance. I said to myself,
"Well, glory to God!" For about fifteen minutes that little baby didn't
move. He didn't move his eyes; he just looked. The lady got converted.
When we left, I said to Bob Keyes, "Bob, praise the
He said, "Amen, but why?"
"Did you see what God did to that baby?"
He said, "What?"
I said, "All of a sudden, at the crucial time, that
Bob said, "Well, I'm sure that the Lord had something
to do with it, but I may have helped a little, because I had a ball point
pen behind the coffee table going up and down, up and down, up and down.
Preacher, I did that for fifteen minutes, and I'm worn out! I'M TOO TIRED TO
UNORTHODOX WAYS OF WINNING SOULS
The usual way to do soul winning is to knock on a
door, introduce one's self courteously, and pleasantly present the plan of
salvation. Sometimes, however, God saves people through the use of unusual
and unorthodox methods, and oftentimes He even uses what we would call the
While pastoring in Garland, Texas, I had a group of
men who went to the lobby of a fashionable downtown hotel one Christmas Eve
night. They tried to witness, but no one would listen; so they all stood up
in the lobby and started singing Gospel songs. (Not a one of them could
carry a tune in a sack.)
A crowd gathered to hear, and as soon as enough people
had stopped, the "singers" each took a person and began witnessing to him.
When they lost their crowd, they would sing again. Again and again they
repeated this procedure.
When I heard about it, I chuckled under my breath. Was
I ever surprised and convicted a few days later when I received a letter
from a successful businessman. He had written the following:
"I am a businessman. I had to make a trip to Dallas,
Texas, over the Christmas holidays. I begrudged having to make the trip. You
can imagine how lonely I was on Christmas Eve having to be away from my
"I went to the lobby of my hotel just to be with
someone when I saw a motley crowd of fellows singing Gospel songs in the
lobby. I was amused but felt drawn to them. Suddenly one of them had a Bible
open, showing me the way of salvation. Though I could hardly realize what I
was doing, I did receive Christ then and there as my Saviour. It became the
greatest Christmas ever..."
On another occasion one of our soul winners was
driving by a new shopping center. Many lines were forming where chances for
prizes were being given to each person. The prizes were to be awarded at a
Suddenly my soul winner grabbed a handful of tracts,
took a place next to one of the lines, and started passing out the tracts.
The people, thinking that this was another chance game, formed a line and
began waiting to get the tracts. The line grew. Someone hollered from the
rear of the line, "What's this a chance for?"
The soul winner, who was passing out tracts as fast as
he could, shouted back, "This ain't no chance. This is a sure thing! This is
"What are you giving away?" The inquirer asked.
"A free home," was the soul winner's answer.
Folks started leaving other lines for this one. They
did not know it, but they were receiving an opportunity for a free home in
Then there was the fellow who promised the Lord he
would talk to every person he saw walking as he drove home from work. He
stopped and talked to every pedestrian, and he won hundreds this way.
Then there was the fellow in Hammond who would take a
couple of hours each Saturday to drive up and down the highway picking up
hitchhikers so he could witness to them.
A member of my church in a former pastorate was won to
Christ by a little boy in San Antonio, Texas. My member was a truck driver.
Once when he parked his truck in a public place in San Antonio, a little boy
ran up to him and said, "Hi, Mister! Are you saved?"
"Naw," replied the unimpressed truck driver.
"You'd better hurry," said the little boy. "Jesus is
coming real soon, and you are going to Hell!"
That did it. The truck driver got saved.
Then there was the little girl who was playing church
one day. She was the preacher; her dog and cat and little brother formed the
audience. She "preached" the Gospel to them, and during the invitation time
she fell under conviction and was saved.
She is now a grown woman but still points to that play
church as the time of her salvation.
HE MADE THE BAPTISTRY
In a former pastorate we were busily engaged in a
building program. There was some problem about the installation of the
baptistry, so one day I walked over and talked with the men who were doing
the work, and we discussed the problems involved.
One of the fellows (the main one) asked me what it was
they were installing and for what it was to be used. I explained to him the
meaning of baptism and found him to be very interested. I then took time to
remind him of the question the eunuch asked Philip: "See, here is water;
what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36) I reminded him of Philip's
answer: "'If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." (Acts 8:37).
In other words, I told him that one had to be saved
before he could be baptized. I proceeded to tell him the plan of salvation,
and to my delight he expressed a desire to be saved.
He knelt in the uncompleted baptistry and there
received Christ as Saviour. The strange thing was, however, that he refused
to get baptized after he got saved though he did seem to be sincere in his
Weeks passed. The Dedication Day came for the new
building. To my surprise, down the aisle came the man who installed the
baptistry. He was now ready to profess his faith in Christ as Saviour and
requested that he be the first person to be baptized in the baptistry he had
It was a wonderful thrill for the people as they
watched the first convert being baptized in the new baptistry and found him
to be the man who installed the baptistry.
ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED
When our daughter, Becky, was ill for several months I
got to thinking about doctors whom I have seen saved.
In a revival meeting in East Texas one time a leading
doctor in the town was converted.
Then in Garland, Texas, where I pastored for nearly
seven years, we had a medical doctor come forward to receive Christ. The
interesting thing is that we had a chiropractor deacon, and it was he who
was called on to do personal work with the medical doctor. I found myself
chuckling during the invitation as I realized that a chiropractor was
leading an M.D. to Christ. (Boy, that is the wolf and the lamb lying down
together, isn't it?)
Then one day here in Hammond a medical doctor came to
be saved. He knelt beside the pulpit to receive Christ, and as he did, a
skid-row drunk knelt on the other side. I chuckled as I praised the Lord,
for the altar is one place where the ground is level.
This doctor had a little daughter who literally fell
in love with our church. Soon the family moved to Champaign, Illinois, and
they tried to find a satisfactory church. The parents seemed fully
satisfied, but the little girl could not be happy.
Now in those days our deacons sat on the front rows in
our church, and the little girl was very impressed by this. The parents
asked her why she was not pleased with the church in their new town. She
replied that she liked First Baptist Church, Hammond, better because the
pastor stood behind the pulpit and the "demons" sat on the front row!
Thank God that at First Baptist we have no "demons"-it
is a godly Board of Deacons.
Whether one is a doctor or a fallen man on skid row,
the need is the Gospel.
ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED
A number of years ago I went out one night to attempt
to win some people to Christ. My partner that night was unable to go, and I
was tempted not to go, but I went out alone. I went to a certain house,
knocked on the door, and a fellow came to the door. He had several children,
and as I recall, he had one little boy who had a birthmark near his eye. I
told him about Christ and we knelt to pray. While he was praying he really
got happy! He began to shout and praise the Lord and jump up and down.
"Glory to God," he said. He ran out on the porch and clapped his hands. He
picked his wife up and hugged her. He hugged and kissed the children and
cried and praised the Lord.
It looked like an old-fashioned Methodist camp
meeting. What a wonderful time we had! "Boy," l said, "that fellow really
has a dose of old-fashioned Christianity."
I drove across town to another address. I looked at
the prospect card and decided to make the visit. I walked in and the fellow
did not ask me to have a seat. I stood up and leaned against the door. I
asked him if he wanted to be saved. He was very stern and abrupt in his
answer, but he said, "Yes."
I asked him if I could tell him how to be saved.
He said, "Yes."
Finally I sat down, but he never did. He continued to
stand, leaning against the door. Not a kind word did he say. He continued to
be very abrupt in his answers. I talked to him a while longer and finally I
said, "Can I pray?"
He said, "Yeah, you can," but still he was very cool.
So I prayed and then I said, "Now you pray." You never
heard a colder prayer in your life. (If I had been God, I wouldn't have
listened to it!) Then I said, "Listen, did you mean that prayer?"
He looked at me and said, "Yeah, I did." He had not a
tear, not an emotion, not even a kindness, a smile, or a grin-no courtesy at
all. I kept prodding and trying to fund out if he really meant it. I said,
"Were you saved?" Without emotion he told me he was.
I left saying, "Well, at least I got one tonight. That
first fellow surely got saved. He was really happy. I'm glad I got to win
him, but that last fellow-I wouldn't give a nickel for his salvation."
The first fellow came to church and got baptized. In
less than two weeks he got mad, quit, and never came back. He took his
children out, and as far as I know, never went to church anymore.
The fellow who was abrupt was baptized soon and
started winning souls to Christ. He became a deacon, and the last report I
heard he was Chairman of the deacons in that church. I do not know how many
people that man won to Christ. He and his partner would go out every week
and win many to Jesus Christ.
I remember one time he was out soul winning. He won a
soul to Christ, and afterwards asked the person, "Do you have any questions
"Yes, I have one question."
"Well, what is it? Just ask me anything."
"Can I ask anything?"
"Yes, you can."
"Why is it you have one brown shoe and one black shoe
on?" The soul winner had dressed in the dark and had put on one brown shoe
and one black shoe! What a soul winner! What a Christian!
Recently while I was preaching in Texas, he came to
hear me. He was still on the battlefield for God, still busy for Christ. You
see, it pays just to keep going, for you never know which one will be the
one that is going to be saved.
A LIVING ROOM REVIVAL
Not long ago one of my deacons joined me for an
afternoon of soul-winning visitation. We had an exceptionally good
afternoon, and as I recall, we won six or seven people to Jesus Christ. It
was one of those days when sincerity seemed to be on the face of every
During the process of the afternoon, we went to visit
my mother's next-door neighbor. There was a warm and friendly reception.
Shortly after I arrived in the home, the wife and teenage daughter excused
themselves, leaving only the husband, my soul-winning partner, and me in the
room. I did not know until later that the wife and daughter had gone to the
back bedroom to pray that God would save the husband.
In about thirty minutes this man in his forties was
sweetly converted. I asked him to go back and tell his wife, and it was then
that we found the wife and daughter were praying for his salvation. He told
his wife he had just been saved, and then Heaven came down. There was
hugging, crying, laughing, loving, rejoicing, and almost shouting, all at
the same time.
The next Sunday morning he walked the aisle in the
First Baptist Church of Hammond and was baptized. A few days later I went by
to see how he was doing. His wife said that he had been such a good husband
through the years that she wondered how salvation could change him. This was
answered, however, when she found him up early one morning. She went to the
living room and saw him on his knees in private devotion and prayer.
Recently upon returning home from preaching in
Indianapolis, Indiana, I called the office to talk to my secretary about
some business. She informed me that the day before I arrived home the
aforementioned man had suffered a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital,
and soon passed away. Today he is in Heaven; yesterday he was on earth.
Today he is with Christ; yesterday he prepared to be with Christ today.
Hence, he has joined the hundreds of others that I have sent to Heaven.
"WE ‘BUSTED´ EVERY BOTTLE OF THAT CASE OF BEER"
These words were spoken at two o'clock early one
Sunday morning. The Hyles household was fast asleep. The phone rang, and as
usual, we did not know quite what to do. I woke up with a start, and all I
knew was that I heard a bell ringing. I pushed in the alarm button and
eliminated one possibility. By that time, I realized that it was not the
"ding-dong" of the door bell. By process of elimination I deducted it must
be the telephone. I jumped up and answered it, and the aforementioned words
were the ones that greeted my ears.
"You got to me in that funeral yesterday afternoon,"
he said. "You got to all of us."
The day before I had conducted funeral services for a
little three-month-old baby. As I spoke, I saw the parents with their seven
remaining children weeping before me. A handful of friends and relatives had
gathered in the small chapel as I reminded them of the grace of God and of
the blessed truth that they could see the baby again if they made
preparation. I witnessed to a few of them, and two or three indicated that
they were receiving Christ as Saviour.
They had planned a meal after the funeral for their
family and friends. Prior to the funeral they had purchased a case of beer
for refreshment, but they then made their decision for Christ. So they
opened the case of beer, broke every bottle, and had the young man to call
me at two o'clock in the morning to tell me of the decision.
Then in the Sunday morning service when the invitation
was given, twelve people walked the aisle professing faith in Christ as a
result of the funeral service, and each of them in his own words said about
what the man said on the phone: "You got to me in the funeral."
What a wonderful story-and yet how tragic it is that a
little three-month-old baby by her death has won more souls to Christ than
millions of Christians have won by their lives.
A LAWYER GOT SAVED
A few years ago a leading attorney from our area
started visiting our services with his family. In a few weeks his family
transferred their membership to our church. The attorney, who also serves on
the staff of the prosecutor in the city of Gary, Indiana, continued coming
to all of our public services.
During an invitation on a Sunday morning I witnessed
to him. He replied, "I don't believe in that stuff. I only come because my
family comes." All evidence showed that he was an atheist. We worked,
visited, prayed, witnessed, and pleaded; but not only did he show no
interest in salvation, he also showed no evidence of a belief in God.
During our SWORD OF THE LORD Conference in Cedar Lake,
Indiana, that summer, Charles Hand, one of my Assistant Pastors, claimed
this attorney for Jesus. He took his Bible, opened to Psalm 37:4, and wrote
the attorney's name beside the verse. He did the same thing with John 14:13
and John 15:7. He continued going through the Bible, claiming God's
promises, and writing the attorney's name.
Within two months I looked over one Sunday night, and
there stood the lawyer in the altar. To be quite honest, I was surprised;
but Charles Hand wasn't. He had taken God up on His Word. Why don't all of
us do the same thing?
Many of us almost shouted when this attorney was
saved. Over 2,000 people were saved at our church this particular year, but
none brought any more joy than this attorney.
THE BROTHERS WHO WON EACH OTHER
"Would you go with me to see my brother tonight?"
These words were spoken at 11 p.m. They were spoken to me by one of the men
in our church. We were at a Sunday school class party.
"This is a strange hour for you to have such a
request, Ken," I replied, "but if you say so, I will go."
It was nearly midnight when Ken and I drove up to
Randall's house. On the way Ken warned me to be ready for anything. "He may
curse you out or throw you out," were his words of warning. Randall did
neither of these but heard the message of life through Christ. Ken was
somewhat surprised, for Randall was a drunkard and a wicked man; but the
Holy Spirit was working.
About 1 o'clock in the morning Ken, Randall, and I
knelt to pray, and Randall received Christ into his heart. He woke his wife
and children and told them about his salvation as Ken and I laughed and
cried together. What an experience! What a thrill! What an investment! The
next Sunday Randall came forward for baptism and membership in the First
"Would you go with me to see my brother today?" These
words were spoken to me by Randall, one of the deacons in our church. Yes,
this is the same Randall mentioned above. He is now a soul-winning deacon.
However, Ken drifted away from God and Randall got concerned about him.
Randall and I went together to Ken's apartment and told Ken of a loving God
Who is willing to forgive and restore. Once again the three of us got on our
knees, and Ken was marvelously reclaimed for Christ. Now Ken is back with
us, and the two brothers are serving God together.
Like Andrew and Peter, like Moses and Aaron, like John
and Charles Wesley these men are living testimonies of a brother's concern
for his brother and of Christ's power to save families. Ken's children have
been saved, and all of Randall's family has been saved.
HE COULDN´T EVEN SPELL THE WORD “JESUS”
He was a Mormon but had never been saved. It was on
our regular visitation night when I first met him, and in a few minutes he
was led to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Soon after, I won his brother to
the Saviour. They were both rough-and-tough bricklayers but became
tremendous soul winners.
I nicknamed him "Bear" because he walked like a bear
and was a massive physical specimen. Though he could not spell the word
"Jesus," he has in these fourteen years since he has been saved won hundreds
and hundreds to the Saviour.
One Sunday we ate in his home. He and his wife were so
proud of their house because it was lovely and new. I noticed, however, that
one bedroom closet door had scratches all over it. I inquired as to why that
one door was so marred with scratches. Bear wouldn't tell me, but his wife
told me the reason.
Before Bear got saved he went hunting every weekend.
He would put a scratch on the stock of his rifle every time he killed an
animal. He asked his wife if he could use the closet door for his
soul-winning "stock." He would place a scratch on the door for every soul he
had won that year. I counted 167 scratches on the door.
One day Bear picked up a hitchhiker and tried to tell
him about Jesus only to find the hitchhiker was deaf. He resorted to showing
the man a Gospel tract only to find that the man could not read. Bear
stopped the car, got out, got on his knees, made the form of a cross,
pointed to Heaven, pointed to his heart, bowed his head, and formed his
hands beneath his chin in a prayer position. The man got the idea, fell to
his knees and began to weep. He pointed to Heaven and to his heart, assuring
Bear that he had been saved.
The man who couldn't even spell "Jesus" now knows Him,
and for these many years has led hundreds to know Him too. He is still
active in his church and in personal soul winning.
WINNING THE BEST MAN
A church the size of ours has many weddings. I have
conducted as many as three in one day.
If there are unsaved people at a wedding rehearsal, I
close the rehearsal with a brief explanation of the plan of salvation,
explaining to the wedding party that the home is a Christian institution.
Then I give a simple appeal for the unsaved to receive Christ. This is done
in a way that embarrasses no one.
Recently I followed this procedure at a wedding
rehearsal. The next day, following the wedding ceremony, I walked out of the
auditorium to get a breath of fresh air. The best man, whom I did not know,
followed me to present me with a thank-you note and a monetary gift from the
newlyweds. When I told him to give it to the bride and groom as a wedding
gift (as I do not accept such gifts from church members), he was moved with
Then he said, "Ah...uh...before I go, I would like to
ask you a question. Um...ah...er...you said...last night...something about
this...church business. Well...ah...what I am saying is...would it be all
right with you if I attended your church a couple of times? I am a Catholic
but a pretty sorry one, and...ah...er...ah...I was thinking about what you
said last night."
"Are you trying to tell me," I said, "that you want to
He replied that he had thought about it. It was my
privilege to lead the best man to the Saviour while the organ was still
playing and the bride and groom were still in the receiving line.
SOUL WINNING AMONG POOR CHILDREN
Soul winning never ceases to bring blessings. A soul
won many years ago will give dividends for eternity.
Not long ago I was preaching in a city in Florida and
exhorting the people to go out into the highways and hedges and bring in the
poor as well as the rich. I spoke especially about little children and the
importance of reaching those for whom no one else cares. After the service a
pastor introduced himself to me and then turned to introduce his lovely
wife. As l shook her hand she said, "I think you know me. I was a member of
your little country church near Marshall, Texas, many years ago."
Immediately I remembered that she had lived in a little country house and
that I had gotten up early one Sunday, driven several miles, and brought a
group of little children to Sunday school. She was one of those children. I
hadn't seen her for years, but now she is the wife of a successful pastor.
A few weeks ago I was in Dallas, Texas. After the
service a fine young student at Dallas Seminary approached me. When he was
five years old I had been to his home soul winning, and often I had driven a
couple of miles to take him to Sunday school. He reminded me that he is now
a preacher and a student at Dallas Seminary.
One day as a kid country preacher I was out soul
winning, came upon a farmhouse, and won several to Christ. A little
cotton-haired girl spoke to me as I left and said, "Brother Hyles, you are
not going to forget me, are you?" Little did I know that she wanted to be
saved, too. She was saved, and years later to my delight I found she was a
student at Tennessee Temple College. She then was employed as a faculty
member and shortly after was killed in a car accident.
Not long ago I met a young lady who is a graduate of
Bob Jones University and now is teaching school. My mind wandered back to
the day when I went into her modest home to help her poor family. The family
was saved, and though very poor, the young lady had a desire to go off to
Now she is teaching in a Christian school.
Yes, there are many other stories like the one above,
and in ten or fifteen years I hope to be able to write similar experiences
about those I won last week or those I will win today.
A FIVE-DOLLAR TIP
Not long ago I was in a restaurant. I always like to
be courteous if I can, as I was taught as a boy to be a gentleman in public.
I was met at the door by a little lady who asked, "May I seat you, please?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am." So she escorted me to a table
and asked, "Would you like a menu?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am." Soon she came back with pad in
hand to take my order. It was not a busy time of the day.
She said, "Are you ready to order?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
"Do you want salad?"
"Do you want dressing on it?'"
Then she put her little pad down on the table, and her
hands on her hips, and said, "Yes, ma'am! Yes, ma'am! Yes, ma'am! Yes,
ma'am! Don't you know how to say anything other than 'YES, MA'AM'?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She was furious, absolutely furious! She brought my
food and almost threw it at me. I tried to be courteous and nice, but she
never softened. She was curt and harsh.
Well, I knew she must have had a burden so I left her
a $5 tip. I think my bill was $1.55 or $1.60 and the normal tip would been a
quarter, but I thought, "This little lady needs somebody to cheer her up
I then went to the cash register to pay my bill when
suddenly she came up and said, "Hey, mister. You left some money on the
table. You left a $5 bill."
I said, "Little lady, don't folks usually leave tips
"Sir, is that $5 bill my tip?"
"Yes, it is.'"
"I didn't treat you very nicely and to think that
you'd give me a tip of $5."
"I thought you might have had a hard day or a burden
of some kind," I answered. Then she told me a sad story. I won't relate the
details here, but it was sad. Her life was burdened, the load was heavy, and
the financial strain was almost beyond beating. In a few minutes I had the
blessed privilege of leading this little waitress to a saving knowledge of
A cute little thing happened. When I got through
leading her to Christ, I said as I left, "Now let me ask you a question. Are
you sure you're saved?"
She said, "Yes, sir!"
It just pays to try to win folks to Christ everywhere
you go. Next time you eat in a restaurant why not speak a good word for
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