Jack Hayford: In the Presence of ‘Majesty’
I well remember my first trip to The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, to be with Dr. Jack Hayford. I was a very strong, committed, Bible Baptist evangelist with the deepest possible conservative roots. Those who knew me were surprised that I went, including Jack. I felt so impressed of God to go because the Lord had done a deep, supernatural, fresh work of the Spirit in my life and really impressed me to, as Billy Graham suggested, “spend time with people I had been taught to avoid.”
I was supernaturally drawn to Jack Hayford, and when I got there, he actually teared up in his office and said, “Today is going to be one of the most important days in the life of the church.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because you’ve come here. You’re a classic evangelical, and I’m a classic Pentecostal.” (He was president of the Foursquare movement, tracing back to Aimee Semple McPherson and the Pentecostal/charismatic renewal.) “It’s just unusual for you to come to a highly visible church outside your Baptist circle, and God’s going to do something great.”
And indeed, He did. What a service! I then began a close relationship with Jack Hayford that was as transformative as any I’ve ever experienced. I introduced Jack to all my Baptist leader friends. They were greatly blessed to spend personal time with him, and all together we commented that “Jack Hayford didn’t introduce us to ‘Pentecostalism,’ but to the power of Pentecost, the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit — not only in gifting and divine enabling, but above all, the clear manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit.”
A River of Life, Love and Transforming Truth
Jack Hayford was a man carried and controlled by the Holy Spirit flowing through him like a river of life, love and transforming truth. What a joy it was to introduce him to Pastor Robert Morris and Gateway Church, and to see The King’s University founded by Jack relocated to Southlake, Texas, on the original campus of Gateway.
Jack Hayford made an impact on the church all over the world. He was considered one of the most popular speakers at the Billy Graham Lausanne world evangelism conference. Jack and I maintained a very close relationship, and I was very sad when I found that our friend had left Sunday — yet at the same time filled with joy and peace to know he was indeed in the presence of “Majesty.”
As I shared on television and with a few of our family and friends, this past Christmas marked the 10th anniversary of the departure of our daughter Robin. She left us at age 40. Jack Hayford found out about our daughter leaving and asked us the exact date and time. I told him, and he responded, “James, I’ve had two full technicolor visions in my life. I had one that day of a young woman walking into heaven. It is embedded in my mind. I’m going to write it out in careful detail and send it to you. I watched your daughter Robin go into heaven, and I’d like to share with you what I saw.” (Read the vision HERE.)
There’s no way to explain the blessing and joy of knowing and believing with all our heart that Jack Hayford indeed saw our miracle baby girl enter the “gates of glory.” She had truly made a kingdom-of-heaven impact here on this earth for the 40 years she was with us. She left three children. She now has four grandchildren whom she has only seen from heaven; but when we think of her, we can’t help but think of the blessing Jack Hayford poured on us and our family.
What a vision, what a man, what a friend, what a true kingdom of God servant and builder! Jack Hayford strengthened the body of Christ every day that he lived in his glorious, Spirit-filled relationship with Jesus here on this earth. We love you, Jack! We love you, Anna, and our friends at The Church On The Way. Your songs, teachings and books will continue to bless people around the world.
James Robison is The Stream’s Founder and Publisher. He is Founder of LIFE Outreach International and co-host of LIFE Today. He’s the author of many books, including Indivisible (with Jay Richards) and Living Amazed.