Two lawsuits have been filed this year against Dave Hyles, son of the late Jack Hyles (1926-2001), longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. In February, Joy Ryder filed a civil suit accusing Dave Hyles of raping her in the 1970s when he was the youth pastor at First Baptist. He was appointed youth pastor in 1972 when he was 19 years old. Ryder said that “once her family accused David Hyles of sexual abuse, the church covered up his wrongdoings” (“Past Hammond Baptist pastor raped girl,” Northwest Indiana Times, Feb. 18, 2020). On December 3, Nanette Miles filed a class action lawsuit in federal court that alleges that she was sexually assaulted beginning at age 13, that at least 10 others “have credibly accused D. Hyles of using his position of power to sexually prey on them,” and that “First Baptist and the College staff members were aware of his reprehensible conduct for years and remained silent” (“Class Action Sex Abuse Case,” Ministry Watch, Dec. 7, 2020). In 1989, Dave Hyles’ first wife, Paula, testified publicly as follows: “Did David’s dad know that he was adulterous before we went to Texas [to pastor Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland]? The answer is definitely yes and there are a hundred people who know that. Why he lies about that I will never know. I went to him twice about things I had heard about Dave. His dad’s philosophy is if I didn’t see it I don’t believe it” (Paula Hyles Polonco’s audio interview with Dave Coleman, Nov. 1, 1989). Dave Hyles allegedly committed immorality with at least 19 women at Miller Road Baptist in Garland, Texas, broke apart homes and caused far-reaching damage. He was caught in 1984 when the janitor’s son found a briefcase containing photos of Dave’s wicked escapades. The problem was not limited to Dave Hyles or even to Jack Schaap, who followed Jack Hyles in the pastorate and is in prison for immoral relations with a minor girl. The immorality and the cover up of gross sins at First Baptist of Hammond and at Hyles-Anderson College and at many churches closely affiliated with these institutions has been widespread. It has been reported by major newspapers and television programs and has been a horrible testimony before the world. Christ’s holy name has been dragged through the mud. The name of fundamental Baptist churches has been blackened. The church should acknowledge its culpability and sin. Jack Hyles’ vast influence continues unabated and we see it as a spiritual blight. A preacher friend made the following comment when I asked him for suggestions for the title of my book about Hyles. “I wonder if you could title it along the lines of a disease, a contagion, or an epidemic. That may be an overstatement, but I don’t think so. Hyles’ philosophy has permeated Independent Baptist churches. I threw out his books in the 80’s when I started seeing what he was preaching and read his son’s book on youth ministry, BUT what I heard him preach in the 60’s and 70’s STILL messes with my mind.” Jack Hyles is dead, but his influence lives on. For our part, we renounce Hyles and his pomposity and self-promotion and biblical shallowness and circus promotionalism and unquestioning loyalty and quick prayerism and big numberism and great manism and coverup of sin in no uncertain terms! One can hide in the crowd in this life and take his “stand” with the weak-kneed majority, but no one can hide at the judgment seat of Christ.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 18, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)