The Pentecostal Gold Standard
After 50 years in ministry, Jack Hayford continues to confound stereotypes—all to the good.
posted 07/01/2005 09:00 a.m. |
In 1969, 35-year-old Jack Hayford pulled up to a traffic light in front of First Baptist Church of Van Nuys. Like any other pastor in Southern California, he knew of the Baptist congregation. It was growing like a weed, drawing nationwide publicity under the leadership of Pastor Harold Fickett. Hayford's church, a few blocks down Sherman Way, was an aging Foursquare congregation with just 18 members. Two weeks before, Hayford had taken on the church temporarily while serving as dean of students at L.I.F.E. Bible College (now Life Pacific College), an institution of his Pentecostal denomination, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
Parked at the light, Hayford felt a burning sensation on his face, a startlingly physical sense of the church's intimidating presence. Through an inner voice God spoke to him, reprovingly: "You could at least begin by looking at the building."
He turned and saw nothing but a modern brick structure. "What now?" Hayford asked.
"I want you to pray for that church," God said. "What I am doing there is so great, there is no way the pastoral staff can keep up with it. Pray for them."MORE: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/007/18.24.html