Jack W. Hayford

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Jack Hayford
Born Jack Williams Hayford
(1934-06-25) June 25, 1934 (age 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Education B.A. Life Pacific College
B.A. Azusa Pacific University
Hon.D.D. Oral Roberts University,
D.D. California Graduate School of Theology
Hon.D.Th, Life Pacific College
Alma mater Life Pacific College, 1956
Occupation Minister
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Anna Smith
Children 4
Parent(s) Anita Dolores Farnsworth
Jack Hayford, Sr.
Website jackhayford.com
Religion Pentecostal
Congregations served
The Church on the Way 1969–1999
Offices held
(Former) President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
(Current) Chancellor, The King's University
Title Doctor (honorary)

Jack Williams Hayford (/ˈæk ˈwɪljəmz ˈhfərd/; born June 25, 1934) is an American author, Pentecostal minister, and Chancellor of The King's University (formerly The King's College and Seminary). He is a former senior pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, CA and was the fourth President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He is widely known for his past involvement in the Promise Keepers movement and for being a prolific author and songwriter, with over 600 hymns and choruses in his catalog. He is the author of the popular 1978 hymn "Majesty", which is rated as one of the top 100 contemporary hymns, performed and sung in churches worldwide.[1][2][3]


Jack Williams Hayford was born on June 25, 1934,[4] in Los Angeles, California, to Anita Delores (née Farnsworth) (1916–1997) and Jack Hayford (1911–1979), who had married two years earlier on September 28, 1932.[5] Hayford was born with a muscular condition in his neck, however his condition improved.[6] His father had served in the military as a young man and served as a switchman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Hayford's mother, Dolores, was a Bible teacher who spoke at interdenominational women's classes and Women's Aglow Fellowship (now Aglow International).[7] Although Hayford's parents did not always attend church, he has credited them with providing him with a Christian upbringing.[6]


Although he was born in Los Angeles, Hayford was raised in Oakland, California and attended Oakland Technical High School.[8] After graduating in 1952, Hayford moved back to Los Angeles to attend Life Pacific College (formerly "L.I.F.E. Bible College") and received his first bachelor's degree in 1956. Subsequently, after serving as the National Youth Director of International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, he joined the faculty of L.I.F.E. and went on to become dean of students there.[4] During this time, he began working on his second bachelor's degree at Azusa Pacific University (APU), where he graduated in 1970. Over the course his life, he has also been awarded a few honorary degrees, including Doctor of Divinity from both L.I.F.E. and Oral Roberts University, and Doctor of Literature from California Graduate School of Theology.


In 1969, while serving as dean of students at L.I.F.E. and finishing his degree at APU,[4] Hayford was asked to pastor a small congregation, the first Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California, a struggling congregation of only 18 members, with an average age of 65 years.[4][7] While Hayford had initially agreed to pastor the church for only a period of six months, he later felt compelled to remain on a permanent basis.[7] Only a few weeks from accepting an offer to pastor another Foursquare church, Hayford met with Foursquare denomination president, Rolf McPherson, stating that he wanted to remain with the Van Nuys congregation. By the early 1980s, The Church on the Way became a pioneer of the megachurch movement and numbered among the largest churches in America, and particularly, the Foursquare denomination, at one point reporting membership exceeding 10,000.[4][9] His dear friend, actor Dean Jones (deceased) was an elder in Hayford's church, as was Pat Boone, along with Jan and Paul Crouch, the founders of Trinity Broadcasting Network, which regularly broadcast services from the Church.

Latter Years[edit]

In the late 1990s, Hayford felt called to establish a pentecostal seminary in Los Angeles to train other pastors and founded The King’s College and Seminary.[10] In 1999, he resigned as the senior pastor of The Church On The Way to focus on the college, although he briefly returned to help the church through a difficult transition after his successor and son-in-law, Scott Bauer, suddenly died.[11] On October 4, 2004, Hayford was elected to a four-year term as president of the Foursquare denomination, a position he chose not to pursue after that single term.[4][12] In 2015, The Church On The Way, led by senior pastor, Tim Clark, honored him with the title of Pastor Emeritus.[13]

Personal life[edit]

On July 4, 1954, Hayford married his college sweetheart, Anna Marie Smith.[14] Together, they have four children (Rebecca, Jack III, Mark, and Christa), 11 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren. In early 2016, Anna began receiving treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer, succumbing to the disease early in 2017.


In March 2014, he was inducted into the Religious Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.[15] He has also won the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for his part in the album, God With Us[16] and the Salvation Army's William Booth Award.[17]



  1. ^ http://www.praisecharts.com/ccli-top-100/
  2. ^ http://www.worshiparchive.com/song/majesty
  3. ^ Bessman, Jim. "Words & Music: Brentwood/Benson Gets Songs by Hayford" Billboard, November 10, 2001, Vol. 113, No. 45, page 58. ISSN 0006-2510
  4. ^ a b c d e f "‘A Pastor’s Pastor’ Church On the Way Founder Jack Hayford is a Quiet Force Among Nation’s Evangelicals". Los Angeles Daily News. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Jakes, T.D.; Jack Hayford (2006). Mama Made the Difference. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. pp. 157–167. ISBN 0-399-15363-2. 
  6. ^ a b "Double Coup for Foursquare". The Seattle Times. July 20, 1996. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Stafford, Tim (July 2005). "The Pentecostal Gold Standard". Christianity Today. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "Jack Hayford, Class of 1952". School Historical Archive. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The King's University History". The King's University. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Senior Pastor of The Church on the Way Dies". Charisma (magazine). 30 November 2003. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  12. ^ Young, Eric (May 27, 2009). "Foursquare Church President Hayford Will Not Seek 2nd Term". Christian Post. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "About The Church On The Way". The Church On The Way. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  14. ^ "Behind Every Good Man". Charisma Magazine. 2011-07-01. 
  15. ^ NRB Hall of Fame Award Winner Jack Hayford Calls on Christians to Love One Another
  16. ^ "Dove Awards History Artist: Jack Hayford". Gospel Music Association. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  17. ^ "The Salvation Army Honors Dr. Jack Hayford, Martha Williamson, A.C. Green, Paul J. Orfalea and Esther L. Snyder at the 43rd Annual Sally Awards Gala". Business Wire. 29 November 2001. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 

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