Jack Hayford, an influential pastor and Christian leader, died on Sunday at age 88. Affectionately known as Pastor Jack, he was the founding pastor of the Church On the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades.
A prolific and bestselling writer, Hayford wrote or cowrote more than 50 books and composed 500 hymns and choruses, including the internationally known and widely recorded worship song “Majesty.” Later in life, Hayford founded The King’s University in Southlake, Texas, in 1997. He served as chancellor for the evangelical university before handing off the chancellorship to Pastor Robert Morris, lead senior pastor of Gateway Church.
The King’s University reported, “His family said he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of the morning, having eaten dinner with his wife, Valarie, and having spoken to one of his grandkids the evening before.”
Hayford also served as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel from 2004 to 2009.
“Pastor Jack was a kingdom ambassador whose influence transcended denominational, generational and global boundaries,” said Randy Remington, president of the denomination. “Jack’s passion for spirit-filled worship, fervent intercessory prayer and biblical preaching that revealed Jesus were modeled in his own personal life. He truly embodied the life he invited others into.
“Pastor Jack lived a life devoted to Jesus, one which he never wavered in or strayed from. Thousands of pastors found encouragement, inspiration and lifelong ministry principles through his pastors schools and conferences. His books, songs and teachings will continue to inspire and mentor generations to come.
Hayford’s work will continue to have an impact on the world even after his passing, through the resources he left behind with Jack Hayford Ministries. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 60 years, Anna. Hayford leaves behind four children, 11 grandchildren, a growing number of great-grandchildren and his second wife, Valarie.
–Dwight Widaman | MV