Pastor Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
SEVEN PEOPLE WON BECAUSE THE PREACHER PAID THE BREAD MAN
At the First Baptist Church we try to reach all classes of people, but much of our time, effort, and money is spent in an attempt to reach those for whom few really care. The work with the deaf, the class for the Spanish-speaking people taught in the Spanish language, the class for the retarded children, the work with the educable slow who are teenagers and adults, the church-owned rescue mission, the many bus routes, and other things are but expressions of our love for the often unwanted ones. One of our works has to do with the poor and hungry.
One day while in one of my more unselfish moods (which come far too seldom, I think), I took a ten-dollar bill, changed it into smaller money, and went to a poor section of town to see what fun I could have giving it away.
I saw about forty little children on a playground watching the ice cream man go by. I called him back, and you should have seen the faces of the little children as they were awarded their ice cream bars. (Many of them still come to our Sunday school.)
While walking around the poor neighborhood, I noticed a bread truck stopping in front of a house. The bread man got out, put two loaves of bread in front of the door, and knocked. I watched him pick up the bread and start back to the truck after finding no one at home. I stopped him and inquired as to why he was not leaving the bread.
"These people don't pay their bills," he said.
"How much do they owe?" I asked.
"$1.67." I took some change from my pocket and paid their bill.
"Do you live here?" he asked.
"No," I replied.
"Are you a member of the family?"
Again the answer was, "No."
"Oh," he said, "just a good friend."
Again I replied in the negative.
With a puzzled look, he asked, "Do you even KNOW these people?"
"No, I do not."
I will never forget the look on his face as he scratched his head and said, "What are you, some kind of a nut?"
"Yes, I guess that is what you think I am," I replied, "some kind of a nut."
About that time an old car drove up behind the bread truck, and a very poorly-dressed lady got out and ran to the bread man. "How much do I owe you?" she asked.
With the puzzled look still on his face, he replied, "Nothing. This fellow just paid the bill for you."
"Who are you?" she asked.
"I am Brother Jack Hyles, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Hammond."
In just a few minutes I won seven people in the family to Jesus Christ, and they all were baptized the next Sunday morning.
One of the greatest sins of the New Testament church is that we have forgotten the down-and-out, the needy, the handicapped, the lonely, and the unloved. There are many people in your neighborhood and mine that could be reached if the church had a heart.
The family mentioned above is still faithful in their attendance to a fundamental church.
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