Pastor Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
"KEEP PREACHING IT"
A number of years ago in the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas, a retired preacher came to visit our services, and then began one of the sweetest of life's experiences.
He had been preaching for nearly a half a century and had known personally Billy Sunday, Paul Radar, and many of the old patriarchs. The old preacher's name was James Moore. He looked like I think Moses must have looked in that he had snow-white hair and a sweet, Christian smile. He was in poor health, and his voice was squeaky from preaching thousands of sermons.
We secured for him a platform rocker and let him sit in the altar during the services. He would rock as I preached, clapping his little hands together and faintly saying, "Amen, amen, amen."
Oftentimes he would come to me after a service and say, "That was good preaching, Billy." I would remind him that my name was Jack, not Billy, and he would reply, "Oh, that's right. You preach so much like Billy Sunday, I thought you were he." I would hug him and kiss him and thank him for his encouragement.
Regularly he would come by on Monday morning just to remind me of a mistake that he made when he was a kid preacher. It was always the same mistake I had made the Sunday before. Yet he never once criticized me; he was always telling of "his" mistakes. Many a Monday morning I hugged him and kissed his bearded chin. He was a dear, sweet encouragement to me.
One Sunday night near midnight a call came from the local hospital. The nurse there said that an old, white-haired man was dying and was calling for a "Brother Jack." Knowing that I preferred the word "brother" to "reverend" and that my first name was Jack, she thought that perhaps he was calling for me. Immediately I rushed down to the hospital to find that it was my dear Brother Moore who was dying. He had just suffered a heart attack that was to be fatal. As I walked in he looked up, and with a breathy voice he said,
"Come in, Brother Jack. I am just about to go to Heaven. In just a few minutes I plan to see Peter, James, John, Elijah, Moses, and others. Is there anything you want me to tell them for you?"
To save my life, I could not think of anything to have him tell Elijah for me. I just hadn't thought lately about what I wanted to tell Moses, Paul, and Peter; so timidly I said, "Tell them 'Hi!'"
Then he spoke to me about some things he wanted me to do for him after he went to Heaven. (These things I carried out to the letter after he died.)
Then he did something that you could tell was planned. He took the oxygen mask off his face, reached out his hands and placed them around my right hand, looked at me, and forced his last words. They were, "Brother Jack, …k-k-keep...preachin' it!"
He placed his right hand over his heart, formed a cross with his left arm over his right, and dropped his head to his chest, whereupon I thought that I must be hearing the rustling of angel's wings. I stepped out in the hall as the angels came and took his spirit to the presence of his Saviour.
After I felt the job was finished, I stepped back in the room. His head was still on his chest, and his arms were still crossed. All that could die of him had died, and I bowed my head and promised the Lord that I would "keep preachin' it."
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