Friday Challenge: Six Degrees of Jack Hyles


Maybe it’s because I’ve been seeing a lot of Kevin Bacon while bingeing on The Following, but when a reader suggested that we play a game based on the classic Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I couldn’t resist. This may turn out to be a complete disaster of a Friday Challenge but we can try it anyway.

For the purposes of this game a person who has a degree of 1 is anybody who has taught, preached, studied, or attended at Hyles-Anderson or FBC Hammond. Therefore both Jack Schaap and Steven Anderson would have a degree of one. Anybody who attended school with, was a church member of, or was in ministry with that person would then have a degree of 2 and so on.

So what’s your Hyles Degree? What degree did fundies you rubbed shoulders with have?

225 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Six Degrees of Jack Hyles”

  1. Would my adoptive father receiving an honorary doctorate count 1st degree?

    My adoptive father was handed his honorary by Jack Hyles right after the horse of course was granted his and left a “present” on the stage…

    When Hyles would come preach to at our church and stay at the house Jack would make me touch his hair…..

    1. I can’t even come close to that.

      I saw JH at a Sword of the Lord conference at BJU in 1988. Does that count for anything?


      ***B.R.O. exits stage left***

  2. Wow, my church, and nearly every Fundy circle I knew practically worshiped that man! He was an annual speaker at our church for years. I’ve been to FBC Hammond several times, had a family member attend their college, was a member of the Hyles Publications “Tape of the Month” AND the “Inner Circle” publication from HAC. Those should get me some extra points right? Since I didn’t attend FBC Hammond regularly, I’ll have to settle for at least a “2”, right?

  3. Okie dokie…let’s see. I am facebook friends with a former teacher of mine who has a picture of his son with Jack Schaap, who, of course is the SIL of Hyles, so…3. I don’t know the circumstances under which he met Schaap, but he seems proud of that picture of his son, so….

  4. I was conceived on a bed under which was stored 35 years worth of Sword of the Lord and was given my first Bible from a Sword of the Lord give away – the John R. Rice Study Bible.

    In addition to having just removed all 35 years of a fire hazard from my parents bedroom, I also had to remove 10 years of tapes and cd’s of Platinum Level Sword of the Lord Conferences from their den and 25 different volumes of Jack Hyles’ writings, over 75 pamphlets and tracts, calendars, and Sword of the Lord pins and event memorabilia from various rooms in the house. I’m sure many more second and third degree authors – anybody want to buy over 1000 fundi theological books?

    I don’t know what that makes me in relation to Jack Hyles but any relation is too close in my estimation.

    1. I actually wish I *could* buy all that stuff from you, because I’m so fascinated by the history and culture of non mainstream religious beliefs. I wish I could set up a library or museum on the subject of fringe Christian beliefs. But I don’t have the money or the room.

  5. JH held a student pastorate in my hometown (Henderson, TX), but his tenure was probably before I was a gleam in anybody’s eye. I suppose I know (or once knew) somebody who knew Himself, but I’ve never heard anybody mention him in conversation.

    The little church he pastored is still extant. They had a thunder-bustin’ preacher who ruffled feathers all over town and fostered a brief growth spurt when I was in high school in the 70s, but it has generally slipped into a quiet obscurity since.

  6. 2nd degree. My mother attended HAC. I have relatives who still attend FBC Hammond. I heard Jack Hyles preach when we would go visit. I once wore flip flops on a Sunday morning and remember that some mean person (probably HAC student) said, “Nice Flip Flops” in a sarcastic manner as I passed him in the lobby of the old auditorium. So much for the welcoming love of Christ.

  7. Sad to say that I classify as a number one. For Jack and Dave Hyles.

    How many of you can say that you went trick or treating with Jack Hyles? For 18 years I was in that cult and still feel the pain still.

  8. my former church has a shrine in their foyer of ol jacky boy… and their bible college cirriculum is basically a hyles library of books… and i was once used as an illustration in a youth conference Hyles was preaching, I was portraying the holy spirit… ehhh, so maybe since he touched my hair that boost me to a 3….

    1. Not really. Not on this side of the pond. They were in different camps. I know when I heard Paisley at BJU, they and Hyles were not speaking to each other.

      They may have been opposite points of the compass, but they were on the same map.

      Speaking of old Ian, when I was under the influence, I believed a lot more of what he had to say than I do now that the blinders are off. Not a lot of Christ-like love shown there.

    2. I used to mimmick Paisley “back in the day” after he preached out of Solomon’s Song (as he put it) in, “Yea, He is altogether lovely!”

      BJU, 1990 maybe?

      Years later I met an Irish Catholic in my place of employment there in Greenville who, when I said something favorable about Paisley, blew a gasket and hurled explatives on Paisleys name that would make a tattooed thirty-year drunken sailor blush…almost.

      I learned that there are strong feelings about the man on both sides of the argument.

      (is this off topic?)


      1. Thanks, everyone, for your interesting comments about Rev. Ian Paisley. Or Rev. DOCTOR Ian Paisley as he has always been proud to insist upon! The honourary doctorate he received from Bob Jones Uni has always been extremely important to him.

        Since the fundy shutters fell off my eyes (which they did pretty quickly), I now realise just how much of the Troubles were Paisley’s direct responsibility. In all seriousness, IMO the man’s hands are drenched in blood.

        1. Being of Irish descent, I was appalled when I saw that my ex-MOG had a book written by Paisley. When I found out that BJU was affiliated with Paisley, I decided never to have anything to do with BJU. (That was before I knew there were more reasons to boycott BJU.)

          Anyway, the MOG refused to believe that Paisley was a terrorist. His wife naively believed that Schaap would turn HAC around. Um, yeah. They are all kinds of crazy.

  9. I’m a 2 for Hyles and Schapp. I graduated from a Christian school where 75% of the staff were Hyles grads. Though I was deep in other fundy ways, I considered myself enlightened because I didn’t worship him like the kids who attended the school and the church.
    My uncle was Schapp’s college roommate.

  10. My church was in the Bob Jones camp, but we were close enough geographically that our bus routes overlapped. The Hyleses were therefore the enemy and his extramarital shenanigans were denounced from the pulpit with much obvious satisfaction obscured by dubious protestations of sorrow. What degree does that make me?

  11. Anyone who studied at BJU would be 2nd degree, wouldn’t they? I didn’t realize at the time how many evangelists and teachers Hyles-Anderson and BJU shared. Jim Binney, Ron Hamilton (Patch the Pirate), etc. taught at both places.

  12. I’m a 2! Schaap used to come preach at my church’s youth conference every summer. I have his signature in my Scofield Bible along with his favorite verses: Isaiah 49:1-4.

    I also know many people who went there and I went to the youth conference one year.

  13. The Mennonite (not old order) pastor who led my dad to the Lord, back in the 1950s, later went on to teach at HAC. These Mennonites were not as strict as the IFB, especially those of the Hyles variety.

    Also, Hyles once asked me a question during a sermon. I was in an MBBC summer ensemble at the time and we were at the Lucerne Christian Conference Center in CA. He and Rod Bell were the speakers, but they were not there at the same time. I think Hyles spoke Monday and Tuesday and Rod Bell spoke Thursday and Friday with Cedarholm preaching Wednesday.

    After Hyles asked me the question and after I answered it correctly he said, “See, if a Maranatha student can answer that, than anyone can.” I was sitting very close to Hyles, so I was “under the spout where the glory came out!”

  14. This may turn out to be a complete disaster of a Friday Challenge but we can try it anyway.
    –Darrell Dow

    The disaster is the blindness many of us exhibited to the foolishness. Worse still that people still worship men like him.

  15. Would Shirley MacLaine and Elvis both be a 1? Weren’t they both lead to the Lord by Hyles on an airplane and in an elevator respectively? What about the dog Hyles almost suffocated during a soul winning encounter?

  16. I’m thinking 2. My dad was in the very first HAC student body. He left before his degree, though. He and ol’ Jack didn’t see eye to eye on some things. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his fundamentalism.

    1. Dr. Afterglow, I think you win this game.
      Knowing Jack Schaap’s cellmate isn’t the closest relation to Hyles anyone has disclosed here, but it’s definitely the most interesting one.

    2. I’m going to be laughing about your answer for a while.

      I think you’re a 2, because old Jack and his room-mate are probably, eh, close.

  17. When I was a little girl, around the age of five or six, my dad took our family to a service where Hyles was speaking. After the sermon, my dad took me out front, and Hyles signed my Bible. Then he gave me a kiss on the cheek, which I remember made me cry. Does that make me a 1?

    1. Yeah, I think you are a 1 now. I remember my parents taking my siblings and I to hear Hyles preach when I was about 13. They trooped us up there afterwards and he signed our Bibles. That was my first Bible signing, it was odd to have a mere mortal sign his name on the inside cover. I mean come’on, he didn’t even write it!

      1. I mean come’on, he didn’t even write it!

        But his was the only “right” interpretation of it according to his homeletic screechings regarding the King Jimmy Bible .

  18. A solid 2. Man, I just cannot get away from it. Both my parents and my in-laws attended HAC a few years apart in the early 80s. My parents have got a tad liberal since then, both sisters started wearing pants in their late teen years. My wife’s parents have never recanted and talk with us about the goings on of HAC on a regular basis.

  19. As a Canadian, I am somewhat geographically removed, but probably still about a 4. I was the assistant pastor to a man who is friends with the son of a pastor who had Hyles come and speak at his church in the sixties.

  20. I’m afraid I can’t compete here. The Fundy camp I WAS in was the Fairhaven Baptist College-worshipping crowd…I very seldom heard about anything related to Hyles. Fairhaven was THE place to go…even Pensacola was viewed as doctrinally weak. Take that however you want…. :/

  21. I recalculated… I would say 3. I’ve had contact with people who were 1 degree removed but I weren’t members of their church or anything like that.

    I think for IFBers in the US, 3 is about as far as you can get from the man if you had any serious long-term involvement with the movement.

  22. Two. My parents met at HAC and I grew up listening to his sermons and dreaming of the day when I too would be surrounded by such righteous, like-minded soul-winners. Thanks be to God that those dreams were never fulfilled.

  23. As with other (former) members of Lancaster Baptist, I have two degrees of separation. Two asst pastors when I was there (Schmidt, Ferrso) were Hyles grads, as well as a VP from WCBC (Rasmussen). Other staff also attended HAC during Hyles’ pastorate.

    I remember a bunch of them flew out to attend Hyles’ funeral, and some have taught at Pastors’ School during Schaap’s reign.


  24. I’m a solid “1”. My brother and sister both attended HAC. I did not, but I did attend FBCH services on several occasions. I worked my brother’s bus route with him a time or two when I was visiting him. JH married my brother and his wife at FBCH. I was a 10 yr old boy waiting outside his office before services for the chance to shake the “celebrity” pastor’s hand. JS used me as a sermon illustration in a chapel sermon at the Christian school I attended. I was David and he was Saul, and I was supposed to wear his suit coat to illustrate David trying to wear Saul’s armor. Thank God I got my senses about me where HAC/FBCH was concerned a few years later, and found the courage to actually leave IFB completely by age 33.

    1. It’s odd that he would cast himself as Saul, whose relationship with David seems to have been pederastic, whose armor did nothing for David, and who went mad before finally being destroyed.

      But understanding the Bible (as opposed to waving it around and signing his name in it) was never Jack Hyles’ long suit.
      Nor was recognizing irony.

  25. I went to HAC and was a security guard for Jack. I was actually working the night Vic Nischik had his come to Jesus meeting with Jack that lasted 4 hours. I did not know what was going on at the time, but I knew that it was very unusual for anyone to have that much time with him. I guess that would be #1 for me.

  26. We attended a weeklong homeschool H.O.P.E. conference at BJU and attended Chuck Phelps church for 16 yrs., Chucks son, Chad (R.I.P.), had a Hyles book about bus ministry on his twitter feed in the months before he went to be with Jesus. 3 3/4?

  27. 2. My wife attended (but got out rather quickly), and I have two BILs and 2 SILs that graduated from that venerated institution. My parents had his SS manual and were SOL subscribers for years.

      1. Touche, BG. I tried taking that publication a few years back when I was trying to reform myself and aside from some of the really old sermons; it just seemed like the yellow pages for Crazytown, USA

        1. Okay, I have to revise my degree of separation. It is probably a 3 or a 4.

          I remember now our church having a large stack of Sword of the Lord publications for a while. We were encouraged to take a copy and to subscribe to it. I understand that most of the deacons and the pastor did. Also several church members.

          So while we were more closely aligned with BJU, I remember the first pastor at our IFB church was a fan of Rice and Sword of the Lord. And, of course, a connection with Hyles through that.

          I also remember now a Sunday night event where the Pastor was telling the incoming junior and senior students what colleges were best for them. Included were Pensacola and Bob Jones. Ambassador Baptist College was mentioned. While I don’t specifically remember Northland, Maranatha or Hyles-Anderson being mentioned at that time, I am pretty sure they were considered possibilities.

          But the Pastor had made a trip up to Indiana on vacation, and he toured a large church. He came back pumped up with desire to grow the church in our little (and mostly rural) town. He brought back books and how-to instructions. He copied off visitation assignments and soul-winning goal sheets. He restructured the deacon board to have one person in charge of this, another one in charge of that. There were monthly and yearly goals for growth.

          He got very discouraged and depressed after about 3 years and there was no real growth in the church. I told him it was because the church is an organism, not an organization. I am not at all sure he understood what I was trying to say.

          He finally was able to land a much wealthier church in an urban setting, and he went there full of hopes. He found a much stronger deacon board that limited his power. They did not rubber-stamp his dreams of empire. He was there for a few years, then left.

          To be honest, I don’t think he would have admitted that that he was seeking glory and power for himself. But I believe that he was, and that he was self-deluded enough to think it was all for the cause of Christ.

  28. Sadly I’m a 1:(. I grew up in Hammond went to HBHS, HAC, had dinner several times with both JH and JS, won a ski/snowmobile trip with several VIP’s from FBC, I could go on and on. I’m just glad I escaped 😀

    1. HB kids were always the worst and the whiniest. I’m also a 1, since I attended HAC. People out of the state of California are all basically creeps. But yeah, HB snots take the cake. #notbitter

  29. I am definitely a 1. I attended Hyles-Anderson from 1974-1977. I went to school with Jack Schaap and knew him before he got married. I went ”soul winning” and worked on bus routes with Ray Young when Jim Vineyard was in charge of the bus ministry.

        1. He pastors Madison Ave Baptist Church in Sacramento CA. He is about 30 minutes from me. A dear friend. We both have an IFB background, but now pastor SBC churches. If you want to email me and I will give you his number. I’m sure he would love to hear from you.

  30. Unfortunately 1. I was born into that cult. Luckily I refused to go to HAC. I just went through grade school to high school there….then ran…!! My mom has worked there for 38 years though. We agree to disagree.

  31. I’m 2 degrees of separation from Jackie Boy *and* Kevin Bacon. My wife went to HAC for a semester or 2 before being drummed out for missing services at FBCH. She lived off campus, and attended her home Church, so she kept getting demerits, and explaining over and over that she was a local, with her own Church until she just got tired of the hassle.
    As for Kevin Bacon, when they were filming “Animal House”, the production was a very low budget affair, and many of the actors and extras were sent to Adam’s Barber College in Eugene,Ore. to get their short hair cuts and crew cuts. My uncle Adam cut Kevin’s hair. I just found out about this a couple of years ago… Life goes on.

  32. Default “lesson” in Bible class in 7th grade was listening to reel-to-reel tapes of different preachers, including Hyles (and Roloff). I say 3. Hubs was summer pulpit supply in a little church in Canada right after my graduation; one couple in that church regularly went to Pastors’ School (if not with the blessing of the missionary-pastor, at least not active discouragement). I still call that 3.

  33. Probably a 3. The MoG at my church attended Midwestern Baptist College, and preached at Dr. Malone’s funeral, but he didn’t care for Hyles. He preferred to control his people in other ways.

    I did at one time own a Jack Hyles study bible. It was a King James Bible with a blank page between each of the pages for writing sermon notes. It was a limited edition and signed by The Man himself, so that might bump me up.

  34. Okay:

    As I’ve already mentioned, I actually saw and heard J.H. in person back in ’88.

    I also found one of J.H.’s books in a dumpster, pulled it out, and subsequently held onto it for a few years before throwing it out with all my other worthless paper products (like my junk mail).

    Why did you dumpster-dive, you ask? Somebody’s children promptly tossed their entire fundy library after their father passed on and went to meet Jack Hyles, wherever he may be.

    1 1/2 maybe?

    1. Hmmm. Seems I had to change my name? Why? Weird. Anyway I’ve been following SFL for a long time. I’m a 2 for Jack Hyles…my first pastor was a HAC grad and also, I volunteered in a children’s ministry for several years that was also led by an HAC grad. Interestingly enough my pastor didn’t make much of his alma mater, though he would tell you if asked. I don’t recall him ever quoting Hyles in the pulpit, and he was in general a gentle kind of preacher….he did quote old time evangelists like Moody, Sunday….he was legalistic but not mean about it.

      1. I am a MBBC grad and listened to JH speak every fall at our Fall Conference at the College. I was a new convert at the time and fundies had me brainwashed. I really worshipped the guy at the time. Now that I have left the dark side I wonder how I could have been so fooled. I am a two. My former Pastor was a graduate and formerly on the staff of HCA. Several of my MBBC profs were HCA grads. My eyes were opened by Biblical Evangelist article on Hyle’s immorality I believe in 1989? Still a great read! I still can’t believe I fell for it after all of these years.

  35. I am as less than 1…maybe a .1/. I have spent the night at both houses, went swimming in both swimming pools, travelled on speaking engagements with both. You just can’t get any closer than I was. And I am 2nd generation….my parents met at HAC and stayed on staff. I am totally disgusted with my parents choosing to rear us in that mess. I, of course, didn’t know what was going on around me. I was less than 10 during “the battle of ’89”. My siblings and I were forbidden to talk about or read anything negative about JH. I am thankful for the sheltered life I lived, if you can even believe that, and I have fond memories of friendships and good teachers, but the manipulative control and hatred of anything different that was ingrained in us makes me angry.

    I wish my parents would have had the courage and back bone to walk away and find a Christ centered ministry. I do not hate baptists, I want my children taught baptist doctrine but not Hyles doctrine.

  36. Just saw this and had to comment. I worked at “the Biblical Evangelist” when the editor (Robert Sumner) broke the Jack Hyles story–what a fun job that was at 19! His office was down the street from my home. My roommate was friends with the Nitschik’s (sp) daughter and my sister-in-law was in Dave Hyles’ youth group. After a youth conference with Dave Hyles’ at Miller Road, I came home and told my Dad that there was something not right with him. My Dad said, “You’re just rebellious.” I love the Lord and was able to get free from all of that–but I HATE legalism. Give me a long-haired hippy Christian anyday. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.