The nation’s largest evangelical church has degenerated into a “Christian cult,” according to the author of a just-released book examining Indiana pastor Jack Hyles.
Fundamental Seduction: The Jack Hyles Case seems certain to reignite a controversy surrounding Hyles, pastor of the 12,000-member First Baptist Church of Hammond.
Written by Indiana deputy prosecutor Voyle Glover, the 402-page, self-published book is the latest and most lengthy condemnation of Hyles since May 1989, when he was accused, among other things, of having “an improper relationship” with the wife of one of his deacons.
Glover was a loyal church member for 19 years before parting ways with Hyles in 1987. The former western novelist said that at one time he aspired to write Hyles’s biography, but instead has penned an expose of the widely known independent Baptist leader.
Charges of moral laxity, doctrinal heresy, and financial impropriety have followed Hyles for over a year since he was the target of two lengthy articles written by Texas-based evangelist Robert Sumner in his publication, The Biblical Evangelist. In the two articles, Sumner charged Hyles with doctrinal error, in addition to supplying details of Hyles’s alleged improper relationship with a woman.
In his book, Glover further develops most of Sumner’s original allegations and adds several new charges, including that Hyles:
• used church funds to pay his son David’s delinquent child-support payments (David Hyles was divorced in 1984);
• failed to account for at least $24 million in estimated income over the past 15 years from his publication company and placed the company under the “nonprofit umbrella of the church” ...1