Pastor Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)


I was sitting in a California coffee shop one morning eating breakfast. (I'm not really a breakfast eater.) I think I was drinking some juice and I did get some scrambled eggs that morning. I looked over the booth behind me and there was a lady, or so I thought. I could only see the back of the person. I threw my coat over the back of the seat and accidentally hit the person behind me. I said, "I'm sorry, ma'am." Then "he" turned around and "he" wasn't a woman! "It" was a "he." So I said, "Please forgive me. I didn't mean to embarrass you. I didn't mean to be unkind. When I saw you from the back I really thought you were a lady."

He said, "That's all right." He was very nice about it.

So I said, "My name is Jack Hyles and I'm from Hammond, Indiana." He told me his name and said he lived in that city. He must have been around twenty years of age. I said, "Look, I'm eating alone; you're eating alone. Why don't you join me?" He hadn't gotten his order yet so he came around and we had breakfast together.

We were chatting, and I told him, "I'm Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana."

He said, "You don't like long hair on a man, do you?"

"That isn't the issue," I replied. "The issue is that we both have to die. We both have to face God. We both have to spend eternity either in Heaven or Hell. Do you know that if you died today, sir, you'd go to Heaven?"

"Why no, I don't know that."

There in the booth in the coffee shop I led this long-haired person to Jesus Christ. He had a wonderful experience and wept as he trusted Christ. I then paid for his meal and mine, left a tip, and went my way.

That isn't all the story. I went to my room, got ready, heard someone else preach, and then I preached. I then had lunch and went back to my room to work. I improvised a desk on a chair and was dictating some letters when suddenly I heard somebody knock on the door. I answered the door and there was a nice-looking gentleman who said, "I wanted to come back and tell you what I did."

"What did you do and who are you?" I asked.

Surprised, he asked, "You don't know who I am?"

"I'm sorry, I don't."

"Why, we had breakfast together this morning!'"

I couldn't believe it! He was the proudest thing you ever saw in your life. He was smiling like he just discovered a gold mine. He said, "I thought you'd be glad to see me." He'd been to the barber shop and gotten a haircut. He didn't know I stayed in the motel but here's what he'd done: He came back to the motel where the coffee shop was, went to the desk, and asked, "Do you have any reverends staying here?" One lady said, "I think we have two here," and he said, "Give me their room numbers. I'd like to talk to them." He finally argued her out of the room numbers and came to show me he had gotten his hair cut.

That doesn't mean that the man wouldn't have been saved if he hadn't gotten a haircut. It just means that in this particular case, getting saved gave him better sense, too!

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