Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences

by Dr. Jack Hyles
Table Of Contents

I WON BOTH HER HUSBANDS
HE DRANK A TOAST TO JESUS
"I'LL GIVE TWO 'FIFTHS'"
THE DOG STARTED THE FAMILY ALTAR
I WON THE CONTRACTOR
SAVED IN THE BATHTUB
SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF ADAM AND EVE
THE SOUL-WINNING COURSE SAVED HIS LIFE
IT PAYS TO BE A LOUD-MOUTH
CONVERTED UNDER HIS CAR
HE DIED AND WENT TO KENTUCKY
HE PREACHED TO ONE MAN
FAMILY SAVED THROUGH "DEDICATION SERVICE FOR HOME"
SHE WALKED THE AISLE DURING THE OFFERTORY
"IT'S WONDERFUL!"
"I HAVE BROTHER HYLES' BLOOD IN ME"
THEY COULDN´T GO TO THE MOVIE
I'M HALF JEW MYSELF
"PLEASE, JESUS, SAVE JIM!"
"BLESS ME, REVEREND"
I STAYED IN THE GIRLS' DORMITORY
SAVED ON THE EXPRESSWAY
THE PRODIGAL SON
SAVED ON THE WAY TO PRISON
"KEEP PREACHING IT."
"I DON'T FEEL IT"
HE'S A DEACON NOW
SHE WON SEVEN PEOPLE ONE HOUR AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED
SEVEN PEOPLE WON BECAUSE THE PREACHER PAID THE BREAD MAN
SAVED ON HIS SON'S CASKET
WINNING THE "MEANEST MAN IN TOWN"
AT THE WRONG HOUSE
THE CEDAR PULPIT
THE FRIENDLESS RANCHER
I PUMPED THEM TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
"DEAR LORD, KILL THIS MAN"
THEY PRAYED FOR THE PEWS
THE DEATH OF MY FATHER
HE PAID HIS OLD DEBTS
"YOU'RE MY BEST 'FRAN'"
THE CORPSE WHO WON A SOUL
THE WINNING OF THE CITY COUNCILMAN AND HIS WIFE
AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL TEAM SAVED
SHE WAS A HE
PREACHING ON A BOX IN A GARAGE
"I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME"
A CHEMICAL ENGINEER SAVED ON AN AIRPLANE
I WON HIM UP A TREE
"WHAT'S A BLOODY MARY?"
THEIR CHILDREN ATTENDED THEIR WEDDING
HER HUSBAND CAME IN
THE CUSTODIAN IS A SOUL WINNER TOO
HE HAD STUDIED FOR THE PRIESTHOOD
TOO TIRED TO SHOUT
UNORTHODOX WAYS OF WINNING SOULS
HE MADE THE BAPTISTRY
MEDICAL DOCTORS I HAVE SEEN SAVED
ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED
A LIVING ROOM REVIVAL
"WE 'BUSTED' EVERY BOTTLE OF THAT CASE OF BEER"
A LAWYER GOT SAVED
THE BROTHERS WHO WON EACH OTHER
HE COULDN'T EVEN SPELL THE WORD "JESUS"
WINNING THE BEST MAN
SOUL WINNING AMONG POOR CHILDREN
A FIVE-DOLLAR TIP

FOREWORD

The richest and fullest life known to man is that of the Christian who has learned the blessedness of personal soul winning. To the soul winner God gives a unique joy, an incomparable satisfaction, and richness of life. To the person who is constantly engaged in winning others to Christ, God gives even more. He allows the sweetest, most unusual, and even humorous events to happen. Perhaps the dear Lord realizes that the person busily engaged in soul winning does not have the time or even the desire to pursue the normal events of life which bring laughter and pleasure. Hence, He interjects into the life of the soul winner such experiences that more than compensate for whatever sacrifices soul winning necessitates.

The following pages are given as an enticement to the Christian with a prayer that many will enter into this fuller life that is available for all of God's people, and will thereby, "shine as the stars forever and ever." The author begs leniency from the reader, for he fully realizes that the excessive usage of first-person pronouns leaves him vulnerable to criticism. He does not wish to become known as the "Master of Soul Winners," but has a burning desire to be a better soul winner for the Master.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Jack Hyles began preaching at the age of 19 and has pastored for over 33 years. These pastorates include churches that varied in membership from 19 to over 48,000. All of these pastorates, other than the present one, were in the state of Texas: First, the Marris Chapel Baptist Church of Bogata, Texas; then to the Grange Hall Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas; from there to the Southside Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas; and then to the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. He pastored the Miller Road Baptist Church for over 7 years and saw this church, under the Lord, grow from a membership of 19 to over 4,000. It was from the Miller Road Baptist Church that he was called to his present pastorate at the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana.

Dr. Hyles has been Pastor of the First Baptist Church since August, 1959. This church has a membership of over 86,000 and has averaged for the past 6 years over 23,000 conversions and 7,300 baptisms per year. For many years the church has been acclaimed to have the "World's Largest Sunday School." During Dr. Hyles' ministry the First Baptist Church has increased in property evaluation to over $30,000,000.

Besides his position as Pastor, Dr. Hyles is Founder-Chancellor of Hyles-Anderson Schools, which enrolled over 3,800 students last year. The schools are operated by the First Baptist Church and are housed in separate facilities away from the church property. Dr. Hyles has served as President of the Baptist Bible College in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Hyles is the author of 29 books and pamphlets, exceeding over 9 million copies in sales. Many of his sermons are also available on tape.

Dr. Hyles' experience covers numerous evangelistic campaigns, Bible Conferences, etc. He has preached in virtually every state of the Union and in many foreign countries. His annual Pastors' School attracts thousands of preachers from every state and many foreign countries.

I WON BOTH HER HUSBANDS

About five years ago I won one of her husbands. A few days ago I won the other one. Oh, you are asking for an explanation? Here it is:

On my regular Friday afternoon soul-winning visitation, Friday, January 27, 1961, it was my privilege to win a Catholic man to Jesus Christ. His wife was already a Christian and had prayed for him for years. The next Sunday he came forward in the services and was baptized.

About a year later it was found that he had cancer and could not live long. He lingered about a year and was in and out of the hospital during this period. Finally, he was sent home to die, but the strangest thing happened. He would not go to the bedroom; neither would he use a hospital bed. He wanted to die on the sofa in the living room. Here he stayed for weeks. This was the same sofa on which he had been saved. This was the place where he wanted to die.

One morning I was summoned to the house, and in a few hours he died in my arms. Our right hands were clasped just as they had been two years before at the same place. Both of us were on the sofa just as we had been two years before.

It has been several years now since that event. Recently his wife fell in love again; but once again, she had fallen in love with a Catholic. Upon our first meeting, it was my privilege to win him to the Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, was baptized the following Sunday, and is very faithful to attend all the services of our church, even the Wednesday evening services.

It became my privilege to unite this middle-aged couple in marriage. As I walked back to the study after the ceremony, I rejoiced as I thought that "I had won both her husbands." Both of them had been Catholics, and each became a faithful member of First Baptist upon his salvation.

The aforementioned couple are faithful and active members of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. Not only do they attend regularly the Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services, but they are very loyal and generous Christians.

HE DRANK A TOAST TO JESUS

"I drink a toast to your Jesus!" These blasphemous words were said by probably the meanest man I ever saw converted. When I told him about Christ, he opened a can of beer, toasted it to Jesus, and asked me to leave. He cursed as I walked to the car. However, he looked so much like my father, I could not get my mind off of him. Again and again I went to his home; again and again I was asked to leave.

Word came that he was in the hospital. I went to the hospital to see him. He was courteous until I mentioned Jesus. Again I was asked to leave.

I looked at him and said, "Dutch, suppose you are right and I am wrong. Suppose the Bible is not true and Jesus is not the Saviour and there is no Heaven or Hell. What have I got to lose?"

He replied, "Nothing. We both go to the grave, that's all." Then I said, "Dutch, suppose I am right and you are wrong. Suppose there IS a Heaven and a Hell. Suppose Jesus is the Saviour."

His mouth dropped open and the most startled look came across his face. "I would be in a fix, wouldn't I? You know, Preacher, you can't lose either way, and I only have a 50-50 chance." Then he shook himself, regained his composure, and told me he was not interested in "that stuff."

God had spoken to his heart. Within a few days he called the church office, begged for a preacher, and was saved. The next Sunday he walked the aisle and was baptized. After he was baptized he sat on a chair at the edge of the baptistry, and only half dressed, he looked into the water and said, "Aha, you old baptistry! You think you are so hot! I have drunk enough whiskey to fill you twice. But, bless your heart, I ain't never gotten so much fun out of whiskey as I had getting baptized in you awhile ago!"

Today Dutch is in Heaven. He received Christ as his Saviour, and all because of persistence. We kept going and going. Yes, the old fellow is toasting Jesus today, but not quite like he did before. This time it is a genuine toast, with heavenly manna and heavenly juice in Christ's presence.

"I'LL GIVE TWO 'FIFTHS'"

"Okay, I'll go to church with you tonight-but just to keep you from nagging," Leon said.

He did come to church; he heard the message on the subject, "The Funeral of the Old Man." He was a drunkard.

He was a big, barrel-chested, broad-shouldered, contractor-but a drunkard. I went back during the invitation and asked him if he would be saved.

"I don't know what being saved means," he replied, "but I sure would like to have a funeral for my 'old man.'" He came down the aisle, buried the "old man," and became a new creature in Christ.

In a few days he went back into the tavern again. "The drinks are on me!" he shouted to the boys in the tavern. This time the drink was Living Water as he stood up at the bar and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his old crowd. This he did every week while I was his pastor for many years. He became one of the most effective soul winners I have ever seen. Almost any Sunday morning you could see him with a motley crowd of visitors coming in the church. People who were sitting over near where they sat moved over quietly to avoid the odor. When the invitation came, one by one they would come, professing their faith publicly in the Saviour.

When Leon was saved, I told him he should give a tenth to the Lord. He said, "Preacher, I don't know what this 'tenth' business is, but I have two 'fifths' in the car I am willing to give up for Jesus."

The last time I saw him, he was still after souls. A few months ago I preached in Fort Worth, Texas; he brought two souls down the aisle to Jesus Christ that night. At last report, he was a deacon in his church and was busily engaged in soul winning.

THE DOG STARTED THE FAMILY ALTAR

A few years ago during the Christmas season I went to a home on a Friday afternoon. The husband was there alone. He was so pleased to see me and pleaded with me to come back in the evening as he and his wife were having domestic problems. That evening I did return and led them both to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

It was a beautiful sight. We knelt at the sofa beside a beautiful Christmas tree, and each of them was sweetly converted. I knelt between them. Our heads were bowed, our eyes were closed, and we were praying, when suddenly I felt a cold, moist something on my cheek. It felt like a piece of liver, though I must confess I have never had a piece of liver on my cheek! I opened my eyes and found it was a Cocker Spaniel dog.

Being afraid he would interrupt the soul-winning experience and be used of Satan to keep the people from Christ, I grabbed the dog around the neck, stuck his nose in a pillow on the sofa, and held him firmly. (All of this time the couple was praying and being saved.) The dog squirmed for a while. I squeezed his neck harder. Then he became motionless. I thought to myself, "Brother, I guess I have won two souls and killed a dog!"

I was afraid I had choked him to death. What a joy it was when all of us got off our knees to know that not only had the couple been saved but the dog was still alive. I guess he had decided he enjoyed kneeling with us; in fact, after we got up, he remained in the kneeling position with his nose between his paws.

A year later during the Christmas season I related this story from the pulpit. The couple came to the platform after the service and told me this amusing yet wonderful story:

The night after they were saved, at the same time, the dog came to the same sofa and got in the same position as if he were praying. He continued to do this every night until the couple decided that they had better do the same thing; hence, they started a family altar.

The man then informed me that for one year they had been having devotions, and every night the dog had joined them.

Probably by now you are snickering or laughing, but I wonder if that dog had more Christianity than some of our readers.

I WON THE CONTRACTOR

"I would like to talk with you concerning the contract for another building." These words I spoke to Mr. R. D. Estes upon the completion of a new auditorium for a pastorate in Texas. The building had not yet been dedicated, and I was handing him the final check when I made the aforementioned statement. He was somewhat startled. He realized that our church had gone in debt to construct the auditorium and was amazed that we would be interested in a contract for another building so soon.

"Where will this new building be built?" he asked.

"Oh," I replied, "it has already been built." Then I proceeded to tell this 65-year-old contractor of the building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He was a very strict businessman of the old school, so with little emotion he heard the story of Heaven and the contract that Christ had already made and purchased with His own blood. At the conclusion of hearing the old, old story, Mr. Estes knelt to pray; and with a substantial check of final payment in hand he prayed the sinner's prayer and received the Saviour.

The next Sunday we dedicated the new building that he had built. He was the first convert to walk the aisle in the new structure and was baptized in the first baptismal service. "I built the building and then got a building from this job," were the words of this well-to-do contractor as he left the service on Dedication Day.

While preaching in Texas recently I had the blessed joy of seeing this contractor come to the services and was pleased to find out he is still attending God's House, hearing God's men preach.

SAVED IN THE BATHTUB

A few years ago I was in a Bible Conference in Houston, Texas. After a morning service, I returned to my room at one of the large motels on the north side of Houston. To my surprise, the door to my room was open and I heard singing coming from the bathroom. After checking the room number with my key, I realized I was in the right room. Perhaps someone else was in the wrong room.

I hollered through the door, inquiring who was there, only to find it was the Negro maid cleaning out the bathtub. She was actually down in the tub cleaning out the ring.

I asked her if she were a Christian. She said, "Mercy, no! I am as mean as the devil." I got my Testament out and showed her the plan of salvation. All the time she was in the bathtub. After I showed her how to be saved, she knelt in the tub and received the Saviour.

I have laughed many times about this and have jokingly said, "I guess I am the only preacher in the world who ever won a lady in a bathtub!" This is just another of the many unusual experiences that God gives to soul winners. We should be on the lookout constantly for people who need the Saviour.

I have won people to Christ in train stations, in bus depots, on airplanes, in grocery stores, in barber shops, in shine parlors, in service stations, in garages, in school buildings, on ball diamonds, and in many other places. There are many hungry hearts waiting for someone to tell them the story.

SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF ADAM AND EVE

A few days ago a lady in our area whom I had won to Christ died. Upon hearing of her death, I relived the experience of her salvation.

One Friday afternoon I went to her home and found immediately that she was a Catholic and had been reared near Rome, Italy. (She was in her mid-fifties when she died.) After chatting with her for a while, I brought up the subject of her salvation only to find that she knew absolutely nothing about the Bible. So I started from Adam and Eve and explained salvation's story to her in detail.

I told her that one time God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve.

"Is that right?" she replied.

"Yes, He made Adam out of dust and He made Eve from Adam's rib."

"Well, isn't that unusual!" she replied.

"Then God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden."

"Oh, how nice."

"Then one day something happened. Adam and Eve did something wrong. They ate the forbidden fruit and ran from God's presence and were spiritually dead."

"Oh, how sad that they did that," she remarked.

Then I proceeded to tell her that immediately God promised He would provide a sacrifice through the seed of woman. I told her that Jesus was that sacrifice and that He died on the cross.

She could hardly believe what she heard. "Isn't that nice! That is so fine."

Then I proceeded to tell her that He died for her.

"Oh, that makes it better."

Then I told her about Heaven, and she could hardly believe what she heard. She was like a little boy at the zoo for the first time and was almost clapping her hands for joy as she heard for the first time not only the story of Christ but the story of Adam and Eve and really what the cross was all about.

When I asked her to bow her head and pray the sinner's prayer, she did so gladly but unconsciously prayed in Italian. When she finished praying, she looked up and asked, "Am I saved now? Will I go to Heaven when I die?"

I told her that if she had put her faith in Christ as her Saviour, she would go to Heaven.

"Well, I just did. Didn't you hear me?" She did not realize she had prayed in Italian.

I replied, "Maybe you did and maybe you didn't. I heard you pray but I have no idea what you said."

"Oh, I prayed in Italian, didn't I? I guess I will have to do it again."

You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that God knew Italian very well and that He had heard her prayer and saved her soul. She seemed pleased not only that she was saved but that God was so well educated.

Happily she came forward the next Sunday professing her new-found faith in Christ. Though she died soon after, she no doubt is in Heaven having some "Italian fellowship" with Christ.

THE SOUL-WINNING COURSE SAVED HIS LIFE

A number of years ago I taught my little course on soul winning at the Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. After the course, one of the men was driving back to his home town to get his wife and return to the evening service. He stopped and offered a ride to a hitchhiker on the way and proceeded to use the soul-winning method of the "Roman Road" on the hitchhiker.

After explaining the wonderful story of salvation, he led the man to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It was one of those unusual experiences when Heaven bends low. In tears, the hitchhiker reached in his pocket and pulled out a deadly weapon, showed it to the soul winner, and said, "I secured this weapon a while ago with which to commit a murder. I got in your car with the plan to kill you, rob you, and steal the automobile. If you hadn't won me to Christ, you would now be a dead man."

He handed the weapon to the soul winner. He even returned with the soul winner to the service that evening, came forward during the invitation, and professed his faith publicly in Jesus Christ. Not only that, but he stood behind the pulpit and spoke to nearly a thousand people concerning his salvation.

It was an experience never to be forgotten to see the soul winner, the potential murderer, and the weapon all before us with the two men arm in arm, rejoicing because it pays to be a soul winner.

Here is at least one fellow who owes his life to a simple little soul-winning course taught to a small gathering one afternoon in Florida. Soul winning always pays!

IT PAYS TO BE A LOUD-MOUTH

One time while I was preaching in Dallas, Texas, I took time off to drive out to the nearby town of Garland, where I had pastored for nearly seven years. I enjoyed looking at the little city and reliving some wonderful experiences. The biggest blessing of all was driving up and down the streets and pointing to houses where I had won folks to Christ.

I chuckled as I passed one house four doors from the church where I had pastored. I told a friend who was with me the unusual story behind the conversion of this couple.

One Sunday morning a handsome couple walked into our services and said, "We have been hearing you for weeks. We thought we would see what you looked like. We live four houses from the church, and though we are Methodists, we attend church nowhere. We try to sleep on Sunday morning, but we can't sleep because of your hollering. No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot get our rest. Since we have to hear you anyway, we thought we would come to see what you look like."

One evening the next week I went to their home and led them to Jesus Christ. As long as I was Pastor in Garland, they were faithful and loyal members of our church.

They had also become interested in our church as they had seen the people carrying folding chairs across the street between Sunday school and church. We did not have any Sunday school space and had only enough folding chairs for the auditorium. Hence, we borrowed an empty house across the street. People would come to Sunday school and then carry their chairs across the street, leaving the auditorium empty. An hour later the Sunday school pupils would come back across the street bringing their chairs with them. If someone came early to preaching, he had no seat; the building was empty.

The aforementioned couple saw several hundred people carrying chairs across the street from the church, and their curiosity was aroused. Since they had been "hearing" the preaching anyway, whether they liked it or not, they simply had to come and see what was going on.

Maybe it pays to be a loud-mouth after all!

The couple mentioned still faithfully attends the services of their church.

CONVERTED UNDER HIS CAR

When I got to his house, he was working under the car. He was lying face up on a creeper and could not see me as I arrived.

"Hyles Mechanic Service!" I shouted.

"Who called you?" he asked.

"I was not called," I replied, "I was sent."

"Well, roll yourself under and see if you can see what is the trouble."

I got another creeper, laid down on it, and roiled myself under the car with him.

"Looks like to me you need the valves ground," I shouted.

"How can you tell from under here?"

"I am not talking about your car. I am talking about you."

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I am Pastor Hyles of First Baptist Church."

Then he became inquisitive, and I explained to him that he needed Christ as Saviour to make him a new creature and that he was in worse shape than the car. With both of us lying on our backs looking up at the bottom side of the car, I told him how to be saved. When time came to pray the sinner's prayer, he closed by saying, "Lord, I am just coming for a general overhauling." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both. The next Sunday he came forward in our service professing his faith in Christ.

HE DIED AND WENT TO KENTUCKY

The midnight ring of a pastor's phone usually means that Someone has a heartache or a sorrow. I had such a call recently. Someone's unsaved relative had a short while to live. I went to the hospital and found that he was aware of his condition and knew that death was imminent.

Hurriedly I told him the story of Christ and that through faith in the finished work of Calvary he could be saved. He and I both agreed that we should hurry as his minutes were few. I placed my mouth close to his ear and talked distinctly and rapidly.

I asked him if he completely understood. He whispered, "Yes."

I asked him if I could pray. He answered affirmatively. I prayed very briefly, realizing that this moment might be his last one. Then I asked him to pray, and this he did just above a whisper. Then he took my hand as a token of his acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour.

I looked up and saw him weeping and smiling for joy. Quickly I wanted to lead him to assurance as time was precious. "Now do you know you are saved?" I asked.

"Yes, I do," he whispered faintly.

"Do you know you are ready to die?"

"Yes, I know that."

"Can you say to me that you are now a Christian?"

"Yes, I can."

Then I asked, "Since you are so near death now, where are you going when you die?"

He looked up with a smile on his face and said, "Kentucky."

I guess this is the only time I ever laughed in the face of a dying man. Little did I know that if a person gets saved he will someday die and go to "Kentucky!" (There are some who would prefer purgatory and maybe a few others who...well, enough for that.)

To say the least, the man was saved. He thought I was talking about where his body would be placed. He got the idea and I think chuckled on his way to Heaven. Believe me, I doubt if he is in Kentucky today, but I thank God he is in Heaven.

HE PREACHED TO ONE MAN

One reason that personal soul winning is near to the heart of God is that God's heart beats so for the individual. The Psalmist reminds us in the eighth Psalm that God is mindful of every person and desires fellowship with each individual.

A number of years ago something happened that so graphically illustrates this. While I was pastoring in Texas, we helped to start sixteen branch churches. One of these was pastored by a young high school football player named Carmen Hartsfield.

One Saturday Carmen came by the church dressed in his overalls and asked if he could borrow some folding chairs for his branch church. One of our men, whose first name was Cortez, volunteered to help Carmen in the loading and unloading of the chairs.

When they arrived at the little church in the country, they unloaded the chairs and prepared for the services on the Lord's Day. Cortez, the layman, said to Carmen, the young preacher, "I feel a little backslidden today. I feel my spiritual battery needs recharging."

Carmen informed him that he had his Bible with him and that his prepared message for the next day was in his Bible. He suggested that Cortez sit down in the little chapel and that he would try out the sermon on him. Cortez did so while Carmen opened his Bible, read the Scripture, and preached the full-length sermon.

Cortez, who was a very demonstrative-type Christian started hollering "Amen" while Carmen was preaching to him. Suddenly the side door of the chapel opened and an 18-year-old lad peeped in. (How would you feel if you entered a country building on Saturday afternoon and saw a man in overalls preaching to a congregation of one while the congregation of one responded loudly with "Amen"? That's how he felt!)

The young man was a little startled but nevertheless took off his hat and had a seat in the chapel, thereby doubling the size of the congregation. Carmen kept preaching, overalls and all. Cortez kept hollering "Amen" as the fellow looked more and more confused.

After the entire message was concluded, Carmen asked the congregation (of two) to bow their heads for prayer. Then he asked, "Is there anyone here who is not saved who would like to be saved? If so, would you raise your hand."

To Carmen's utter surprise the young man raised his hand for prayer. Carmen then announced that the congregation would stand and sing "Just As I Am Without One Plea." As Cortez sang the solo, the other half of the congregation came forward, knelt at the altar, and received Christ as Saviour.

This is just another illustration of God's interest in the individual.

The young preacher is now pastoring a thriving Baptist church in the state of Maryland. It was my privilege to fellowship with him just recently.

FAMILY SAVED THROUGH "DEDICATION SERVICE FOR HOME"

As I have taught soul winning across the country, I have said again and again, "Get the Gospel to every person some way. Do not leave without presenting the Gospel to them."

Sometimes a person is having home problems and will ask you for help concerning his home condition. Start with Romans 3:10 and tell him how to be saved; this will help the home. Perhaps a person is having trouble with his children and wants some help. Start with Romans 3:10; getting saved will help him rear his children right. Suppose a person is having some business difficulties. Start with Romans 3:10 and show him how to be saved; this will help him become a better businessman.

It is always dangerous to get off the subject. It is a good idea while talking to a lost person to stay on the subject of salvation and to get the Gospel to him some way before you leave.

I was visiting in the city of Hammond and knocked on the door of a third-floor apartment. A man, his wife, and four children lived there. I had the most difficult time getting them unsaved, or shall I say, getting them to admit they were unsaved.

"Are you a Christian?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," replied the man. "I have been a Christian all my life, and my wife became a Christian when she was three years old in the Catholic Church." Of course, this did not ring true, so I backed up and started again.

"Have you been saved?" I asked him.

"Oh, yes," he replied, "I have been saved all my life, and my wife was saved when she was three years old in the Catholic Church."

Again I backed off and tried. "Are you born again?"

"Oh, yes," he said. "I have been born again all my life, and my wife was born again when she was three years old in the Catholic Church."

"Well,'" I said, "since you are saved, born again, and on your way to Heaven, let me show you some Scriptures about Bible study so you and your family can have Bible study together." (I was going to show him Romans 3:10 and the plan of salvation and get the Gospel to him.) Was I surprised when he answered that he and his wife were taking a Bible correspondence course from a fundamental school at that time!

"Are you sure you are regenerated?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," he answered. "I have been regenerated all my life, and my wife was regenerated when she was three years old in a Catholic Church." (Boy, was I on the spot!)

Then I thought of a good idea. I said, "How would you like for me to discuss the family altar with you and show you how your family could pray together every night?" (Once again I was going to start with Romans 3:10 and get the Gospel to him.)

"There is no need for that," he answered. "Each of our children is required to have a private prayer time each day, and we have a family altar each night. We know how to do it because we do it regularly."

"Are you sure that you are God's child?" I asked.

"Oh, yes. I have been God's child all my life, and my wife became a child of God when she was three years old in a Catholic Church," he answered.

To be quite honest with you, I could not think of a single way to get the Gospel to him or even to get him to admit he was lost. Prayerfully I continued my conversation, and suddenly the Holy Spirit led me to say this: "My dear brother, since you have such a good home, what you need to do is have a formal dedication service for your home. My, you take correspondence courses, you study the Bible, you have family altar-you certainly should have a regular formal dedication service for your home."

His eyes lit up like headlights on a car! He liked that idea tremendously. "When could you get a copy of that service?" he asked.

"It just so happens I have a copy of it now," I answered.

"Aren't we lucky?" he said to his wife. "The Pastor has a copy of this formal dedication service with him."

He sent his children to the bedroom to dress. (They were in pajamas already.) They came back with white blouses and shirts on. His wife went in and fixed her hair, and he went in and got a white shirt and tie on and came back for the formal dedication service. I proceeded with the service.

"In this service," I said, "we start off with Scripture reading. My first Scripture is Romans 3:10." Then I read all the Scriptures I had been trying to read for an hour, using them as Scriptures for a dedication service of the home. After I had told the entire plan of salvation using the "Roman Road," I then said, "Now let us bow our heads, please, for our dedicatory prayer."

I prayed a prayer asking God to bless the home and then asked the man to pray a prayer after me. He gladly did. I inserted the sinner's prayer, "God be merciful to me, a sinner, and save my soul. I do now receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour and trust Him to take me to Heaven when I die." Then I asked the wife to pray the same prayer, followed by each child.

By the end of the prayer time, we were all weeping. "That concludes the service," I said. "By the way, when did you say you were saved?"

Then he replied, "I have been saved all my life, and my wife was saved when she was three years old in the Catholic Ch .... Oh, no, no, no! I just got saved a minute ago when I prayed that prayer!"

"I did too," said the wife, and a little revival meeting broke out.

It always pays to get the Gospel to everyone with whom you talk. Get the Gospel to them some way. Many can be reached.

SHE WALKED THE AISLE DURING THE OFFERTORY

A Catholic lady was saved in her home. She was asked if she would be willing to make a public profession of her faith in Christ. She inquired as to what this meant. We told her that she should come forward in the public invitation the next Sunday morning at our church. This she agreed to do, but never having been in a Baptist (or even a Protestant) service before, she was confused about when to come forward. We simply told her, "When the other people come forward, you come forward too."

She understood this. She said, "When do the other people come forward?"

We explained to her that every Sunday many people come forward professing their faith in Christ and that she would see them coming down the aisle. We told her that when she noticed others coming to the altar, she should come to the altar too.

Sure enough, the next Sunday morning she was sitting back in the back of the building next to the aisle and waiting for the opportunity to present herself as a new convert and follow the Lord in believers' baptism. She had remembered very carefully that she was to walk the aisle when the others walked the aisle. However, never having been in a Baptist church before, she had no idea when this would be in the service.

The service progressed as usual until offering time. On the last stanza of the offertory, sixteen ushers came down the aisles. Her mind began to click: "When the others come forward, I am to come forward," she thought. Hence, she stepped into the aisle and followed the ushers to the front.

Our ushers were trained to line up across the front; she lined up with them, sixteen ushers and one lady. They placed their hands behind their backs waiting for the prayer; she placed her hands behind her back. (I guess she thought this was "Men's Sunday" as far as being saved was concerned.)

In many churches this would have ruined the service. In our church it made the service. To the glory of God, we stopped the offering and told the people that the lady was making her public profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

"IT'S WONDERFUL!"

Mr. Carter was his name. He was a cancer patient in Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas. As I witnessed to him, he was antagonistic. The harder I tried the more angry he seemed to get. His rudeness embarrassed his wife who was observing the conversation from a nearby chair.

After seeming to have failed, I simply bowed my head and began to pray. As I prayed, he suddenly shouted, "I believe it, and it's wonderful!"

When I finished praying, I asked him if he had received Jesus Christ as Saviour. He said, "I just did, and it's wonderful!" He prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, interrupting the prayer occasionally to say, "Lord, it sure is wonderful!"

Upon completing his prayer, he turned to his wife and said, "Honey, it is so wonderful to be a Christian. You ought to be one, too."

"Well, I think I am a Christian," she replied.

"No, you ain't!" he said. "You ought to try it and get what I got. It's wonderful!"

I then proceeded to tell her how to be saved, being interrupted periodically by Mr. Carter's saying, "Do it, honey. It's wonderful" She then began to pray the sinner's prayer only to hear him say again and again, "Ain't it wonderful, honey! Ain't it wonderful!" She, too, received Christ as Saviour.

Salvation is not the result of a feeling, but isn't it refreshing to be present when faith manifests itself in joy?

I gave him a little Testament to read. Three weeks later I was called to preach his funeral. As I approached the pulpit of the funeral home in McKinney, Texas, I noticed his hand on his heart and in his hand was the Testament I had given him. "It was his last request," said Mrs. Carter. A new Christian like Mr. Carter best described his salvation with the simple words, "It's wonderful." As I left the hospital and as I left the funeral home, as the soul winner I could best describe my joy by simply saying, "It's wonderful!"

"I HAVE BROTHER HYLES' BLOOD IN ME"

A call came from the hospital that one of my members whom I had won to Christ was seriously ill and in desperate need of blood. My last impression was to contact as many men as I could. They all went to the hospital, but none of them had the right type blood.

It became so urgent that I even went to the hospital to see if my blood were the right type. (Brother, that is really urgent!) To my surprise and their delight, my blood was the exact match.

As they were giving her the transfusion of my blood, her color began to come back, and she faintly asked, "Whose blood is this?"

The doctor answered that it was "Brother Hyles" blood."

She opened her eyes and faintly whispered, "Oh boy! I know I will go to Heaven now. I have some of Brother Hyles' blood in me."

THEY COULDN'T GO TO THE MOVIE

In a former pastorate we visited the same home week after week after week. A different couple from our church went by each week. Finally it was decided the Pastor should go by. I took with me a soul-winning partner; we knocked on the door and waited for a response.

To my surprise, the man came to the door dressed up, and all the family appeared prepared to go out for the evening. They were sitting on the sofa and chairs in the living room.

"Come on in," he said. "I have been expecting you." Then he proceeded to tell me the following story:

"We have been visited by your church every Thursday night for weeks and weeks and weeks. We gave up watching our favorite television programs. Tonight we had decided to go to a movie to avoid having to listen to someone else from your church. We got dressed and began to go out to get in the car and go to a movie when I said to my wife, 'I can't do it, I can't do it, I can't do it!'

"You can't do what?" she asked.

"I can't leave home to go to a movie. I won't enjoy it. All I will do is sit in the movie wondering which nut from that church came by to see me tonight!' (Little did he realize that nut was the Pastor.) 'My curiosity would kill me if we went. Let's just get out of the car, go back in the living room, sit there with our good clothes on, and see who it is.'

"So come on in. I have been expecting you! I know what you are going to say. I have heard it over and over and over again. Now that my curiosity is satisfied, get it over with."

I told him the same thing he had heard before, but this time God spoke to his heart. He, his wife, and his family received Christ as Saviour; and the next Sunday morning they walked the aisle professing their faith publicly.

He was baptized that night, as I remember, and became one of the finest members of our church. The last I heard of him, he was president of a school board for a Christian school, and a successful businessman. He and his family are still busy for God in their church.

I´M HALF JEW MYSELF

It is amazing how the Holy Spirit can give wisdom and leadership to soul winners. A year or so ago I was out soul winning on a typical soul-winning day. I knocked on a door to make what I thought would be another average, usual call.

Immediately upon hearing the purpose of my visit, the little lady said that she was Jewish and would not be at all interested. She was obviously cool to what I was saying. I prayed for the Lord to give me wisdom and for the Holy Spirit to lead me as I talked to her.

Suddenly I said, "I am glad to hear that you are Jewish because I am half Jew myself." (With my Texas' accent, I was somewhat less than impressive.)

She looked a little startled to find that I was half Jew. I then proceeded to say, "And besides that, I have an Elder Brother who is all Jew." This really shook her up. I could tell that she did not have any idea that I was talking about the fact that I had become a new creature in Christ and that He was my Elder Brother.

Still she said nothing. (Perhaps she was stunned.) I continued, "Yes, that is Right. I am half Jew, my Elder Brother is all Jew, but any day now I will become all Jew too."

By this time her curiosity led her to exclaim, "What in the world are you talking about?" Then I explained to her that Jesus, my "Elder Brother" was born to Jewish parents and reared in a Jewish home. I explained how I had been born again through faith in Him and that now He had become my "Elder Brother." Then I explained that Jesus was coming at any minute to change me into His likeness.

I could tell she was very interested, and in a matter of a few minutes she, too, had an Elder Brother who was a Jew, was half Jewish herself, and was expecting to be made in His likeness at any moment.

As you go soul winning, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. It is wonderful to follow His leading.

"PLEASE, JESUS, SAVE JIM!"

"Please, Jesus, save Jim. Please, Jesus, save Jim."

These were the words spoken to God by a fine Christian lady in many a prayer meeting. For months and months I heard her pray, "Please, Jesus, save Jim. Please, Jesus, save Jim." Sometimes she would crawl as she prayed. I would remind her of God's promises, and she would keep crying, "Please, Jesus save Jim." Jim was her drunkard husband.

Months passed, and one Christmas night (Christmas came on Sunday that year) Jim came to the services. He sat on the back row in the left corner of the church. His wife, strangely enough, was not sitting with him but was sitting in the back of the auditorium near the middle.

How she had prayed again and again, "Please, Jesus, save Jim." In the middle of my sermon that night, Jim jumped up and said he could not wait any longer, he had to get saved right then! I stopped the message, received him at the altar, and he was marvelously converted.

Suddenly I heard a commotion coming from the back. The salvation of her husband was more than she could take. She started crying, "Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!! Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!! Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!!" She walked down the aisle hugging everyone who was available and crying, "Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim." She came to the platform and literally picked me up and shook me like a bottle, all the time crying, "Thank you, Jesus, for saving Jim!" (I felt like crying, "Please, Jesus, save Jack!")

What a time we had that night as many others followed Jim to the altar and received Christ as Saviour.

Keep on praying, keep on witnessing, keep on hoping, keep on working-God's promises are for us as much as for the lady mentioned above.

"BLESS ME, REVEREND"

A few years ago my mother was visiting in my home. (At that time she lived in Texas.) It was my soul-winning day, and so I asked Mother if she would like to go soul winning with me. Though she was already in her seventies, she consented to go, and we had a wonderful afternoon.

First we led a little lady to Christ in her beautiful new home. (She is still a faithful member of our church.) Then several minutes later and several miles away we led a little lady to Christ who had an eight-year-old daughter who was still the size of a baby, retarded, afflicted, and blind. (Mother was particularly impressed, as her first baby, born years ago, never walked or talked until she died at the age of seven.)

We then went across the street and won a seventeen-year-old girl whose entire life is spent in a wheelchair.

After these wonderful experiences, we then drove to Indiana Harbor, which is several miles away, where we had the name and address of a lady who was unsaved. We drove down Main Street and found the address to be a store building. After inquiring we were informed that she lived in the rear of the store building in a humble apartment.

She greeted us warmly in a Spanish accent; in fact, she spoke with very broken English. How pleased she was that a pastor had come to see her. She asked me if I had come to bless her. Knowing that if she got saved, she would be blessed, I replied affirmatively. Oh, how pleased she was that the pastor had come by to bless her!

Then upon hearing that she could be forgiven of her sins by coming to God for herself, that all the penance had been paid by Jesus on the cross, that she could pray to God for herself, and that she herself could even become a priest, she was so ready to accept salvation as a gift from God. After she had prayed the "sinner's prayer," she assured me of her intentions to walk the aisle the next Sunday. (This she did.) As I started to leave, she said, "Father, you forgot to bless me!" Then I explained to her that God would have to bless her, but I would pray with her and for her.

How faithful she was through the years. Every Sunday she would make it a point to come to me between Sunday school and preaching to give me a word of encouragement and a warm smile. Though she was up in years and lived with a son many miles from our church, she got up early every Sunday and came these miles. Many of these Sundays she had to ride a bus.

She was poor (but rich); she was simple (but great). When she would go on a trip, she would always drop a card to the pastor. Sometimes the words were misspelled, but love was obvious in every line.

There was only one heartache in her life, and that was her unsaved son. Again and again she requested prayer, and again and again she asked what it would take for her son to be saved. How burdened she was for his salvation!

Then one week upon returning from vacation, a note was in my box telling me that "a Mrs. Rodriguez" had died. She had been buried in my absence. She was just "a Mrs. Rodriguez" to most of the people in the church, and to many she was just a little hard-to-understand Spanish-speaking lady who sat back in the back during the service. Her offerings were never big, her talents were few, but I felt that I had lost a real friend. My mind wandered back to the afternoon my mother and I had been in her home to "bless her."

The following Sunday morning I told the story in my message. At the end of the message, who do you think came forward receiving Christ as Saviour? It was her son. Now in Heaven she has found out what it would take to win him.

Though this dear lady has gone to Heaven, her son still attends the services of the First Baptist Church of Hammond.

I STAYED IN THE GIRLS´ DORMITORY

Once I spoke at a Bible Institute in Georgia. When I arrived at the college, I was taken to my room. Was I surprised to find that I was staying in the girls' dormitory! Yes, you got it right the girls' dormitory. This was enough of a shock, but that wasn't all. I stayed in the back corner of the girls' dormitory, which meant that I had to walk past all of the rooms and through a big parlor to get to my room. In the parlor there were sofas, pianos, etc. where the girls would lounge. Hence, when I entered the dormitory I had to cry loudly, "THERE'S A MAN IN THE HOUSE!" Then the girls would scamper, each to her own room, peeking out the door to be sure I was safely tucked away in my own room before they came out again. What embarrassment! Can you imagine coming in after a service at night, hollering loudly, "There's a man in the house!" and then walking awkwardly past the dormitory doors and down the parlor to your room!

We had a wonderful conference. On the closing night I spoke on a burden for lost sinners. After a wonderful service and a time of fellowship around the altar with many of the people, I returned to my room. For the last time I was to walk into the dormitory, holler loudly, "There's a man in the house!" and timidly walk down the middle of that parlor that seemed to be a four-lane highway down the middle of Main Street.

To my surprise, however, all the girls were waiting for me at the door. I immediately thought perhaps they were giving me a little farewell party. Then I noticed that each girl had her housecoat on, her hair rolled up, and the usual "junk" on her face. Can you feature how I felt when I walked in the dormitory to find all those girls waiting for me in such a condition? (I guess I felt like Solomon when he came home at night!)

When I inquired as to the purpose of their waiting up for me, they all began to praise the Lord with tears running down their cheeks, telling me of some wonderful things that had happened. Several of them had gotten so burdened for their loved ones that they had come back to the dorm and made long-distance calls to them. Several loved ones had been saved over the telephone. What a tremendous revival we had as we rejoiced over the salvation of mothers and fathers!

One girl had called long distance to Pennsylvania, and with a sobbing voice she won her daddy to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Winning folks on the telephone is not really a new thing with many soul winners. It has been my joy to win several people to Christ over the telephone. Just a few months ago, after our evening service, a young man was so under conviction that he called me and said that he had to get saved immediately. I told him over the phone how to be saved. I prayed with him; he prayed the "sinner's prayer" and was sweetly converted over the telephone. The next Sunday morning he came forward and was baptized.

There is a fine lady in our church now whom I led to Christ over the telephone a few years ago. This is just another way of winning souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I left the Bible Institute I was made to rejoice that I had stayed in the girls' dormitory. My awkward walk and timid crying of "There's a man in the house!" became worth it all as many of the girls had become telephone soul winners.

SAVED ON THE EXPRESSWAY

One of the darkest days in a pastor's life is when he leaves a church where God's blessings have rested through the years. Such was August 23, 1959, when our family left the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. The day was brightened, however, with a wonderful experience.

Two couples had driven from Fort Worth, Texas, (about fifty miles away) to be in our services. One of the men introduced himself as being someone whom I had won to Christ. Since I did not recall such an experience, I asked him when this took place. Then he told me a wonderful story. These were about his words:

"I was driving down the expressway one morning about 6:00 on my way to work when I decided I would like to hear some music on my car radio. The first station I got was carrying a program that was a religious one, and some fellow named Jack Hyles was hollering, 'You better get born again or you will go to Hell!'

"The program was obnoxious to me. I even cursed as I turned it off and made note of its location on the dial so I would not make that mistake again. The next morning on the expressway about the same time, I decided to look for some music but watched the dial very carefully so I would not even get close to this 'Hyles' fellow.

"The more music I heard, the more my curiosity was roused as I wondered what that nut was saying this morning. Finally my curiosity insisted that I turn him on again. I liked him even less than I had the day before. Again I cursed him and wondered why the F.C.C. would allow him to remain on the air.

"The next morning at the same time and the same place I looked for music when again my curiosity got the best of me and I wondered what he was screaming about this time. Again I turned to the same station. Again I was disgusted. Again I cursed. But this particular morning as I reached for the dial to change the station, you, Brother Hyles, said,

'Hey, you on that expressway, don't touch that dial.' I was startled but obeyed.

"Then you said, 'Now pull the car over beside the expressway and stop.' This I did. Then to my surprise you said, 'Now open the door and get out of the car.' I found myself obeying again, and even obeyed you when you said, 'Now get on your knees beside the car and ask God to save you.'

"Praise the Lord, I did what you said, and I was saved beside the expressway shortly after 6:00 that morning! Now I have driven from Fort Worth this morning to thank you for winning me to Christ."

The strange thing about the entire story is that I do not remember making such statements (I hardly ever remember anything I say that early in the morning), but I do recall that for a number of years I broadcasted live from the auditorium from 6:05 to 6:30 a.m. over KSKY in Dallas.

I thought this was a wonderful story but had little hope that the fellow would hold out considering the uniqueness of his conversion. A few years later I was preaching at the Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, on a New Year's Bible Conference program when I told this remarkable story. After the sermon a fellow walked up, put his hand out, and with quivering lips and moist eyes said, "I am that man, and I am now preaching the Gospel."

THE PRODIGAL SON

As a young preacher I was invited to preach a revival meeting at a rather large church in Houston, Texas. I was told as I entered the elaborate auditorium that the church was not emotional and that emotional practices and methods should not be used. (Boy, did this cramp my style!) It was a very formal church with much ritual.

I preached Sunday night and nothing happened. Monday night nothing happened. Tuesday night nothing happened. Wednesday night nothing happened. I prayed nearly all night Wednesday for God to give us revival. About 5 o'clock in the morning sweet assurance came that we would have revival. I went to bed for a few hours sleep with the perfect peace that revival was coming that night.

That night after I had preached, a lady whom I had won to Christ in the afternoon came forward; but during the sermon the strangest thing happened.

I preached on the subject, "The Prodigal Son." It was the fifteenth time I had preached that particular sermon, and it was my custom to name the characters in the story. I had always called the prodigal son "Bill" and his brother "John." I would explain that Bill went off to a far country and spent all, while the brother, John, stayed with the father.

This particular evening I started the sermon something like this: "Tonight I am preaching about two brothers. One was named..." (To save me I could not think of the name "Bill.") I told a little more of the story, hoping that I could think of the name of the prodigal son as I told it. Then I said again, "This boy who left his father and went into a far country was named…er...ah..." (My mind was still blank. I could not think of the name "Bill" to save me.) I told some more of the story, and finally in desperation I shouted, "His name was...er...ah...ah...his name was John!"

Now I had used the brother's name for the prodigal son. So I thought I would use the prodigal son's name for the brother and simply exchange names for the sermon. I said, "His name was John, and his brother's name was..." (I still couldn't think of the name, "Bill.") So I backed up and tried again. After having for the first time called the prodigal son John instead of Bill, I again said, "His brother's name was..." and still I could not think of "Bill."

By that time some folks were snickering a bit, and I said emotionally, "His brother's name was...er...ah...er...ah...oh, his brother didn't have a real name. They just called him 'Little Bud.'" So I proceeded to call Bill "John" and John "Little Bud."

Boy, did I have a time with that sermon, trying to remember to call Bill "John" and John "Little Bud" and not even remembering the name "Bill" at all. I finally stumbled through the message, gave the invitation, and let my mind wander back to the prayer meeting I had the night before and the assurance that I thought God had given me that revival was coming that night. Certainly revival could not come out of this message, I thought.

Just before the invitation dosed, a young man walked toward the aisle. When he got to the aisle he turned to walk to the rear of the building. When he got to the back row, he stepped over some people and threw his arms around a lady sitting in the center of the back pew. They both began crying and rejoicing. They broke to the aisle, literally ran down the aisle, and fell on their faces in the altar.

The Chairman of the Deacon Board was sitting on the front row. When he saw what happened, he fell on his face and hugged both the young man and the woman. Suddenly the Pastor literally jumped into the altar weeping and praising the Lord. The choir was so overcome they could not continue singing the invitation song. Real revival broke out. (To save my soul, I could not imagine what was happening; I just knew I liked it.) Finally the Pastor composed himself enough to ask me to lead the closing prayer. This I did, and confused as I could be, I walked toward the exit door.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. The church secretary literally pulled me around and shouted, "How did you know?"

"How did I know what?" I asked.

"How did you know to preach on the prodigal son?" she said. "A year ago the twenty-year-old son of our Deacon Chairman left home and had not been seen since. To our surprise, when we arrived at church tonight, there he sat. He was the young man who came forward. His mother was the lady on the back pew. His father is the Chairman of our deacons. He came home tonight just as the prodigal son did! Who told you that he was here so that you could preach on the prodigal son?"

Knowing nothing about the story, I was beginning to see the picture of how God had given revival. I turned to go back to my room and praise the Lord for the wonderful victories, and suddenly the secretary turned me around again and said, "Who told you his name was John?" I was stunned beyond speech. My "mistake" was the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and it was He who made me forget the name "Bill."

By this time I needed to get to my room to rejoice when she turned me around again and said, "And who told you that he has a little brother who stayed at home whose nickname is 'Little Bud'?"

I returned to my room rejoicing that God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the wise and that in our weakness we are made strong.

SAVED ON THE WAY TO PRISON

A little lady stood timidly at the Greyhound Bus Station in Dallas, Texas, trying to generate enough courage to pass out a Gospel tract. Finally this little introvert took a few from her purse and gave one to each passenger boarding a Greyhound bus. It was 7:00 in the morning.

A few days later I received a letter from the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. As I dictate this experience, I hold the letter in my hand. May I quote from the letter, which is over thirteen years old:

"Dear Jack F. Hyles and Mrs..... I am writing this to tell you about myself and what a wonderful job I think you all are doing trying to bring God's Word to sinners like myself.

"I will tell you about myself. I have been to Texas prison two times and have lost my family, my wife, and three children. I lost them and then it seemed I didn't have anything to live for or anyone to care what happened to me. So when I was released from prison last May the 2nd I started drinking and got in trouble again. I have a crippled leg but no one would give me a job so I could do the thing I wanted for my babies. They are in Buckner's Orphans Home in Dallas and I don't know where my wife is. My babies think I am working in Huntsville. They don't know I am in prison.

"Here is how I got this little tract from one who cares. I was standing in the Greyhound Bus Station on January 16 around 7:00 a.m. I had just got out of the county jail in Dallas. I was in a deep study about what to do and where to go as I thought I was all alone in this world. Someone walked up by me and handed me this tract and smiled and went on. Then I looked down and read it and started thinking about what it says and made up my mind to get this life of mine straight and live for our Lord and Saviour and try in some way to take God's Word. I know down in my own heart that I was never alone. God was with me and waiting for me to open my hand, heart, and mind and let Him come in. I know in my heart how wonderful life can be with our Lord. I have been down to the bottom drinking and in prison. I know that if you will ask, you shall receive. I know He will help sinners. I wish there was just some way I could put it on paper what He had done for me and what He means to me.

"Tell Mrs .... she will never know how happy she has helped make my life by just handing me that tract that morning. May God bless and take care of you all and keep you. Carry on your work for God. Mr. E.R.H."

What a wonderful story about what a little bit can do! But the story doesn't end there!

A little over a year passed. One Sunday night at our church in Garland, Texas, after we had had several come forward for salvation, a man came down the aisle and said, "My name is E.R.H. A little over a year ago I wrote a letter from the penitentiary telling you how I was saved through a tract given me by a little lady at the Greyhound Bus Station at 7:00 a.m. on January 16. I am now out of the penitentiary and have come many miles to see if I could meet Mrs ..... and thank her for winning me to Christ."

What an impressive and spiritual scene when Mrs..., short and thin and timid, extended her hand to the convert and received his gratitude for her winning him to Jesus.

"KEEP PREACHING IT"

A number of years ago in the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas, a retired preacher came to visit our services, and then began one of the sweetest of life's experiences.

He had been preaching for nearly a half a century and had known personally Billy Sunday, Paul Radar, and many of the old patriarchs. The old preacher's name was James Moore. He looked like I think Moses must have looked in that he had snow-white hair and a sweet, Christian smile. He was in poor health, and his voice was squeaky from preaching thousands of sermons.

We secured for him a platform rocker and let him sit in the altar during the services. He would rock as I preached, clapping his little hands together and faintly saying, "Amen, amen, amen."

Oftentimes he would come to me after a service and say, "That was good preaching, Billy." I would remind him that my name was Jack, not Billy, and he would reply, "Oh, that's right. You preach so much like Billy Sunday, I thought you were he." I would hug him and kiss him and thank him for his encouragement.

Regularly he would come by on Monday morning just to remind me of a mistake that he made when he was a kid preacher. It was always the same mistake I had made the Sunday before. Yet he never once criticized me; he was always telling of "his" mistakes. Many a Monday morning I hugged him and kissed his bearded chin. He was a dear, sweet encouragement to me.

One Sunday night near midnight a call came from the local hospital. The nurse there said that an old, white-haired man was dying and was calling for a "Brother Jack." Knowing that I preferred the word "brother" to "reverend" and that my first name was Jack, she thought that perhaps he was calling for me. Immediately I rushed down to the hospital to find that it was my dear Brother Moore who was dying. He had just suffered a heart attack that was to be fatal. As I walked in he looked up, and with a breathy voice he said,

"Come in, Brother Jack. I am just about to go to Heaven. In just a few minutes I plan to see Peter, James, John, Elijah, Moses, and others. Is there anything you want me to tell them for you?"

To save my life, I could not think of anything to have him tell Elijah for me. I just hadn't thought lately about what I wanted to tell Moses, Paul, and Peter; so timidly I said, "Tell them 'Hi!'"

Then he spoke to me about some things he wanted me to do for him after he went to Heaven. (These things I carried out to the letter after he died.)

Then he did something that you could tell was planned. He took the oxygen mask off his face, reached out his hands and placed them around my right hand, looked at me, and forced his last words. They were, "Brother Jack, …k-k-keep...preachin' it!"

He placed his right hand over his heart, formed a cross with his left arm over his right, and dropped his head to his chest, whereupon I thought that I must be hearing the rustling of angel's wings. I stepped out in the hall as the angels came and took his spirit to the presence of his Saviour.

After I felt the job was finished, I stepped back in the room. His head was still on his chest, and his arms were still crossed. All that could die of him had died, and I bowed my head and promised the Lord that I would "keep preachin' it."

"I DON'T FEEL IT"

Salvation is not the result of a feeling but the result of faith. Though sometimes a feeling comes as a result of salvation, I think there is a definite danger in stressing the feeling, for anyone who knows the plan of salvation and trusts his eternity in it is saved. When some are saved, they cry; others laugh; some do nothing. Occasionally, however, a person is saved who expresses his joy in a unique way.

Such was the case of a lady who visited our services in Garland, Texas, where I pastored for nearly seven years. Her daughters had been saved in our church, and she would attend on Sunday evenings though she was a strong Catholic. Her daughters would pray fervently for her salvation, but her answer was always a negative one. She did, however, enjoy coming to our services. She thought my preaching was, to say the least, unique, and she came with her daughters often to hear me.

She was a lady of refinement and some means, and I prayed diligently that God would save her. One Sunday night I felt impressed to go back and speak with her during the invitation. "Wouldn't you like to be saved?" I asked.

"Yes, I would," she replied, "but I don't feel anything. When I get saved, I am going to feel it.'"

"Salvation is not a feeling," I said. "It is by grace through faith."

"But I want to feel it," she replied.

"Forget the feeling," I said.

Then she said, "Pastor, if I ever get saved, I am going to have a feeling before I do."

A little bit frustrated and irritated, I said, "Come on to the altar, and let's see if we can get it."

She then said, "It won't do any good. I don't feel anything." But she did follow me reluctantly to the altar.

When she got there, I said, "Now let's kneel and pray."

"It won't do any good. I don't feel anything," she said.

Like a general of the Army, I said, "Kneel anyway!"

She knelt, making a "cross" as she did, and placed her hands under her chin like a little child saying "nighty-night" prayers. Then she said, "This is silly. I don't feel anything, Pastor."

I then prayed for God to convict her and save her. Then I asked her to pray. "It won't do any good," she said. "I don't feel anything."

I replied, "Pray anyway. Ask God to have mercy on your soul and save you from your sins. Tell Him that you are trusting Jesus today."

"But I don't feel it," she said.

I said abruptly, "Pray anyway!"

She began to pray cautiously and doubtfully. "Dear...Lord .... have mercy on... me a...sinner…and save-Brother Hyles, I think I am beginning to feel it-my soul. I DO NOW RECEIVE JESUS-I am feeling more, Brother Hyles!-as my Saviour and trust Him to take me to Heaven. I FEEL IT NOW! I FEEL IT NOW! I FEEL IT NOW!" she cried.

She continued praying the "sinner's prayer" and put her faith in Jesus Christ as her Saviour. One of her daughters, who is not a real emotional person, suddenly stood to her feet and said, "Hallelujah! Mother just got saved." She was baptized shortly afterwards and is still a faithful Christian. One of her daughters is now the wife of a successful pastor.

Of course, she was not saved by "feeling it." She was saved by trusting Jesus. However, it is certainly an occasional refreshment when someone enjoys salvation enough to be demonstrative. The secret to all of it was the praying and witnessing of those two daughters and the fact that they were not weary in well doing. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

HE´S A DEACON NOW

I thank God for every conversion and certainly minimize none, but occasionally there comes across our path an unusual experience of salvation that makes us rejoice more than usual.

In our church we have a fine lady with three wonderful children who for years prayed for their unsaved husband and dad. Our church prayed, and my own heart was burdened about his salvation. Again and again we witnessed to him, but to no avail.

Recently his son was preparing to go to Tennessee Temple College, and it came to the last week of his life at home with his dad still unsaved. I became especially burdened about him that particular week, and I simply had to go by to see him again. The son was to leave for college at noon on Sunday, immediately following the morning service. I went by on Saturday to make one last effort to give the young man a Christian father at least one day while living at home.

As usual, the father was courteous but seemingly disinterested in becoming a Christian.

I left the home that Saturday with a heavy heart, feeling that I had failed. Trying to salvage something out of the visit, I pleaded with the man to come to church with his family the following day. I said, "Paul, you only have one more chance to sit in church with your son before he goes off to college."

The next morning their 13-year old daughter rushed to me saying, "Dad's here! Dad's here! Dad's here!"

The boy going away to college caught me in the hall and said, "Pray for Dad. He is here!"

Hundreds of our people were thrilled and electrified to see him in the service. Hundreds were praying during the entire service for the salvation of this one man. (Bear in mind, the son was leaving for college as soon as the service ended.)

The invitation came. He did not come forward. His son put his arm around his dad and pleaded with him to be saved. Still the answer was "no." The invitation was now coming toward its close when I felt I simply had to go back and speak to Paul.

"Paul," I said, "this is the last chance you will ever have to look at your family while they are all at home and say to them, 'You have a Christian father.' In a few minutes your son will leave home for the last time. Let him say good-bye to a Christian dad." I could say no more. I was weeping so much I could not speak, when suddenly Paul broke for the aisle, came to the altar, and received Christ.

During the rest of the invitation I kept saying to my Music Director, "Have the choir sing louder." He reminded me after the service that the choir could hardly sing at all for weeping.

In a matter of a few minutes Paul, as a Christian, said good-bye to his son. That night during the invitation, Paul reached over to his wife and said, "I don't have to sweat so much now!"

In a few days I received a lovely letter from the daughter telling me about her new daddy and what a wonderful dad he had become. I doubt if he has missed any service-Sunday morning, Sunday night, or Wednesday night-since he was saved. He is truly "a new creature."

Just recently the aforementioned convert was dedicated to be a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Hammond. He is one of our most faithful and active members.

SHE WON SEVEN PEOPLE ONE HOUR AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED

God's people should witness at every opportunity. Ezekiel 24:18 is a striking passage of Scripture that tells us that Ezekiel obeyed God's commandment the next morning after the death of his wife.

One Sunday morning two very attractive ladies came to visit our services. They were neatly dressed, but it was obvious that they were not regular church-going people. They were very striking in their apparel and attractive in their appearance. Each lady was perhaps near 25 years of age.

I met them at the front door and welcomed them to the services. "Is Pastor Hyles here?” they asked.

"I am Pastor Hyles," I replied.

"Well, we have come to get religion," they said. (Oh, brother! There are millions of people who already have religion but who are in desperate need of Jesus Christ and the new birth.)

I asked them why they had this sudden urge for religion. They replied that the night before they had been to a movie and seen "A Man Called Peter," the story of the late Peter Marshall, who for a number of years was Chaplain of the Senate. They said that this movie had stirred them to realize their need of religion. Since I am not for Hollywood movies or the usual "religion," I pursued the conversation even further.

They stayed for the message, and they got more than religion. Both of them were born again that morning. The next Sunday each lady brought her husband. Both of the men were very handsome and charming. They, too, received Christ as personal Saviour and were born from above. All four of the young adults made beautiful Christians and served the Lord faithfully.

One day I received a call about noon that one of the young men had been taken to the hospital. That morning on the job he had taken a severe headache and lapsed into unconsciousness. I rushed to the hospital and arrived just at the time of his death.

As I walked in and began to speak a few words of comfort to the wife, she said through her tears, "Come in, Brother Hyles. I want you to meet a friend whom I won to Jesus Christ just as my husband was dying."

I could hardly believe my ears! To think that while her husband was lying a corpse she could sweetly introduce me to a new convert whom she had just led to the Saviour!

She assured me that God's grace was sufficient, and I told her that I would meet her at her home an hour later to discuss plans for the funeral service.

When I arrived at her house, she said, "Come, Pastor. I want you to meet some new converts." Then she introduced me to six people that she had won to Christ since I had talked to her an hour before in the hospital. These were people who had come to give her consolation and had found salvation.

Think of it! In approximately one hour following her husband's death, she had won seven people to Jesus Christ. This lovely, charming, and talented young lady had found something real and even better than religion. She had realized that a Christian should seize upon every opportunity to win others to Christ.

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.

SAVED ON HIS SON´S CASKET

It was a typical Sunday morning at the Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. At that time, the church was very small. A lovely young lady walked in carrying a baby in her arms. At the end of the message when the invitation was given, with the baby still in her arms she walked the aisle, receiving Christ as her Saviour.

Two days later I went by to see her husband. He was in the garage working on the lawn mower. I told him the way of salvation, and he received Christ immediately.

A few days later the aforementioned lady's brother moved in with them. Two of our men went by, and they led him to Jesus Christ. Shortly afterwards, the brother was killed in a car accident. At his funeral I told the story of the three conversions mentioned above.

At the end of the message, the deceased boy's father stood to his feet and said, "Preacher, I would like to be saved." He then stepped toward the aisle of the little funeral chapel, walked to the front, threw himself over the body of his 25-year-old son, and received Christ as Saviour. When this happened, others followed, and the sweet revival atmosphere permeated the funeral home.

What happens to converts like these? The last I heard, the man who was won in the garage became the Superintendent of the Sunday school of a church in Colorado and then later at a church in Texas. The man who was saved leaning over the form of his son? At last report he was Chairman of the Board at a Methodist Church.

Whether in the altar of a church with a babe in arms, in the living room of a home, in the garage repairing a lawn mower, or in a funeral chapel, it pays to go soul winning.

WINNING THE “MEANEST MAN IN TOWN”

Sunday morning nothing happened. Sunday night nothing happened. Monday night no one was saved. Tuesday night nothing happened.

I was preaching a revival meeting in a little country town that was reputed to be literally filled with bootleggers. Discouraged, I went to my room after several nights and resolved to pray all night if needs be for revival to come. In the wee hours of the morning, God gave me the answer: Since there were so many bootleggers here, why not try to win the meanest man in town?

At breakfast the next morning I asked the pastor who he thought was the meanest of the bootleggers-in other words. the meanest man in town. He immediately gave me the name. (Let's call him Mr. J.D.) I said, "Let's go see him."

"Not on your life," replied the pastor.

"Then I will go alone, but I wonder what he is going to say when I tell him that you said he was the meanest man in town?"

"Let's go," said the pastor.

We drove up in front of the bootlegger's little shack, which was just barely large enough for a bed. He was out in the front yard cooking breakfast on a piece of iron over a homemade fire. He lived in a typical hermit fashion with no kitchen and no table, just cooking out of doors and roughing it. It was just about sunup when we got out of the car.

I walked up to him, stuck out my hand, and said, "Are you J.D.?"

"Yes, I am," he replied gruffly.

With forced courage I said, "I understand you are the meanest man in town."

He abruptly asked, "Who said that?" The pastor gulped. (This is putting it mildly!)

"Never mind," I replied. "I just wanted to tell you something. This is a wicked town, and when it goes to Hell, it will be on your hands. If you got right with God, scores of others would too. Not only will you face your own sins, but you will face the sins of the entire area. I have come to tell you how to get right with God."

I proceeded to go down the "Roman Road" with him, and to my delight, and yes, even surprise, he dropped to his knees beside the improvised stove and received Christ as Saviour.

Word spread around the little town like a prairie fire that J.D. had "gotten religion" and that he was going to "join the church" that night. So they came from far and near to see if it could be true. Sure enough, there was J.D. sitting right in the middle of the auditorium, all dressed up in his Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. Many bootleggers were there-some in the audience, some looking in, and some sitting in their cars on the outside.

When the invitation came, old J. D. pulled down his coattail, stepped out in the aisle, and, walking like the county sheriff, made his profession of faith in Christ. Eleven others followed, and the little town saw revival in the next few days,

There are no impossible cases! Again and again in the Word of God we are reminded that no one is beyond the reach of God's love and grace.

AT THE WRONG HOUSE

I was visiting a Mrs. Turner on Indiana Street. Now, Indiana Street is only one block from Truman Street. Since the words "Turner" and "Truman" are a lot alike, I accidentally went to Truman Street instead of Indiana Street. I came to the right number, however, knocked on the door, and asked if Mrs. Turner were in.

"No," she said, "My name is McDowell."

I said, "This is Indiana Street, isn't it?"

She said, "No, this is Truman Street," and then I realized that I had the right number but the wrong street.

I turned to walk away when suddenly the Holy Spirit prompted me to witness to Mrs. McDowell. I told her my name and where I was from, and immediately she went into near-hysteria. When she finally gained control of her emotions, she said, "I can't believe it, for when you knocked on the door, I was on my knees next to my sofa asking God to send a preacher by to tell me how to be saved."

>From then on it was easy. I did tell her how to be saved, and she did receive Christ. I thought I was on Indiana Street looking for Mrs. Turner; the Holy Spirit led me to Truman Street to win a Mrs. McDowell.

A similar experience took place a few years ago when, as I was winning a little lady, she prayed, "Dear Lord, thank you for answering my prayer of this morning that you would send a preacher by my house today."

A few days ago I was in Texas and saw one of my converts, a Mrs. Tillett, whom I won to Christ years ago after finding I had the wrong house. I had knocked on the door and asked for a certain lady.

"She lives a few houses down," answered the lady at this house.

"But are you a Christian?" I asked Mrs. Tillett. She began to weep, and in a few moments I led her to Christ.

Shortly afterward her husband was saved, and a few days ago we rejoiced with each other about this experience which took place many years ago.

One of the ladies saved at the wrong house is still a faithful attender of the services at the First Baptist Church of Hammond.

THE CEDAR PULPIT

When in my early twenties I was out soul winning one day in a little East Texas town called Marshall, where I attended college and where I pastored for three and a half years. I drove out on the Longview Highway to visit a Mrs. Clark. There in a beautiful brick home I led her to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As soon as she was saved, she began to beg me to go across town and witness to her unsaved sister, Mrs. Hamilton. I promised her that I would, and in a few moments I was on my way. Since Mrs. Clark lived several miles west of Marshall and Mrs. Hamilton lived at the extreme east end of Marshall, it took me about twenty-five minutes to make the drive.

When I arrived at Mrs. Hamilton's house, I knocked on the door and she answered very quickly. I said, "My name is Jack Hyles. I just won your sister to Christ, and she was very insistent that I drive over and tell you how to be saved."

"Oh, yes," said Mrs. Hamilton. "I am already saved. My sister couldn't wait until you got here. She called me on the phone and led me to Jesus Christ"

The next Sunday both couples came forward during the invitation and professed publicly their faith in Jesus Christ. Mr. Hamilton made me a lovely cedar pulpit, and to this day the same pulpit is used in that little country church.

Isn't it refreshing to find a new Christian winning souls so soon?

THE FRIENDLESS RANCHER

He was a 72-year-old rancher with a beautiful diamond ring, and obviously a man of great wealth. He sat down beside me, and I struck up a conversation. "Where do you live?" I asked, as we traveled on a TWA jet airliner.

He said, "On a ranch between Phoenix and Tucson."

I asked him about the size of the ranch, and he informed me that there were hundreds of acres and many houses with scores of workers. He was obviously a big-time operator.

"Do you and your wife live alone in your ranch house?" I asked.

"My wife died a few months ago," he said. This was my cue.

Then I asked, "Do you ever think about having someone come and live with you?"

"Oh," he said, "if I could find somebody who would come and live with me, a friend to keep me company, I'd give anything in the world." He had chauffeurs and servants, and he owned a big ranch with hundreds of acres, but he was as lonely as he could be.

I said, "I know Somebody Who would come and live with you."

"You do? Does he live in Phoenix?"

I said, "He sure does. He lives everywhere."

He said, "Who is it?"

I proceeded to tell him about the Lord Jesus Christ and how He indwells all who put their trust in Him. I told him that Jesus is a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother," and that once a person trusted Him, he would never be left or forsaken.

This wealthy old rancher began to tremble and weep, and on the TWA jet airliner he bowed his head and unashamedly prayed the "sinner's prayer." I then led him to assurance that Christ was with him and in him. He believed and was happily converted.

As I got off the plane, he winked at me and gave me the "high sign."

"We'll be seeing you," he said.

Yes, it was "we" then, for he would have Someone to go home and live with him.

I PUMPED THEM TO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Occasionally I am asked to tell about the first soul I ever won. The first people that I won I actually didn't win, but I was the one responsible for their being saved.

The day after I got saved, I told James, one of my playmates, that I was saved. I remembered that the preacher told me I now had a mansion instead of a shack. (I didn't know what a mansion was, but I lived in a shack, so I knew a mansion was better!) My friend startled me when he asked, "What is a mansion?"

My first attempt at soul winning had been thwarted by a limited vocabulary, but I was not to be denied. I asked him if I could "pump" him to Sunday school on my bicycle the next Sunday and he agreed.

He lived a mile from the church. I got on my bicycle the next Sunday morning, rode a mile to his house, and pumped him to church. I then rode a mile back, got his brother, George, and pumped him to church. Then I rode back, got his kid brother, and pumped him to church. Still I wasn't satisfied! I went back again, got his big sister (Boy, was she fat!), and pumped her to church. (First I pumped up the tires!)

I had ridden my bicycle a total of eight miles before Sunday school. The preacher talked to each of the four, and they were saved. The funny thing was that after they were saved I lost my burden to pump them-they walked home!

It is strange that something like this should come across my mind, but this simple story shows that real salvation brings with it a desire to tell others. I could not win a soul to Christ because of a lack of vocabulary, but I did have a bicycle and I could pump my friends to someone who could tell them how to be saved.

I have won hundreds and thousands of souls since then, but I doubt if any has given me more satisfaction.

"DEAR LORD, KILL THIS MAN"

Occasionally in soul winning the startling is necessary. One day while visiting on the north side of Hammond, I was having an especially good time winning souls. (In fact, I won twelve that day.) Toward the end of the day my faith was increased, and I was greatly encouraged when I came to a house where the man began to knock at Christianity. He said he didn't have any time for that "junk" and that he had no confidence in my religion.

Though I would not advise this for a regular practice, I said, "Well, if I am a fake, then so is my religion. Let's find out. I am going to bow my head and pray for God to kill you," whereupon I bowed my head to pray and call his bluff.

As I began to pray for God to kill the man (I don't know whether this is good theology or even good ethics, but I did it!), I felt a tap on the elbow and heard him say, "Hey, reverend, don't pray that!" I just kept on praying something like this:

"Dear God, help him to get saved now or kill him."

Again he tapped my elbow and said, "Reverend, I am ready to get saved now!" This he did, and he had, I think, a wonderful experience of salvation.

One of my assistants was out visiting recently and had an urge to pray similarly. (Maybe he had been running with me too much!) His faith was not quite as big as the faith of his boss, or perhaps he was more sane than the boss; but he prayed for God to break a man's leg because the man seemed to be antagonistic toward God.

A few days later the man called the church to tell my assistant that there must be something to this Christianity after all because he had broken an arm! Now he was ready to talk business.

Now I am not sure why it was an arm instead of a leg, but I am sure there is something to this Christianity business. There is something to this soul-winning business, too. Would to God we had some Christians who would do it regularly!

THEY PRAYED FOR THE PEWS

Thank God for soul-winning laymen. Recently I was reliving an experience that took place the night before the dedication of a new building in a former pastorate. The new building was an auditorium, and it was a large one. There were 208 new pews in a building 130 feet by 100 feet.

The midnight before Dedication Day I went into the new building, bowed at the altar, and began to pray for God to bless the services the next day. The lights were out, and the only light was supplied from a shopping center across the street.

While kneeling at the altar I heard a noise in the back of the building. I looked back and saw the silhouettes of two men. Immediately I thought of burglars. There were so many nice new things in the building that could be stolen. So I got on my hands and knees and crept back to where they were. I could just see the headlines in the paper the next morning: "Young Pastor Captures Two Escaped Convicts!" Stupid me, it never dawned on me the headlines could have read, "Young Pastor killed by Two Escaped Convicts." Nevertheless, here was my chance to be a hero.

Just before I was to leap on them and capture them single-handed in a blaze of glory, I heard one of them speak, and I recognized that the voice was the voice of one of my good men. They did not yet know of my presence, so I continued to listen. I heard something more beautiful to my ears than music.

These men were putting their hands on each pew in the auditorium and praying for the power of God to rest upon each pew. One would place his hands at one end and the other at the other end, and they would say something like this: "Dear God, send Your power upon the people who sit in this pew tomorrow and every Sunday; and though our church is getting big, help it always to have the Spirit of Christ and the blessings of God. Thank you, dear God, that our families were saved here, and may our church always be as it is now."

They did not know it, but I listened while they prayed over every one of those 208 pews. I chuckled, I cried, I laughed and had to stifle shouting. When they had prayed over the last pew, I revealed to them that I had been there all the time and had joined them in praying that God would send His power.

The next day 2,550 people overflowed the auditorium and 52 people were saved. Some of these were folks led to Christ by these two men who quietly and humbly had given nearly all their night before Dedication Day to praying for souls.

THE DEATH OF MY FATHER

People often ask me why I stress soul winning so much. There are many reasons, but one of the main ones is wrapped up in the story concerning the death of my father. On January 1, 1950, my father sat in my service-about five or six rows back. He was a rough, tough man and used to be an amateur wrestler. I was his preacher boy.

On December 31, 1949, I found my father in a tavern. I walked inside that tavern and said, "Dad, you're going home with me this weekend. You're going to Marshall, Texas, with me today and I'm going to preach to you tomorrow on New Year's Day."

Dad looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and sort of half drunk said, "I'm not going."

(He weighed 235 pounds, was over 6 feet tall, and was every inch a man.) I said, "Dad, you weigh almost twice as much as I do, but you are going with me. If I have to drag you bodily, you're going with me."

I took my dad to the car and on to Marshall, Texas. On New Year's Eve night we had a Watch Night service, a blessed time. I said to my father, "Dad, are you having a good time?"

He looked at me, smiled, and great big tears rolled down his whiskered cheeks as he said, "Son, they don't have this much fun where I stay."

I took him outside the building and said, "Dad, I'm so happy! I want you to be one of my deacons. I want you to get saved."

Dad began to cry, "Son, I would love to be one of your deacons."

"Dad, would you receive Christ?"

He didn't receive Christ that night. The next morning I preached to him. He actually dug his fingernails into the pew as he wept and cried, but he didn't come. I closed the service and said, "He'll come tonight! He'll come tonight!"

That afternoon we went out in the pasture near the little country church. I put my arm around his big shoulders and said, "Daddy, I've always wanted you to be a Christian. I'm a preacher, a pastor; but, Dad, you drink, you curse, you are separated from Mother; our home is broken. Wouldn't you receive Christ as your Saviour?"

My dad put his arm on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said, "Son, I'm going to do it! I'm going to do it! But I'm going to do it in the spring or early summer. I'm going to Dallas to sell out and I'm going to come to East Texas and buy a little fruitstand or grocery store and go in business down here. I'm going to hear you preach every Sunday. I'm going to receive Christ and let you baptize me."

That was January 1, 1950. I lived for the spring and the summer. Every time I baptized anyone in that little country baptistry, I pictured myself taking my big old dad and lowering him into the water and raising him in newness of life. I looked forward to that day. I longed for it. I lived for it.

On May 13 I preached a radio sermon at 9:00 a.m. Then I went out to the little parsonage in the country and sat down to read the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The telephone rang. "Reverend Jack Hyles, please. Long distance calling." I answered, and a man on the other end of the line said, "This is Mr. Smith. Your dad just dropped dead with a heart attack on the job."

I put my head in my hands and said, "Dear God, it isn't fair! It isn't fair! I've been trying to get folks right with God, and now my own dad has died and as far as I know was unprepared."

I wept and prayed as I went to Dallas, Texas, and followed the hearse down to the little cemetery in Italy, Texas, and watched them put my dad's body in the grave. A few days later I went back and knelt on the mound under which my daddy's body rested and said, "Dear Lord, You help me and I'll preach every Sunday like my dad was in the crowd."

Now I never go to bed on Saturday night without taking the only picture of my dad that I have, looking at it and saying, "Dear Jesus, tomorrow when I preach, I want to preach like Dad was in the service."

I have tried to keep that promise. How important soul winning is, and how important it is to make every service an evangelistic service.

HE PAID HIS OLD DEBTS

One afternoon it was my privilege to lead an elderly barber to Jesus Christ. He soon walked the aisle and was baptized. With this comparatively unspectacular beginning follows one of the most spectacular stories in my ministry.

A few days later in a public service the quiet, unemotional barber rose and asked if he could speak from the pulpit. Rarely do I grant such a request, but I felt moved to do so on this occasion. He said something like this:

"Last week I was saved. Since then I have been traveling a great deal of the time. I first went to Brownwood, Texas, to a hospital to pay a bill I have owed for over thirty years. My oldest son was born in that hospital over thirty years ago. I had cheated them out of the bill. Now I am a Christian, so I drove over 150 miles to pay that bill.

"I then sought to find the doctor who delivered my son and to whom I had owed money for that delivery for these many years. I paid that debt.

"After settling up in Brownwood, I then drove to Abilene, Texas, where I paid some more debts incurred at the birth of another child.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have driven most of the week. For the first time in over a quarter of a century I am free of debt and my conscience is clear. I am a Christian now and I plan to live as a Christian. I am the happiest man in the world."

He then left the pulpit to join an electrified audience. Most of the people knew him and many had patronized his barber shop for years. Needless to say, it wasn't long until his wife was saved as well as his 31-year-old son, the son's family, his teenage daughter, his young married son, this son's wife, and many others.

Recently I learned of the death of this barber. My mind wandered back to that public service when he announced he had made it right with his neighbors because he had made it right with his God. He is now with Christ because Jesus paid his debt, and he is receiving rewards because he himself paid his honest debts.

Soul winning pays.

"YOU'RE MY BEST 'FRAN'"

Many little children are saved because of our bus ministry. Some of our most blessed experiences have come through this labor of love. At this time we have several of our "bus products" in Christian colleges.

It is not unusual for several of these little ones to meet me after baptism and want my autograph. (One day I signed a little fellow's Bible and found that it was the fifty-third time I had signed the same page!)

Not long ago I tied a little four-year-old boy's shoe. As he walked away, he said, "Mama, did you see God tie my shoe?"

Often I'll get one child on one side of me and one on the other side, put my hands behind their necks, and say, "When I say three, you kiss this cheek and you kiss this cheek." Then I say, "One, two, three-" I move back, and they smack each other!

One little girl came not long ago and she said, "Would you sign my Bible?" I said, "Yes." She was about six or seven, she wore tennis shoes, and her hair was straight. Nobody curled her hair on Saturday night. Nobody polished her shoes. Nobody would greet her at home when she returned and say, "Honey, did you learn anything in Sunday school?"

Her father was a drunkard; her mother was a prostitute. But this little girl heard me say one time that I loved her. I said, "I love you, honey." And every time she would pass me, she would say to her friend, "He loves me. He said he did."

She called me, "Mr. Brother Hyles." She would say, "Mr. Brother Hyles, you are my best friend." She would pronounce it "fran." "You are my best fran." I would hug her and kiss her.

One morning she came and said, "Mr. Brother Hyles, you are my best fran, and I am moving out of town."

I said, "Honey, I am sorry you are moving."

She said, "I said, you are my best fran, and I won't be coming here any more."

I said, "Honey, I am going to miss you."

She said, "DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID? YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE ME ANY MORE, AND YOU'RE MY BEST FRAN!"

I said, "Well, honey, I am so sorry, and I wish I could see you, and I hate to see you move."

The little girl, poor little thing, put her hands on her hips and looked up at me and said, "Well, ain't you gonna cry?"

And I said, "Yes, I am." And I did. We wept together and I kissed her good-bye. She had no one to love her, no one to care for her.

There are thousands of little ones who are like those our Lord spoke about when He invited the little children to come unto Him. Let's go get them and tell them of the Saviour.

THE CORPSE WHO WON A SOUL

On a recent Sunday morning dozens of people flooded the aisles of our church receiving Christ as Saviour, and many were baptized. Most of them were won to Christ by our soul winners. During the invitation a man came forward and related this story:

"I am an undertaker. This past week the body of a twelve-year-old girl was brought into our funeral home. I was going through my usual tasks of embalming the body and preparing it for burial when suddenly the stark realization came before me that life is short.

"I looked at the body of the girl whom I was embalming and fell under conviction. Immediately I dropped to my knees, cried for mercy, and asked God to save my soul. I know I am saved. I know that if I died today I would go to Heaven, and I came to First Baptist this morning to make it public."

There are two things of interest about this story. First, there is a girl whose body probably had won its only soul. There are many people who will win more souls in death than in life, and no doubt many lives have been taken for this purpose.

The second thought that came to my mind was a thought of thanksgiving to God for the testimony of the First Baptist Church. When the undertaker thought of making public his decision, he immediately thought of First Baptist. This is because of our evangelistic emphasis. When a church makes enough noise about soul winning, people associate soul winning with the church.

Many folks came forward that Sunday, but none thrilled me quite as much as this undertaker who was won to Christ by a corpse.

THE WINNING OF THE CITY COUNCILMAN AND HIS WIFE

It pays to be nice. When soul winning it always pays not to reveal your identity early. When teaching soul winning, I suggest that one make some positive impression in the mind of the sinner before revealing his identity. This could be done by simply a "Good morning, how are you?" or "What a lovely home you have!"

A vivid illustration of this occurred in a former pastorate. I learned that a certain lady had started a campaign against me. She was not a member of my church. In fact, she had never seen me, but she had read some articles I had distributed in the local high school against dancing. She decided that I was a disgrace to the community and should be pressured into leaving, so she started a first-class campaign against me and my ministry.

I heard that whoever she was, she was a very influential person in town, so I went to the mayor, who was my personal friend, and asked him if he had heard any rumors. He suggested that I go and talk to a certain city councilman's wife, and he intimated that she was the person.

The next day it was snowing (in Texas!). I took my Assistant Pastor and we went to see the city councilman's wife. Bear in mind, she had never seen me. When she came to the door, I gave her a smile, a friendly "Good afternoon," and told her how lovely her home was. She invited us in, and I saw a twelve-year-old girl in the house. "Is this your sister?" I asked.

Blushingly she said, "No, this is my oldest daughter."

"It couldn't be," I said. (Boy, was I pouring it on!)

"Yes," she said, "we married rather young."

"Well," I said, "she certainly doesn't look much younger than you." (Boy, was she falling for it.)

About that time a cute little curly-headed girl came toddling in. I picked her up, gave her some candy, bragged on her beauty, and immediately won her friendship.

After about ten minutes of such behavior, I put my hand out and said, "By the way, my name is Jack Hyles," and I prepared to duck. I didn't need to duck, however. Her mouth flew open a foot (and that is about how big it had been), and she said, "You are....Jack Hyles? Well, I already know that most of the things I have heard about you are not true." She apologized and invited me to come back to see her husband that evening.

This I did, and to top it off, I won her to Christ, I won the city councilman, and I won the twelve-year old daughter to Christ-and I had won the hearts of the entire family.

It pays to be courteous, it pays to be nice, and sometimes it pays to be unknown.

AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL TEAM SAVED

When a person is saved, his life should be changed. While preaching along this line recently I was reminded of a wonderful story.

Many years ago I was preaching a revival in a small Louisiana town in a very small church. One night the young lady who had the lead in a senior play in a nearby high school was converted. The next night she brought her boy friend, Dwayne, with her to the service. Dwayne was the quarterback on the state championship football team, and the first night he came, he too was saved.

The following night he brought the entire football squad with him. They sat on the front rows of the church. To my delight (and quite frankly, surprise) the entire squad came forward during the invitation and received Christ as Saviour. You never saw so many big husky fellows in the altar in your life as we had that night.

After the service Dwayne and the football squad went to a restaurant to eat. Of course, everyone knew that they were members of the state championship football team. When the food was served, the big burly fellows started to eat when suddenly Dwayne stood up in the busy restaurant and said, "Wait, fellows! We are not heathen any more. We're Christians! Christians pray before they eat."

All the fellows gulped down the food that they had in their mouths at the time and bowed their heads. Then Dwayne shouted again, "Fellows, this ain't no way to pray. Christians are supposed to get on their knees to pray."

The entire football squad got out of their chairs and down on their knees beside the tables. The other customers watched them thank God for the food, and knowing Dwayne, I am sure the prayer was a lengthy one.

Within twenty-four hours the entire town knew that the football team had been saved. How long did it take the entire town to find out that you got saved? Do they know it yet?

SHE WAS A HE

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!

PREACHING ON A BOX IN A GARAGE

One Saturday I was soul winning with one of my daughters. We went to a house on the north side of Hammond only to find that no one answered the door. Suddenly we heard some noises in the garage behind the house. Upon opening the door to the garage we found about a dozen men having a drinking party as they worked on a couple of cars.

I witnessed to the man of the house and received in reply only jeers and heckling from the entire group. Again I tried to witness courteously; again my voice was drowned by heckling and jeering.

Suddenly I felt impressed of the Holy Spirit to preach. I jumped up on a box in the corner of the garage, opened my Bible, and shouted, "LISTEN TO ME!" Listen they did. You never saw such a sober drunk crowd in your life. I proceeded to preach a sermon on the sins of drinking liquor.

My little daughter hovered in the corner and was afraid (So was I!), but I was caught out of myself. They stood silently and stunned as I delivered my message. When I finished I abruptly came down, took my daughter, got into the car, and drove off.

The next morning as I walked into my pulpit to preach I saw in the center of the front row of the balcony the man who had hosted the drinking party. When invitation time came he was the first one to come down the stairs and down the aisle. When I took his hand, he said, "I am the man who lives in the house where you preached yesterday. When you finished your sermon, I said to myself, 'You better get right with God.' Now I want to be saved."

Within a few weeks over a dozen people in that man's family and inner circle of friends had been saved, all because of a sermon on liquor preached on a box in a corner of a garage. All this was made possible because a preacher and his little daughter went soul winning together.

"I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME"

Our church is located in the downtown district of Hammond. Thousands of transient people walk by the doors of our buildings. One Sunday night during the song service I looked back and saw a man in rags with his nose pressed against our plate-glass doors looking longingly into our beautiful auditorium. One of our fine men went back and invited him in. He was amazed that he was welcome in such a lovely place.

Timidly he had a seat on one of the back rows. He listened intently as I presented the claims of Christ, and during the invitation he came forward to receive Christ as His personal Saviour.

After I had baptized, I went to my office to fill some appointments and do some counselling and then started home. For some strange reason I felt compelled to go back to the auditorium. This I did, only to find the old ragged man sitting on about the fourth row from the front. He was alone. He had a songbook and was singing.

I approached him and told him that no one was left in the building but the custodian and me and that he must leave so we could turn out the lights and lock the doors. The old man began to tremble and tears flooded from his eyes as he said about these words: "Reverend, I don't want to leave. Don't make me go! Don't make me go! Don't make me go! Please, reverend, let me stay."

Then he raised a trembling finger and pointed toward the darkness of the night through the back doors and said, "Reverend, out there I found nothing but heartbreak, emptiness, and misery. In here I found love, happiness, and joy. Please, Reverend, don't make me go. Don't make me go! Don't make me go!"

Then I thought of the rescue mission that our church owns and operates. I told him that he could stay there for awhile. As the old man walked out in the darkness of the night, I wondered how many millions of others are in that darkness, uncared for and unloved. Oh, that the churches might reach them with the Gospel.

This reminds me of an event that took place not long ago in Hammond. I went by the hospital one morning to visit one of our men who was having surgery that day. I talked with him briefly and prayed for him. I needed to rush to the office to conduct my morning broadcast.

As I walked briskly from the hospital room, I heard a quivering voice say, "Reverend, Reverend, O Reverend!" I turned and saw an old man in the bed beside my member. He was crying. He put both of his hands around mine and said, "Reverend, please pray that prayer for me. That same prayer you prayed for him, would you pray it for me?"

As best I could, I prayed the same prayer that I had prayed for my member. Then the old man, weeping and trembling, said, "Thank you, Reverend. I am over eighty years of age, as far as I know, you are the first person who ever prayed for me." He was easy to win to Christ.

O dear reader, there are millions for whom no one cares and whom no one loves! May we reach them with the Gospel of Christ and show them God's love for sinners.

A CHEMICAL ENGINEER SAVED ON AN AIRPLANE

A few years ago I was flying to Denver, Colorado. A very fine-looking, middle-aged businessman was sitting next to me. Soon I initiated a conversation. After a brief chat I inquired as to his business. He said, "I am a chemical engineer," and then he asked me if I knew anything about chemistry. I replied that I knew a little. (I know that H20 is water and that I had dropped chemistry in college for the safety of the building and the tranquility of the faculty. Since that is a little, I told him that I knew a little about chemistry!)

He then asked what I thought about a new formula. I told him that I felt that since the formula was new, we should not make a hasty decision concerning it. He was very impressed with that statement and told me that he felt the same way. He said it was refreshing to find a layman who knew something about chemistry.

He then called off another formula even more complicated than the first and asked my opinion about that one. I replied that there were probably some good things about that formula but there might be some bad things also and that probably we should be for the good and against the bad. Still not realizing my ignorance, he complimented me again because of the good grasp I seemed to have on chemistry.

Now that I had succeeded in making my ignorance sound like knowledge, he then asked me concerning my business. Suddenly I found myself telling him that I was an ambassador. This really startled him. He sat up in his seat and said, "Sir, I did not realize that I was in such important company. Do you mean that your citizenship is in a foreign country?"

Chuckling under my breath, I answered affirmatively. (Philippians 3:20-"For our conversation (citizenship)is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. ")

Then he asked, "Do you really represent a king in America?"

Nothing could be closer to the truth than that, so I said, "Yes, I do."

Once again he sat up in his seat, startled and impressed. "With your accent," he said, "I am surprised."

Then I assured him that I had been in this country representing the King for many years and had picked up many of the characteristics of this country (far too many, I was afraid).

Then he asked the question: "Who is the king and what is the country?"

I said happily, "The country is Heaven and the King is Jesus," and in a few minutes he, too, was an ambassador from my Country with faith in my King.

A report came to me several weeks after this experience that this chemical engineer had joined a Baptist church in the state of Michigan.

I WON HIM UP A TREE

Recently I was out soul winning. I knocked on a door of a certain house and no one answered. Someone shouted in a male voice, "I'm up here.'" I looked around and couldn't see anyone.

"Up here," he shouted.

I looked up and sure enough the man of the house was up a tree. He had some kind of shears pruning the limbs of the tree and was out on a limb. I told him who I was and he said he would come down.

"Never mind," I replied, "I will come up where you are." So, the best I could, I climbed the tree, crawled out on a limb beside the one he was on, and began to talk with him. I finally asked him if he knew when he died he would go to Heaven. He said he didn't and I asked him if he would like to know. He said he would. I began to read the Scripture to him and suddenly I thought of Zacchaeus. I asked him if he ever heard of a fellow in the Bible who was saved up a tree. He said, "No," so I turned to Luke 19 and told him how Zacchaeus was saved up in the sycamore tree. He thought that was the funniest thing. I explained to him that as God saved Zacchaeus while he was up a tree, God would save him though he was out on a limb. I told him the plan of salvation, and we bowed our heads (I did not shut my eyes) as he prayed the sinner's prayer.

I thought, I have won folks to Christ in every conceivable place; on airplanes, in bus stations, in airports, in grocery stores, in drug stores, in barber shops, in shine parlors, in motel lobbies, but never had I won someone to Christ up a tree. Why not go "out on a limb" and go soul winning!

“WHAT´S A BLOODY MARY?”

One day I was sitting on a plane when the stewardess came by and said, "Would you like to have a Bloody Mary?"

I'll be honest with you. I never heard of a "Bloody Mary" and I didn't have any idea what it was. I didn't know it was a drink so when she asked, "Would you like to have a Bloody Mary?" I looked up, grinned, and said, "I didn't even know she was hurt."

The stewardess looked at me, grinned a bit, and said, "Are you kidding me?"

“No, I don't know what a ‘Bloody Mary´ is.”

She told me it was some kind of drink. I'm still not sure what it is, but anyway she came by a little later and kidded me about it and I kidded her. When she brought the drinks up to the area where I was sitting, she had some kind of whiskey in a glass. Would you believe it? She tipped over the whiskey glass and poured it on my lap! There I sat with whiskey on my trousers. She said, "Oh! Of all the people on the plane you're the last one I would have wanted to spill whiskey on."

I replied, "At least we agree on one thing: I'm the last one I'd want you to spill whiskey on." We both laughed.

"You're a nice fellow not to complain about that," she said.

I explained, "Well, I'm not a nice fellow in my heart, but I'm trying to act nice on the outside."

As I left the plane an hour or two later, the stewardess stood in door of the plane telling everybody good-bye and I told her, "Good-bye."

She said, "Could I say something to you?"

"What?"

"You're the nicest fellow I ever waited on."

So I said, "Say, I could do something a lot nicer than that for you."

"What?"

"I could tell you the best news you ever heard in your life."

"What news is that?"

"Could I stand here on the side until all the other passengers get out? Then I'll tell you some good news."

She said, "Sure." I waited there in the door of the airplane, and then I took my Testament and told her about the Lord Jesus Christ. She bowed her head, prayed the sinner's prayer, and said she was receiving Jesus Christ.

THEIR CHILDREN ATTENDED THEIR WEDDING

One Saturday in a little country church outside of Marshall, Texas, I was cleaning the baptistry. (Yes, I did most everything. I turned the lights on, turned the lights off, turned the fire on, turned the fire off, cooked the bread for the Lord's Supper, filled up the glasses, and then cleaned up the mess.) This particular day I was cleaning the baptistry so I could fill it. We didn't have any running water or modern facilities, so I had to get a long water hose, hook it up to a hydrant that was quite a distance from the church, and run it many feet up into the baptistry. Yes, it was all cold water; there was no hot water at all!

I had the baptistry almost cleaned when someone came in the back door of the church building.

"Is the Reverend here?"

I said, "I am the Reverend." I had on tennis shoes, an old pair of trousers, and a T-shirt!

He said, "Well, you're mighty young."

"Yes." (I think I was 22 at the time.)

"We want to get married."

I said, "Well, I don't marry people on the spur of the moment like this and besides, look at me, I'm a sight! When do you want to marry?"

"Now," he said.

"No, I couldn't marry you now, not at all. I don't believe in that."

"Pastor, would you like to meet our children."

I said, "Your what?"

"Our children." There were six children with the couple.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

The man said, "We were married to each other and had six children but we weren't saved. We separated and divorced. Both of us got saved and now we want to get married again."

Well, who would turn down that! I put my broom down, stuck my old dirty rag in my back pocket, and with a T-shirt, an old pair of trousers, and a pair of tennis shoes on I said, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered in the sight of God and these assembled witnesses to unite this man and this woman in holy matrimony..." The angels in Heaven bent low and turned their attention from the big cathedrals of the world to a little country Baptist Church.

After the wedding, I led several of the children to Jesus.

HER HUSBAND CAME IN

I was out soul winning one day and knocked on a door about 4:00 in the afternoon. A very lovely, kind lady answered the door. I walked in. Normally I wouldn't have gone in, but the weather was not quite what it should have been, so I went in, sat down right inside the door, and left the screen door open. I told her about the Saviour and we chatted for awhile about Christ. It wasn't long until tears began to come, conviction began to settle, and I could tell she was ready to be saved. I got on my knees to pray but she didn't, so I was kneeling right in front of her. After she received Christ, I said, "If you really meant that, would you place your hand in mine, please." She placed her hand in mine. It never dawned on me how this looked! I was on my knees, holding her hand, looking up into her face, just like a proposal. Would you like to guess who walked in? You guessed it! Her husband entered the room! How would you feel if you were on your knees, looking up into a lady's face, and she was sitting on a chair
They became members of our church and served the Lord faithfully.

THE CUSTODIAN IS A SOUL WINNER TOO

Recently we had a wedding at our church. At 4:00 two of our fine young people were married in our chapel. Some of the guests arrived early, and one of the families asked to see the auditorium. Our custodian unlocked the doors and showed them the auditorium. As he did so he asked the man, "Sir, if you died today, do you know for sure that you would go to Heaven?"

The man who had come for the wedding said, "No, I'm not sure that if I died today I would go to Heaven."

The custodian asked "Do you have a few minutes? There's still time before the wedding. Let me show you." So in the auditorium our custodian led a man to Jesus Christ. Isn't that a wonderful story?

Then I got to thinking of two rather humorous experiences. I was pastoring in Garland, Texas, and we had two custodians. We were having a soul-winning campaign trying to win everybody we could to Christ. One day one of the custodians came running to my study saying, "Hey Preacher, come quickly."

"What in the world is it?" I asked.

"We've got a man on his knees but we can't bring him in." I went over to our auditorium. There in front of the auditorium in the flower bed between two bushes was a man on his knees. He was a well-dressed salesman who sold custodial supplies. The custodians had witnessed to him and asked him to pray, but they couldn't win him. He was on his knees, however, so the men said, "Hold it! Wait a minute, and we'll go get the Preacher." I then won him to Christ there because of two faithful custodians.

One of the sweetest, most humorous experiences took place in a city out West several years ago. I arrived at the church about 45 minutes early for a service one morning. Nobody was there but the custodian. He hadn't met me yet so I walked in and told him my name, but he didn't hear it very well. We chatted for awhile. Finally he said to me,

"Mister, could I ask you a question?"

I said, "Sure."

He said, "Do you know, if you died today, you'd go to Heaven?" (Of course, that sounded word-for-word like my soul-winning book.)

I said, "Well, I think so."

He said, "Mister, would you like to know so?"

I said, "Well, sure, who wouldn't?" So he started telling me how to be saved. I let him because I wanted to see how he would do it. He used my little Roman Road plan right down the line and told me how to be saved.

I said, "You know, I think I've done that."

When?" he said.

"Oh, years before I started preaching."

"Preaching?"

"Yes, preaching."

"What did you say your name was?"

"Jack Hyles." I thought for a moment I had a heart patient. Then I put my arm around his shoulders and said, "You stay with it! Custodians can win folks to Christ, too."

Those three experiences reminded me of blessed men who have been custodians for me through the years, men who have a heart for souls, men who have a burden for the unsaved. Maybe today your job is not that of being the preacher, the choir director, or a deacon. Maybe you hold an office that would not be considered one of the big jobs in the church, but you can make your job big if you'll do the biggest job in the world-winning folks to Jesus Christ.

HE HAD STUDIED FOR THE PRIESTHOOD

One Sunday night after I had preached, baptized, and returned to my study, I found a young man waiting to talk to me. He was obviously a young man of culture and refinement. This was his story:

He had been to seminary to study for the priesthood. Questions began to arise as to why they did not teach more Bible in the seminary, and the professors were unable to answer these questions to his satisfaction. These and other things led to his resignation and withdrawal from school.

He then became a doubter and a "religious drifter." The following is what he said:

"I have no emotion and no feeling about God or anything else.

"I spent three years in the service and saw men die by my side. My thoughts were, 'That's their tough luck and my good luck. Glad it wasn't me.'

"I had no emotion over anything.

"In January I was invited to the First Baptist Church. I did not like your preaching at first; however, I did feel that you were sincere, and I returned. Again and again I returned. I became more and more interested in what you were saying. You seemed sincere and honest.

"This morning as you were preaching on Thomas, the doubter, you spoke of the fact that Jesus loved Thomas and that He loved also the doubter sitting in the audience. I knew immediately God gave you these words for me. I was that doubter.

"For the first time in years I found a lump in my throat, and my eyes filled with tears. If what you have is real, I want it."

In a few moments I told him the same old story that I have told from coast to coast and around the world. We bowed and prayed, and he received Christ as his Saviour.

It was a real thrill for me to tell him after he was saved that he had finally become a priest. He had studied for the priesthood but found an acceptance to Christ makes one a priest immediately.

The next Sunday night he was in the service again. The interesting thing is, that night another man came forward who had also studied for the priesthood in a Catholic seminary.

This young man is now married and regularly attends the services of the First Baptist Church of Hammond.

TOO TIRED TO SHOUT

One day I went soul winning with Bob Keyes, who was then my Assistant Pastor. Bob was an excellent soul winner and still is. I was doing the talking and the lady had a little baby who was misbehaving. About the time the lady was ready to get down to pray, the little boy said, "I want my bottle."

Mama stuck the bottle in his mouth.

"I don't want my bottle."

She took it out.

"I wanna bottle."

She stuck it in.

"I don't want my bottle."

Then I prayed silently, "Lord, do something about this little rascal or he is going to mess up the whole thing." Do you know, he stopped and looked spellbound, as if he were in a trance. I said to myself, "Well, glory to God!" For about fifteen minutes that little baby didn't move. He didn't move his eyes; he just looked. The lady got converted.

When we left, I said to Bob Keyes, "Bob, praise the Lord!"

He said, "Amen, but why?"

"Did you see what God did to that baby?"

He said, "What?"

I said, "All of a sudden, at the crucial time, that baby froze."

Bob said, "Well, I'm sure that the Lord had something to do with it, but I may have helped a little, because I had a ball point pen behind the coffee table going up and down, up and down, up and down. Preacher, I did that for fifteen minutes, and I'm worn out! I'M TOO TIRED TO SHOUT."

UNORTHODOX WAYS OF WINNING SOULS

The usual way to do soul winning is to knock on a door, introduce one's self courteously, and pleasantly present the plan of salvation. Sometimes, however, God saves people through the use of unusual and unorthodox methods, and oftentimes He even uses what we would call the "crude."

While pastoring in Garland, Texas, I had a group of men who went to the lobby of a fashionable downtown hotel one Christmas Eve night. They tried to witness, but no one would listen; so they all stood up in the lobby and started singing Gospel songs. (Not a one of them could carry a tune in a sack.)

A crowd gathered to hear, and as soon as enough people had stopped, the "singers" each took a person and began witnessing to him. When they lost their crowd, they would sing again. Again and again they repeated this procedure.

When I heard about it, I chuckled under my breath. Was I ever surprised and convicted a few days later when I received a letter from a successful businessman. He had written the following:

"I am a businessman. I had to make a trip to Dallas, Texas, over the Christmas holidays. I begrudged having to make the trip. You can imagine how lonely I was on Christmas Eve having to be away from my family.

"I went to the lobby of my hotel just to be with someone when I saw a motley crowd of fellows singing Gospel songs in the lobby. I was amused but felt drawn to them. Suddenly one of them had a Bible open, showing me the way of salvation. Though I could hardly realize what I was doing, I did receive Christ then and there as my Saviour. It became the greatest Christmas ever..."

On another occasion one of our soul winners was driving by a new shopping center. Many lines were forming where chances for prizes were being given to each person. The prizes were to be awarded at a later drawing.

Suddenly my soul winner grabbed a handful of tracts, took a place next to one of the lines, and started passing out the tracts. The people, thinking that this was another chance game, formed a line and began waiting to get the tracts. The line grew. Someone hollered from the rear of the line, "What's this a chance for?"

The soul winner, who was passing out tracts as fast as he could, shouted back, "This ain't no chance. This is a sure thing! This is a give-away."

"What are you giving away?" The inquirer asked.

"A free home," was the soul winner's answer.

Folks started leaving other lines for this one. They did not know it, but they were receiving an opportunity for a free home in Heaven.

Then there was the fellow who promised the Lord he would talk to every person he saw walking as he drove home from work. He stopped and talked to every pedestrian, and he won hundreds this way.

Then there was the fellow in Hammond who would take a couple of hours each Saturday to drive up and down the highway picking up hitchhikers so he could witness to them.

A member of my church in a former pastorate was won to Christ by a little boy in San Antonio, Texas. My member was a truck driver. Once when he parked his truck in a public place in San Antonio, a little boy ran up to him and said, "Hi, Mister! Are you saved?"

"Naw," replied the unimpressed truck driver.

"You'd better hurry," said the little boy. "Jesus is coming real soon, and you are going to Hell!"

That did it. The truck driver got saved.

Then there was the little girl who was playing church one day. She was the preacher; her dog and cat and little brother formed the audience. She "preached" the Gospel to them, and during the invitation time she fell under conviction and was saved.

She is now a grown woman but still points to that play church as the time of her salvation.

HE MADE THE BAPTISTRY

In a former pastorate we were busily engaged in a building program. There was some problem about the installation of the baptistry, so one day I walked over and talked with the men who were doing the work, and we discussed the problems involved.

One of the fellows (the main one) asked me what it was they were installing and for what it was to be used. I explained to him the meaning of baptism and found him to be very interested. I then took time to remind him of the question the eunuch asked Philip: "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36) I reminded him of Philip's answer: "'If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." (Acts 8:37).

In other words, I told him that one had to be saved before he could be baptized. I proceeded to tell him the plan of salvation, and to my delight he expressed a desire to be saved.

He knelt in the uncompleted baptistry and there received Christ as Saviour. The strange thing was, however, that he refused to get baptized after he got saved though he did seem to be sincere in his salvation.

Weeks passed. The Dedication Day came for the new building. To my surprise, down the aisle came the man who installed the baptistry. He was now ready to profess his faith in Christ as Saviour and requested that he be the first person to be baptized in the baptistry he had installed.

It was a wonderful thrill for the people as they watched the first convert being baptized in the new baptistry and found him to be the man who installed the baptistry.

ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED

When our daughter, Becky, was ill for several months I got to thinking about doctors whom I have seen saved.

In a revival meeting in East Texas one time a leading doctor in the town was converted.

Then in Garland, Texas, where I pastored for nearly seven years, we had a medical doctor come forward to receive Christ. The interesting thing is that we had a chiropractor deacon, and it was he who was called on to do personal work with the medical doctor. I found myself chuckling during the invitation as I realized that a chiropractor was leading an M.D. to Christ. (Boy, that is the wolf and the lamb lying down together, isn't it?)

Then one day here in Hammond a medical doctor came to be saved. He knelt beside the pulpit to receive Christ, and as he did, a skid-row drunk knelt on the other side. I chuckled as I praised the Lord, for the altar is one place where the ground is level.

This doctor had a little daughter who literally fell in love with our church. Soon the family moved to Champaign, Illinois, and they tried to find a satisfactory church. The parents seemed fully satisfied, but the little girl could not be happy.

Now in those days our deacons sat on the front rows in our church, and the little girl was very impressed by this. The parents asked her why she was not pleased with the church in their new town. She replied that she liked First Baptist Church, Hammond, better because the pastor stood behind the pulpit and the "demons" sat on the front row!

Thank God that at First Baptist we have no "demons"-it is a godly Board of Deacons.

Whether one is a doctor or a fallen man on skid row, the need is the Gospel.

ONE SHOUTED, ANOTHER FROWNED

A number of years ago I went out one night to attempt to win some people to Christ. My partner that night was unable to go, and I was tempted not to go, but I went out alone. I went to a certain house, knocked on the door, and a fellow came to the door. He had several children, and as I recall, he had one little boy who had a birthmark near his eye. I told him about Christ and we knelt to pray. While he was praying he really got happy! He began to shout and praise the Lord and jump up and down. "Glory to God," he said. He ran out on the porch and clapped his hands. He picked his wife up and hugged her. He hugged and kissed the children and cried and praised the Lord.

It looked like an old-fashioned Methodist camp meeting. What a wonderful time we had! "Boy," l said, "that fellow really has a dose of old-fashioned Christianity."

I drove across town to another address. I looked at the prospect card and decided to make the visit. I walked in and the fellow did not ask me to have a seat. I stood up and leaned against the door. I asked him if he wanted to be saved. He was very stern and abrupt in his answer, but he said, "Yes."

I asked him if I could tell him how to be saved.

He said, "Yes."

Finally I sat down, but he never did. He continued to stand, leaning against the door. Not a kind word did he say. He continued to be very abrupt in his answers. I talked to him a while longer and finally I said, "Can I pray?"

He said, "Yeah, you can," but still he was very cool.

So I prayed and then I said, "Now you pray." You never heard a colder prayer in your life. (If I had been God, I wouldn't have listened to it!) Then I said, "Listen, did you mean that prayer?"

He looked at me and said, "Yeah, I did." He had not a tear, not an emotion, not even a kindness, a smile, or a grin-no courtesy at all. I kept prodding and trying to fund out if he really meant it. I said, "Were you saved?" Without emotion he told me he was.

I left saying, "Well, at least I got one tonight. That first fellow surely got saved. He was really happy. I'm glad I got to win him, but that last fellow-I wouldn't give a nickel for his salvation."

The first fellow came to church and got baptized. In less than two weeks he got mad, quit, and never came back. He took his children out, and as far as I know, never went to church anymore.

The fellow who was abrupt was baptized soon and started winning souls to Christ. He became a deacon, and the last report I heard he was Chairman of the deacons in that church. I do not know how many people that man won to Christ. He and his partner would go out every week and win many to Jesus Christ.

I remember one time he was out soul winning. He won a soul to Christ, and afterwards asked the person, "Do you have any questions about it?"

"Yes, I have one question."

"Well, what is it? Just ask me anything."

"Can I ask anything?"

"Yes, you can."

"Why is it you have one brown shoe and one black shoe on?" The soul winner had dressed in the dark and had put on one brown shoe and one black shoe! What a soul winner! What a Christian!

Recently while I was preaching in Texas, he came to hear me. He was still on the battlefield for God, still busy for Christ. You see, it pays just to keep going, for you never know which one will be the one that is going to be saved.

A LIVING ROOM REVIVAL

Not long ago one of my deacons joined me for an afternoon of soul-winning visitation. We had an exceptionally good afternoon, and as I recall, we won six or seven people to Jesus Christ. It was one of those days when sincerity seemed to be on the face of every convert.

During the process of the afternoon, we went to visit my mother's next-door neighbor. There was a warm and friendly reception. Shortly after I arrived in the home, the wife and teenage daughter excused themselves, leaving only the husband, my soul-winning partner, and me in the room. I did not know until later that the wife and daughter had gone to the back bedroom to pray that God would save the husband.

In about thirty minutes this man in his forties was sweetly converted. I asked him to go back and tell his wife, and it was then that we found the wife and daughter were praying for his salvation. He told his wife he had just been saved, and then Heaven came down. There was hugging, crying, laughing, loving, rejoicing, and almost shouting, all at the same time.

The next Sunday morning he walked the aisle in the First Baptist Church of Hammond and was baptized. A few days later I went by to see how he was doing. His wife said that he had been such a good husband through the years that she wondered how salvation could change him. This was answered, however, when she found him up early one morning. She went to the living room and saw him on his knees in private devotion and prayer.

Recently upon returning home from preaching in Indianapolis, Indiana, I called the office to talk to my secretary about some business. She informed me that the day before I arrived home the aforementioned man had suffered a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital, and soon passed away. Today he is in Heaven; yesterday he was on earth. Today he is with Christ; yesterday he prepared to be with Christ today. Hence, he has joined the hundreds of others that I have sent to Heaven.

"WE ‘BUSTED´ EVERY BOTTLE OF THAT CASE OF BEER"

These words were spoken at two o'clock early one Sunday morning. The Hyles household was fast asleep. The phone rang, and as usual, we did not know quite what to do. I woke up with a start, and all I knew was that I heard a bell ringing. I pushed in the alarm button and eliminated one possibility. By that time, I realized that it was not the "ding-dong" of the door bell. By process of elimination I deducted it must be the telephone. I jumped up and answered it, and the aforementioned words were the ones that greeted my ears.

"You got to me in that funeral yesterday afternoon," he said. "You got to all of us."

The day before I had conducted funeral services for a little three-month-old baby. As I spoke, I saw the parents with their seven remaining children weeping before me. A handful of friends and relatives had gathered in the small chapel as I reminded them of the grace of God and of the blessed truth that they could see the baby again if they made preparation. I witnessed to a few of them, and two or three indicated that they were receiving Christ as Saviour.

They had planned a meal after the funeral for their family and friends. Prior to the funeral they had purchased a case of beer for refreshment, but they then made their decision for Christ. So they opened the case of beer, broke every bottle, and had the young man to call me at two o'clock in the morning to tell me of the decision.

Then in the Sunday morning service when the invitation was given, twelve people walked the aisle professing faith in Christ as a result of the funeral service, and each of them in his own words said about what the man said on the phone: "You got to me in the funeral."

What a wonderful story-and yet how tragic it is that a little three-month-old baby by her death has won more souls to Christ than millions of Christians have won by their lives.

A LAWYER GOT SAVED

A few years ago a leading attorney from our area started visiting our services with his family. In a few weeks his family transferred their membership to our church. The attorney, who also serves on the staff of the prosecutor in the city of Gary, Indiana, continued coming to all of our public services.

During an invitation on a Sunday morning I witnessed to him. He replied, "I don't believe in that stuff. I only come because my family comes." All evidence showed that he was an atheist. We worked, visited, prayed, witnessed, and pleaded; but not only did he show no interest in salvation, he also showed no evidence of a belief in God.

During our SWORD OF THE LORD Conference in Cedar Lake, Indiana, that summer, Charles Hand, one of my Assistant Pastors, claimed this attorney for Jesus. He took his Bible, opened to Psalm 37:4, and wrote the attorney's name beside the verse. He did the same thing with John 14:13 and John 15:7. He continued going through the Bible, claiming God's promises, and writing the attorney's name.

Within two months I looked over one Sunday night, and there stood the lawyer in the altar. To be quite honest, I was surprised; but Charles Hand wasn't. He had taken God up on His Word. Why don't all of us do the same thing?

Many of us almost shouted when this attorney was saved. Over 2,000 people were saved at our church this particular year, but none brought any more joy than this attorney.

THE BROTHERS WHO WON EACH OTHER

"Would you go with me to see my brother tonight?" These words were spoken at 11 p.m. They were spoken to me by one of the men in our church. We were at a Sunday school class party.

"This is a strange hour for you to have such a request, Ken," I replied, "but if you say so, I will go."

It was nearly midnight when Ken and I drove up to Randall's house. On the way Ken warned me to be ready for anything. "He may curse you out or throw you out," were his words of warning. Randall did neither of these but heard the message of life through Christ. Ken was somewhat surprised, for Randall was a drunkard and a wicked man; but the Holy Spirit was working.

About 1 o'clock in the morning Ken, Randall, and I knelt to pray, and Randall received Christ into his heart. He woke his wife and children and told them about his salvation as Ken and I laughed and cried together. What an experience! What a thrill! What an investment! The next Sunday Randall came forward for baptism and membership in the First Baptist Church.

"Would you go with me to see my brother today?" These words were spoken to me by Randall, one of the deacons in our church. Yes, this is the same Randall mentioned above. He is now a soul-winning deacon. However, Ken drifted away from God and Randall got concerned about him. Randall and I went together to Ken's apartment and told Ken of a loving God Who is willing to forgive and restore. Once again the three of us got on our knees, and Ken was marvelously reclaimed for Christ. Now Ken is back with us, and the two brothers are serving God together.

Like Andrew and Peter, like Moses and Aaron, like John and Charles Wesley these men are living testimonies of a brother's concern for his brother and of Christ's power to save families. Ken's children have been saved, and all of Randall's family has been saved.

HE COULDN´T EVEN SPELL THE WORD “JESUS”

He was a Mormon but had never been saved. It was on our regular visitation night when I first met him, and in a few minutes he was led to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Soon after, I won his brother to the Saviour. They were both rough-and-tough bricklayers but became tremendous soul winners.

I nicknamed him "Bear" because he walked like a bear and was a massive physical specimen. Though he could not spell the word "Jesus," he has in these fourteen years since he has been saved won hundreds and hundreds to the Saviour.

One Sunday we ate in his home. He and his wife were so proud of their house because it was lovely and new. I noticed, however, that one bedroom closet door had scratches all over it. I inquired as to why that one door was so marred with scratches. Bear wouldn't tell me, but his wife told me the reason.

Before Bear got saved he went hunting every weekend. He would put a scratch on the stock of his rifle every time he killed an animal. He asked his wife if he could use the closet door for his soul-winning "stock." He would place a scratch on the door for every soul he had won that year. I counted 167 scratches on the door.

One day Bear picked up a hitchhiker and tried to tell him about Jesus only to find the hitchhiker was deaf. He resorted to showing the man a Gospel tract only to find that the man could not read. Bear stopped the car, got out, got on his knees, made the form of a cross, pointed to Heaven, pointed to his heart, bowed his head, and formed his hands beneath his chin in a prayer position. The man got the idea, fell to his knees and began to weep. He pointed to Heaven and to his heart, assuring Bear that he had been saved.

The man who couldn't even spell "Jesus" now knows Him, and for these many years has led hundreds to know Him too. He is still active in his church and in personal soul winning.

WINNING THE BEST MAN

A church the size of ours has many weddings. I have conducted as many as three in one day.

If there are unsaved people at a wedding rehearsal, I close the rehearsal with a brief explanation of the plan of salvation, explaining to the wedding party that the home is a Christian institution. Then I give a simple appeal for the unsaved to receive Christ. This is done in a way that embarrasses no one.

Recently I followed this procedure at a wedding rehearsal. The next day, following the wedding ceremony, I walked out of the auditorium to get a breath of fresh air. The best man, whom I did not know, followed me to present me with a thank-you note and a monetary gift from the newlyweds. When I told him to give it to the bride and groom as a wedding gift (as I do not accept such gifts from church members), he was moved with emotion.

Then he said, "Ah...uh...before I go, I would like to ask you a question. Um...ah...er...you said...last night...something about this...church business. Well...ah...what I am saying is...would it be all right with you if I attended your church a couple of times? I am a Catholic but a pretty sorry one, and...ah...er...ah...I was thinking about what you said last night."

"Are you trying to tell me," I said, "that you want to be saved?"

He replied that he had thought about it. It was my privilege to lead the best man to the Saviour while the organ was still playing and the bride and groom were still in the receiving line.

SOUL WINNING AMONG POOR CHILDREN

Soul winning never ceases to bring blessings. A soul won many years ago will give dividends for eternity.

Not long ago I was preaching in a city in Florida and exhorting the people to go out into the highways and hedges and bring in the poor as well as the rich. I spoke especially about little children and the importance of reaching those for whom no one else cares. After the service a pastor introduced himself to me and then turned to introduce his lovely wife. As l shook her hand she said, "I think you know me. I was a member of your little country church near Marshall, Texas, many years ago." Immediately I remembered that she had lived in a little country house and that I had gotten up early one Sunday, driven several miles, and brought a group of little children to Sunday school. She was one of those children. I hadn't seen her for years, but now she is the wife of a successful pastor.

A few weeks ago I was in Dallas, Texas. After the service a fine young student at Dallas Seminary approached me. When he was five years old I had been to his home soul winning, and often I had driven a couple of miles to take him to Sunday school. He reminded me that he is now a preacher and a student at Dallas Seminary.

One day as a kid country preacher I was out soul winning, came upon a farmhouse, and won several to Christ. A little cotton-haired girl spoke to me as I left and said, "Brother Hyles, you are not going to forget me, are you?" Little did I know that she wanted to be saved, too. She was saved, and years later to my delight I found she was a student at Tennessee Temple College. She then was employed as a faculty member and shortly after was killed in a car accident.

Not long ago I met a young lady who is a graduate of Bob Jones University and now is teaching school. My mind wandered back to the day when I went into her modest home to help her poor family. The family was saved, and though very poor, the young lady had a desire to go off to college.

Now she is teaching in a Christian school.

Yes, there are many other stories like the one above, and in ten or fifteen years I hope to be able to write similar experiences about those I won last week or those I will win today.

A FIVE-DOLLAR TIP

Not long ago I was in a restaurant. I always like to be courteous if I can, as I was taught as a boy to be a gentleman in public. I was met at the door by a little lady who asked, "May I seat you, please?"

I said, "Yes, ma'am." So she escorted me to a table and asked, "Would you like a menu?"

I said, "Yes, ma'am." Soon she came back with pad in hand to take my order. It was not a busy time of the day.

She said, "Are you ready to order?"

I said, "Yes, ma'am."

"Do you want salad?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Do you want dressing on it?'"

"Yes, ma'am."

Then she put her little pad down on the table, and her hands on her hips, and said, "Yes, ma'am! Yes, ma'am! Yes, ma'am! Yes, ma'am! Don't you know how to say anything other than 'YES, MA'AM'?"

I said, "Yes, ma'am."

She was furious, absolutely furious! She brought my food and almost threw it at me. I tried to be courteous and nice, but she never softened. She was curt and harsh.

Well, I knew she must have had a burden so I left her a $5 tip. I think my bill was $1.55 or $1.60 and the normal tip would been a quarter, but I thought, "This little lady needs somebody to cheer her up today."

I then went to the cash register to pay my bill when suddenly she came up and said, "Hey, mister. You left some money on the table. You left a $5 bill."

I said, "Little lady, don't folks usually leave tips here?"

"Sir, is that $5 bill my tip?"

"Yes, it is.'"

"I didn't treat you very nicely and to think that you'd give me a tip of $5."

"I thought you might have had a hard day or a burden of some kind," I answered. Then she told me a sad story. I won't relate the details here, but it was sad. Her life was burdened, the load was heavy, and the financial strain was almost beyond beating. In a few minutes I had the blessed privilege of leading this little waitress to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

A cute little thing happened. When I got through leading her to Christ, I said as I left, "Now let me ask you a question. Are you sure you're saved?"

She said, "Yes, sir!"

It just pays to try to win folks to Christ everywhere you go. Next time you eat in a restaurant why not speak a good word for Christ.

Click here to read our message: You Can Know For Sure That You Are Going To Heaven!

Copyright © 1997-2013 All Rights Reserved
Faith Bible Baptist Church - 8688 S Main St - Eden NY 14057 - 716-992-2091