scpUncategorizedLeave a Comment


Go to the “Store” in SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order. For special pricing email [email protected].
A hardback book with 33 Chapters and 408 pages 



Now, to some this may seem like a strange
title, but I wanted to confront a subject which seems
to confound many. Dr. Hyles was a man with many
heroes and he was a hero to many others, including
myself. The haters of Dr. Hyles often tried to accuse
him of being a cultish leader who mesmerized people
into following him rather than God. I address this only
for the sake of those who log onto Internet forums and
read silly nonsense.

Of course, he was a cult-like leader. I admit it.
That is the most often used, yet, most feeble
accusation placed upon all strong leaders, especially
when they are on the opposite side. Weaker leaders
especially like to use that argument as an excuse
mechanism to explain away their lack of a following.

Show me any leader with a huge following and
I will show you a man who will be adored by some of
his followers. So, to you haters I will admit that many
of us look to him with great respect, for he is a hero
and one that we choose to follow. In fact, my love for
Christ grew much more because of my love and
loyalty to Dr. Hyles. His focus was on Jesus, and with
his charismatic personality he inspired his followers to
love Christ even more.

Much of who Dr. Hyles was as a man can be
traced to his childhood and to the heroes he had.
Raised in the home of an alcoholic father who had
little time for him, he was forced to look to other men
to be his heroes. Although his mother was in many
ways the most powerful influence in his life she, in her
wisdom, pointed her young son to other men who
would become great heroes to him. As a result, at an
early age he developed a healthy respect for strong
men, some who became his heroes.

The heroes of Dr. Hyles fell pretty much into
two categories; sports and church. He loved sports
and never outgrew his appreciation for his sports
heroes, such as Ted Williams. One of the highlights of
his life was the privilege he had to share the Gospel
with the Hall of Fame baseball player. By contrast, he
developed an early appreciation and loyalty for men
like his pastor, Dr. Sizemore. Being a man’s man, Dr.
Hyles lived a lifetime having heroes.

As Dr. Hyles became an adult, his admiration
for great men continued. He discovered those men
whose accomplishments he admired and attached
himself to them in order to learn all he could from
them. Few men I have ever known sought out
greatness as did Dr. Hyles. He would, later, even
write a book on the lessons he had learned from the
great men he had known. The variety of his heroes
was immense, and not all of them were well-known,
but there was something about them that he saw as

Some were preachers, such as Lee Roberson,
R. G. Lee, G. B. Vick or Tom Malone. Some were
evangelists, like Dr. John Rice and his half brother, Dr. Bill Rice. Some were great pulpiteers and defenders of the faith, like Lester Roloff and Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. There were many others as well, and he did his best to attach himself to these men; not to enhance his own influence, but to allow them to influence him. As a result, he became somewhat of a
microcosm of these great men who were his heroes.

Not only did Dr. Hyles have heroes, but he was
also a hero-maker or builder. Never one to be
threatened by the strength of other strong men, Dr.
Hyles chose to shine the spotlight on others and allow
them to be heroes. Some of these lesser-known men
had been used of God to do something mighty, like
songwriter Charles F. Weigle or Pastor Ford Porter,
the author of the tract “God’s Simple Plan Of

Evangelist Joe Boyd was somewhat of a
childhood hero to Dr. Hyles and, although he never
preached giant meetings, Dr. Hyles promoted him as
the hero he felt he was. These men were not chosen
for their personality or for what they could do for Dr.
Hyles. He promoted these men because he saw them
as heroes who he wanted to expose to his generation.

In 1966, First Baptist Church became the sixth
largest Sunday school in America. That summer, at
the Bible Conference Grounds, in Cedar Lake,
Indiana, Dr. Hyles invited the pastors of the five
largest Sunday Schools to preach in a conference for
his church. These were his heroes and he wanted
them to influence his life and his people as well. Make
no mistake about it: he was a man with an
appreciation and love for his heroes.

Today there seems to be such a critical attitude
towards having men of God as heroes. We seem to need to lower them down so that people do not
“worship” them. Admiration is not worship!

1. Dr. Hyles never believed his heroes were
perfect, but he never found delight in exposing
their imperfections. He taught that it takes
character to follow a leader once we discover their
imperfections. Was Dr. Hyles gullible enough to
believe that his heroes were perfect? Absolutely
not. He knew them too well, but he knew that even
in their imperfections they had allowed God to use
them in a powerful way. We all certainly know the
imperfections of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews
12; yet, the way they are portrayed in Scripture
makes them sound perfect.

2. He wanted to gain everything he could by
studying these men, but he was never
opportunistic in trying to use these men for his
own gain. Dr. Hyles could have been the editor of
The Sword of the Lord if he had wanted it, but he
did not. His heroes offered him numerous
opportunities that a lesser man might have jumped
at, but Dr. Hyles was not trying to gain something
from them other than their wisdom and walk with

3. He was more interested in furthering the
influence of his heroes than he was in them
furthering his. This was an amazing attribute of
Dr. Hyles. He lifted up these men who, in some
cases, were either in decline or unknown. He did
not want his generation to lose them. He kept their
memories alive even after they were in Heaven.

4. He did not cast doubt on the
accomplishments or character of his heroes. He
would not have considered playing down the accomplishments of another in order to inflate the public perception of his own success. It grieves my heart to see this being done to Dr. Hyles and for others to allow it to happen.

5. He did not feel it was his right to build his
ministry on the back of his heroes, but to
perpetuate their reputation and influence was
right. When I agreed to join the Fundamentalist
Conference Steering Committee, I learned from Dr.
Hyles not to look for a free ride to national acclaim.
Eventually, God will raise you up or tear you down
to the level of your true character. I fear some men
used the same opportunity as a way to propel
themselves onto the national stage. That is their
business, but it is not something Dr. Hyles would
have done. Dr. Hyles did not need Dr. Rice to get
him meetings. In fact, he often had to turn down
other meetings in order to accommodate Dr. Rice.

6. He never tried to redefine or manipulate
the ideas and beliefs of his heroes in order to
justify his own. Dr. Hyles was secure enough in
what he believed that he did not have to lie and
twist the truth to justify his positions. One of Dr.
Hyles’ staff men told me he was going to write a
book using Dr. Hyles’ correspondence from the
early 80’s to prove Dr. Hyles’ position of correcting
the King James Bible was the same as Jack
Schaap’s current position. This is deceptive,
divisive, dangerous, damning, distasteful,
disturbing, distracting, and detrimental to the next
generation who may be fooled by this
misinformation. Dr. Hyles was too good of and too
much of a man to do any such thing to his heroes.
His preaching and writings make his position clear
about how to treat heroes.

7. He never justified his positions or himself
with private, contradictory conversations he
claimed to have with his heroes. Dr. Hyles had
countless private conversations with his heroes, but
he kept them to himself and never used them to
build himself or his ministry!

8. He did not worship his heroes, but he did
hold them in very high esteem and even
reverence. He protected them as well. He did not
go back and reintroduce Dr. Rice’s enemies to his
crowd after Dr. Rice was dead. That would have
been blatantly disrespectful and he did not
disrespect his heroes.

9. He allowed for the fact that his leaders
may have taken a different position than he on
certain issues without refuting them or
attempting to cast them in a bad light. Dr. Hyles
did not agree with John Rice on the issue of
storehouse tithing, but he never tried to use that
against him. He had too much respect for these
men to do so.

10. Dr. Hyles would not have taken over the
ministry of one of his heroes with the intent of
fundamentally changing the philosophy or
beliefs of that man. Please take note of this. Dr.
Hyles would have taken himself out of contention if
his belief on the Bible had not been exactly as
stated by his hero. He would never have lacked the
integrity to knowingly deceive anyone into thinking
he believed the same, when, in reality, he did not.

Once, in a Question and Answer time, a young
Bible college student asked Dr. Hyles, in Dr. John
Rice’s presence, what he thought of storehouse
tithing. Dr. Hyles very graciously said, “I believe Dr. Rice is the one who could answer that better than I could!” He deferred to Dr. Rice even though he disagreed with Dr. Rice.

Soon after that, the college student told Dr. Rice
that Dr. Hyles disagreed with him on tithing. Dr. Hyles
told me that Dr. Rice sent him a letter stating how that
Dr. Rice was shaken to the foundation to think that Dr.
Hyles did not believe like Dr. Rice did about tithing.

He demanded an answer from Dr. Hyles
immediately! Dr. Hyles never responded. The next
time they preached together, Dr. Hyles went to Dr.
Rice’s motel room and asked Dr. Rice to come with
him. Dr. Hyles took Dr. Rice to a local clothing store
and bought Dr. Rice a complete outfit including shoes,
overcoat, and hat. The subject never came up again
in their traveling together.

Please do not misunderstand this. Dr. Hyles
was quick to defend the necessity of the shed blood
of Christ being applied as essential to salvation.
When the critical doctrines were attacked, he did not
stay on the sidelines. He was extremely vocal!

My heart is grieved to see how far from his
principles we have gone. I cannot and will not allow
the people I love to sit and listen to the dispersions
being cast on the character and accomplishments of
my hero, Dr. Hyles. It is difficult to listen to the
venomous lies and slander of his enemies, but to hear
it from his “loyal” followers is unfathomable to me. We
need to perpetuate his influence, not attempt to water
it down.

These distorters cast doubts on his standards,
his leadership, his accounting, his ideas, his scope of
influence, and even his state of mind. Do we need to
say that Babe Ruth hit fewer home runs in order to
make our numbers look better? Do we need to say that Thomas Jefferson plagiarized the Declaration of
Independence in order to make ourselves look

One of my heroes in the secular world is
Ronald Reagan. It amazes me how much his haters
and distorters have undermined his accomplishments
in order to negate his influence. I refuse to sit idly by
and watch the same thing happen to Dr. Hyles. If ever
we need real heroes in this country and among the
Independent Baptist faithful, it is now. We must not
allow ourselves to forget his works nor to manipulate
his legacy. If we do, we are only doing harm to
ourselves and to the generation to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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