Jack W. Hayford

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Jack Hayford
Jack Williams Hayford

(1934-06-25)June 25, 1934
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJanuary 8, 2023(2023-01-08) (aged 88)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationB.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 materLife Pacific College, 1956
  • Anna Smith
    (m. 1955; died 2017)
  • Valerie Lemire
    (m. 2018)
Congregations served
The Church on the Way 1969–1999
Offices held
President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Chancellor Emeritus, The King's University

Jack Williams Hayford (June 25, 1934 – January 8, 2023) was an American author, songwriter, Pentecostal minister, and Chancellor Emeritus of The King's University (formerly The King's College and Seminary). He was formerly a senior pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, one of a handful of flagship churches in the Foursquare denomination, and was the fourth President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He was widely known for his 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 and 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 Dolores (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, which improved later.[6] His father had served in the military as a young man and worked 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 University (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 of his life, he has also been awarded several 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 permanently.[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 had become a pioneer of the megachurch movement and numbered among the largest churches in America, particularly within the Foursquare denomination, at one point reporting membership exceeding 10,000.[4][9] Actor Dean Jones (deceased), a close friend of Hayford's, was an elder in the 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, died suddenly.[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 2013, Hayford felt called to move the King's University to Southlake, Texas, under the stewardship of Gateway Church. In 2015, The Church On The Way, led by senior pastor Tim Clark, honored Hayford with the title of Pastor Emeritus in recognition of his continuing contributions to church management and oversight.[13]

Personal life and death[edit]

On July 4, 1954, Hayford married his college sweetheart, Anna Marie Smith.[14] Their marriage produced four children (Rebecca, Jack III, Mark, and Christa), 11 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. In early 2016, Anna was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and died in 2017. Hayford married Valerie Lemire the following year and lived in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. He discontinued making public appearances in 2019.

Hayford died at his home in Los Angeles on January 8, 2023, at the age of 88.[15][16]


In March 2014, Hayford was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[17] He has also won the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for his part in the album God With Us[18] and the Salvation Army's William Booth Award, as well as serving as Worship Leader on the Men In Worship album.[19]


  • Prayer is Invading the Impossible (Logos, 1977)
  • The Key to Everything (Thomas Nelson, 1982) ISBN 9781599791906
  • The Church On The Way (Marshalls Paperbacks, 1985) ISBN 0551012323
  • Moments with Majesty (Multnomah Books, 1990) ISBN 0880703652
  • Kingdom Warfare: Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, and the Ministry of Angels (Tommy Nelson, 1993)
  • The Power and Blessing (Victor Books, 1994) ISBN 1564764818
  • Glory on Your House (Chosen Books, 1994) ISBN 0800792181
  • The Beauty of Spiritual Language (Thomas Nelson, 1996) ISBN 0785272682
  • The Heart of Praise (Regal Books, 1997) ISBN 0830716092
  • Built by the Spirit/Rebuilding the Real You: Nehemiah (Regal Books, 1997)
  • Pastors of Promise (Regal Books, 1997) ISBN 0830718079
  • Hayford's Bible Handbook (Thomas Nelson, 1999) ISBN 0785243062
  • Grounds for Living, sound teaching for sure footing in Growth & Grace (Sovereign, 2001)
  • Rebuilding the Real You (Charisma House, 2013) ISBN 9780916847364


  1. ^ "PraiseCharts - Top 100 Praise and Worship Songs from CCLI".
  2. ^ "Majesty Guitar Tabs, Chords & Lyrics by Jack Hayford". Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Bessman, Jim. "Words & Music: Brentwood/Benson Gets Songs by Hayford" Billboard, November 10, 2001, Vol. 113, No. 45, p. 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. January 4, 2007. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 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 July 22, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c Stafford, Tim (July 2005). "The Pentecostal Gold Standard". Christianity Today. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "Jack Hayford, Class of 1952". School Historical Archive. March 14, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "Megachurch Search Results - Hartford Institute for Religion Research". Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  10. ^ "The King's University History". The King's University. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  11. ^ "Senior Pastor of The Church on the Way Dies". Charisma. November 30, 2003. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  12. ^ Young, Eric (May 27, 2009). "Foursquare Church President Hayford Will Not Seek 2nd Term". Christian Post. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  13. ^ "About The Church On The Way". The Church On The Way. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  14. ^ "Behind Every Good Man". Charisma Magazine. July 1, 2011.
  15. ^ Gill, Benjamin (January 8, 2023). "Pastor Jack Hayford Passes into Eternity at 88". CBN News. CBN. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  16. ^ Gryboski, Michael (January 9, 2023). "Jack Hayford, pastor and writer of worship song 'Majesty,' dies at age 88". The Christian Post. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  17. ^ NRB Hall of Fame Award Winner Jack Hayford Calls on Christians to Love One Another
  18. ^ "Dove Awards History Artist: Jack Hayford". Gospel Music Association. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  19. ^ "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. November 29, 2001. Retrieved July 22, 2009.

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