Pastor Jack Hyles' Favorite Soul Winning Experiences
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
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.
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