By Darrin J. Rodgers
Jack W. Hayford, one of the most highly respected Pentecostals in the United States, has deposited his personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, Missouri. Hayford is an author, educator, songwriter, former senior pastor of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys, California), and fifth President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
The Jack Hayford Collection consists of correspondence and travel files, 1976-2014 (25 linear feet); approximately 200 books and pamphlets authored by Hayford and published in 16 different languages; approximately 250 audio/visual recordings of Hayford; numerous publications and theses relating to the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; and a large framed piece of art depicting his best-known song, “Majesty.”
Hayford deposited his collection at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) upon the suggestion of his daughter, Rebecca Hayford Bauer. Bauer became familiar with the FPHC during her doctoral studies at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. The FPHC, located in the national office of the Assemblies of God, is the largest Pentecostal archives in the world and collects materials from the Assemblies of God and the broader Pentecostal movement. Hayford also conferred with Dr. George O. Wood, former general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, who encouraged him to place his collection at the FPHC.
The Jack Hayford Collection takes its place alongside other significant Pentecostal collections deposited at the FPHC in recent years. The list of collections reads like a Who’s Who of the Pentecostal world and includes Assemblies of God church leaders Thomas F. Zimmerman and G. Raymond Carlson; Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.; Charisma magazine founders Stephen and Joy Strang; charismatic leader Gerald Derstine; Pentecostal Assemblies of the World historian James. L. Tyson; educators Grant Wacker, William W. Menzies, Gary McGee, and J. Robert Ashcroft; and many others.
In his over sixty years of ministry, Jack Hayford has become known as one of the Pentecostal movement’s senior statesmen. A July 2005 article in Christianity Today called him “the Pentecostal gold standard.” Hayford’s biographer, David Moore, described his ministry and influence:
…Hayford’s ministry has been characterized by balance and integrity. As a communicator, his low-key, often self-effacing style, coupled with theological depth and biblical fidelity, has overcome the stereotype of the pentecostal preacher and contributed to his broad acceptance beyond pentecostal circles.
Hayford has been a bridge builder between Pentecostals and evangelicals and also across the racial divides. He has spoken to countless gatherings and has maintained a busy travel schedule. He was the only Pentecostal invited to be a plenary speaker at the Lausanne II Congress on World Evangelism in 1989, demonstrating the breadth of his influence. He was also one of the primary speakers for the Promise Keepers men’s stadium events during the 1990s.
Hayford is a prolific writer. He authored or co-authored at least 120 books, as well as countless pamphlets, tracts, and journal articles. He also served as general editor of The Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible. Many of his writings have been translated into other languages. Hayford is also a gifted musician and has written over 500 hymns and songs. His song, “Majesty,” is one of the most widely recorded contemporary Christian songs.
Life and Ministry
Like many other early Pentecostals, the conversion of Jack Hayford’s family resulted from a miracle. Hayford was born in Los Angeles on June 25, 1934. His parents were not Christians at the time of his birth. After their infant son was healed of a life-threatening illness, they became Christians at the Long Beach Foursquare Church. Hayford accepted Christ at age 14 and made a commitment to pursue full-time Christian ministry at age 16.
In the spring of 1952, Hayford matriculated at L.I.F.E. Bible College, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel’s school in Los Angeles. He met Anna Marie Smith at L.I.F.E., and they married in 1954. He graduated in 1956 as class valedictorian.
The Hayfords immediately launched into ministry and pioneered a Foursquare church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana from 1956 until 1960, when they moved back to the Los Angeles area. Hayford served as national youth director for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (1960-1965) and as dean of students at L.I.F.E. Bible College (1965-1970).
While serving as dean of students at L.I.F.E., Hayford was asked to serve as interim pastor at a declining church in Van Nuys, California. Under his leadership, First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, also known as The Church On The Way, grew from a congregation of 18 to a membership of 10,000. The congregation included Hollywood notables as well as the urban poor.
Hayford melded church ministry with education. He taught at L.I.F.E. Bible College (now Life Pacific University) and served as its president (1977-1982). In conjunction with The Church On The Way, Hayford founded The King’s Institute in 1989 to train Christian leaders. He founded The King’s College and Seminary in 1997 and resigned his pastorate in 1999 to focus on development of the school. The school was renamed The King’s University in 2010 and was moved in 2013 to Southlake, Texas, where it operates under the umbrella of Gateway Church, a large Pentecostal congregation.
Hayford served as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel from 2004 to 2009. His wife, Anna, passed away in 2017, and he remarried and continues to live in the San Fernando Valley of California.
Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archives and research center in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200