Table of Contents
Chapter 5 - The Hyles Reply!
First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Jack Hyles for
making my job easier in responding to his published defense of my charges.
In a court of law, the most incriminating evidence possible is what
is known as testimony against self-interest. That is when someone admits
something that is against his own best interest in the case.
By way of example, if a defendant in a murder trial,
on the witness stand, acknowledges that he was in the victim's home
on the night of the murder and that a heated argument developed over
the latter's involvement with the defendant's wife, the confession of
his presence and the ensuing argument is more incriminating than if
a dozen witnesses took the stand and said the same. He has testified
against his own best interest through his admissions.
That is what Jack Hyles did in the "Answers" he mailed out
to over 60,000 pastors and Christian leaders – written in collaboration
with James H. Wigton – and using, in part, a mailing list purchased
in Nashville. (Actually, he sent out two mailings, but there was nothing
of substance in the first one, merely speaking of what fine folk everyone
I mentioned was, how much he loved his children, and that he was pausing
to go "out for a bite to eat" with Dave, "He is my buddy
and my son, and I love the guy." He signed the letter after 3 pages,
then, perhaps because someone pointed out he hadn't even mentioned his
wife, he added a postscript and said, "There is not a more loved
or respected woman in America that Beverly Hyles," but he still
neglected say that he loves her.)
How did he testify against his own best interest?
Well, he admitted to the basic thrust of the first half of my article:
Hyles, First Baptist Church, and Hyles-Anderson College are the scene
of one great, massive cover-up of sin!
Consider carefully what he said about Vic Nischik. While we will deal
with the charges against this good man later in this article, note now
that he says Vic "asked one of his female employees to run off
with him." He says again, Mrs. Nischik found him in "his pajamas
in a bedroom with a beautiful young lady." He quotes a letter from
a former employee of Vic’s who passed on the following office
gossip: (1) when his secretary went on maternity leave, one of the salesmen
wondered aloud "if the husband knew that that was really 'Victor's
baby'"; (2) whenever she had to work late, Vic's reputation was
so bad a man older than her father would come up and check on her to
make sure, the inference was, Vic was not molesting her; (3) Vic "had
a thing" for the female office manager; (4) when she had to work
on Saturday, the owner and his son-in-law told her to let them know
if Vic ever came around when she was working, the inference again being
clear; (5) "all the salesmen – what I would call the good
ones and the loose ones – both had comments to make about Mr.
Nischik's carryings on with the opposite sex"; (6) when she returned
after being in Germany for two summers, one of his former female employees
told her Vic's "reputation was worse, and that he had asked her
if she would run away with him"; (7) a "girl from Hammond
Baptist School was sleeping" with him (this was "overheard
at the church!”), and she saw them "flirting with each other
– they were both clearly enjoying it." Hyles also quotes
an ex-babysitter who says she can “attest to the fact that Vic
was flirting with the teenage girls."
YET, DEAR READER, THROUGHOUT ALL OF THIS, HYLES BEING PRIVY TO MOST
IF NOT ALL OF IT BY HIS OWN TESTIMONY, VIC REMAINED A MEMBER IN GOOD
STANDING OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, SONG LEADER IN DR. HYLES' OWN
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS, CHOIR MEMBER, A KEY WORKER IN THE BUS MINISTRY
(WHERE THE "PICKINGS" WOULD BE DELIGHTFUL AMONG LOVE-STARVED,
FATHERLESS, TEEN-AGE GIRLS), A TRUSTEE OF HYLES-ANDERSON COLLEGE, A
FINANCIAL ADVISER AND ASSISTANT WHO HELPED HIM OBTAIN A $1,500,000 LOAN
FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE HYLES-ANDERSON CAMPUS, AS WELL AS A RESPECTED
DEACON IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH! ON THE BASIS OF DR. HYLES' OWN ADMISSIONS,
I REST MY CASE ABOUT THE MASSIVE COVER-UP OF SIN UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP!
In passing, it is interesting to note that the above evidence against
Vic is loose, unsubstantiated, secondhand, hearsay gossip from unnamed
sources, the very kind for which "journalist" James Wigton
so roundly criticized me, saying, "As a former editor, I could
not have published such a poorly documented report. As a former reporter,
I could not have turned in to an editor such a poorly investigated report,"
then adding, "As a journalist, I am offended." Talk about
the pot calling the kettle black!
This is probably a good time to clear up the matter of "journalist"
Wigton, whom Hyles and Hutson both billed as "the former editor
of the Ohio State daily newspaper, The Ohio State Daily Lantern. He
is former editor of the weekly Londonville (sic), Ohio, Times. He is
a former reporter for the St. Petersburg, Florida, Times, for the Dayton,
Ohio, Journal-Herald, and for the Norfolk, Virginia, Virginian-Pilot.
He was a national award winner in college news writing. He was one of
four student members in America selected to the National Board of Directors
of the Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalist society. Mr. Wigton
read Mr. Sumner's article and without solicitation voluntarily wrote
this article…." Hyles titled the article, "COMMENT FROM
There is certainly nothing there to indicate that Wigton is the pastor
of the Peoples Baptist of Bay City, Michigan. His editorship of the
small town weekly was prior to his education at Ohio State and all the
other journalistic experiences listed were during his student days.
After graduating from Ohio State in 1976 (where he edited the school
paper for one semester), he told me he went back to Loudonville and
started the First Alliance Church, pastoring there from 1977 to 1979,
then going the pastorate of the Midland Street Peoples Church in Bay
City (which only recently became a Baptist church). Instead of the implication
that he is a full-time journalist, he has been a full-time pastor since
Would you get this impression from the glowing tribute both Hyles and
Hutson gave him? Instead of "Comments From a Journalist,"
the heading in both papers might better have said, "Comments From
a Pastor Who Was Once a Student Journalist." While he has dabbled
in journalism over the years while serving as a full-time pastor, it
must be more of a hobby with him than anything. He didn't remember them
when I called and interviewed him, but he has written me several times
since, as he thinks of them, listing other journalistic accomplishments.
So far he has not mentioned "ghosting" the Hyles story to
me, but he has to others.
In the Hyles article, telling what sins he preaches against (which was
not my point; I was talking about his practice, noting that he preaches
hardest against the sins of which he is guilty), apparently intended
as a jab at me, Hyles said he preaches against “…even misrepresenting
truth in articles." Yet he and Hutson both misrepresented Wigton's
status, seeking to present him as something he has not been for more
than a decade. Why didn't they call him "Rev. Wigton"? Why
didn't they say he was a pastor and list his church? Why didn't they
give his mailing address? Understand, I, personally, think Wigton's
student journalism credentials are impressive; it is the dishonesty
and deception to which I object.
Even more. He is not the disinterested "journalist" the article
implies, a man only concerned with setting the record straight. He frequently
attends Hyles' Pastors School, taking men from his church with him.
He has students from his church at Hyles-Anderson. His church contributes
financially to Hyles-Anderson. As recently as last May he was a chapel
speaker at the college. A loyal member of his church for many years,
but who recently got fed up and left, called him "a little Hyles,"
adding, "Recently, Wigton's church has experienced its third major
split in about 6 years. Wigton is guilty, himself, of every one of his
'violations of journalistic principles'."
For what it's worth, Wigton’s original thesis had 12 categories
– one was dropped, "Editorial Opinion" and a paragraph
at the end was omitted in which he declared that "no respectable
secular newspaper will publish charges against Dr. Hyles," concluding,
"Believe me, if they had something concrete, if they could topple
one of Fundamentalism's I giants – they would." Obviously,
Wigton is not much of a prophet; respected secular newspapers have carried
the story…and there are more to come!
Actually, Hyles has responded to my article three times. The first was
on Sunday night, May 14th, in a sermon he called "Weathering the
Storm." He ranted and raved, whooped and hollered; declared "war"
on me, Dr. Walt Handford, Evangelist George Godfrey and some others;
but there was absolutely nothing of substance regarding my charges.
He did a lot of name calling and referred to excretion – both
of which his students imitated almost en masse in their letters to me
– but he danced all around the issues. In the sermon he told the
audience not to send a tape of it to me, that he would personally send
me the first copy. He lied. He has sent me nothing – sermon tape,
second response, or third response. The tape was very poorly done, one
large section was repetition, and those familiar with electronics assured
me it had been altered. Comparison with it and a privately made tape
His second response was in a mailing dated May 19. He mentioned several
individuals I referred to in my article and said they were nice people.
He also said that he loved his children. That took three pages and then,
seemingly as an afterthought, he added a fourth page and said his wife
was a lovely lady, too. At no place does he express love for his wife,
either in this response or the other two. As one brother wrote me, "It
is interesting to note that he says Mrs. Hyles is loved all over America,
but he does not once say he loves her. Not even in the sermon tape does
he say 'I love Beverly'." There was nothing of any substance in
The third was the one we have already started examining and to which
we will give our attention in this article. (An influential Hammond
area pastor called it "full of holes, and, I have to say, full
of lies.") Hyles has already admitted my basic thrust in the first
half – dealing with morals – namely, that there is a massive
cover-up of sin under his leadership, as per his confessions about Vic
WHAT HYLES "DOESN'T" SAY!
Anyone who has read my original article and then his third reply can
easily see that my major concerns are not dealt with, something we consider
an admission of their accuracy. Hyles starts with what he feels is his
strongest point – Jennie’s condominium and the description
of his generosity – and this covers between one-fourth and one-fifth
of his entire reply. Next is an all-out attack on the character of Vic
Nischik, followed by 52 "untruths" I supposedly published,
then the assessment by "journalist" Wigton, and then Hyles'
While he jumped on this single sentence about the condo to open his
defense, the careful reader immediately notices he has deftly sidestepped
a host of charges. Again assuming this to be an acknowledgement of their
truth, we will list some of them again to refresh the reader's memory.
…The incriminating letter from Judy Nischik Johnson, Vic and Jennie's
daughter, about which I said "if I ever received a letter like
that and it contained even 10% truth, I'd walk out of the ministry without
ever looking back. I could not handle even the private knowledge that
such a letter were even remotely true." Incidentally, while he
did not respond to this letter publicly, he did write a private letter
that he addressed to "Jack and Judy Nischik," a vicious letter
in which he accused them of destroying their Mother "and did it
on Mother's Day." The latter is absurd, of course. He is the only
one who did anything on Mother's Day. Judy wrote her letter on October
1, 1986; our May 1 issue was released in late April; but his "declaration
of war" tirade was issued on Mother's Day, May 14th! Incidentally,
if he has written anyone a letter like this in defense of his wife,
we are not aware of it.
…The matter of the "business phone" in Mrs. Nischik’s
bedroom that Hyles paid to have installed and each month pays the bill
"in cash." In our article we noted that it "was probably
the only 'business' telephone in the greater Chicago area with an 'unlisted'
… The comfortable living arrangement of Mrs. Nischik. Her husband's
take-home pay was two or three times hers, yet Vic said in his prepared
statement for the First Baptist deacons, "Under no circumstances
could I have been able to provide for her such a high life style."
…The testimony of the Nischik daughter about all the money that
"somehow mysteriously appeared to my mother" and the "large
amounts of cash lying around" that she sometimes saw.
…The deacon who came to Vic's defense and wrote Hyles later, "I
tried to speak to you about these areas and was put down by you."
I have a copy of the letter.
…That Mrs. Hyles left her husband and then came back “for
the good of the ministry.”
…The fact that he took four women, including Jennie, on an all-expense
paid trip to Hawaii – going alone with these women and staying
at the same hotel, the only male in the party – but his own wife
was not present.
…The charge by Judy that Hyles was a thief.
…The seducing of a Hyles-Anderson College administrator's teen-age,
high school daughter by David Hyles, an act we called "more nefarious
than some of the others." The benefit for Hammond was that it got
him out of town; the curse for Garland was that it put him into the
pulpit of that church in Texas where his notorious immorality really
blossomed. In addition to all the evidence I had before, an "innocent"
participant sent me a 4-page letter, verifying all the details of this
incident – matters she had kept covered even from her own minister
father because the Hammond crowd had convinced her it was for the good
of the ministry. Shame, shame.
…That Dave Hyles skipped town owing a $10,000 printing bill, one
that had nothing to do with the Miller Road Baptist Church, but the
latter paid it so that its testimony in the community would not be blighted
even more. For what it's worth: before me is a letter from a former
Sword of the Lord employee (no one who was associated with me in the
problems there, or even there at the time) who talked to the brother,
now in jail in Florida, of a Dave Hyles successor at Miller Road. He
said, "I'm convinced this young inmate's wretched life is a result
of watching 'famous' fundamentalists up close, manipulate, sin and manipulate
'successfully' again. Weeks before your 'Saddest Story' was printed,
he told me he had witnessed Jack Hyles verifying that he advised Dave
NOT to pay his debts after he was 'caught' at Miller Road."
...In fact he treated everything about Dave like it was the plague,
staying totally away from it. I received a heartbreaking letter from
a lady who was one of Dave's victims, speaking of the psychological
problems she is still having. By the way, she went to Jack Hyles when
he was preaching in Garland and told him, "I'm sleeping with your
son." She wanted help; she needed help. What was Hyles' response
to this troubled young woman? First, don't tell anyone; second, move
out of the State. (She did, but Dave visited her in that place, 700
miles away, and they continued the affair. When Hyles came to preach
in that area, she confronted him again, “We are still sleeping
together," again crying for the help she did not receive.)
…He ignored the matter of his three famous protégées,
the Smith brothers, including Hyles' son-in-law, Tim (the one he calls
"the towheaded fool"), and his immorality in Michigan/Florida.
He merely said that Becky "and her fine husband, Tim, have three
children who are a tribute to them." Elsewhere in this issue we
have up-dated our readers on the outcome of Terry Smith's immorality
...He ignored the immorality of the college physician, Dr. Dennis Streeter,
who treats the coeds at the school.
...He did not respond to our charge that the head of one of the church's
ministries was caught in immorality by a pastor in Michigan, where he
was holding meetings, whom Hyles rewarded by helping him get out of
town and into a pastorate in another State.
...Hyles deftly sidestepped the sordid story of John Stancil and the
young Hyles-Anderson coed, now his wife, which took place while he was
married to another woman. Hyles married the couple a short time after
the divorce was finalized.
…Also sidestepped was the matter of the college staff member rubbing
the derriere of girls as they boarded the bus at the dorm. After reporting
the incident and being told the staff member would not be permitted
to be on the girls' buses again, a month or so later he was "back
...He ignored my revelation that he teaches "everlasting life"
and "eternal life" are two different things, causing all kinds
of confusion at First Baptist and elsewhere. I have before me a letter
from a brother in Kansas who said an evangelistic team from Hyles-Anderson
came to his church and preached this heresy. They argued that the rich
young ruler was saved because he asked for eternal life, meaning he
already had everlasting life (as Hyles teaches it). When Jesus replied,
He was not telling the ruler how to be saved, but how to get rewards
in Heaven! Hyles' clones are helping spread this dangerous, foolish
…That he pads his reports, dating all the way back to his days
at Miller Road in Texas. I gave the exact totals for the latter, compared
with what he claimed.
…His Romanist teaching that his deeds could make it easier for
his dad in Hell.
…His teaching that fallen man is not human and that an unsaved
man does not have a spirit. One brother wrote to point out that this
is identical to the teaching of the cultist, Victor Paul Wierwille,
founder of The Way International, observing that "he said the exact
…That he has no standards against a divorced person remarrying,
no matter the grounds for the first marriage break-up.
…His repeated cultic claim that his staff would commit suicide
if he told them to do so.
…His teaching in his sermon, "Thank you, Adam," praising
Adam and Eve for disobeying God and bringing sin into the world, making
such silly statements as, "Thank God for the chains of sin!"
…His teaching that backsliding is a necessary part of spiritual
growth ("one of the great truths of the Christian life"),
and his strange conclusion, "If you are not as high as you used
to be, jump up and down and say 'Hallelujah'!"
…His teaching that no one has a right to judge another about anything,
contradicting the clear insistence of the Word of God that we are to
"judge righteous judgment" and, since Christians are one day
going to judge angels, "how much more things that pertain to this
…His hypocrisy in saying he is putting nothing away for a rainy
day when he has thousands salted away in an IRA program and thousands
more in a Keough program. We think much more is coming to light soon
in this area.
…His blasphemous teaching about forgiveness, "It wasn't God
the Father that forgave; the Man, the human Christ Jesus, forgave."
…His strange teaching about apologetics, even denying that the
apostles and early Christians used it in their preaching to prove that
Jesus of Nazareth was the long awaited Messiah.
…The tragic fact, noted by almost everyone who has ever heard
him preach, that he uses almost no Scripture in his message beyond the
text, plus the fact that he often takes his text out of context and
the sermon has nothing to do with what the passage is teaching. I complained
about this to Dr. Rice when I was Associate Editor of The Sword.
One editor called and said he had counted 64 different items in my article
that Hyles either totally ignored or covered inadequately and inconclusively.
To deal with what Hyles did answer, I want to start with a word about,
WHY WE HAVE REFUSED TO NAME MOST NAMES
Beyond any question of a doubt, this has tremendously weakened our account
of the Ham-mond story. Again and again good men have complained about
this to us. We are sorry, that is the way it must be, even our story
is not believed.
These people fear for their lives and their ministries, that's why!
Some who live in the Hammond area had their home broken into, files
rifled, materials stolen, and some have received actual death threats.
One brother in the Hammond area had his house “egged" and
vandalized while he was out of town serving the Lord – and his
daughters had to take time off from work to clean the debris. My son
received a call in the middle of the night saying his children were
dead, greatly upsetting his teen-age daughter. I have received several
"middle of night" phone calls, one threatening to burn my
house to the ground; in fact, calls from midnight to 4 a.m. are a fact
of life for Hyles' disciples. A former faculty member at Hyles-Anderson
warned me that I should "hire a security officer to man your facility
when it is closed and through the night" (the local police are
keeping a special watch).
One First Baptist staff member, Eddie Lapina – who identified
himself to me as the church's Youth Pastor prior to publishing our first
article – called (with fellow staff member Chris Stansell bravely
listening in; the latter told me later he "said a word or two,"
but I was not conscious of anyone else speaking), threatening me about
what he would do if I printed the article ("I'm going to tell you
something, if that article comes out…if I ever cross your path
I'm going to deal with you big time," and later he added, "you
and I will meet some day, somehow, somewhere"; when I asked what
he meant, sarcastically saying he "really frightened me,"
he said I could take it any way I wanted to). Since I understood him
to mean he would physically assault me, I asked his age, and he said
30; I pointed out that I am nearly 67 and he was very brave to threaten
to beat up an elderly man. Lapina then backed off and said there were
other ways "to fight" than physical, but he did not explain.
A school principal at First Baptist, Don Boyd, was not as cautious.
He wrote me frankly, "If I see you I will punch you right in the
mouth." Believe it or not, Boyd's official duties at the school
involve discipline! We wonder what punishment this disciplinarian metes
out to a kid who threatens to punch another kid in the mouth on school
A member of First Baptist called me so frightened he could hardly speak,
saying he had wanted to write but Hyles had stood in the pulpit waving
a letter from Vic Nischik to me, saying he had "intercepted"
it. The dear brother was afraid to write me thinking Hyles would intercept
his letter, but I assured him the communication Hyles had "intercepted"
was a copy the writer had mailed out to many ministers and one or more
had turned them over to their boss. The same man, concerned about my
welfare, warned me about what he called "Hyles' hit men."
Others have warned me of the same. Perhaps you recall my quoting the
Nischik daughter's fear of being "snuffed out.” Any number
of individuals have warned me about my phones being bugged, including
a former staff member who suggested it would be worth the expense to
call in professionals to check it out. Right now there is a tremendous
"witch hunt" going on in Hammond as the leadership tries to
ferret out the non-loyalists (the loyalists are sporting "Hyles
100% " buttons and bumper stickers), one that makes the Communist
Chinese leaders' efforts to identify the students active at Tiananmen
Square fade into insignificance.
Our advertisers are being harassed. A pastor in Maryland, Tom Carpenter,
is writing our advertisers, seeking to get them to drop their ads in
THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST, saying my article had "provoked a narrowly
avoided church split." (I told him he was not going to lay that
guilt trip on me – it belonged in Hammond; I merely reported it.)
Even before that, advertisers had notified us they were being contacted
to drop us. Only two have canceled at this writing and, since neither
gave a reason, we do not know they were related to the Hyles matter.
Not many respectable businessmen will bow to being bullied and intimidated,
in our judgment, And we think most of those writing our advertisers
are not even subscribers, merely people who obtained the May 1 story
and are writing those who advertised in that one issue. A concerted
effort is also being made to get people to cancel their subscriptions,
but we have had relatively few – at least in light of the campaign
being made. Many, many more have subscribed.
The Hammond Times is receiving the same treatment. Assistant Pastor
Ray Young (who showed his interest in his church's missionary program
by writing me, "Before you decided to attack Bro. Hyles I had never
heard your name. I had never heard of your paper. I had never seen a
copy of your paper. I had never read an article in your paper, neither
do I ever plan to"; yet we were on the church's missionary budget
for years, until we refused, as a matter of conviction, to accept FBC
monies any longer – Young has been on the church staff 14 years),
according to the newspaper's June 7 edition, told the Times he would
contact the paper's advertisers and urge a boycott unless one of the
following happened: "The Times retracts its articles and fully
supports and endorses Hyles, First Baptist Church, Hyles-Anderson College
and the church's related ministries; The Times prints Hyles' side of
the story verbatim, without editing; Advertisers call Young to tell
him they 'will no longer be advertising in the Hammond Times'."
Publisher Jack McCarthy responded that it was "The Times' opinion
that Young [was] proposing an 'illegal boycott' of the newspaper which
is exercising its First Amendment rights of a free press." In a
telephone conversation, McCarthy "told him we thought his actions
were illegal and we asked him to cease and desist," and noted that
Young's actions might "be blackmail.” At the time of that
issue, only one advertiser had canceled, a member of the church. As
for others, the Time's advertising director, Don Caldwell, said that
most of the advertisers he had talked with were furious over "being
threatened or blackmailed about where to spend their advertising dollars."
We think most good people react the same way.
Let it be known by one and all, however, that we will go right on standing
for righteousness and opposing sin if we lose every advertiser we have
(don't worry, we won't!), and we'll go right on publishing THE BIBLICAL
EVANGELIST as long as God wants us to do so. (We have no desire to continue
longer than that.)
Nor are we afraid of all the threats cowards have anonymously been making.
Going to Heaven is not a bad thought for us at all. Neither will we
bow to blackmail. BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO REVEAL OUR SOURCES AND SUBJECT
THEM TO THIS KIND OF TREATMENT, EVEN IF OUR STORY IS DISCREDITED AS
THE "NITTY-GRITTY” OF THE HYLES RESPONSE
I will now go over his paper and seek to face every charge he has disputed.
For his benefit – and that of our readers – I will number
1. His opening paragraphs bring up the supposed power struggle at the
Sword in early 1982. He speaks of the "meeting of the governing
board," etc., and says, “the majority of the board voted
for Dr. Hutson. The minority of those who would not be loyal included
Dr. Robert Sumner.”
There never was any such vote of the "governing board." As
noted in my editorial last month ("That 'Famous' Sword 'Power Struggle'!"),
I offered my resignation before Hyles even knew there was a problem.
Curtis Hutson has admitted that. In his story of what happened at that
first meeting of the board members who worked at Murfreesboro (it was
not a board meeting, merely a meeting of some of the members who were
available), he acknowledges that I resigned and says I "promised
to have his resignation from the Board of Directors on my desk the next
morning." The others present, excluding Curtis Hutson, pleaded
with those of us who had resigned to delay until an outside mediator
could be brought in. The issue of my resignation (and of the others)
had nothing to do with who would edit the Sword, but exclusively with
the truthfulness and honesty of Curtis Hutson.
The second meeting – still not a board meeting; one of the board
members was even refused admission by Hyles and Hutson – was with
the same ones who lived in Murfreesboro, plus Jack Hyles. There was
no vote. As soon as the meeting opened, Jack Hyles took charge and told
everybody what he thought should be done. At the end, he went around
the circle and asked who would "give Dr. Hutson another chance."
One man who had resigned did, but none of the others followed because
Hutson refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or promise to change. There
was no vote of any kind.
The third meeting was the only meeting of the "governing board"
and it was not held to remove Hutson or plead with us to stay. The main
topic of discussion was about who would take over Jack Cornelius' responsibility
to repay the $200,000 or so still short in the trust fund. Also, certain
gifts were voted to those who were leaving. For example, Dr. Ron English
was given the highly valuable Voice of Revival equipment because he
felt led to continue Dr. John R. Rice's radio ministry. Biblical Evangelism
was given – as Curtis Hutson has made so much of – a lump
sum of $5,000; allowed all the time needed to remove personal library,
desks, files and other office equipment belonging to us; and permission
to leave our book stock on the premises until December 31, over 9 months
Does that sound, even remotely, like a power struggle? Does any intelligent
person think someone said, "Hey, Sumner! You tried to oust Hutson
and failed. Here's $5,000 for trying, and, by the way, you can keep
your belongings on the property until next year! And Dr. English, since
you bungled it too, as your reward we'll give you valuable radio equipment,
much of it just purchased brand new last year and some of it reconditioned
– worth perhaps as much as $25,000 – along with broadcasting
rights and permission to reproduce Dr. Rice's radio booklets!"
How inane! I wish Hyles and Hutson would put this silly falsehood to
2. He said he didn't want me to have financial problems, so he went
home and asked Hs board to put me on the budget for $200. Wanting to
give the correct, fair situation, let me add that he also gave an initial
check for $2,000, in addition to that monthly support. However, it is
misleading to say that the money came to me, because it didn't. I was
receiving $00.00 per year from The Sword for my labors, so when I resigned
there was no change in my material status quo. As a long-time Sword
board member, Hyles knew that fact, but I am willing to be charitable
and say he had perhaps forgotten.
He may also have forgotten that I wrote him saying that I did not want
the support, but he continued to send the checks. Since the money was
going into our nonprofit work, I did not feel I could press the matter.
Eventually, something came that convinced me it would be unethical to
continue accepting it and I so informed Dr. Hyles. Remembering how the
checks continued coming when I expressed that feeling previously, this
time I told him they would be returned if sent. He continued to send
them and we continued to return them. Hyles finally became convinced
that we meant business and the checks stopped.
3. Hyles says much of the information in my article came from Vic Nischik.
While he did provide much of the initial information – and much
he did not – any thing he supplied was checked out with others,
as much as could be. Obviously, there was no way I could document personal
conversations between Hyles and Nischik; I had to make an editorial
decision according to what I felt was true. Since I have never yet found
Vic untruthful in any area, and since I have absolute proof of numerous
lies on the part of Hyles (as this article will show), I took the farmer's
word in those cases. But let it be known that I spent 6 months in earnest,
laborious toil on the "Saddest Story," talking and corresponding
with literally hundreds of people.
4. Hyles speaks of my sources as "disgruntled" church members.
Those into subliminal speech will recognize this immediately as a programmed
word. It is intended to conjure up thoughts of trouble make soreheads
and church splitters. For example, I was called a "disgruntled
Sword employee" even though I walked out on issues of truth and
honesty. By this standard, Martin Luther could be called "a disgruntled
Roman Catholic" when he nailed his "Ninety-Five Theses"
to the church door at Wittenberg. Most of the so-called "disgruntled"
First Baptist and Hyles-Anderson people I talked with were brokenhearted
over what had and is happening.
5. Regarding the condominium for Mrs. Nischik, Hyles obviously felt
this was his strongest point because he lifted a single sentence from
the middle of my article and used it as his starting point, giving approximately
one-fifth of his entire "reply" to it. But apparently there
is more to this condominium deal than meets the eye. For thing, an experienced
newspaperman man, very knowledgeable in such areas, called as soon as
Hyles' paper came out, assuring us that the photocopies Hyles reproduced
(which were so difficult to read) showed evidence of having been altered.
Acting on this lead, we checked at the Recorder of Deeds office at the
Lake County government offices and what do suppose we found?
Other than a brief statement on the $26,000 mortgage, the file on the
property is as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. There is
only one reason I can think of for someone cleaning out the cupboard
– the lady in charge said she couldn't imagine what had happened
– is, namely, to remove evidence. If you don't think there is
hanky-panky going on in this area, you are not very sharp.
There are other considerations. Everyone connected with the real estate
business is familiar with what they call "sweetheart deals,"
money under the table, and all the rest. It certainly harmonizeswith
the other tens of thousands of dollars Hyles acknowledges giving this
woman. Too, doesn't it seem strange to you that Mrs. Nischik put everything
she got from the divorce settlement into this property? The figures
seem too convenient, too pat. If the condo cost $67,900 and she borrowed
$26,000, this indicates a down payment of $41,900 – actually about
$1,600 more than she received in the settlement (which was $40,316.37,
to be exact). How many people do you know who put all the money received
in the sale of one property into the purchase of another – especially
one who has just been divorced and has all the financial problems attending
it? There are taxes, closing costs, new insurance, and a host of other
matters that must be paid on the spot. In her case, she had disposed
of much of her furniture and had major purchases to make in this area,
6. Hyles next goes through a long recital about his generosity, a fact
we acknowledged in our original article. We spoke there of his "naturally
generous character," adding that we reserved the right to "our
own opinion about why." Intricately involved with our feelings
on the subject is the constant refusal of those who had information
on him to say anything to us because he had given them sizable chunks
of money. It was what Judy called "hush money" in our article:
he can keep them under his thumb, have power over them, make them forever
indebted to him. Thank God, there are some people who cannot be bought!
It is only fair to add that in some areas he is not so generous. For
example, he selected 10 men from Hyles-Anderson College – the
pick of the litter, so to speak – to go out and start new churches,
promising them $1,000 a month in support for 6 months. For several months,
at the end of each month they would contact the church to inquire where
their check was, only to be given some excuse and be assured that the
money would eventually arrive. One of the men broken-heartedly called
me to say that neither he nor the others ever received a dime. This
man had a wife and several children, so was forced to quit the ministry
and get a job working for an honest employer to pay off his debts. On
this particular deal, Hyles had a gift from a businessman and wanted
to set up a trust for this purpose. He had Vic Nischik do all the groundwork,
select the men, and send them out. In the meantime, Vic refused to be
involved with the trust fund unless he had access to the figures, both
income and expenditures. Hyles refused, and what he did with the money
we have no idea. We do know he broke his promise of support to 10 good
By the way, a very practical suggestion for Dr. Hyles came to us while
we were reading the glowing recital of his gift giving: "Why not
pay your help a living wage so they won't constantly be in a financial
bind, requiring you to bail them out? Of course, you couldn't control
them nearly as well, but it should certainly do wonders for their self-esteem."
7. Hyles next deals with "staff cars" and a closer look certainly
needs to be taken at it. Under oath, the deposition taken on February
5, 1986, Mrs. Nischik testified that her salary, before taxes, was $15,372.96
– saying it was her "total income" from the First Baptist
Church. (This is for handling Hyles' tapes.) At that time, she had a
1985 Buick Tornado, purchased when the new models came out, costing
$17,500. The trade-in difference was, she testified, "About $4,800.
" She said Hyles gave her "an allowance" that paid for
it over a 2-year period, along with money for a weekly tank of gas –
all in cash. When Attorney Hess asked, "Do you get a W-2 form,
or do you get some type of form from Reverend Hyles to file with your
taxes?" she replied, “No.” He then questioned, “Is
this reflected – this benefit, is this reflected on you income
tax return?” and she again simply responded, “No.”
When he asked why, she replied, "I guess I never thought to."
Further questioning revealed this had gone on for "quite a long
time," nearly as long as she had worked for Hyles she said, and
when Attorney Hess pressed her, "And none of this income is reported
on any of your tax returns?" she admitted, "No, sir."
She went on to say that she "assumed" Hyles kept records of
the payments and if Hess would subpoena him, "he would –
most likely," have them. But later, under oath, Hyles said he kept
no records of this nature.
Hyles says this is "one of the benefits of Mrs. Nischik's job,"
but she admits she does not report it on her income tax. Hyles went
on to claim that he buys a new car for his secretary, Erma McKinney,
and for Maxine Jeffries. What he doesn't say is that he has been buying
Jennie new cars since 1968 and he only started buying Mrs. McKinney
a new car, in 1985, the year Jennie Nischik filed for divorce, and it
was a white 1985 sub-compact Buick Skyhawk, costing about half what
Jennie's cars cost! Hyles plays fast and loose with the truth when he
implies ("likewise") that he buys Maxine Jeffries a new car
every two years. Her car is one of over 30 church cars leased for various
members of the staff, a matter determined by the board of deacons (in
her case, because of all the shut-in visitation and benevolent work
associated with her duties). As for the car he bought Adrienne Hilliard,
it is a "clinker" with an estimated value of about $700.
All the other ladies mentioned are either single, divorced, or/and indigent;
Jennie had a husband who was gainfully employed in the automobile business
in an executive capacity from 1964 to 1983 and could easily have provided
her a car. He always had a company car – Cadillac, Chevrolet,
Ford, or any number of import models – but she never rode in a
one of them, even when the children drove.
As for Vic’s participation in this magnanimous gesture for an
employee who alone was signaled out for this annual benefit –
and one who had an automobile executive husband fully capable of supplying
any such need – it is true, as Hyles says, that Vic "enthusiastically
agreed and even helped pick out" the car. A whole lot more truth
lies under the surface needing to be dug up, however. At that time,
in 1968 (remember, it was 1985 before his personal secretary got in
on this deal – and her "staff" husband was far less
capable of providing it), Hyles came to Vic and told him the 1967 Chevrolet
Impala Hardtop Coupe – top of the line, a white sporty job, pale
blue leather interior, a real "cream puff" – was not
good enough for Jennie even though it was just a year old and only had
26,000 miles. Vic says Hyles had him sell the Impala and he confesses,
“Yes, I was impressed with the purchase of a new car for Jennie,
especially with Jack Hyles paying for it in cash. But this is the only
car purchase in which I ever participated. I never got to ride in any
of her cars."
8. Before we leave the money question there is a very interesting matter
that ought to be brought out. In the deposition taken from Jennie Rae
Nischik on February 5, 1986 (and since so many have written to ask:
yes, we do have a complete set of those depositions of Jennie, Hyles
and Vic under oath, going over them very carefully before printing our
first article), the following exchange between the witness and Attorney
Hess took place:
"Q. Mrs. Nischik, before I get into some of these documents, did
you have a safe – a safe in your home with – a combination
"A. A little portable one.
"Q. Yeah, a portable one.
"A. Yes, sir.
'Q. And was that in your bedroom?
"A. Yes, sir.
"Q. And what did you keep in there?
"A. I have my passport; I have my watch; I have some keepsakes
from high school, diploma; I have a couple of pieces of jewelry; I have
some letters that have been sent to my children or me through the years
that I wanted as keepsakes because it was fireproof, and I wanted to
keep it in that. I have two or three silver dollar certificates that
I've been given. I have a compact.
"Q. Let me ask you this: Have you ever kept cash in that –
"Q. Never. Where did you keep the combination?
"Q. Did you ever have it behind a picture frame?
"Q. Approximately five years ago, did you – approximately,
did you ever have about $28,000 in that safe deposit box – in
"Q. Did you have – either it could have been 20,000 or 25,000
"Q. You're saying under oath that you never had it?
"A. Yes, sir.
"Q. Did you ever have it for someone else –
"A. No, sir.
"Q. (Continuing) – maybe not your money, but holding onto
other people's money –
"A. No sir.
"Q. (Continuing) – in that kind of dollars?
"A. No sir."
Later, in the deposition of Jack Hyles, on May 1, 1986, Attorney Hess
followed the same line of questioning. Quoting from the record:
"Q. Do you know if Mrs. Nischik ever had $28,000 in cash in her
possession at one time?
"A. I would be shocked if she did. I have no knowledge of it.
"Q. You have no knowledge of it?
"A. None whatsoever.
Here's the reason behind the attorney pressing so hard on that issue.
One day Vic came to the house and discovered that Jennie had enlarged
a picture of Jack Hyles holding Vic's son when he was an infant, placing
it in one of those double picture frames, the other half containing
a picture of the two children together. She had blown the photograph
up to an 8 x 10 size and had it in this family frame where the husband/father
normally would have been. This so enraged Vic, he smashed it and ripped
the picture into shreds. But when he removed the picture he discovered,
attached to the back, the combination to the strong box.
When he opened it, he was shocked to find it stashed full of bundles
of $100 bills. He quit counting at about $27,000 or $28,000! There were
also other valuables – coins and that sort of thing. A few days
later the strong box disappeared, possibly replaced by the portable
safe Jennie referred to in her testimony.
On another occasion, Jack Nischik, the son, was in Jennie's office when
Hyles called her to come into his office. She entered through the door
between the two offices (the one Hyles denies exists) and the son, playing
around, saw a safe in the passageway – either unlocked or partially
open – and when he opened it he found it filled with gold bullion.
Others, far more competent in this area than we, are currently investigating
Hyles' finances, so we will await their report for a full story.
9. The "vicious attack" (to use a favorite Hyles phrase) on
Vic Nischik's reputation merits special, close examination. While we
want our readers to come back and study them again after we quote, near
the end of the article, what a former associate of Hyles says about
his veracity, we will answer them separately right now, using considerable
space to do so because these are serious, serious charges.
A. Although we have this young female employee's name (and obviously
Hyles knows who she is since it is his story), we will not name her.
Here is Vic's response:
"She was set up for the 'kill' just like I was in 1971. Let me
"J______, like so many others, had gone to Hyles for counseling
over the years. She was a dedicated employee and had expressed to him
the satisfaction she had working in data processing for me. When Jennie
asked for the divorce in 1971, Jack Hyles called J______ into his office
and confided in her that I was having marital problems, urging her to
step in and become that 'Jonathan' type friend to me. She had no idea
that Jennie and I were having troubles and was in total shock over this
revelation. Then he started on me, telling me how great this gal was
and urging me to takeher as a close 'friend.' In those days, he was
constantly on the friendship kick, preaching a long series of messages
on the subject. He considered friendship the highest form of human relationship.
"At that time I had developed a flourishing data processing business,
providing automated bookkeeping service to over a dozen major customers
in our community. J______ was the equipment operator, and I was on the
road most of the time, servicing my accounts. With Jennie persisting
in her demands for me to leave her and the children, Jack Hyles offered
to help me relocate. Since he knew that I loved and talked fondly of
it, Denver was chosen because he felt that his friend Dr. Ed Nelson
would help me get settled there. (Dr. Nelson did not know a thing of
these plans until I shared them with him a year ago.)
"For a time it looked like Jennie would not let go, and that I
would have to leave. Jack Hyles offered to help me financially in getting
set up in the computer business in Denver. I discussed the possible
move with J______ to keep her informed as any honest employer would,
and on one occasion I did ask her if she would consider coming to Denver
to work in my business, should I be forced to relocate. Jack Hyles encouraged
me to ask her and I did tell him on one occasion that I had. He also
urged me often to tell her that I loved her. When I refused to leave
my family and his scheming failed, Jack Hyles flew into a rage and accused
me of not having the capacity to love. 'You have a computer mentality.
You don't know how to show affection. No wonder your marriage failed!'
There never was anything personal between the young woman and me! She
was an extremely capable achiever in a business that required diligence
and timeliness. Here is another case of an innocent victim who fell
into an unbearable situation through no fault of her own.
"'Keep in mind that all this transpired after Jennie told me she
was divorcing me. This was the result of the threat, not the cause.
These were traumatic days for me and I was so vulnerable to thisintrigue.
I thank God for sparing me from potentially doing something very dumb
in my life. God's grace was sufficient.
"After J______ quit my data processing company, she worked briefly
for another local company. I sold my computer business, not having the
help nor the strength to carry on. Then she was hired by Marlene Evans,
wife of Dr. Evans, to work with CHRISTIAN WOMANHOOD. She left that position
suddenly, reasons unknown. She has been gone for perhaps 6 to 8 years,
except for a brief visit on a Sunday or two about the time the divorce
started. I do not know how to contact her or who would know how. I have
not talked to her since then.
"Hyles mastery over us was done by pitting one person against another.
He did that with Jennie and me and, in this case, between J______ and
me. In the end, the poor girl finally could not handle the pressure
and resigned. I never mistreated her in any way.
"The only 'proof' Jennie had of an affair was a sales slip from
Montgomery Ward on my credit card and signed by J______ for the purchase
of women's clothing and accessories. It was on that basis that Jennie
was asking for a divorce, not that I wanted to run off with somebody.
This purchase was for a pre-teen bus girl, Betty Sue Cook, who won a
contest on my bus route. The prize was a new Easter outfit. Prizes like
this were given out all over the church, in Sunday school and on the
buses. I had asked J______ to take the girl shopping.
B. This charge is even weirder. Vic was, indeed, in his pajamas, but
he also had a robe on because he had gone up (from his basement room
in the corner, where he was forced to live) to answer the persistent
ringing of the doorbell. At the door was one of his bus teens, her face
bruised and bleeding, begging for help after being beaten up at home.
He asked her in. It was the den where they were, not a bedroom. She
was on the couch and Vic was standing nearby, trying to calm her. The
reason Jennie came in was due to the fact that she and the children
were in the house all the time and she, too, came to discover why the
doorbell was ringing so persistently at that hour of the night! Jennie
ordered the girl out of the house, in spite of Vic's protests that she
needed help. He says, "This particular girl, needing help from
a beating, never recovered emotionally and she has disappeared. No one
knows where she is today. I did try, unsuccessfully, to locate her."
This girl was a close friend of two other girls in the neighborhood.
They are now married with families and are willing to verify, if necessary,
Vic's version of what happened from personal knowledge of the beating
and their friend's description to them the next day of the incident
at the Nischik house.
C. The long letter Hyles quotes was written by Gail McKinney Merhalski.
She is the daughter of Tom and Erma McKinney and the sister of Keith
McKinney. All four are Hyles' full-time staff members. Gail asked Vic
for a summer job, and he gave it to her, while she was attending Bob
Jones University. He also hired her husband, Phil, one summer when he
was teaching at Hammond Baptist High. One of Mrs. Merhalski's current
duties is that of staffing the church nursery. She recently conducted
a survey among those workers, demanding 100% loyalty to Hyles –
and those who could not were requested never again to report for duty.
Regarding "Mr. Nischik's personal secretary" having a baby
and the salesmen at the Chevrolet dealership joking about what the husband
would do if he knew his child was really Victor's baby, that is dead
easy to answer because Vic never had a secretary! He says, "In
all my professional business career I never had a personal secretary,
not even at the Moody Bible Institute where I supervised 30 employees.
I used the secretarial pool exclusively. At the dealership in Gary I
had two middle-aged title clerks and one middle-aged insurance clerk.
I had two single computer operators. There was also a married woman
working in the service department. There were a number of different
switchboard operators over the years. To the best of my recollection,
we never had a lady take a maternity leave. Maternity leaves were unheard
of in the '60s. There may have been one of the operators who quit to
have a baby, but I do not remember. That is all the female help we had
As for the "fatherly" salesman protecting Gail, Vic puts it
well: "A car salesman needs commissions to make a living. I find
it incredible that a salesman would be that benevolent, standing guard
at the office door, away from the car lot and the showroom, to protect
her virtue. The owner, Mr. Baker, would have booted the fatherly salesman
out the door if he found him loitering upstairs instead of selling cars."
It is interesting to note, too, that in spite of all her insinuations,
she never accuses Vic of laying a hand on her or doing anything even
remotely unethical. In fact, the careful reader will note that this
"naïve" teen-ager, as she described herself, was able
tell the "typical hotshot" and the "loose" salesmen,
but she never dreamed she should be worried about Vic. So much for her
She tells another tale about the Ford dealership and Vic's "thing"
for the female office manager, whom she says later broke up the home
of the parts department manager, saying, "they ran off together."
Vic's account is radically different: "The owner of the Ford dealership
in Highland was Dick Ohms, a Christian Reformed Dutchman and an upright
man. The parents of the office manager, who is also a believer, were
close friends of the Ohms family. I was a paid consultant to the dealership.
I would have been thrown out on my ear by Dick Ohms if he suspected
any impropriety between me and the office manager. The story is absolutely
Do you sort of get the idea that this Gail McKinney Merhalski, whom
Hyles calls "one of the most trusted and respected ladies in First
Baptist Church of Hammond," is not a very reliable witness? So
Since the old saying is, "turn about is fair play," perhaps
we should print at least part of a letter written to me (I just received
it today as these notes were being prepared) about Gail McKinney Merhalski.
I will not give the name of the writer even though Hyles will know immediately
who she is because of the incident she mentions at the start. After
introducing herself to me and saying she lived, as a girl, less than
a block from both the Hyles and Nischik homes, she continued:
"Jack Hyles used to tell a story of a little girl in Montgomery
Ward's, when he was in a torn T-shirt, and this little girl yelled across
the store and pointed at him, 'There's Jack Hyles! He's my preacher.'
Well, I am that little girl. I went to First Baptist and Hammond Baptist
High School. I went soul winning every Saturday night. I was involved
in everything. I was a greeter at all youth conferences and Pastors
Schools. Most everyone knew me by name and by sight! When I was a junior
in high school I quit believing in religion. I believe in the I AM of
Moses. I believe Jesus Christ was His Son and by grace you are saved.
Why I still believe, I don't know, but I lost my faith in religion because
of rumors I heard that I didn't want to believe, but there were facts
to back up those rumors with eyewitness accounts.
"Let me explain just one example. One of my friends, R____ C____
was supposed to have had an affair with Dave Hyles at the time he was
engaged to Paula and then newly married to Paula. I didn't want to believe
it until I overheard R____ and Mr. B____ (the Bible teacher). He had
seen R____ and Dave having sex in the back of a car and he was trying
to counsel R____ on it. Her father had taped telephone conversations
and had other proof, and was going to file statutory rape charges against
Dave (she was 16), but Jack Hyles threatened her father's job if he
went ahead – and also paid hush money!
"Also, a recent article said a Gail Merhalski spoke against Mr.
Nischik. I knew Gail as Gail McKinney. She taught German, English and
one year of Gym in Hammond Baptist High School. She was supposed to
be the 'ideal lady,' but the facts speak differently. As a teacher she
was an outrageous flirt with the good-looking high school students,
especially the basketball team. I overheard several conversations of
basketball players telling of their conquests of her. I could name names,
but I don't want to spread gossip or drag people in and cause them problems
for something that happened over 10 years ago…."
She described her current problems and said, "I know I deserve
the hell I'm living in, but Mr. Nischik, no. When I was young and going
to run away from home, I sat and talked to him for hours, crying; he
counseled and consoled me. He was my friend. He would give me a ride
to and from church on Sunday nights and sometimes on Wednesday. We'd
talk and laugh and stop for root beer on the way home (just for the
record and to keep him above reproach, his children, Judy and/or Jack
were with us). I always thought it strange that he and his wife were
never seen together, even talking. I know of many young people he counseled
and he always did it out of love, compassion and the desire to help.
It is because of Mr. Nischik that I haven't killed myself, he talked
me out of it more than once and made me smile and laugh when I never
thought I would smile again! He has not always told me what I wanted
to hear, but what I needed to hear. He's chewed me out when I needed
it and been there when no one else was. I thank God I knew Mr. Nischik;
he is a true friend and more Christ-like than anyone else I know is.
I won't stand by and watch him slandered by Jack Hyles....
"I want Jack Hyles to know that the little girl who embarrassed
him in Wards is now a woman – a strong, stubborn woman –
who will stand before him, look him in the eye, and say, 'There's Jack
Hyles. He's a liar and a thief, but far worse because he does it all
in the Name of Christ and Christendom.' I don't hate the man; I feel
sorrow and pity…. "
Notice that this lady talks about 'flirting' and 'overhearing' things,
the kind of accusations we would not normally print, but we do so now
only because they are exactly the same things Hyles quoted from Gail
As for Gail's claim that he was flirting at the church with teen-agers,
Vic says, "I was their father image. There are expressions of affection
and frequent hugs to this day. Any dedicated bus worker in the country
can relate to this. For one person to say that I was flirting with them
in the church auditorium is totally ludicrous. With thousands of people
present? I CARED FOR MY BUS KIDS AND LOVED THEM ALL DEARLY. I had many
of them from the time they were little children, through their teen
years, and into adulthood – and have had lifetime relationships
with them. Incidentally, this is what kept me going the many years I
was separated from Jennie. "
D. Next, Hyles reads from a letter by a former Nischik babysitter. We
assume he is still referring to Gail Merhalski since he quotes from
it immediately after her letter and very carefully does not say it is
from another source. Vic says, "I checked with my children and
to the best of our recollection, we come up with the following names
of baby sitters we used: Gail Merhalski (!!!), Debbie Jones, and Laura
Burnside. The Jones and Burnside families are my friends to this day.
As for Gail, why would she come to me asking for summer work if I had
mistreated her as one of our baby sitters?" A very good point!
The only person Gail says she told is dead and can neither corroborate
nor disprove it.
E. The matter of homosexuality. We will not dignify that slur with a
response other than to note Hyles can't have it both ways. Is Vic an
uninhibited lecher, a menace to every woman who comes near him, or is
he a closet homosexual?
F. Hyles' statement that Vic "has practically no credibility at
the First Baptist Church." Perhaps not, after he declared war on
him and spread all these lies about him. Prior to that, however, he
had credibility. Vic says, "Only three church members, Dexter Graves
(a deacon); his mother-in-law, Mrs. Florence Mitziga; and their close
friend, Mrs. Lorraine Ciesar – asked me to leave First Baptist
after my troubles with Hyles in 1985. Everyone else treated me with
kindness and courtesy. Many, many asked me to stay in the church and
fight the battle. My credibility was strong enough for him to come as
heavy as he did in his reply letter."
G. The "firing" and "lockout" at the Chicago automobile
agency. Vic says, "The owner, Steve H____, utilized my experience
in computers to develop a software package to provide accounting services
for car dealerships. Our plan was to market the product nationwide.
When all the development programs were completed, he stole my work and
locked me out. I had been contacted by Hanley Dawson Cadillac Company
and went to work for them within days of that incident. Steve H____
soon developed cancer of the colon and on his deathbed asked my forgiveness
for having made the silliest mistake of his life. Steve was also a believer,
a deacon in a church in Wilmette, Illinois. I had the joy of reconciling
with a brother before he slipped into eternity. The computer product
bombed out because he did not have the technical assistance to make
the venture fly. Jack Hyles is not the only man who betrayed me over
H. The next agency, Hyles says "hired someone else to take his
job and moved Mr. Nischik to another job." Vic says, "Max
Madsen, Vice-President, personally requested my transfer out of the
Cadillac agency to the Imports, because they were the real performers
in the company. Prior to the transfer, I had financial responsibility
for all franchises we managed (6). The work became too big for one person."
I. Hyles' final attempt at destroying Victor Nischik's reputation was:
"I can take you to a man in our area who testifies that Mr. Nischik
had an affair with his wife and broke up his marriage." If the
offer is serious, we suggest someone take him up on it.
After several days of trying to figure out who this man is and whose
home was broken, Vic concluded he was referring to his bus partner for
17 years, a man who suddenly left his wife and two children for a married
woman at work. When the high school principal requested prayer at a
faculty meeting for a senior "whose father had walked out on them,"
a teacher, Mrs. B____ M____, who is also a deacon's wife at First Baptist,
offered the following gossip: "Yes, I know why he left. The mother
and her boss (Vic) both work in Chicago (at MBI) and ride to work together
all the time. That is why he left the family." Hence the implication
that Vic broke up the home. The fact is, she and Vic never rode to work
or from work one single time! Vic always used public transportation.
For what it's worth, Vic went to work on the husband and succeeded in
getting the couple back together. Alas, the lure of forbidden fruit
was too strong and the man returned to his mistress again, this time
divorcing his wife and marrying the other woman. But to blame Vic for
the marriage break-up is absolutely inane.
That man, incidentally, is now a "spiritual leader" at another
church, so obviously Hyles and First Baptist are not the only ones operating
on an "anything goes" basis for church leaders.
There is a humorous aspect to this wild story, if anything like this
can be humorous. Earlier this year Jennie Nischik announced at a staff
meeting that Vic had married the woman in question. The poor man got
calls from all over the country, congratulating him on his marriage.
His standard answer was, "Thank you, but would you mind telling
me who the new bride is? I haven't met her." The story received
added credibility, of course, since it came from Jennie. To this day
he is still having to refute it.
We are going to sum up all these wild accusations by quoting Vic in
wondering aloud why Jack Hyles, if these things were true, allowed him
"Work on a bus route for 241⁄2 years, requiring him to handle
thousands of children and teen-agers, and always with adult men working
"Serve on the deacon board for 25 years?
"Be part of the pastoral staff for a quarter of a century, working
at the altar during the invitation, and dealing with thousands of people
who came forward to make spiritual decisions?
"Serve as church choir director for 41⁄2 years?
"Lead the singing in the Auditorium Pastor's Adult Class for 26
"Work for many, many years assisting Jack Hyles (and later, John
Colsten) in the baptistry during the baptismal services, working on
the ladies' side, assisting them into the baptistry and helping them
out again? (Jack Hyles had him there in that extremely sensitive area
because he could trust him. Check with Mrs. Fay Johnson or Mrs. Carroll
Lail, who worked in the ladies' dressing room, and ask them if there
were any signs of impropriety on Vic's part.)
"Go with Dave Hyles' singing group, 'Strength and Beauty,' as chaperon
three years in a row on extended nationwide tours? (It was his job,
as per Jack Hyles' orders, to keep discipline, including that of his
"Be the business manager for Hyles-Duckels Camp for a number of
years, requiring frequent visits during camp season? (Check with the
resident caretaker, Paul Carr, who still lives near the camp, about
If Vic is the moral bum Hyles implies, let him answer these questions.
Consider next what Hyles calls "untruth" in my article.
10. "Untruth #1" is that the Nischiks were "happy as
a family" before Hyles messed with them. Hyles says they "had
marital problems nearly from their wedding day." If so, other than
normal marital problems such as all couples have, Jennie never told
Vic. The latter says, "This statement came from Jack Hyles, allegedly
quoting Jennie, after she threatened to file for divorce in 1971. We
did have a happy marriage until Hyles tampered with my home. I have
many photos to prove it. I also have two children to prove it."
11. "Untruth #2 " is that Hyles didn't tell Vic, "I need
your wife in my office." This is nitpicking. That kind of a statement
is not supposed to be an exact quote, 20 years after the fact. Perhaps
he asked, "Would you be willing to have your wife work for me?"
or something like that. Vic does recall Hyles saying Jennie's mind was
too brilliant to merely be a simple housewife.
12. "Untruth #3 " is the same as #1, except he exaggerates
a little more; in #1 he said "nearly from their wedding day"
and in #3 it is "from day one. " No one has marital problems
"from day one."
13. "Untruth #4" fails to point out any alleged untruth. Hyles
admits he was called to the Nischik home because Jennie said she wanted
a divorce, which is what we said. Hyles says the idea of him offering
Vic "financial help to relocate elsewhere" is ridiculous.
Go back and read how generous Hyles says he is in helping people and
see if you think this is so ridiculous, and then go back and reread
"9.A” above. There was no discussion of anyone running off
with anybody; Jennie was asking for a divorce on the basis of a misunderstood
Montgomery Ward sales slip. Hyles also claims here, "The truth
is he wanted to leave his wife. " Then why didn't be, instead of
sleeping in a cold, damp basement for years until his health was about
to break, then living in a dormer over the garage? There is absolutely
no validity or common sense to this argument whatsoever.
14. "Untruth #5" is summed up by Hyles in two sentences: "Mr.
Nischik talked about evidence. He had none then and he has none now."
Of course he doesn't. This related to the intimate letters Hyles had
written Jennie, which Vic testified under oath he had discovered. The
agreement the three reached that night was that Jennie would not divorce
Vic and he could live in the basement – if he would give Hyles
the evidence. His home and family meant enough to Vic that he agreed,
handing over the letters to Hyles. They are the letters daughter Judy
referred to when she said to Hyles, "I remember hearing once that
it is not wise to put anything in writing that one would not want the
entire world to see. (You know well the horrifying effects doing so
can cause, don't you?)"
15. "Untruth #6" is that Hyles says he "had nothing to
do with" the living arrangement worked out whereby Vic lived in
the basement. How in the world could Vic and Jennie have worked out
the arrangements when she refused to speak to him from the first Sunday
in July of 1971 until August of 1985? Vic says, "How could we possibly
have made these intricate decisions without someone's help? That eager
help came from Jack Hyles." The fact is, the arrangement existed.
It is also under this point that Hyles says, "I know for a fact
that when Mrs. Nischik asked Mr. Nischik to help pay the tuition for
the children, he refused to do so." Not so, says Vic. "She
and Hyles insisted on paying all the expenses for the children themselves
from 1968." He had the money ready to pay the children's tuition,
but “Hyles urged me to spend the money to send a number of my
bus kids to our Christian schools, which I did. At one time I had as
many as six bus kids enrolled in our schools, paying their tuition bills."
16. "Untruth #7" is Hyles' claim that he didn't order Jennie
to divorce Vic, adding that "she did not even come to me for advice
concerning the divorce." Those who know how Hyles operates will
have a hard time swallowing that one. NO STAFF MEMBER AT FIRST BAPTIST
IN HIS OR HER RIGHT MIND WOULD MAKE A MAJOR DECISION WITHOUT SEEKING
THE APPROVAL OF JACK HYLES FIRST. This is a policy he has publicly stated
for years and thousands have heard him. And, in spite of the light way
divorce is treated in Hammond, that is a major decision. This is merely
one more example of the cultic mind control Hyles holds over his followers.
They are not capable of making major decisions without him. And when
he advises people like Jennie and Vic, where he has a vested interest,
his policy is to pit one against the other. Vic says, "His repeated
counsel to me was that I had to break Jennie like a wild pony before
she would be a submissive wife. The counsel always was confrontational
and not constructive or conciliatory. He rarely had any positive advice.
You can only imagine what he told her to destroy her love and confidence
in me. Jack Hyles is as master a manipulator as any cult leader has
ever been: pitting one against the other."
If Hyles has such strong convictions against divorce, why doesn't he
preach against it? Why doesn't he discipline members who break up homes
and run off with other mates? If he has such strong standards against
divorce, why does he marry anyone and everyone who asks, even before
the ink on the divorce papers is figuratively dry (John Stancil, for
example). Vic says, "When I asked Jennie in 1971 if she had a scriptural
basis for her actions, her reply was, 'I don't care what the Bible says!'
She learned that defiant attitude from her mentor and boss, Jack Hyles."
Hyles says the only reason he got involved in the Nischik case is because
Vic subpoenaed him. But why would Vic subpoena him if he wasn't already
Incidentally, it is interesting that Hyles calling her "a wild
pony" fits another description given by a long-time deacon at First
Baptist, a loyal supporter of Hyles, who also was a neighbor of the
Nischiks. We will not name this brother because he has threatened to
go to court to force me to print his long 6-page, single-spaced letter
defending his friends in Hammond (without answering any of the charges,
however), but we will say that his two lengthy letters to me were courteous,
kindly written and in a Christian spirit – seeming like an oasis
spring in comparison to most of the letters from Hyles' supporters.
And we did assure him that if we wrote about the matter again, we would
make mention of his support for Dr. Hyles (consider it done). At any
rate, this good brother told of talking in his yard to Vic when Mrs.
Nischik came out and ordered the latter home, saying he had work to
do and a lawn to mow. This good brother says, "I told Vic Nischik
immediately to tell her to shut her mouth and go back in the house,
and he at that time asked me what I thought he should do. I told him
that after he wrapped the lawn mower around her neck to let the grass
grow around her ears, and I indicated to him that he better take care
of that situation before it got further out of hand." This good
brother was speaking facetiously, of course, but it doesindicate her
"wild pony" spirit.
17. "Untruth #8 " is a denial that he "met with the attorneys
on both sides and unilaterally negotiated the terms of the divorce settlement."
Ah, but he did. As I write these lines I am looking at the bill for
the attorney's services for a meeting between the two lawyers and "Rev.
Hyles" on May 9, 1986. Attorney Hess told Vic that, after the deposition
was completed, Hyles met him in the hall and wanted to talk with him,
saying he didn't want to go to court. As a result, the two attorneys
(Vic's lawyer and Jennie's lawyer) met with Jack Hyles – just
the 3 of them; neither Vic nor Jennie were present – and worked
out the divorce agreement. Yet Hyles says, "It was Mr. Nischik's
attorney who asked to meet with me privately. I wanted no involvement;
I sought no involvement, but I was forced by subpoena." There was
no subpoena of Hyles to meet on May 9th with the two lawyers in the
case. He met with them because he wanted to; he met with them because
he asked to.
18. "Untruth #9" is his denial of what Vic said under oath,
that he was never a party to the contract for his own house in Munster,
that Hyles made all the arrangements and that "Vic never paid a
dime on it, never even signed the contract, nor did he have any say
in selecting the floor plan." Yet the truth of the matter is that
the contract for the construction of that house is still in Vic's files,
unsigned! Neither he nor Jennie ever signed it. Vic put up no deposit.
Somebody did; no contractor outside an insane asylum would build a house
without a contract being signed by someone.
About that house, Vic says, "I did not spend a dime on the house,
including the construction. I did take care of the yard. Jack Hyles
handled everything else, including decisions to cover all hardwood floors
in the upstairs bedrooms with deep pile carpeting and to install central
air conditioning, new aluminum siding, new driveway, the dormer, and
many other major improvements. Keep in mind, he totally controlled our
lives. Neither did I purchase the lot on which the house was built.
19. "Untruth #10" is the denial that he established the amount
of rent Vic would pay to live in a corner of the basement. This has
already been answered in #15 ("Untruth #6) above.
20. "Untruth #11" is a denial of my charge about his lack
of financial record keeping. Told by the court to bring his financial
records to the deposition, Hyles showed up with nothing. The following
testimony ensued about cash payments to Mrs. Nischik:
"Q. How much have you been paying her then?
"A. I don't know. According to what she needs and what I have.
"Q. Do you have any records of that?
"A. No, sir. I keep no records of anything I give away."
We will not say more now because we understand startling revelations
about Hyles' finances are about to be published, making further word
from us unnecessary.
21. "Untruth #12 " relates to his denial that he "shouted"
when Vic tried to scripturally (Matthew 18) face Hyles at a deacons
meeting about destroying his marriage, or that he shouted, "You
are trying to destroy Fundamentalism." Anyone who knows Hyles has
no trouble believing he shouted. If Vic's charges are false, as he claims,
he should have shouted. As for what he said, those familiar with his
inflated and repeated claims about his importance to Fundamentalism
will have no problem with it, either.
The most easily recognized facet of Hyles' nature is his ego. A lady
who visited First Baptist with friends back in 1977, when Hyles preached
on pride, recorded in her diary that night her observation of the sermon:
"People need to be careful to use other people as examples when
preaching or teaching on humility, not themselves." The head of
a ministry in Missouri wrote: "I must say that I was not the least
bit surprised to hear about Jack Hyles. I first came into contact with
Jack Hyles over 30 years ago through the pages of the Sword of the Lord.
I have read numerous sermons he preached in that paper, and have listened
to several of his taped sermons. I have also heard him numerous times
on the radio. Nearly 30 years ago I told my first wife (deceased) that
Jack Hyles was headed for a fall. I recognized even back then that he
was a very proud-hearted man. He was constantly promoting himself and
pushing himself forward. He also made claims that anyone with sense
above a goose could see were false. A man who has to bask himself in
adulation from others and who has to make false claims in order to build
himself is not a spiritual man in the biblical sense."
22. "Untruth #13" is his denial that "one-third of the
deacon board has resigned over this issue." This information came
from several past and present people involved with the board. One of
our inside sources said "one-half," but we chose to use the
more conservative figure. If Hyles would like a list of names of men
who resigned or refused to be reappointed in 1985-1986, we can produce
them. Since the article appeared, one former lady staff member at the
church, now living in another state, wrote: "The wives of the deacons
who have resigned from the deacon board are close friends of mine who
have written me regularly for encouragement."
23. "Untruth #14" is his denial that he has "thoroughly
indoctrinated his people with the idea, if you didn't see it happen,
it didn't happen." Ah, but he has! He goes on to say what he believes,
but we were speaking of what he has convinced his people to believe
– and we stand by our statement. That is exactly what his people
have concluded. What he describes is his actions toward other preachers,
and this has led to the massive cover-up of sin, ignoring things that
are taking place. The case of his son is just one illustration; fact
after fact, proof after proof, was presented to him and he "didn't
A prominent independent Baptist preacher in Georgia, after our article
appeared, wrote me about question marks he sensed over the years: "I
wondered why he flew to Atlanta to defend a Marietta, Georgia, preacher
in immorality. I wondered why he again flew to Atlanta to defend one
of 'the famous Smith brothers' – Tom – in his immorality,
divorce, remarriage, and home breaking. Many babies-out-of-wedlock followed
those escapades in that church here in Forest Park. I wondered, 'where
is the Scriptural defense?' I wondered why he hired F. Lee Bailey to
come here to defend an Indian preacher, who shot a boy in cold-blooded
murder after chasing him for blocks in his car, having seen him steal
gas from the church buses. That particular preacher had broken up one
Christian marriage that I knew of personally. These things troubled
me – BUT – his name was Jack Hyles."
While we could give examples until readers become weary, a letter came
from Michigan where a man pastored who was, "as he stated many
times, 'the closest preacher boy to Bro. Hyles after Johnny Pope'."
He "counseled about his 'problem' with Bro. Hyles many, many times"
and "then, suddenly, he took another pastorate in Georgia upon
the recommendation of Bro. Hyles." We sometimes wonder if Hyles
spends more time flying around the country helping preachers cover up
sin and get out of town than he does in conferences. One thing is for
sure: guilty preachers know whom to call when they get caught!
24. "Untruth #15" relates to the "mouth-to-mouth resuscitation"
matter. Why he calls this an untruth we have no idea because he admits
saying it and saying it "often." The thing that amazes and
saddens us is that he sullies the memory of one of Fundamentalism's
most beloved men by publicizing false slander about him. He says he
doesn't believe it and we don't believe it, so why send gossip nobody
believes out to some 65,000 or so preachers – many of whom had
never heard it?
25. "Untruth #16" is twofold, a denial that he and Mrs. Nischik
followed each other home after church, and that there is no access between
her office and his. Regarding the first denial, I was not talking about
last Sunday night. I referred to the "old days" when the children
were young and this sordid mess was just beginning. I have information
about this coming from one of his own children, as well as others.
As for his denial of a door between the two offices, that is a lie borne
out of obvious desperation. Elsewhere in this issue is a photocopy of
the floor plan showing the door. Previously we mentioned young Jack
Nischik finding the gold bullion in the safe when the door was open.
In Mrs. Nischik's office is a long drape that extends from one end of
the wall to the other. In Dr. Hyles' office the wall stretches from
end to end with paneling and the door is of the same material, blending
in so that the average person would not detect it. If necessary, I can
produce sworn, notarized statements by people who have seen it and used
it. Naturally, our statement does not make the claim for its existence
today, only that it was there at least until the Nischik divorce. I
am told that the maintenance man, Randy Erickson, built bookshelves
over that area in recent months; perhaps so. Readers will note that
Hyles only says "there is no access" (present tense). As for
"is," I can't say; but for "was," I am positive.
26. "Untruth #17" denies the longtime member's estimate that
"perhaps 40% of his teaching and preaching has been in defense
of himself." He invites those who listen to his tapes to check
it out; we do, too. Obviously, the brother who made the claim was referring
to the aim of the messages, not that Hyles stands in the pulpit and
defends himself (although he does that, too). He was referring to the
constant references by Hyles to the good he is doing, the results he
is having, the programs he offers, the important status of pastors,
the need for absolute loyalty, Sunday school lessons on themes like
"10 things I have done to help others" (mentioned in our "
Saddest Story" article) – in short, preaching aimed at making
himself look good.
27. "Untruth #18" refers to the intimate letters he wrote
Mrs. Nischik. This is a repeat of a matter already dealt with. Go back
and reread #14 above ("Untruth #5"). He is wrong about saying
Mr. Nischik knows this is an untruth, but he is right in saying he can't
produce the letters. Hyles has no worry here; he destroyed them in exchange
for getting Mrs. Nischik to allow Vic to live in the basement instead
of divorcing him in 1971.
28. "Untruth #19" is a denial of the offer he made Vic regarding
Mrs. Hyles. He talks about his blood boiling and describes it as "vicious,
corrupt," etc., which was Vic's feelings exactly when the offer
was made. Vic says, "It was a vulgar offer. When he made it, I
told him to his face that he was sick." This is another one of
those "if you say I said this, I will deny it and it will be your
word against mine." We said at the time that there were no witnesses,
of course, and the offer should be evaluated in the light of the rest
of the article. We stand by that.
Under the same point he says Mrs. Hyles "is one of the most proper,
respected and loved ladies in America." We have no argument with
that and we consider her a pure and virtuous woman. Our only complaint
is that she has known about this mess for over 20 years and has been
part of the cover-up "for the good of the ministry." In this
particular incident, Vic told her of the offer within days and says,
"She was not at all surprised that he would do so."
29. "Untruth #20" is his claim that the statement made in
the previous item about "your word against mine" is only made
in jest about his weight, age and other matters. That he often thus
jokes is a matter of record – heard by thousands, we suppose –
but we are not talking about pulpit jokes, we are talking about deadly
serious conversations in private. He has said it again and again to
numerous individuals. His published reply to me is an illustration of
how it works!
30. "Untruth #21" is a denial that a man was long on his faculty
who called Jack and Beverly "on a first name basis"; he says
no one "who has ever been at the college has known me on a first-name
basis." This is not true and the man in question was a good friend
in the Texas days, before he became so important in his own mind that
everyone must call him "Doctor" Hyles or "Brother"
Hyles. While we stand totally behind the statement that he was on a
first-name basis with Jack, note that he ignored the charge this good
man made: "In all the years I was there, I never once saw Jack
and Beverly together. I never once heard them say a word to each other.
That was not the way it was in the early days when I first knew them."
31. "Untruth #22" relates to why Mrs. Hyles did not attend
the funeral of Dr. John R. Rice. His answer is totally unacceptable,
of course, because he could as easily have flown from Los Angeles to
Nashville via Chicago (maybe he did) as any other way. The fact remains,
she did not attend – something I was not aware of until a member
of First Baptist related the story to me.
32. "Untruth #23" is his denial that he ever called his son
"the most brilliant, spiritual man he ever met." This, by
the way, was all he had to say about our charges against Dave. While
he denies the "spiritual" part (for obvious reasons), he admits
he has "often said that he has one of the most brilliant minds
I have ever known."
Well, this brilliant man is the same one who put all those vulgar pictures
in "a nice looking fairly new suitcase" in a dumpster behind
the church where he was pastoring and got caught as a result. This brilliant
man got trapped at a Hammond area Holiday Inn because he insisted on
trying to continue an affair with a teen-ager he had already seduced,
but who told him repeatedly she wanted nothing more to do with him,
so she set him up to make Father Hyles believe her. This brilliant man,
after being exposed in Texas, was given a job by a personal friend from
First Baptist/Hyles-Anderson days and then he tried to set up a tryst
with an employee on the job. She took the note to the boss and his friend
fired him on the spot. Then this brilliant man left incriminating evidence
in his desk, copies of which are before me as I write.
The first is a note he wrote. It was in a company envelope that said
on the outside, "Mel. An answer is demanded immediately! NOW!"
The note inside, on "From the desk of DAVID HYLES" stationary
said: "When are you going to meet me at 6:00 A.M.? I promise to
be in a super good mood! I really would enjoy getting to know you better.
I'll even meet you for breakfast! Come on chicken! You are tough aren't
you?!? I am waiting for your answer. Hey, I'll change the time even.
You tell me!" And the handwritten note was signed with his initials,
"D. H." So he was still playing these games after he abandoned
Paula and his daughters and was living in Illinois with Brenda.
But this brilliant man made an even more "unbrilliant" mistake.
He also left a copy of a letter addressed to him from the Illinois Department
of Children and Family Services, dated April 01, 1986, which is also
before me as I write ("SCR Case No. 0200125B2A20"). Without
quoting it all, here are the opening 3 paragraphs:
"You were previously notified that this Department was investigating
a report of suspected child abuse or neglect in fulfillment of its responsibilities
"After a thorough evaluation, we have determined the report to
be 'indicated.' This means that credible evidence of child abuse or
neglect has been found.
"You were identified as a person responsible for the child abuse
It was signed by Dennis H Stuckey, Administrator, State Central Register.
That is pretty serious stuff and how or why a brilliant man would leave
it lying around is beyond me. We knew of this charge before our "Saddest
Story" article was written, but chose not to mention it because
someone got the charges dropped. We have since learned that when the
body of his stepson was sent to Garland for burial, another coroner
reached somewhat the same conclusion. Under "Case No. 110885,"
I have before me a 5-page report signed by M. G. F. Gilliland, M.D.,
Medical Examiner in Dallas, Texas. The only date on the report relates
to the date and time of his examination: November 8, 1985, 11:30 A.M.
Much of it is written in technical language and far too lengthy to reproduce
here anyway, so we will just give Dr Gilliland's conclusion, in its
"In my opinion the cause of death of Brent Stevens, a 17-month-old
white male child, is undetermined after two complete autopsy examinations,
toxicologic examination, microscopic examination, and bacterial culture.
In the face of unexplained and inadequately explained broken bones in
a year old infant the cause of death should not be ascribed to the minor
level of infection consistent with the recent upper respiratory tract
infection. Because lethal injuries can be inflicted on a child of this
age without leaving marks, and this child was injured in a pattern consistent
with deliberate infliction by an adult, his cause of death is best left
as undetermined. Postmortem technology reveals only methanol used in
the embalming process" (emphasis added).
And Dr. Gilliland joined the Illinois examiners in refusing to rule
accidental death, putting at the end of his report: "MANNER OF
33. "Untruth #24" is whether or not he refused to intervene
when Karen Plopper divorced her husband Ray. This is another case of
"your word against mine." Our main and original point remains
the same, namely, divorce is treated lightly at First Baptist. Here
is a staff member with whom Hyles says he "pleaded with her not
to get a divorce." She did anyway. Did it affect her status on
the staff? No way. Incidentally, it is interesting that custody of their
son was awarded to Ray, not Karen.
34. "Untruth #25" is another "your word against mine."
The fact remains undenied that their daughter divorced her husband after
only a few weeks of marriage. If the father didn't push her into "a
marriage she did not want," why?
35. "Untruth #26" is not an untruth at all. I said that Mrs.
Fay Dodson "divorced her first husband and shortly thereafter was
given the job of starting and directing the Phoster Club." Hyles
admits it. In fact, when her current husband wrote and threatened me
("Where I come from we dont usually take a person to court for
things like slander and falafying. We just go out and stomp our own
snakes.... If you would kindly write my wife a letter saying how sorry
you was then I might be inclined to forget about this matter. If you
dont then one of these days I may just haft to come down there and talk
to you myself and I just know you would not like that not even a little
bit"), I reminded him, "I did not write one single lie about
your wife. If so, kindly tell me what it was. I said she had divorced
and remarried. That is a matter of public record. I said she 'owed thousands
of dollars to a businessman.' I know that man. I said she counseled
a woman to divorce her husband. I know that woman, too."
Note in passing, not only was the "untruth" Hyles charges
me with not an untruth, but also he deftly sidestepped the other serious
charges. We are getting a little weary with Hyles answering serious
charges by saying, "She is a lovely woman," "He is a
great soul winner," and the like.
It is interesting about Mrs. Dotson that a former Hyles-Anderson coed,
working later in another ministry, lived with her when she was still
Mrs. Meredith. She tells me that Mrs. Meredith met Lou Dotson in early
August of 1974 and they were married the following month, a real whirlwind
courtship. The lady who told me about it, who was present at the ceremony,
said: "She had a GIGANTIC wedding at First Baptist, wearing a very
fancy off-white wedding dress with Phoster Club ladies as bridesmaids
(which were numerous!). It was a very big deal for a divorced couple.
Jack Hyles performed the ceremony! I was in shock and rarely stayed
in touch with her again."
36. "Untruth #27" relates to what a deacon at First Baptist
charged about divorce at the church and school reaching epidemic proportions.
Hyles answered by saying that only 26 people out of "556 employed
by the First Baptist Church and its ministries" are divorced. But
we were not talking about those in leadership positions; the deacon
we quoted was talking about members, students and everyone involved
with the church. But if Hyles has 26 people in leadership positions
who are divorced (you have to watch his words because he is tricky with
his tenses: "there is no access between our offices"; "there
are 26 who are divorced"; he may not be counting the ones who have
remarried since divorcing), that is 26 too many, in our judgment.
37. "Untruth #28" contains his denial that he treats "sex
problems lightly" in his ministry. Our answer is: go back and read
the sordid charges he makes against Vic, then see how lightly he treated
them, placing Vic in some of the most prominent positions in the church.
He talks about the homosexual, saying it was never proven, but ignores
the charge that a student was booted for teaching the “heresy”
that “women ought to be keepers at home” – which I
compared with the homosexual who stayed and graduated – and that
when the "heretic" was dismissed during finals week, the administration
was not going to allow him to take his exams and get his credits –
until he demanded his $2,000 back for the semester, then they permitted
him to take the tests at the public library (not on campus).
In Hyles' answer he also said "any student in any of the schools
whom we know to have committed adultery are immediately dismissed."
Is that so? How about the faculty/staff member who seduced the administrator's
teen-age high school daughter? All kinds of evidence was given against
him. When was he "dismissed"? When was she "dismissed"?
He never was, of course, nor was she, and the cover-up continued.
38. "Untruth #29" relates to the rescue mission basement room
that served – mirrors on walls and ceiling – as a place
for homosexual encounters. He calls this "a blatant, blasphemous
untruth." I know the two deacons who discovered it. They did report
it to Hyles who, indeed, did nothing.
Under this same item Hyles denies that his mission director was a womanizer
and viewer of X-rated videos, especially ones dealing with incest. Hyles
says, "I have investigated it and found it untrue." Then his
investigation was not very thorough. Before me as I write is a letter
from a lady who grew up a block from the Hyles home and who thanked
me for not giving the deceased mission director's name because it would
have hurt his family, and his stepdaughter is her best friend. Then
she says, "I remember being at the ______ house when [the wife
and daughter] found the X-rated books that _____ had lying around. They
were sick, and the basis of most of them was incest. [The daughter]
felt the need to have a talk with her young sister, _____, who was just
10 at the time, and teach her how to react if _____ ever tried anything
with her." This eyewitness testimony ought to settle the matter.
(By the way, Hyles was given the rental receipts from Rabin's, where
the man rented the X-rated videos! He was also given evidence by two
deacons that the same mission director was carrying on an adulterous
affair with a local prostitute, whose name we have. Those deacons are
two of the many who have since resigned and left the church because
of the cover-up of sin.)
While not related to this point, the writer went on to say, "I
must tell you of one effect that your article has had. Several of my
mom's friends, who are former First Baptist members, said they were
calling their children to apologize to them. Our parents feel so guilty
for putting us into that environment. But, at the time, they thought
that they were doing what was best for us." And she went on to
tell of the problems she was experiencing in trying to get involved
with another church and preacher, after being exposed to all the hypocrisy
at Hammond. (At the end of this article we will give the address of
a support group where ex-members and ex-students can write.)
By the way, this lady had nothing but praise for Vic, who stood by her
"when Hyles had given up on me, and said I would never amount to
anything. I am happy to report that I have lived up to Vic's assessment
of me, rather than down to that of Hyles," and she credits Vic's
faithfulness to turning her life around. God bless her, and all others
like her who have been hurt.
39. "Untruth #30" is Hyles' denial that one faculty member
caught another faculty member "having sex with a teenager on school
property." We have the names of both faculty members involved.
If Hyles expects us to believe that this faculty member walked in on
such an incident and didn't report it, he is more naive than we now
He also lightly treats my other charges as hearsay – but we adamantly
refuse to name our sources for reasons already indicated, even if no
one believes us, and Hyles puts in big bold capital letters: "IF
IT COULD BE PROVED THAT ANY OF OUR COLLEGE FACULTY MEMBERS ARE GUILTY
OF ADULTERY, THEY WOULD BE DISMISSED IMMEDIATELY. THE SAME IS TRUE WITH
ANY STUDENT.” Yeah, just as faculty member Dave Hyles was immediately
dismissed after Hyles was given a "ton" of evidence regarding
his immorality – to say nothing of all the other faculty members
I have mentioned. When Hyles doesn't "see" it, I guess he
doesn't believe it.
40. "Untruth #31" relates to the vulgarity of the faculty
member during a high school chapel earlier this year. I said one lady
raised a ruckus but no one else seemed to object. Hyles responded, "I
heard about the situation, and I objected and corrected it immediately."
Evidently that correction took place in a corner, as per other kindred
situations in Hammond. What the occasion called for, but didn't get,
was an appearance by Hyles on the high school chapel platform to apologize
to the students for what they had endured, ask their forgiveness, publicly
rebuke the teacher, and promise that something like that would never
41. "Untruth #32" is Hyles' denial of the song "Where's
the Beef," irreverently sung to the tune of the gospel tune, "Come
and Dine." He says, "I had never heard the song until I saw
it in his paper." Come, come, Doc. I have a tape recording of your
Sunday morning sermon, February 16, 1986, on the subject, 'The Comfort
of His Eternal Humanity,' where you again preached that heresy. At the
start of the message you described your "Boopsie-Woopsie"
routine, sang, "Look at all that hair," which you said you
wrote and sang to the girls that week. Then you went on, "I also
wrote this one," proceeding to sing "Where's the Beef"
to the tune of "Come and Dine." While your musical talents
are roughly those of Lester Roloff (whom we all loved to hear anyway,
because we knew he was real), I did manage to make out the two tunes.
You can get your own tape and listen to it; I want to keep my copy as
42. "Untruth #33" relates to his "Where's the beef"
foolishness. He admits to most of what I said, but adds, "I never
take off my coat." I was quoting there what I called “a friendly
eyewitness account from a preacher who attends annually" his Pastors
School. This preacher read the "Saddest Story," listened to
Hyles' declaration of war, read his 4-page letter and his 11-page "Reply,"
then publicly stated that he believed Hyles and I are both innocent
– Hyles of the charges and me by virtue of being "taken in"
on the story. So it is a very friendly eyewitness whom Hyles is calling
a liar and, if mistaken, it was certainly very innocent on his part.
As for Hyles, we are not sure whether he is claiming that he never takes
off his coat (some preacher don't, in public), or whether he simply
means he never does when he flexes his muscles. If the former, it is
easy to prove contrariwise and we can supply pictures. Strangely Hyles
wears short sleeve shirts and when his coat is off, rolls up the short
sleeves even shorter – almost to the shoulder! Be that as it may,
we have the testimony of others who have seen him shed his coat for
his silly muscle flexing routine. We have no idea why he denies it.
43. "Untruth #34" is his denial that he prays to his mother.
At the same time he does indeed acknowledge that he "goes to her
grave every week to talk to her." He ignored our question and comment,
"Why go to the cemetery? His mother is not there; she is in Heaven.
According to this philosophy, she could hear him if he talked to her
from a bar." His mother, like the Virgin Mary, is not omniscient,
omnipotent or omnipresent. The Blessed Virgin cannot hear more than
one speaking at a time and neither could Hyles' mother. We know of no
Scripture teaching that any redeemed person in Heaven hears anyone on
earth, redeemed or unredeemed. It is possible that they do, but, if
so, the Word of God is silent about it. And Hyles did tell his congregation,
before the "big Sunday," he had gone to the cemetery and pled
with his mother to "pull" for him to reach their goal. If
that is not praying to the dead, what is it? And he does go through
the Rice/Roloff/Roberson/Mother picture routine before he leaves to
preach – and says he asks his mother to intercede for him to do
a good job. Tens of thousands have heard him say so.
44. "Untruth #35" relates to his jumping on the Ruckman bandwagon.
He says he doesn't know Ruckman, has never heard him preach or listened
to one of his tapes. I didn't say he had become a Ruckman follower;
I said he had endorsed the Ruckman position on the KIV. If he hasn't,
Ruckman is sure fooled. He printed a banner headline across the entire
front of his paper: "Jack Hyles Takes Stand Against Alexandria"
(June, 1984), and in the article quoted him:
"It bothers me when people say, 'We believe that the Bible in the
original manuscripts is the word of God.'
"Then we HAVE NO BIBLE.
"Do you understand: WE HAVE NO BIBLE."
Ruckman was smart enough to understand that Hyles was endorsing his
position and teaching contrary to the historic Christian position –
that inspiration relates exclusively to the original manuscripts. That
was Hyles position, too, until Dr. John R. Rice died, when he suddenly
made a 180° turn. Reread the testimony of the Hyles-Anderson alumnus
in our May 1 issue, if you doubt it.
45. "Untruth #36" is his denial that he said one was not saved
if the personal worker used another English version, claiming "the
genes were flawed." Again, this is a case of Hyles' word against
Vic's – who was so shocked when he heard him say it – but
it is a very minor point and if he says he never said it, we will not
46. "Untruth #37" relates to charges of his heretical preaching
in the "Merit vs. Demerit" sermon, quoting me as saying about
his teaching, "If you have enough in reserve, God will forgive
your sin and put you back in business." I did not claim to be quoting
him word-for-word (there were no quotation marks around the statement),
merely giving the exact gist of it. Many, many other preachers have
heard the same sermon tape and came to the same conclusion I did. Hyles
actually called what he was teaching "stumbling insurance"
and said flatly, "God's degree of patience when you stumble will
be totally dependent on how fast you were running." In fact, his
first point was, "God's degree of patience with you when you stumble
is determined by how fast you were running." His second point was,
"Your chance on a second chance will depend on what you did with
your first chance." His conclusion was, "You'd better be worth
enough to God, [have] enough merits built up, so when you stumble the
demerits will not overbalance the merits." My evaluation harmonizes
exactly with what he said. We pointed out that the teaching was "a
warmed over, remodeled version of the old 'indulgences' philosophy practiced
in Roman Catholicism." It is! And the tragedy is that the tape
of the sermon we have was preached at a conference in Colorado with
hundreds of preachers present who whooped and hollered and shouted their
agreement all the way through. Has Fundamentalism come to this?
But wait, in what is probably the closest thing in his reply to an admission
of guilt, he says Dr. Wayne VanGelderen, Dr. Walt Handford, and Dr.
Ed Nelson had all voiced an opinion to him that the teaching in this
sermon "was a bit dangerous," to quote VanGelderen. But wait
again, since he himself involved Dr. VanGelderen, let me note that in
a letter to me prior to my "Saddest Story" article, Dr. VanGelderen
said, "I have reproached Brother Jack several times concerning
material from several of his sermons. Each time, he has very humbly
admitted that he saw the point and said that he would not preach the
sermons anymore." There is something wrong with the theology and
reliability of a preacher whom others must keep correcting!”
The amazement becomes stronger when he denies, in this same "Untruth
#37," that he believes in the eternal humanity of Christ. Hyles
says, "I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE ETERNAL HUMANITY OF CHRIST."
Then he seeks to explain it away by saying, "I simply mean that
I believe that man was made in the image of God and was meant to be
like Christ." This is absolutely incredible; that is nothing like
what he has been teaching. We documented clear statement after statement
in which he taught "the eternal humanity of Christ," even
claiming Fundamentalists have always believed and taught it. While I
could invite readers to go back and reread my October 1, 1988, editorial
in which I abundantly documented this teaching, suffice it now to simply
give what could be interpreted as his "doctrinal statement"
on the subject. In his message of February 16, 1986, after the Scripture
reading by John Colsten, and just before Hyles prayed, he said he wanted
to make this statement (part of which is true, of course): "There
has always been a member of the Godhead who was human and God. The Trinity
did not last only for 33 years. There's always been Jesus Christ, the
same yesterday, today and forever. He is the human deity now. He always
has been. He always will be. He did not become human when He came to
Bethlehem. He became flesh, but not human. He's always been human. And
I wanna talk this morning on the subject, 'The Comfort of His Eternal
Humanity'." That is every word in his statement; he then prayed
and preached. For him to explain away those clear declarations with
a mere "I also admit that I was not very articulate" will
not suffice. He has taught it in many of his messages and he has expounded
it clearly and repeatedly. It is heresy in the first degree.
47. "Untruth #38" is his denial that he has an improper understanding
of repentance. To prove it, he says, "Our altar is filled every
Sunday night with people repenting of sin." This illustrates his
misunderstanding. "People at the altar," even weeping and
wailing, is not repentance. While he says he teaches his workers to
get conversions, what they often get is professions. That is why tens
of thousands of his converts do not stick – there is no repentance.
A case in point: just this past week I read a long paper written by
a Hyles-Anderson alumnus who served on the mission field. His life was
as immoral as the lowest profligate, almost completely controlled by
wicked lust. While at Hyles-Anderson he "became active in a bus
ministry and even started a Sunday school class for Thai speaking people
in First Baptist Church at Hammond, Indiana, where my wife and I sang
in the choir." Yet he was practically a whoremonger. What was the
problem? He blamed it on "an easy believism message which I had
trusted and taught and which was the basic cause of my own unsaved state.
I thought my motive was pure. I wanted only to build a big church so
that many would come and hear the message. I wanted to have many decisions
and I fell into the false belief that the end justifies the means, so
I used many unChristlike practices in my evangelistic invitations and
He says he used the Roman Road appeal and got many "yes answers,"
but there was no repentance, no changes in the lives of his converts.
He used the same techniques to get decisions for Christ that he had
learned when he was a cookware salesman with the West Bend Corporation.
He confesses, "I had balloons and bubble-gums, give-aways and gimmicks
that brought huge crowds, but the message I preached and taught gave
no true salvation, no deliverance from sin."
No, crowds at the altar on Sunday nights are no indication of repentance,
at least the kind producing the new birth and its resultant revolutionized
lives. I ask the Hyles tape crowd to tell me the last time they heard
him preach a biblical sermon on repentance. There is no "Turn or
Burn" in his repertoire such as John R. Rice and Charles H. Spurgeon
preached. Hyles does warn about the burning, but he is sorely lacking
on the turning.
By the way, the pastor who sent me this missionary's testimony, in the
accompanying letter, said he and his wife "went through the missionary
school at Hyles-Anderson. While they were at the school, the man had
one or more affairs with some of the women on staff at the church and
college. According to their own testimony, signed by them. The wife
found out about the affairs and took the matter to Jack Hyles, but he
did nothing but cover it up.”
Another former Hyles-Anderson student pointed out: "The 'soul winning'
done at First Baptist and H-AC has one very important ingredient left
out – repentance of sin. Many, many thousands of people are lost
and going to Hell because they repeated a 'prayer' to get someone off
their back and were never explained about repentance."
48. "Untruth #39" denies his subliminal suggestion in preaching.
This charge came from a former faculty member who spent months evaluating
his messages in this area.
49. "Untruth #40" is his denial of what an evangelist reported
who counts First Baptist as his church home, that Hyles said adultery
is not sin, just a mistake. He says, "This evangelist, in my opinion,
has little or no credibility in our church and is not supported or approved
or held out as one of our church evangelists and never has been."
If he knows who this evangelist is and has an opinion about him, let
him take it up with him. He could explain to him why, since he had "little
or no credibility" in Hammond, he let him preach for 14 years at
the church's mission. And he could explain why he gave him permission
to use his name as a reference in evangelism.
50. "Untruth #41" is Hyles' denial that he said no sin disqualified
a man from preaching. He answered by saying he was talking about soul
winning; if so, I heartily agree. Unfortunately, he said, "You
are qualified to preach no matter what you did. If one confesses and
forsakes his sin, he is free to preach or evangelize. He has a right
to preach!” Notice carefully, Hyles said "preach OR evangelize."
He distinguished between preaching and soul winning, saying one has
a right to do either “no matter what you did.” We suggest
doubters obtain that January 17, 1988 tape and check it out for themselves.
We don't know what he meant, we only know what he said – and the
entire tenor of the message related to both preaching and soul winning.
51. "Untruth #42" is Hyles' denial that he said all men are
mental homosexuals. On page 104 of his book How to Treat Different Types
of Church Members, Hyles says: "In a sense, this is – almost
what could be called mental homosexuality. For example, a man may want
a woman's love, but he may want it to be mentally the same love that
he gives her. In other words, he wants her to love him emotionally and
mentally like a man, but she is not a man! She is a woman and she must
love him, emotionally and mentally as a woman would love him."
This is apparently what he means by men being mental homosexuals. We
still violently disagree with it.
Incidentally, Dr. Roger Voegtlin, in his sermon, "Why I Am Not
l00% for Jack Hyles" (he is not even 1% for him) – we will
tell you how to get the sermon in a moment – told of a Pastors
School a couple of years back when Hyles preached this "mental
homosexuality" bit and preachers were stopping at his church (not
far from Hammond) by the dozens and saying, "You wouldn't believe
what Dr. Hyles was teaching us – that all men are mental homosexuals,"
and they were all joking about it, saying, "Maybe he is, but I'm
not." This was a long, long time before I charged him with teaching
it. If he is not preaching it, he is not making himself very clear;
those who hear him think he is!
52. "Untruth #43" is his pastoral “veto power"
in the lives of young people. He has ruined any number of lives with
this business and I have the letters since my article came out to prove
it. He not only has "veto power," he thinks he has the ability
to "select" mates for his young people. This, too, has resulted
in disaster. And he has married couples when one or more of the participants'
parents were strongly opposed. By the way, in this matter Hyles said,
"Mr. Sumner says that the pastor should have veto power…."
I did not say that; he said it. I do not believe it.
One of the problems is that the leadership at First Baptist has applied
the words of Jehovah to Moses about Aaron, the man who was to be his
mouthpiece, "…thou shalt be to him instead of God" (Exodus
4:16), and tried to make it into a New Testament doctrine about the
pastor. That is horribly wrong, wicked exegesis. But don't take my word
about his "veto power" teaching, get that sermon I quoted
("How to Decide What to Do?"; February 17, 1988) and hear
it for yourself. He lists three facts: the Bible (which he barely touched
on), the pastor, and his veto power (which was the main part of the
message), and the Holy Spirit (whom his followers would be free to consult
only after the first two). We consider that order, putting himself ahead
of the Holy Spirit, bordering on – if not actual – blasphemy.
53. "Untruth #44" is his denial of the shouting about who
is the greatest. Hyles asked for the proof. It happened on Sunday morning,
February 1, 1988, and the sermon was "Ours Is a Fruitful Hill,"
using Isaiah 5:1 as the text.
54. "Untruth #45" is his insistence that he counsels with
an average of 150 people a week. He said, "Some of this counseling
lasts for 30 seconds, some lasts for an hour," and he says the
average is "about 15 minutes each." In the first place, no
one could adequately counsel anyone in 30 seconds. He could give answers,
but he couldn't counsel. For example, if a student came up I and said,
"Should I commit suicide?" he could say, "No, of course
not." But to counsel it would be necessary to take the Word of
God and show what the Bible teaches about suicide, why it is wrong,
and many other facets of the subject.
Interestingly, however, I had only pointed out that his claim to counseling
152 people that week, at 10 minutes each, would require well over 24
hours. His claim of an average of 15 minutes for 150 people comes out
to 371⁄2 hours! Remember, he is out of town Mondays and Tuesdays,
has sermons to prepare for several services in his own church, plus
all the other duties involved in pastoring what he calls "the greatest
church in the world." A full-time counselor only puts in a couple
of hours more per week than he says he does. Forgive us, please, but
we are indeed implying that it is "impossible" – at
least for one doing the job right. We know that we wouldn't want to
be on the receiving end of that kind of counseling.
A letter from former members of First Baptist offers a sampling of what
his counseling is like: "…we left in '74 because we were
not being fed from the Word of God, so we could grow. My husband spent
so many hours at church we were close to a divorce ourselves. I went
once to Hyles for help. He talked with me for a few minutes and ended
up by saying, 'You keep it up and you'll go to Hell.' I didn't call
that help." Nor do we.
55. "Untruth #46" had to do with the courses offered in the
night school at the college. The good brother who told me this, with
a broken heart, had come all the way to Hammond from somewhere in New
England. He was a family man who had to work a full-time job and was
trying to carry a full-time load at the school (this builds character,
male students are told) and his health broke. When he told his counselor
his doctor said he could no longer handle such a heavy load, instead
of comfort and compassion he was told, "I'd rather burn out than
rust out." At any rate, here is the story as he explained it to
me. In late summer, handout sheets are distributed at the church, listing
the courses expected to be available that Fall. The sheet that year
listed such things as wood carving, home making (cake decorating) and,
to the best of his recollection 3 years after the fact, crafts. (Another
man verified this to me and said it was the standard joke among the
men around the church at the time, which of the courses they were going
to take.) He was not interested and tossed the sheet in the trash. He
said the courses Dr. Jorgensen spoke of were offered in 1985 and may
have been offered in 1986, although they were not on the handout sheet.
He said interested students are told to meet after church in the balcony
and fill out forms and if there is enough interest in some other subjects,
they are included. Possibly that happened, but our original declaration
of the type courses being offered that year stands.
56. "Untruth #47" relates to his telling his people he did
not have to give an account to them. This fits the "if you say
I said it, I'll deny it – and it will be your word against mine."
This was only one parenthetical sentence in almost two full columns
giving illustrations of the cultic mind control under which Hyles has
his members. We suggest our readers go back and see what we said, then
ask Hyles why he ignored everything else in that long passage.
57. "Untruth #48" is another "skip and jump" to
selectively choose his responses. He passed by my comments on his sermon
thanking Adam and Eve for bringing sin into the world, and saying, "Thank
God for the chains of sin"; my comments on his sermon, "Backsliding,
A Necessary Part to Spiritual Growth," where he said about his
hearers spiritual condition, "If you are not ashigh as you used
to be, jump up and down and say, 'Hallelujah'!"; and my comments
on his sermons "I Am Only Human" and "How to Make God
Your Slave." In the sermon in question, talking about the sin of
cursing, for example, he said, "As far as the Bible is concerned,
the one who criticizes the curser is just as sinful as the curser is
because both are doing something to occupy their tongue and keep them
from using their tongue to do what God intended for the tongue to do."
That is inane, of course. We are told to "rebuke before all"
when others sin. Hyles makes the sin and the rebuke co-equal. Again,
"If you ate lunch today not for the glory of God, you sinned. I
am not talking about little sin, I'm not talking about little white
sin, I'm talking about black sin, I'm talking about big sin." Is
adultery a big, black sin? So is not eating lunch to the glory of God,
he says, meaning the two are equal (if language means anything). He
said that saying "Did you hear about so-and-so" was as bad
as whatever so-and-so did. Murder? (He said a slanderer is "worse
than a murderer!") Adultery? Blasphemy? Heresy? He made no exceptions.
(We are not defending any of these awful iniquities; merely saying that
not all sins are "created equal.") And he did say, as we quoted
him, about the works of the flesh, "I don't think you will ever
find these things called sin in the Bible." The comparison about
milk and adultery was not a statement he made, although he did speak
of not drinking milk in faith, but a conclusion most hearers would get
from listening to the message. In this message he kept telling his hearers
that the manifestation of sin was not the real problem, insisting you've
got to "get the root out." That will never happen, of course,
until the Adamic nature has been eradicated. Is he teaching that? We
cannot understand this message if he was not. This milk/adultery business
is indicated by the title of another sermon, "The Bad Backslider
Is No Worse Than the Good Backslider," in which he declared, "If
you have been in a tavern and living like an animal, God is just as
close to you as He is to the one who didn't pray last night." Utter
58. "Untruth #49" is his objection to my statement that "Hyles
overlooks nearly every sin known to man, including divorce, adultery,
cursing, pornography, etc." I showed in my article how he overlooks
all of those things. Hyles' defense is that he "preaches against"
all those things, but we were not talking about his preaching, we were
talking about his practicing, and he has overlooked all of those things
among his leadership.
59. "Untruth #50 " related to my saying that a faculty member
– who is still at Hyles-Anderson, incidentally – repeatedly
emphasized, "the key to success is attitude," which fits in
with the success-oriented philosophy of the world. Hyles responded,
"Anybody who has heard me preach around the country knows that
I strongly condemn this success-oriented philosophy of growth or prosperity
at any cost." Note the last three words. We didn't say he was advocating
it "at any cost." But if the Hyles philosophy is not success-oriented,
he has his followers fooled. The number one response from his crowd
about my article was: "Look at all the success he has. Surely this
proves he is right!" Everything is based on success (numbers).
One dear lady, a pastor’s wife, wrote to confess that she had
put her husband down in her mind for many years because he was not the
"success" Jack Hyles was, feeling "as if my husband were
a complete failure." His church, which he has pastored for over
a quarter of a century, never has been able to climb above 300 in the
preaching services. And she lamented, "I always felt that if my
pastor-husband were as dedicated to the Lord as Jack Hyles, we would
have a lot of people, too." She always thought if only her husband
could attend the great Pastors School in Hammond, it would make him
a great preacher as well. (Fortunately, they never had the money!) It
was a long letter, but suffice it to say she concluded, "This story
about Jack Hyles makes me appreciate my little 'nobody' preacher-husband
a lot more. God keep him a little 'nobody' if becoming a somebody would
make him become what so many preachers have become by being a 'somebody.'
All of this may sound crude, but it is from my heart. We will pray for
Jack Hyles tonight before we go to bed and for the many who have been
brainwashed into thinking that numbers are a sure sign of the blessings
and power of God."
60. "Untruth #51" is Hyles' denial of the charge by a "former
deacon, now a pastor," regarding the many women staff members and
the fact that these women make many of the decisions through their input.
The facts are these: the composite of the First Baptist Church staff
is approximately two-thirds women. Department heads in the Sunday school
are almost exclusively women. Most of the decisions for the church are
made in staff meetings. Staff recommendations are endorsed by the deacons.
It is interesting that Hyles' theme at Pastors School a few years back
related to the church staff – and so many of the women were doing
the "preaching" (we use the term advisedly) that a good number
of godly pastors got up and walked out.
61. "Untruth #52" relates to my quote of him saying (and he
did not deny saying it), "Who better can tell boys and girls not
to drink than those who've drunk. Who better can warn boys and girls
to be pure and clean that those who've not been pure and clean."
He claims I misrepresented the purpose of the message, but what he said
speaks loud and clear. I simply reported honestly what he said. When
he said no one can do it better, what else could he have meant? It fits
another charge in my original article, which he did not answer, where
he told of a young woman who had just given birth to an illegitimate
baby and said it was his dream that she would one day teach young people
in his Sunday school.
In the same item, he called "an untruth" the matter of his
deacons voting to go ahead with "an unscriptural" position.
We will let our readers decide. The case had to do with Mrs. Glenda
Patterson being the physical education teacher for boys in the Hammond
Baptist grade school. The matter had been brought up previously and
a number of the deacons had objected, saying they did not want their
sons watching a woman bounce around during calisthenics and other vigorous
physical activities. The deacons then voted to remove her from that
position! Lo and behold, Hyles had it brought back up at another meeting
and used his influence to reinstate her, over objections that it was
"unscriptural." That, as Paul Harvey is so fond of saying,
"is the rest of the story. "
Hyles closed with the same untruth with which he started his defense:
"The only support I have ever given him was $200 a month for a
rather lengthy period of time in an effort to help him live and meet
expenses because he had resigned The Sword of the Lord after my defense
of Dr. Hutson." While, as previously noted, not one red cent of
First Baptist money was ever used by me personally – it went into
our ministry, as the back of every canceled check the church has will
show – this is not the untruth I am highlighting. Note that Hyles
is still saying I resigned I "after" his defense of Dr. Hutson.
I resigned “before” and he had absolutely nothing to do
with it! I have proved this point many, many times.
As far as we know, we have answered absolutely everything Hyles brought
up in his “reply.” Three or four of the answers are weaker
than the others, perhaps, but I didn't sidestep a single thing, regardless.
What a tremendous difference between my reply and his! Our phone has
been ringing off the hook with men calling to complain that he evaded
and ignored much of my article – and much of what he did answer
was a simple denial without proof. We already noted that one editor
said he had listed 64 separate items Hyles had either ignored or answered
inconclusively. We think there were even more. This is a serious matter
and we have honestly attempted to treat it seriously.
OTHER ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
We want to briefly mention some other matters people have contacted
1. Mrs. Hyles' anonymity is explained by saying "she didn't want
to be mentioned." But why is she never seen with him? Is that her
preference, too? A former member of Miller Road says, "I used to
sing in trios with his wife, Beverly, in Texas. He used to speak of
her often in his sermons, then." Those were the good old days.
A pastor in Pennsylvania, who attended Pastors School in 1974, wrote,
"What you revealed is what I've wondered for a long (since 1974)
time. First, I took my Bible to Pastors School. I never used it except
for my devotions. Hyles would read a verse and the rest would be "Hyles-ology."
Second, we never met or heard anything – not a word – about
Mrs. Hyles. At once I thought that to be peculiar, especially since
we heard tons about teachers, daughters, son, etc., and much about 'Mother.'
We stayed with an elderly lady who was a member. I asked her about where
Mrs. Hyles was. She got 'icy cold,' gave no reply, and the subject was
2. We have never liked to call others liars, so let's just say that
Hyles has a bad habit of misrepresenting things – and we have
given numerous illustrations in this article. (One prominent preacher,
formerly associated with him, said Jack Hyles was the biggest liar he
had ever been associated with, noting that he would rather tell a lie
than tell the truth. This is in Dr. Roger Voegtlin's tape, mentioned
above.) Another case in point is the little insert he sent out with
his defense, "A PERSONAL WORD FROM BROTHER HYLES." He started
out, "As you perhaps know, I am not speaking at the National Sword
of the Lord Convention at Bob Jones University. I want my friends to
know that this was my decision and not the decision of my good friend,
Dr. Curtis Hutson…. I only canceled because I did not want my
presence to be harmful to the Convention…. Please be assured that
my absence from the program was not of Dr. Hutson's choosing but of
Let's set the record straight. The decision was not Jack Hyles'. He
did not cancel. The decision was not Curtis Hutson's. He did not cancel.
The decision was made by Bob Jones University and by Bob Jones University
alone. It was made late in April and was not the result of pressure
from anyone, merely the feeling that Hyles would need to clear his name
before he could be honored with his presence on the BJU platform. That
was scriptural and sensible; we commend BJU for its action.
Here's another illustration – and it goes with the opening item
in this section also. Before my "Saddest Story" article appeared,
Hyles wrote me a 4-page letter in longhand, pleading with me not to
print it. Two pages were asking for Mrs. Nischik's sake, one page was
a plea in behalf of his son, and the remainder contained what Hyles
called "a few observations." In my reply, I wrote: "You
pleaded for justice for Mrs. Nischik and 'mercy' for Dave. I found it
incredible – and, perhaps, highly significant – that you
showed no concern for your wife. She is the one who has my sympathy
and I truly wished there were some way I could uncover the story without
involving this woman whom I believe to be totally innocent." We
still find it incredible!
But even more incredible was what he claimed about Dave. I quote his
letter, “I wish I had known before he went to Garland of his problem,
but I did not…. The first I knew of his problem was in 1984 when
it all broke open at Miller Road. The same is true as far as his mother
is concerned. She, likewise, had no forewarning. Perhaps we were naive."
To which I responded: "Jack, you flat lied to me in your letter
and both of us know it. I am talking about you saying that you did not
know of his problem before the Miller Road incident. Everyone else in
Hammond did, almost. And minister after minister, school leader after
school leader, church leader after church leader, faced you with his
problems in those days. You were given written evidence, which you promised
to take care of, yet did nothing. You knew of his affair with _____,
too. It is this 'cover-up' of sin that is so wicked and now causes you
to lie. Nor are you telling the truth when you say that the Miller Road
church did not contact you in advance of calling him. It did. When the
deacons asked what you thought of the church so doing, your only response
was, 'Well, Dave's his own man'."
In this regard, a man in Canoga Park, California wrote, early in 1986,
and asked Hyles 5 questions. He answered 3 of them (the other two were
to be answered only if questions 2 and 4 required a "yes"
answer). These 3 questions were: "Did you know that David had a
problem with women and/or/pornography before he got married? Did you
know that David had a problem with women and/or pornography when he
took the church in Texas? Did you recommend David to the church in Texas?
" He wrote "No" after each and sent the questionnaire
back. He told an out-and-out falsehood on the first two and bore false
witness on the third since he recommended Dave by "silence."
By the way, the minister on the staff at First Baptist, Jack Schaap,
who married Dave to his present wife, Brenda Stevens, acknowledged to
that same brother that he had no scriptural ground for so doing, but
did so for personal reasons (he is Dave's brother-in-law, Dr. Hyles'
son-in-law). How lightly "Bible convictions," are discarded.
One pastor in Texas, very close in the Dave/Garland matter, wrote me:
"I tried to confront Dr. Hyles about David's sin and the fact that
he knew about it and covered it; he would not answer any correspondence
or talk to me."
3. Most of Hyles defenders have based their arguments on results. They
point to the good he has done, the souls he has won, the accomplishments
they see. A brother in South Dakota hit the nail on the head when he
wrote, "The big numbers that have been used at Hammond are not
necessarily indication of God's blessing. They appear to be more of
an indication of Jack Hyles' drive, determination and 'win at any cost'
attitude, and the corresponding gullibility of many to believe the Madison
Avenue philosophy that big is right." To which we add: the biggest
church in the world is the Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul, Korea,
pastored by Paul Yonggi Cho, and we have previously shown (April 1,
1989) the occult influence there; size and result are not necessarily
a mark of God's blessing. The illustrious Adoniram Judson, one of the
most revered missionaries in history, labored seven years in Burma before
he saw his first convert. As one who has given most of his life to evangelism,
far be it from me to knock it in any way. Perish the thought! But might
is not right and, regardless of what you may have heard, soul winning
does not cover a multitude of sins!
4. As readers of our article know, the cultic/mind control issue in
Hammond is one of our major concerns. It is with others, too, if our
mail is any indication. A pastor in Tennessee wrote: "I have attended
several Pastors Schools at Hammond, the last one being 1984, at which
time I noticed the cultish atmosphere, the manner in which Dr. Hyles
is revered, almost to the point of human worship, and the fact that
I had never heard him speak of his wife in messages. I came home and
expressed these things to my own family. I have young people in my church
who are presently attending Hyles-Anderson, and after their first year,
I saw how they were being brainwashed, to place Hylesology above the
Word of God. I became very concerned about the type of training they
An Indiana pastor wrote: "I have been very concerned about Dr.
Hyles over the past 15 years. I am most alarmed concerning his doctrinal
deviations, especially since the vast majority of his students (and
pastors) take every word of his to be gospel truth. A family in my church
have a daughter and son-in-law at Hyles-Anderson College. They make
periodic trips to visit their daughter at Hammond, and they have returned
to tell me of the blind, fanatical zeal that the students have toward
Jack Hyles. This man's son-in-law has jokingly referred to Hyles as
'the fourth member of the Trinity'!!!" Another Indiana minister
told me he has a tape of a message in which one faculty member confesses
to kneeling in prayer and sometimes catching himself starting, "Dear
An evangelist in the West commented: "I have been on to him for
25 years now…and, for the last 10 or 12, have accused him of being
a cultist of the rawest kind. It has cost me some very good friends
and acquaintances, but I have expressed my opinion loud and clear."
A couple wrote – both had attended Hyles-Anderson – to say,
"We were so delighted and amazed that you understood and used the
term 'mind control.' That is exactly what it is." The husband has
written a book on the subject.
An especially enlightening letter – because his comments were
written before our article was published – came from an associate
pastor in Kentucky. He and the senior minister had attended this year's
Pastors School and could "no longer stomach" it after two
days. He said: "Some of the very same comments in your article
came from my own lips and were written in the notes I was taking at
'Pastors School.' Things such as 'heretical,' 'Jim Jonesism,' 'fake,'
'brainwashing,' ' misleading,' and many more." By the way, another
minister – this one from North Carolina – said, "Your
article also helped me to better understand the lack of 'reverence'
on the part of the Hyles-Anderson students during this year's Pastors
A lay couple wrote to say they believed my article because of their
own experience, adding: "We were feeling these things long before
we ever read your paper. You see, 8 years ago our daughter went away
to H-AC. After 5 years she graduated. For the past 3 years she has been
on the staff. We have seen what we feel is brainwashing in her. We have
felt like she is in a cult. She has all but divorced our family. Her
loyalty is to J. Hyles. We feel he has divided our family. Our daughter
comes from a good Christian family who really loved her and sacrificed
for her. Will we ever get back? I can hardly think about her without
A Hyles-Anderson graduate (Class of '81) wrote: "I was unaware
of any inside wrongdoings during my time there. The greater offense
to me personally was learning a type of Christianity which puts the
'doing' before the 'being.' It has taken years for me to understand
God's way of growth, that it is a work of grace; to rid myself of judgmental
thinking; to understand that there are many ways to reach this world
for Christ; to find out that although I had a degree from a Bible college,
I had not been taught the Bible. It is clear to me that this ultra-fundamentalistic
type of ministry breeds such horrendous behavior. It is repressive,
destructive, and has hurt the cause of Christ deeper than any so-called
Cultic groups are obsessed with "new light." Those who have
monitored Hyles' sermons for any length of time are amazed at how frequently
he tells his congregation, "Listen carefully, you've never heard
this taught before," or, "I'm going to give you something
now that others do not know'," or words to that effect.
Many H-AC alumni expressed feelings of betrayal and concern about emotional
damage they have experienced. One called to say he had been helped by
going to an organization specializing in aiding ex-cult members recover
from the psychological harm, giving us the name, address and telephone
number of that group. Since it is not exclusively evangelical, we will
not pass on that information, but we are saying that such organizations
Too, some have called and written and wondered about a support group
for ex-Hyles-Anderson and ex-First Baptist people. One dear lady, willing
to put her neck on the line and face the anticipated abuse to head it
up, is Mrs. Loretta (Knudsen) Harrison, Class of '82. You may write
her: 5003 Sugar Pine Drive, Montgomery, AL 36116.
5. Is exposing sin in leaders' lives "shooting our wounded"?
An editor in Texas recently wrote, "Great men have said that the
Christian army is the only army which shoots its wounded." A pastor
in Colorado wrote me, "I first heard that statement from Truman
Dollar long before he resigned his church with a moral problem. Now
we hear it all the time. My answer to it would be this. When a fellow
soldier is wounded as you fight together against the forces of Satan,
do all you canto help him. When he joins the enemy, traitors are to
be shot. The bank president who stole money from his bank may truly
repent. Forgive him, but don't make him president of the bank again.
He has violated a position of trust." Amen.
6. There is the matter of the Hyles "clones" now permeating
the country. We previously said one purpose in writing our article was
because he was developing so many "little Hyles" across America,
preachers who are following his techniques and imitating his belligerent,
dictatorial pastoral style. What a flood of letters we received from
lay people complaining of his "clones" in their church pulpits!
A missionary, who had to leave his home church because of this, wrote:
"I read with very deep interest the article on Dr. Jack Hyles.
What attracted my attention most is that my wife and I have just left
a church, after nine years of highly active membership, over almost
identically the same circumstances. Only the names in your article were
different…. It is of further interest that this pastor is a devoted
fan of Jack Hyles and receives a tape from him each week. Much of the
heresy Hyles is preaching has been coming out from that pulpit."
A pastor in New England wrote: "Good, decent and fine men of God
from this area have gone to his Pastors School, only to come back with
an arrogance that does not speak of Christ. Christ is not edified or
lifted up, only Mr. Hyles. One pastor has a picture in front of his
desk that he prays before every day. It is very difficult for some of
us pastors to comprehend how Mr. Hyles can command such lordship. It
now seems that these once sweet spiritual men have had the 'spirit killed’
and Hyles is reigning. The leavening that comes from the school seems
A former staff member said much the same, evaluating it: "We've
lost sight of the humanity of Christian leaders. Twenty years ago, though,
I saw the subtle training of preachers at Pastors Schools, as well as
later at the college, to instill into leaders their almost God-like
standing before their people. It was all so subtle, but now across the
country we have thousands of preachers who feel they are not accountable
to anyone." What a tragedy.
A lay couple in Iowa, who called "frightening” those who
have been led astray, wrote: "In the past, we've known of pastors
who were his followers, who have split churches and ruined the churches'
testimony. For example, at the present time there is a 'Hyles Pastor'
in our area (who fashions his ministry after Hyles and announced from
his pulpit that Hyles is the greatest preacher ever"), uses the
dictatorial, intimidating approach, ‘whips' the congregation,
dwells on sex related subjects, is dishonest, a big spender, etc."
Hyles’ superficial view of divorce (his practice, not his preaching)
has influenced many preachers. A minister in Wyoming wrote: "The
church I pastored in Illinois was a Hyles church. Divorce and adultery
were both practiced and condoned. I lasted six years and almost lost
7. Many misunderstood the statement in my previous article, "if
these charges are not true," as doubt on my part. Absolutely not!
I was merely trying to be kind and gracious – along with an admission
that I am not deity and have all the frailties of humanity – nothing
more. I was absolutely convinced of the charges when I published them,
and the overwhelming additional evidence I have received since that
time has strengthened my conviction 100%!
8. We were going to write a special article about Hyles-Anderson College
but decided against it, choosing to merely mention it here. While we
doubt not that many fine students have graduated from that school in
the past – and, in the past, some outstanding faculty members
have ministered there – we do not think much of it now."
Why? Because of the letters we have received from current students and
faculty. Very few are polite or even well written. The majority have
been rude, crude and even vulgar. (After listening to the Hyles tape
when he declared war on us, we found where most of the crudeness was
coming from – the students were merely repeating him, only carrying
it to extremes.) One recognized historian of no little repute wrote
me on May 2, “HAVE READ AND REREAD your Hyles issue of May 2.
Are you ready for the Niagara of Nastiness which will surely flow your
way from the Hammond Network?" He understated it.
One letter mailed on official Hyles-Anderson College stationary was
addressed to "Mr. 'Smut Face'" (we were going to photographically
reproduce it for all to see, but decided not to waste the space). Another
was addressed to "Mr. Sumner, 'Americas Most Trashiest Christian
Voice,'” (not only was the grammar and the punctuation bad, but
"Christian" was crossed out and "Opps!" written
above it – we assume the writer meant “oops!"). A host
of them were addressed to the "Biblical Enquirer" (which they
got from Hyles and, like him, didn't seem to see the inconsistency of
calling it "Biblical"). When we apologized to the local postal
authorities for the kind of mail we were receiving, they just laughed
and said they were used to seeing mail from "nuts." Actually,
it was Hyles-Anderson that was hurt by such actions, not us, in the
eyes of the public.
Misspelled words, grammatical blunders and other un-collegiate errors
filled many of them. Name calling was the rule rather than the exception:
"You're the worst, ugliest, lowest, dirtiest old crook ever born,"
"scummy manure spreader," "if I were God I'd send you
to the hottest part of hell," "do you eat doggy poo?"
One student, foolish enough to put his name on the envelope, actually
sent me excretion in a plastic bag. What kind of school is Hyles running?
Doesn't he teach them how to be ladies and gentlemen, even toward those
with whom they disagree?
The students, of course, wrote in blind loyalty to a mere man, never
having read my article – they were forbidden to do so. Most didn't
know what they were writing about and passed on rumors that were rampant
at the college. One girl angrily charged, "Why don't you put in
print your own 'testimony'? You've been divorced FOUR TIMES!" (Mrs.
Sumner and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary this month!) The
extent of their idol worship can be seen from one coed's claim that
Hyles was "the greatest preacher since Moses!" So much for
Peter, Daniel, Paul, Isaiah, John, Elijah, Stephen, Nehemiah, John the
Baptist…and the Lord Jesus Christ! So much for Savonarola, Martin
Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, Bob Ketcham, Alexander Maclaren,
Billy Sunday, J. Frank Norris, George Truett and the giants of all ages.
Hyles-Anderson students and First Baptist members wrote so many rude
letters to the Hammond Times that one dear Christian lady in that area
felt the need of sending her own. She wrote the newspaper: "I am
a Christian and I am very embarrassed by the nasty, unChristian letters
you have been receiving from some of Jack Hyles' supporters. I'm sorry
you are getting the wrong impression of a true Christian attitude and
I want you to know that there are many of us who try harder to have
a loving spirit toward our enemies…." Amen! God bless that
good lady. She said a lot of other good things, too.
What kind of education do H-AC students receive? Kevin J. Farley, who
was in the Bachelor of Theology program at Hyles-Anderson, sent us a
lengthy, 4-page letter we wish we had space to print in its entirety.
As it is, we will just deal with one paragraph about the educational
standards at H-AC. To show his qualifications for expressing an opinion
in this area, prior to his conversion he graduated from Union College
in New York, a respected private institution, with a B.S. in Mathematics.
Currently, he is in his second year of the 4-year Masters in Theology
program at the Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition, showing his
roots, his father has long held an earned Doctorate in Education. What
does Farley say? Under point "3" in his letter, "Academics/Education,"
"Bro. Hyles has no respect for Education. As is obvious to all
'Sword' readers, he disdains 'Bach, Beethoven and Brahms' in music,
and emphasizes haircuts over History and Hermeneutics, not to mention
any other academic discipline. Both my wife and I were truly disappointed
with the level of academics at the college. Other graduates have agreed
with us, not bitter ones either; good honest, godly Christians who thought
they were spending their hard earned money and valuable time to get
training that they now know was a sham. The secular subjects, such as
History, English, Science and Mathematics are all on the high school
level at best. Much of the Faculty are alumni of the college and have
little more educational attainment than their students. (Recall my opening
comments as to my basis for comparison, a degree from an established
private college and a family background in education.) The sacred subjects
such as Bible Exposition, Theology, and Greek are even more primitive.
The Bible Faculty have no set of Hermeneutical principles and do not
have a basis for interpreting the text other than their own predilections
or a sermon they heard by Bro. Hyles or someone else. Theologically
they use only books by Bro. Hyles. Works by Warfield, Charnock, Chafer,
Hodge and Berkhoff are too liberal for these learned men. The Greek
curriculum consists of using an interlinear Greek New Testament, an
Analytical Concordance, and learning a few tenses. Their entire program
is the equivalent of less than one month of seminary level Greek within
a three-year program. The real tragedy, however, is the heart of their
Pastoral Program, the 'Church Education' course. This is a required
4-year course for the majority of the male students, meeting 1 hour
per day, 5 days per week. I repeat, this is for four years! Clearly,
it is their top of the line course offering which is the heart of their
entire program by virtue of the amazing requirements. What does this
course consist of? The student learns how to baptize, organize a Sunday
school, have a wedding or funeral service, how to enlist workers, etc.;
i.e., the basic methods of the Bro. Hyles approach to ministry. The
textbook is the Hyles Church Manual. Sound reasonable? Let's think about
it. The material amounts to a 1-semester course, meeting two times per
week. The course is stretched out over one year to give time to memorize
all of the minutiae in the textbook. This is the least of the issue,
however. The same material is taught over and over again for the entire
four years you are at the college! It is almost impossible to believe
unless you are there. The theory is 'it takes 4 years for all of this
invaluable doctrine to sink in.' Ask any student of the school, this
is the truth!"
And he summed it up: "I believe the worst charge of all that Bro.
Hyles must face, however – perhaps the greatest possible offense
against both God and man – is that Jack Hyles is guilty of trying
to conform man to his own image. He does not encourage individuality,
self-expression, development of God's unique gifts to each of His children.
No, as Bro. Hyles has said scores of times, he wants to recreate himself
in others. He wants to have 'little Jack Hyles' all over America. He
makes himself to be like God."
Before we leave the matter of H-AC students, we might note that the
front page of the June 10, 1989, Hammond Times carried this headline
across the full length of the top of page one: "Ex-student is suspect
in motel slayings." Without naming the youth because the investigation
was not complete, Police Chief Jerry McCory said the student was registered
at the Merrillville Days Inn the night 24-year-old Mary Margaret Gill
was shot to death there – and 34-year-old Jeanne Marie Gilbert
was killed at the Rensselaer Days Inn with what police believe was the
same .22-caliber handgun. Both women had been sexually assaulted and
cash taken from both registers. H-AC President Wendell Evans acknowledged
that the youth was a student at the college, but says he was expelled
some time after the murders for "excessive demerits on his record,
and he 'had checks bouncing all over the area'." Evans said that
on the night in question, the student had been returning to the campus
from Chicago, became tired, and decided to check into the Inn for the
night. (The motel is about 3 miles from the campus!)
9. We heard from many ex-students, ex-First Baptist members and ex-faculty
and staff people who wholeheartedly supported our position. One letter,
partially quoted above, came from a lady who worked for Hyles for a
decade and, when she resigned to become a mother, "This almost
cost me excommunication at the time as Bro. Hyles felt I was wasting
my time and God-given abilities." Eventually the family moved out
of the State to get away from the Hammond influence and she says, "I
can't begin to tell you the recovery process I had to go through. It
took a good year for my spiritual rehabilitation. Grace McMullen was
such a special help to me along with some other godly people. I never
had to say a word about all I had been through. For some time, I didn't
really realize all I had been through…the harassment, brutal yelling
sessions, memos that absolutely tore me up." And she said, "My
husband and I have prayed all these years that someone would have enough
intestinal fortitude to say, 'Enough is enough'," then added, "I
have never worked for anyone like Bro. Hyles who is so expert in covering
his tracks. I mean he is a real 'pro'." She also mentioned Dave,
saying, "I personally had counseled with some young women who had
suffered because of him."
A couple in Michigan said: "We attended church in Hammond for several
months, but we are so thankful the Lord saw fit to move us from there.
Some of the things we wondered about have now been made plain."
An ex-faculty member wrote to show support and explain, "I am sure
at this time the pressure is great, as it was when I was taking my stand
at the college.”
Ex-members: "Having lived in the Hammond area all our lives and
attended First Baptist about 10 years ago, we have heard and seen much
of what is in your article about Jack Hyles. It is sad, but it needs
to be dealt with. We are praying for you and for Jack Hyles. "
Ex-members: "We think you did a splendid job covering this story
on Hyles. We attended that church for 20 years, leaving only 2 years
Ex-members, ex-faculty: "We witnessed many of the facts that you
revealed. We worked in the 'Hyles system' for 14 years. Finally, in
June 1987, we knew we had to separate ourselves…. We admit that
we should have left years before, but because of our positions of influence
that we thought we held, we stayed. We tried to do our part to warn
of the error that was being presented by Jack Hyles, in his preaching
and teaching. A group of us banded together to encourage one another
against this onslaught of heresy. Some of the group confronted deacons,
staff members and, as your article revealed, even Jack Hyles himself.
Alas, to no avail. There are still some of the group there who have
yet to take the step of faith and separate themselves."
Ex-members: "We were members there for 15 years. I'm sorry to say,
I vividly remember my four teenagers telling us about the sins of their
youth leader, David Hyles, but, we didn't believe it then. We were taught
to not listen to criticism of any leader! The article is true in what
it says about Jack Hyles, even if he does deny it!"
Current member: "I am a member of First Baptist Church. Have been
for about 30 years. I want to thank you for your efforts in unveiling
the travesty that has been going on…."
Missionary parents of an alumnus: "While he was in school my wife
stayed with our son and his wife and attended services quite often at
First Baptist. She was quite disturbed with some of Jack’s teaching.
One that really bothered her was a study on Daniel, the backslidden
prophet. It was terrible. Then, also, his tape on Samson, the Spirit-filled
judge, is nothing short of heresy."
Ex-student (male quartet, church soloist) sent a 5-page, single-space
letter, too lengthy to reproduce, but here are a few interesting items:
"I was not a rebel or problem student. I was in total conformity.
Now I look back and say I was ‘sucked in.’ I bought all
the rules and their reasons and most if not all of the ‘doctrine.’
When we left for the summer quarter tour I had made up my mind. If my
parents did not agree with 'brother' Hyles I was not returning home.
In several of my classes and in many chapel services it is taught that
if your parents do not like what you are being taught, or if you are
under any pressure when you return home not to return to school, then
do not go home…. I remember many different students commenting
to me, 'Hyles is the most spiritual man in the world today! If you ever
need to know what to do, go see him.' They would line up at his office
after the services and without question do whatever he said. I recall
clearly a girl telling me her former fiancé broke off their engagement
due to Hyles' order…. The night I was asked to sing in church
I got a ride home in the car with a teacher from the grade school. Another
faculty member was in the front seat with him. On the way back to Baptist
City, where my room was, he told him how one of the married students
had committed suicide that day. He had gone in the bathroom and killed
himself. The bus ministry and other 'requirements' had gotten to him….
I toured different churches with a quartet for 6 or 8 weeks in the summer
following the school year. My fellow singers were judgmental, unkind,
rude and crude. One of the fellows joked with me about how our single
female pianist had told him how she had lost her virginity. They used
crude language, yelled out the window at any girls they saw wearing
pants, and made fun of any church that was not named Baptist. Our leader
led us by example…. The rest of that summer and into the next
year I fought with the issues and standards of Hyles. I was going to
be a preacher, but now I just wanted to get away. Many times I have
thought about other experiences there and things that I heard, and although
I attended several other colleges, I never felt the hatred, confusion,
distrust, selfishness or dependence and worship of one man as I did
there at Hyles-Anderson College…. I can personally vouch for many
of the examples you cited. I have still in my heart much dislike and
distrust for Jack Hyles and his band of weary men. They won't leave
him. He is all they have. Please forgive my dislike for the Baptist
movement, as Hyles directed that into my life also." What a pitiful
10. We said earlier that Dr. Roger Voegtlin had preached a sermon on
Sunday night, June 25th, "Why I Am Not 100% For Jack Hyles."
It is a blockbusting barn burner, naming names and going further in
charges about Mrs. Nischik and Mr. Hyles than I ever did, some of it
based on what one of Hyles' secretaries told him when her husband forced
her to leave First Baptist and tell Voegtlin why they wanted to join
the latter's church, back in 1973. He also plays portions of a number
of heretical sermons, some of which we have mentioned, so that listeners
can hear Hyles’ heresy in his own words. It was such a long sermon
it takes one tape on both sides and a second tape on one side. The quality
of one part on my set is not perfect, but it can be made out. If you
want this message – and I urge everyone to obtain it – send
$4 to the Fairhaven Baptist Church, 86 Oakhill Road, Chesterton, IN
46304, and request the tape by name.
We have not delighted in this sorry task of exposing a brother. Since
our May issue, there have been no praises of what we did in "Letters
We Love!" nor will there be. We are not after the commendation
of our peers in this. On the other hand, perhaps readers will forgive
one exception because it relates to one of our heroes in the faith,
a man of another denomination whom we admired tremendously, Dr. Robert
P. "Fighting Bob" Shuler, long pastor of the Trinity Methodist
Church in Los Angeles.
His youngest son, whom we have also admired as a faithful preacher of
the gospel, Evangelist Phil Shuler, sent us a very nice letter supporting
what we did, and saying, among other things, "My prayers are with
you in this endeavor. Concerning the Hyles story, a preacher told me
last year that the facts had come to light, and the story told, but
ended up by saying, 'But woe to the man who ends up telling it!' Well,
I can honestly say that my dad would do it without once thinking of
the personal cost to him, but then, old 'Fighting Bob' Shuler was a
different breed of cattle'." We agree; "Fighting Bob"
– dear friend of both Bob Jones, Sr., and John R. Rice –
would have told it!
1. Fundamentalism needs to reexamine its philosophy of loyalty –
and that goes for pastoral leadership, too. As one lady in Michigan
wrote: "I was heartsick, but not surprised about the [Hyles] situation.
For about 20 years I was in secretarial work for Christian organizations.
I loved my work, the ministry and the people. But in two different organizations
there were things being said and done by the leader that I could not
support. I was not allowed to voice my concerns or opinion to ANYONE
without the threat of being fired. I was reminded 2-3 times a month
that total loyalty was expected at all times. The first sign of ANY
disloyalty, for whatever reason, would result in my being 'fired that
day, on the spot, without notice and without being able to clean the
pencils off my desk.' My devotion to God took priority over loyalty
to this leader and I was asked to resign. And that I did. I went from
the frying pan into the fire in my next position in the ministry. That
one lasted only weeks. I saw and heard more than I could stomach in
a very short time and left voluntarily. In both situations the Boards
were so 'loyal' that sharing any concerns with would have hurt more
Brethren, are we so insecure we cannot stand the slightest criticism
from those who have our own best interests at heart? Do we prefer "playing
God," pretending we are omniscient in every area, than to accept
the slightest opinion from an "underling"? Is it necessary
for everyone working with us to endorse our every thought, decision
and action? Surely not. Let's be honest and admit that "total loyalty"
is to be reserved for God alone! No creature is to usurp that position
in any heart or mind. We don't need or want "rubber stamp"
boards in either our churches or in our Christian organizations,
2. A wise Fundamentalist leader in Florida wrote: "I would say
that Fundamentalism as we know it will probably never be the same. I
think probably it shouldn't be, for it seems to me that we have made
too much of man and too little of God for far too long!" Amen,
3. A wise lady in the Hammond area wrote: "I'd like to make a suggestion
in regard to this immediate problem you have exposed. Your paper has
a wide circulation so you can reach many caring people. Could you in
your paper suggest a day of fasting and prayer for God to deal with
this?" That is an excellent suggestion, one we heartily endorse.
4. It behooves us all to take inventory of our ministries. One dear
Presbyterian minister, who opened a can of worms in his denomination
years ago – and paid a dear price for his faithfulness –
offered a list of 10 "signs of a weak Christian church or organization."
We pass them on to you as helps in your own self-examination:
a. Leadership and decision-making is reserved for a privileged few.
b. A patronage system is in place and is known to insiders.
c. Self-examination type questions within the organization are frowned
d. Evidence of compromise in doctrine, morals or ethics is overlooked.
e. Major efforts go toward dealing with problems rather than symptoms.
f. Strife and reverses continually decimate the ranks.
g. A leader is in place with a recognizable "I" problem.
h. Attention is continually drawn to the failings of others.
i. An inordinate dwelling upon the past or maintaining the status quo.
j. Messages invariably inform people how well things are going.
[NOTE: As we said in our last issue about Curtis Hutson, we absolutely
refuse to turn THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST into a voice for battle with
Jack Hyles, or anyone else for that matter. We stated the Hyles story
in our May 1 issue; we have answered in detail, point-by-point, his
defense. This is it. We will answer any additional charges privately,
not in this paper.]
Note to the readers of this CD: In the original article we produced
a diagram showing the layout of Miller Hall, where the offices of Dr.
Hyles and Mrs. Nischick were located, and pictures of Dr. Hyles with
admiring co-eds around as he, in a short-sleeved shirt rolled even higher,
and a picture of Dr. Hyles seated in his office with the "offending
door" immediately behind him.