The Hyles Church Manual

by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 05 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, The Hyles Church Manual)

5. A Dedication Service for a New Building

(Sunday, June 18, 1967-7:30 p.m.)

Below is the dedication service for a new Sunday school building. At the closing of this service of this service there were twenty conversions and additions, making a total of 122 for the day. Thirty-three were baptized.


To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, thro’ Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Thank you, choir. Shall we all stand, please. Turn to number 204 in your hymnals, please, 204, and all sing together this wonderful song, “To God Be the Glory.” the second stanza. Everyone singing 204, the second stanza.


O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God!
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the father, thro’ Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing thro’ Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Remain standing, please.

PASTOR: Thank you, Brother Terry. We normally do not sing the “Doxology” at First Baptist as a ritual but we sing it when we feel like singing it, and I feel like singing it right now. It has been a wonderful a, hasn’t it? We have had tremendous blessing. We had 102 people saved or added to our church this morning. Isn’t that something? This building was filled and thirteen to fifteen hundred people were having their own services outside this auditorium in other rooms. Tonight the building is packed and jammed. We are delighted that you are here. We appreciate your coming. It has been a wonderful day. Thank the Lord. So let us sing the “Doxology” not through ritual but from our hearts. Brother Terry, lead us in singing, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”


Praise God, from who all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

PASTOR: Many people have made it possible for this day to be a reality. Among them few would have a higher place than Deacon Mel Graves. Mel Graves has been blessed of God with many gifts. He does a little bit of everything. His job is working for the Lyon-Healy Piano Company. Mel has worked in the business field and has done so many things. When our fire took place three years ago, he was the man who guided us in the securing of the insurance settlement. No one knows how many hours Mel worked at this. I thought it would be fitting for him to come lead us in the opening prayer for our Dedication Service. God bless him for all of the hours that he spent in helping the church in this matter.

MR. GRAVES: Our Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the privilege we have of being here this evening for this great occasion. We thank You for Jesus who made it possible. We thank Him for saving our souls. We thank Him for salvation and for the many people here in the great family of First Baptist.

Lord, as we think back over the years of the services here together with Brother Jack in this pastorate, we are thankful for every hardship that we have been through, for the lessons that we have learned, and for the fact that we have been shown how all things work together for good to them that love God and how great Thou hast been. You have opened doors for us to move ahead in Thy work. Lord, as the song said just a moment ago, may we always remember to give Thee all of the praise and glory for all of it.

We thank Thee, Lord, for these friends who have come to join us on this happy occasion. We pray that they will go away from here with a great blessing from having been here. We are thankful for everyone who had a part in the building and how smoothly the building program has gone. Lord, now would You open our hearts and guide us forward from this point on in greater service for Thee. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


My wonderful Lord, my wonderful Lord,
By angels and seraphs in Heaven adored!
I bow at Thy shrine, my Saviour divine,
My wonderful, wonderful Lord.

I have found a deep peace that I never had known
And a joy this world could not afford
Since I yielded control of my body and soul
To my wonderful, wonderful Lord.

Oh, what a wonderful Saviour is He!
Constant and true is Jesus.
More than I fancied He ever could be
Is Jesus, my wonderful Friend.

PASTOR: Thank you, choir, that is wonderful! We want to recognize the special guests in a few moments, but now we will have a few announcements. Someone has written in this request: “Dear Brother Rice, will you sing, ‘The Windows of Heaven Are Open?’ This is a request.” Here is a note that was placed on my desk: “Dear Dr. Rice, would you sing, ‘The Windows of Heaven Are Open’?” So just forget your program for a minute, and by popular vote Dr. Rice is going to sing.

DR. RICE: Brother Terry, you come and sing it with me. I will sing the harmony.


The windows of heaven are open,
The blessings are falling tonight,
There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart
Since Jesus made everything right.

I gave Him my old tattered garments.
He gave me a robe of pure white.
I’m feasting on manna from Heaven,
And that’s why I’m happy tonight.

PASTOR: Oh, that is good. Thank you, thank you. I am glad that somebody thought of that. Now we would like to just say a word of greeting to our visiting friends and express to you our sincere appreciation because you are here. It has been a real joy for me to walk through the building this afternoon and meet people whom I have not seen for a long time and to see others who refreshed my own heart by their presence.

Let us have every person tonight who is not a member of First Baptist to honor us by standing. Would you please stand, please. That is right. All over the house, there are many, many of you, and we want you to stand. I think that it is only fair to say that we have a great crowd of visitors tonight. Take one of our visitors’ cards. One half of it is for you for a souvenir. Deposit the other half in the collection plate after awhile, please.

Tonight we do have honored guests. Mrs. John R. Rice is here. Mrs. Rice would you stand, please. It is always a joy to have you, Mrs. Rice. God bless you. We are glad that you could come this week. Fairy Shappard is here. Fairy, would you stand. Fairy has been employed by the Sword of the Lord for thirty-two years. It is always a joy to have Fairy with us.

Leroy Troyer is here. He works with Bob Foltz and has made a real contribution to this building and the new building. Leroy, will you and your lovely family stand, please. Here he is with his wife, twin boys, and another little fellow. Leroy, it is so nice to have you.

Presentation of the Building
Now we come to the dedication part of this service, and we start off with the presentation of the building. Mr. Harry Edwards (the building superintendent), would you come, please, and present the building. Bless his heart. We have had the finest, most congenial people working on this job that I have ever worked with in my life. One of the most congenial is Harry Edwards. He has done a tremendous job. He has heard me say only one word. He doesn’t think that I have but a one-word vocabulary. That is “Hurry!”

MR. EDWARDS: Hurry, Harry.

PASTOR: Hurry, Harry. That is right.

MR. EDWARDS: Thank you. Well, we made it. First of all, I wish to extend, on behalf or our contractor, Mr. Reuth, who could not be here this evening, our sincere thanks to you, your staff, and Bob Foltz for his complete cooperation. We thank you for the understanding that we have had from you people throughout the construction period, which has been approximately a year. It has always amazed me how that during the planning of a new structure the architect can visualize in his mind what the new building will look like and then transfer these dreams on paper line by line, which would make up the construction drawings for the new building. In the hands of the builder these lines become concrete, brick, glass, and wood as the structure rises out of the ground. Mr. Foltz, I sincerely hope that you can recognize this as your dream building as I offer it to you for your acceptance in offering you the keys in behalf of Leo Reuth and Sons.

PASTOR: Mr. Foltz, will you come, please. Actually, I told the fellows a while ago that Mr. Edwards presents the keys to Mr. Foltz, Mr. Foltz presents them to Mr. Rausch, Mr. Rausch gives them to em, and then we are going to give them back to Mr. Edwards so that he can finish the building. (Laughter from the congregation)

Mrs. Edwards is here tonight. Mrs. Edwards, would you stand, please. We are delighted that you could come. May I just say again to you and your husband how much we appreciate your contribution. I have a letter to read while these men are here. I have a letter to read from Mr. Reuth of the Reuth Construction Company:

Dear Dr. Hyles:

I am very sorry that I cannot be with you on this happy occasion of the completion of another milestone in your growth. I had promised to take my wife and children on a vacation which is the first in fourteen years. Our reservations for Expo ‘67 came last week after a month’s wait, and I could not change the date. Congratulations on the dedication of this new building. I am sure that it will be more than a new building. It will be a place of learning, where people of all ages can learn of Christ. To know Christ is to love Him. If truly we become Christians with love and charity for all, we will not only improve the world but insure our own eternal salvation. May God Almighty bless your efforts. Smile! God loves you.

Harold Reuth

This is from the Reuth Construction Company. We do appreciate so much your coming. Harry, God Bless you. We do appreciate you.

Presentation of Keys
Mr. Bob Foltz is our architect. Bob is an artist. He is the one who conceived in his mind this lovely auditorium. Preachers from all over the world have commented on the loveliness of this building, and, in fact, it is probably one of the most copied building in America today. Numbers of churches are being built much like this one. Then the Lord seemed to lead us to Bob Foltz again for the new Sunday school building. The many, many little niceties on which you commented today are attributed to Bob Foltz and his ideas. We are glad that he could be here. Bob, is your family with you?

MR. FOLTZ: I have been winking at them right up there in the balcony.

PASTOR: All right, will you stand, please, Mrs. Foltz and the Foltz children. We are so glad that you could come tonight. We appreciate it so much. Bob Foltz is a born-again Christian man. He works with churches and has a love for the Lord. We are glad that he could come. Bob Foltz will present the keys.

MR. FOLTZ: Thank you. Destroying Adams Chapel by arson was a dastardly act. Many people of many places have agonized with you of First Baptist over the loss of that old structure. I have personally shown many times the pictures I rook on that Friday morning, and without exception, there are always oh’s and ah’s and groans as they see the flames still burning on the remains over there.

We know that all things work together for good for those that love God. Rising in the place of Adams Chapel is a new building (of course, I may be accused of being prejudiced) that is not only beautiful, but one that is utterly functional. We thank the Lord for the privilege of being able to participate in this program with you. I too have congratulated Harry on the work that Leo Reuth and Sons, and Harry Edwards in particular, has done here. Publicly I would like to say that in my experience the cooperation and the caliber of employees and subcontractors, etc., that go to make the program have been without equal. We realize that this building is just a tool, but it is a tool that can be used for good, measured not only in time but eternity. We trust that you might use this new tool well. It is a great pleasure to pass these keys to Brother Rausch. Do, by God’s leading, use this tool well and effectively for Him.

PASTOR: Thank you, Bob. Let’s give Mr. Foltz and Mr. Edwards and their companies a big hand, shall we? (applause)

Acceptance by the Church
Now, God’s good man and my good friend—Mr. Ed Rausch. I don’t know what I would do without him. I don’t know what I would have done these eight years without him. Ed Rausch will accept the building and give the words from the board of deacons, our building committee. Let us have all of the deacons to stand before he does this. Will all of the deacons please stand. God bless these men. I don’t know how many meetings we have had in the last five years just for buildings, etc. It has been a wonderful picture of God’s grace and cooperation together. How these men have worked! Thank you, fellows. God bless you. Now Brother Rausch will accept the keys for the church.

MR. RAUSCH: On behalf of the church congregation, it is with the very deepest of appreciation that I accept these keys to the beautiful building that you have already see. Certainly, in a building of this nature, there has to be good planning, and we had good planning by Mr.. Foltz and his staff. Then there has to be a building made from those plans, and for Mr. Edwards’ following of those plans and for Mr. Reuth, certainly we are deeply appreciative of that which we are able to use and see this day.

As I think of this building, I realize that it is made of brick, of stone, of wood, and it is constructed in a way that it will probably last for scores of years. That fades in the thought that in this building there is a facility where the lives of people will be changed for all eternity. So we are thankful today and deeply appreciative to accept this fine building which will be used solely for the glory of Christ. We praise Him for this opportunity and this occasion, for surely the blessings of God have been on this congregation, this ministry, Brother Jack Hyles, and his good staff. Certainly we would have Christ have all of the glory and all of the honor. We praise Him for it.

PASTOR: Thank you, Ed. God bless you.

Dedication Prayer
What I am bout to do is going to be a little bit emotional for me. There is a lot involved here. Nobody knows the hours that C. W. Fisk has worked. he has been the man from the church’s standpoint that has kept things going. I have asked him to lead our prayer of dedication. Last night at 2:30 he started to leave the building and, as he has been doing for these weeks, he does much of the work himself. He got a broom and went down to the corner to sweep off the sidewalk. Three men came up and hit him in the face (as you can see) and knocked him nearly unconscious. He couldn’t move. They rolled him over, got his billfold, and left him lying on the sidewalk. But for the grace of God he could have been killed. We are so thankful that God spared him. He is a good man. He was saved in this church and called to preach in this church. The work he has done on this building absolutely has been phenomenal.

Brother Fisk, would you come, please, and we are going to award this check of $300.00 as a token of our appreciation. I appreciate so much what he has done. God has given us here the greatest staff in America and only God knows how much credit these deserve. When everyone around the country says, “Dr. Hyles is doing a great work in Hammond,” I say, No, no. God is doing a great work in Hammond and is using people like Fisk and others to get the job done. This is to you form grateful people. If you can compose yourself, we want you to lead our dedication prayer.

MR. FISK: Let’s pray. Our Father, Thou hast said in Psalm 127:1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Now Father, we know that the Lord has been the One who has built this building. We thank Thee, O God, for the wisdom Thou hast given these men to plan the building-Mr. Edwards, Mr. Foltz, and all of these contractors who have worked together on it. We thank Thee, O God, for our board of deacons and for our pastor. We thank Thee that Thou hast blessed. There has been much work and much prayer, but Father, we have something for which to be grateful. We just pray, Father, that in the days to come we will be faithful to preach and teach the Word of God in this building. Father, I pray if the day would ever come that we cease to preach and teach the Word of God in this building and see people saved in this building, that it be razed to the ground. Father, we thank Thee for the building. We thank Thee for all of these who have worked to make it possible. Bless now in the days to come and may we see many souls saved. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

PASTOR: Brother Fisk leaves a week from tomorrow on a well-deserved vacation. Maybe the check will help him to stay in a little higher-class motel as he goes. Nobody ever took a $300.00 check that deserved it any more than Brother Fisk. Let’s give him a hand. (Applause)

Pastor’s Message
The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It is awfully easy for us to say that. It is easy to learn it, and it is easy to quote it, but sometimes it is not easy to believe it. When you stand beside a casket, as I will do to morrow morning, and look into the face of one who has served faithfully through the years in the church, sometimes it is difficult to believe. When you look in the face of a little baby who has been taken before an opportunity to live was granted, and you try to tell the parents why, sometimes you wonder if Romans 8:28 is really true. Oh, yes, you believe it, but it is hard to explain.

Three years ago this month we stood across the street as a congregation. From the wee hours of the morning until noontime of the next day, most of us stood across the street. Many watched a lifetime of memories go up in smoke. People wept openly and unashamedly, for the building was more than a building. In 1913 God gave to our church the building that we had known then as the Adams Chapel. The auditorium was used as a place to preach the Gospel for a half a century. Many of you were born with your family attending this building. How many of you were born with your family attending this building. How many of you were born and reared in this church and grew up in the other auditorium? Would you raise your hands, please. Oh, many of you were, and you stood across the street, and mingled our tears. We thought that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I confess it wasn’t easy to see. I stood alone on the street corner over at the Firestone Store weeping. Brother Jim Lyons came over and put his arms around me. I did not know he was there.

He said, “Preacher, we have seen an awful lot together.”

And I said, “That is true, Jim.”

We stood and watched the dome, which was a landmark in the city of Hammond, when it fell and crushed to pieces. The Associated Press got the story and all across the world it went. Television stations, radio stations, and newspapers told of the fire at the First Baptist Church of Hammond. We said to ourselves with tears in our eyes that “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It was hard to see.

We still have lingering in our minds the memories of walking through the halls of our lovely new building, and tonight we not only believe Romans 8:28, but we can see how it is true. As a church to night we can say with the Apostle Paul, “And we know....” That word “know” in the original language is an interesting word. It means that we know something that no one else knows. We have a little private, secret order of people who love God and who live in His will. There is something we know. What is that something? “...that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

My heart fills with gratitude tonight as I look at our people, realizing that many of you have sacrificed. Numbers of you had planned to buy a car this year. You have not bought the car. Many of you have foregone vacations this summer because of your sacrificial gift. This is not Hyles’ building. This is not the deacons’ building; it is our building-yours and mine. We thank God for it, for His blessings, and yes, even for the fire. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

MUSIC DIRECTOR: We have a special song by Mrs. Jack Hyles, Mrs. Vic Nischik, and Mrs. Johnny Colsten. This trio of ladies shall sin a song of testimony called, “Now I Am Saved.”

Lost in my sins, in the darkness I wandered,
Banished from God, knowing not of His grace,
Seeking by merit to gain my salvation,
Ever despairing of winning the race.

Now I am saved, I can shout “Hallelujah!”
Saved from my sins and my pathway made right;
No more in darkness and fears shall I wander;
Jesus has scattered my gloom and my night.

Oh, how I grasped at God’s offer of mercy
When by His grace He revealed it to me,
Showing me Christ, who had purchased my pardon
When for my sins He was judged on the tree.

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Now then, turn to number 52 in your hymnals. “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer!” Number 52


Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy name!

Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long;
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;

Praise Him! Praise Him! ever in joyful song!

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Now for the last stanza.


Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Saviour, reigneth forever and ever;
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!

Christ is coming! Over the world victorious,
Power and glory unto the Lord belong:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him! ever in joyful song!

Special Offering
PASTOR: Now we come to the offering time. We want all to make a final offering to the building fund. The envelopes are before you in the pews. We decided to raise $82,000.00. This much money has been spent. As of now, so said the financial secretary a few moments ago, we have $79,609.62. Isn’t that wonderful! Tonight we would like to raise that other $2,400.00. Most of you have but a few dollars anyway. Let us just go ahead and see this through. My billfold has $11.00 in it. I have already given quite a bit, and I am going to put $11.00 in the building fund offering. Take one of the envelopes and make a final contribution to the building fund tonight. We had a meeting of some of the newer members of our church, and they plan to give some in the next thirty days. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could announce tomorrow night in the service that the $82,000.00 was all in? Make some offering to the building fund tonight. Are there any envelopes in the choir? Bring some to the choir. This is one of the wealthiest choirs in America. (Laughter)

Here is an interesting thing. A man came to em who had met me one time. I sat across from him at a banquet in Indianapolis. I would not have known him if I had seen him. He came to me this afternoon. He said that he wanted this church to have this envelope. In the envelope is a check for $500.00. That man does not even belong to our church. He is just a friend. He just loves the First Baptist Church of Hammond. I thought you would be glad to hear that. Mr. Sinning is his name. you will want to make your offering tonight as the final building fund offering. Brother Johnny Colsten is on our staff. Johnny, would you come, please, and lead us in our offertory prayer.

MR. COLSTEN: Shall we please pray. Our Father, we are grateful for Your goodness. You have been good beyond any deserving on our part and yet we are so grateful. We are grateful for Your hand of blessing, grateful for Your evidence of power and might as shown in not only the raising of this building but the people who have been behind it. You have guided and led every step of the way. You have laid it upon the hearts of many people not only to give, but to sacrifice. We are thankful for it and we ask now Your blessing upon this building-fund offering. We pray, Lord, that You would put it upon our hearts to do what is right and what You would have us to do concerning this offering. Bless it and use it to the building, not only of buildings, but to the building of souls of men, women, boys and girls, and for the exaltation of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in whose name we ask it. Amen

(The Dedication Message was then preached by Dr. John R. Rice.)


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