In Honor of Pastor Jack Hayford

In Honor of Pastor Jack Hayford

Hello, my dear readers,

Today is a special post because I’d like to acknowledge a prominent public figure, Pastor Jack Hayford, who passed away this past Sunday morning. He was founder and chancellor emeritus of The King’s University and Seminary, founding pastor of Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, President of The Foursquare Church, and bestselling author of more than 50 books. He also had musical talent and wrote more than 500 songs, including the internationally known “Majesty.”

Pastor Jack’s knowledge of the Bible, commitment to the Word of God, and spiritual sensitivity was so extensive that he led a team of nearly two dozen scholars and pastors in producing the Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Thomas Nelson) and Hayford’s Bible Handbook (Thomas Nelson), in which he contributed comprehensive study notes.

Most notably, Past Jack was a spiritual father (or spiritual grandfather) to countless people. He had numerous, articulate, wise and impactful teachings, which were the perfect balance of admonition and compassion. Best of all, he taught through the example of his life. In spite of his notoriety, he was humble and expressed kindness to everyone. His genuine concern for others was manifested through his everyday mannerisms of a gentle tone of voice and undivided attention.

I was first introduced to Pastor Jack’s teachings through his broadcast ministry, which aired during my commute many years ago. I think the timing of his radio show was no coincidence; it was a gift from God because Pastor Jack skillfully helped me and other listeners understand the heart of God and apply the Bible to our lives.

One of my favorite books by Pastor Jack is Rebuilding the Real You: The Definitive Guide to the Holy Spirit’s Work in Your Life (Charisma House). It’s about personal growth and restoration to the person God made you and me to be. He illustrates this process by using the leadership of Nehemiah during the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem.

Referring to the redemption process in Rebuilding the Real You, Pastor Jack states, “Not only does God love and reach to me, but also He is not ashamed to completely identify with me. Now I have discovered a foundation for rebuilding the broken walls of my soul” (1986/2003, p. 119). Then throughout the book, he clearly defines ways to rebuild our personalities, which have been negatively affected by various factors, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I was very blessed to attend a workshop taught by Pastor Jack about the book. I timidly asked him to sign my copy and he happily complied. However, this idea caught on quickly because a line suddenly formed with other eager participants, pen and book in hand. When I ran into him weeks later, I apologized for risking a delay in his travel plans that afternoon by instigating an impromptu book-signing event. His immediate response was a good-natured chuckle while saying he doesn’t think about such things.

Rest in peace, Pastor Jack. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your service and leadership. If I become a fraction as gracious and humble as you, I will have taken another step toward selfless esteem.

Hayford, J. (1986/2003). Rebuilding the Real You: The Definitive Guide to the Holy Spirit’s Work in Your Life. Charisma House.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  1. TC

    Very nice tribute to Pastor Jack. I think he would have been blessed by it. : )

    1. Gina Leggio

      Aw, thanks so much for saying that because I sure hope so.

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