The Hyles Church Manual
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 09 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, The Hyles Church Manual)
9. An Ordination Service for Preachers
On October 19, 1966, at 6:45 p.m. the First Baptist Church witnessed the ordination service of Mr. Johnny Colsten, Mr. Larry Loser, and Mr. David Loser. This service was recorded and transcribed as follows:
PASTOR: As you know we are here this evening to set apart three of our finest to the gospel ministry. We certainly thank God for His blessings upon our church as He continues to reach down and call our young men to preach the Gospel. Many of our young men are now pastoring. Many of our young men are now preparing for the ministry in colleges and seminaries around the nation.
Tonight we shall ordain three of our own. Two of them are pastors and one is on our staff, directing the work of our rescue mission. I am going to ask Brother Fisk, our assistant pastor, to come and introduce these three candidates to you.
Presentation of Candidates
MR. FISK: I am going to ask Brother Johnny Colsten if he will come to the platform, please. I would like to ask Mrs. Colsten if she would do us the honor of standing so that you folks might know Mrs. Colsten. All right, thank you so much.
For the past year and a half I have had the privilege of working hand-in-hand with Brother Johnny Colsten. he has been a blessing to me personally. We have cried together and have rejoiced together. I know that Johnny has a real concern for souls. I know that, needless to say, God knew what He was doing when He called this man to preach the Gospel. We heard so much about Johnny Colsten before he ever came to this Church. Everything we heard was true and more so. I certainly count it a privilege tonight to be able to introduce to you Johnny Colsten. Brother Johnny, would you be seated right here.
PASTOR: Would Mrs. Colsten stand. One of our secretaries would like to present you with a lovely corsage.
MR. FISK: All right, I would like to ask Brother Larry Loser if he would make his way to the platform, please. I was talking with Brother Larry before the service, and he tells me that he was practically born and raised in this church. He comes from a godly Christian family. Now that he is grown into a fine young man God called him to preach. He is pastoring the Jump Off Baptist Church in Jump Off, Tennessee. That is just sixty-five miles north of Chattanooga. I have known Larry personally for the six years that I have spent here at First Baptist Church, and I count his friendship a blessing. I know Larry also has the desire to win souls. I know the kind of ministry that he will have and I certainly count it a privilege tonight to introduce to you folks our Brother Larry Loser. God Bless you, Larry.
PASTOR: Mrs. Loser is here. We have a flower for her, too. Pat, will you stand, please. It seems as though you were just married yesterday because you have been gone ever since you got married. It is nice to see you, Pat.
MR. FISK: I would like to ask Brother David Loser (I know him as Dave) to make his way to the platform. I would like to ask Mr. and Mrs. Loser if they would do us the honor of standing so that the folks might know the parents of these two fine young men.
PASTOR: Ladies, would you come, please, and pin a corsage on Mrs. Loser.
MR. FISK: Thank you so much. As was the case with Brother Larry Loser, Brother David also was raised in this church, saved here, baptized here, called to preach here, and now, thank the Lord, he is going to be ordained tonight. I have been soul winning with our Brother Loser. I have heard him preach at our rescue mission. I have heard good reports about his supply preaching in other churches. Just recently he was called to pastor a Baptist church in Georgia.
The report is that just about every Sunday since he has been there now they have seen someone saved. Just this past Sunday God gave them four souls down the aisle for Christ. It is certainly evidence of God’s blessings already on this young man, and I count it a privilege tonight to introduce to you Brother David Loser.
PASTOR: I want the three fellows to stand, please. Let’s give them all a hand. (Applause)
Brother Colsten’s mother and father are here, I understand. Where are they? Would you stand, please. All right, we have a corsage for you too, Mrs. Colsten. We are glad that you are here.
(The following, of course, does not include the lengthy private questioning.)
PASTOR: I would like to have the three brethren to stand to my left, please.
David, do you believe in the doctrines of the Articles of Faith and practice of the First Baptist Church of Hammond?
DAVID LOSER: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: If there ever comes a day when you do not believe in the Articles of Faith or our church and the inspiration of the Scriptures, would you be willing to surrender your ordination certificate to the First Baptist Church?
DAVID LOSER: Yes.
PASTOR: If the day would ever come and you did not, would you surrender willingly your ordination paper?
DAVID LOSER: Yes.
PASTOR: Mr. Colsten, do you believe the Articles of Faith adopted by the First Baptist Church of Hammond?
MR. COLSTEN: Yes, I do.
PASTOR: If the day would ever come that you did not, would you surrender your papers?
MR. COLSTEN: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Do each of you understand this? I say this seriously because oftentimes men are ordained to preach the Gospel who later change their doctrinal stand. It could happen. It has happened to many. The Apostle Paul recognized the possibility that it could happen ever to him.
Now you man be seated, please.
I am going to ask each one of you to say a word about your conversion and your call to preach. We will start with David.
DAVID LOSER: Well, I praise the Lord, first of all, that I am saved. I had been going to First Baptist for a number of years and I had walked the aisle when I was just about eleven or twelve years old. I had thought I was saved, but after Brother Jack came to our church and preached one evening on Hell and how that if you died, you would go to Heaven, you would spend an eternity in Hell, it shook me up, and I had to make sure of my salvation. On November 19, 1961, I made sure that I was born again. I was baptized that evening.
On July 23, 1963, I was called to preach the Gospel. Ever since then I have been preaching every chance I get. I would just like to say that there is nothing any better, and there is no bigger joy in life than being in the center of God’s will and doing what He wants you to do.
PASTOR: Larry, it has been a long time since we have had you here full time. You have been to college and seminary, and it is a real joy to have you back with us this evening. Come and tell us about your conversion and call to preach.
LARRY LOSER: I have attended the First Baptist Church since I was very young. When I was six years old, I went forward with my parents and joined First Baptist. I was baptized, but like David, I wasn’t saved. I didn’t know Christ as my personal Saviour. It wasn’t until later after Brother Jack came to First Baptist. I was singing in the choir. He preached a sermon on the tares among the wheat, and it struck home. Even though I didn’t go forward in the service, there in the choir I trusted Christ as my Saviour. I was later baptized in Springfield, Missouri, because I got under conviction about it and I realized that my baptism wasn’t scriptural. Even before that, God had called me to preach. The summer after I got out of high school I went away to school to prepare to serve Him the best way I could. I praise the Lord for every opportunity He has given me to serve Him and for the chance He has given me now to pastor a church. I just pray that he will be able to use me to win people to the Lord Jesus Christ.
PASTOR HYLES: Of course, all of us know the Colstens and know Brother Johnny. We have had the opportunity of having Brother Johnny with us from week to week. For many months he was simply an unknown quotient to us. We did not know anything about him. We had heard a lot about him. His wife, being a woman, talked a great deal about him, and we waited until he came, and of course, now that he is with us we are glad. We certainly have learned to love him and appreciate him and the family and the fact that God has called him to preach. So Brother Johnny, would you come and tell us briefly about your conversion and your call to preach.
JOHNNY COLSTEN: Dr. Falls preached an old-fashioned revival meeting in Whitely Methodist Church back in Muncie, Indiana. I was twelve years of age and at that time opened my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. There were periods of time when I was not sure about my salvation, but the Lord so graciously gave me assurance through the years. He has brought me now to this time.
The call to preach was something that was real to me, and yet there was a period of time involved in which I felt that I was called to preach but I just wanted Him to prove it to me. he very graciously did after a period of time. It just became so bottled up it just had to come out, and I surrendered my life to preach then not too long ago back in June. So very sincerely I know that Jesus is my Saviour and that He has called this unworthy servant to preach.
PASTOR HYLES: The presbytery will vote to recommend to the church that we do ordain these men. Then the church will vote to give the presbytery the authority of laying on of hands.
Vote of the Presbytery
PASTOR HYLES: I now entertain a motion from the presbytery that we recommend to the church that we ordain these three men to the gospel ministry. Do I hear a motion? Brother Streeter makes the motion. Is there a second? Brother Wolber seconds the motion. Is there any discussion or any question that you would like to ask any of these?
If there are no questions, if you are in favor, would you say “Aye.”
PASTOR: If opposed, like sign...and it is so ordered.
Vote of the Church
PASTOR: You have heard the motion and second and unanimous vote that we recommend to you the ordination of these three men. Now would someone in the church like to move that the church invest the authority in these men to lay the hands on these brethren. Brother Bell makes the motion. Brother Townson seconds the motion. Is there any discussion? Those in favor of proceeding with the ordination and investing in the presbytery the authority to proceed with the laying on the hands, would you say, “Aye.”
PASTOR: If you oppose, “No.” And it is so ordered.
Ordination prayer and laying on of Hands
PASTOR: That brings us to the laying on of hands and the ordination prayer. I am going to ask Brother Colsten if he would kneel to my left. I am going to ask Brother Larry if he will kneel in the center, please, and I am going to ask Brother David if he will kneel on the right.
After we have the ordination prayer, you may observe the laying on of hands, wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if God could hear the unvoiced prayers of the hundreds of people in this auditorium praying for God’s blessing we will have the laying on of hands and you may observe this service.
MR. TERRY: Our Father, we thank you truly for each of these men. We thank Thee that in Your great wisdom You did chose to save them. We thank Thee for our own salvation. We thank Thee for the Christian training they have had in their homes. We pray that you would help them now as they continue their study, that You would guide them. As they go into their work deeper and deeper we pray that You would give them wisdom for the decisions that must be made. We pray that You would help them. We pray that You would help them in their churches and in their work and as people come to them with problems that they will have the wisdom that only God can give. We pray that You would help each of them to be the kind of soul winner that You would have them to be. We thank Thee that they are and have been becoming real soul winners for Thee. Help us all to be more of this as we ought to be. We pray now that You would bless their families. We pray that You would be with them and that we may be an encouragement to them. Help us all that we might remember them from time to time in our prayers, for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Laying on of hands of the presbytery)
PASTOR HYLES: With every head bowed and eyes closed, I am going to close the service of the laying on of hands on these men. As I lead in prayer audibly, I want each of us to pray for each of them as we are led by the pastor. Let each of us pray for God’s blessings upon them.
Our Heavenly Father, we join, as pastor and people, in prayer for Johnny. We thank Thee for a sweet spirit and his love for Thee. We thank Thee for his diligence, his sincerity. We pray Thy blessings upon him. We pray that the Holy Spirit will give him power for service. We know not where the ministry will tike him. We know not of his future. We pray that wherever it be, whatever it be, You will guide and bless him, his wife, and his children.
Our Heavenly Father, we come to pray for Larry, thanking Thee for his family, his childhood, and teen-age years. many scores of people in his room this evening remember joys, experiences, and blessings of the past. We pray Thy blessings will continue upon him. Bless his ministry. Bless his wife as they labor together, and may their lives always count for Christ. May the laying on of our hands only symbolize the laying on of the Holy Spirit. may he be able to point back to this hour, as Timothy did when Paul reminded him of the gift that was given him at the laying on of hands. In Jesus’ name.
Our Heavenly Father, we come to the laying on of hands for Dave. We thank You for him, for his spiritual growth, and for the fact that Thou hast given him maturity above his years already. Thou hast called him to a church. We pray that Thy hand of blessing will rest upon him as our hands rest upon his head. We pray that the power of God will be upon him. Bless his life. Crown his ministry with Thy power. Let many be saved because of his labors. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Presentation of Bibles
PASTOR HYLES: Brethren, you may stand and come to the platform, please. Brother Hand will come and present a gift from our church to each of you. You will treasure this gift more and more with the passing of the years.
MR. HAND: Every trade has its tools. If I owned a business and you became a part of my business, I think that the proper thing to do would be to furnish you with tools. In a real sense we cannot give you anything tonight except a leather back and some exceptionally fine India paper. That which is printed on the paper does not belong to us. It is not ours to give to you. It is a tool that God has furnished us. When we say it is God’s Word, rightfully, it is possessive. It is God’s Word. It belongs to Him. As such, He has the right to determine how it is used. Remember always as you use it, it is God’s Word. He gave it to us that we might know how to serve Him properly. He gave it to us that we might do that which is exactly pleasing to Him. He gave us the most powerful force in all the world. Dynamite is in these pages. There is no dynamite under Heaven that is as powerful as the dynamite of the Word of God. Remember it. Written on the flyleaf of each of these: “Presented to David Loser as he is ordained to the gospel ministry, October 19, 1966, First Baptist Church of Hammond.” Brother David Loser, Brother Larry Loser, and Brother Johnny Colsten, you have the greatest tool in all the world. May God bless you as you use it.
Presentation of Certificates
PASTOR HYLES: Now as they remain standing, the chairman of our board of deacons, Brother Ed Rausch, will come and present the official certificates from the First Baptist Church to these men.
MR. RAUSCH: Brother David, Brother Larry, and Brother Johnny, this Certificate of Ordination which I will present to each of you represents an expression of the church family as a matter of confidence and faith in the high calling that God has given you. It not only represents this expression of faith and confidence but it also represents the fact that many people have made an investment in your lives. I am sure that each who has made an investment would have only Christ get the dividend.
So we pray tonight as we give you this certificate, Brother Johnny, Brother David, and Brother Larry, that you will fulfill the faith of our people and be diligent to fulfill also the high calling, the highest calling that can come to man-to preach God’s Word. May God’s blessing rest upon your ministry, each one.
PASTOR HYLES: I am going to ask the brethren to stand here facing me, please. I would like to talk to you a few minutes. Of course this is for every person, but there are seven things that I would like to say to you brethren as we talk together just personally for a few minutes while the others look on. I am going to wrap these things around the number three. I am going to give some important “three’s” for you as preachers.
I have been preaching for many years. I hope that I have learned some things in these years. Some of the things I have learned I hope you can learn faster than I learned them.
1. Three Books You Should Know Well.
The first thing that I would like to suggest is that there are three books in the Bible that you ought to know better than any of the other books if you are going to pastor. There are three books in the Bible that I have found to be the most needful books. All of this service is being taped and you will each receive a tape recording of the service so you need not write them down as you can hear them again and again as you listen to them in the future.
If you know these three books well, you will know more about all the rest of the Bible, and each book will be easier for you to understand. Every preacher should know well the book of Genesis. There is no excuse or substitute. The book of Genesis is certainly a key book. Every preacher should know well the book of Romans. Every preacher should know well the book of Revelation. If you know these books well, liberalism will never darken the doorstep of your ministry. Study carefully the books of Genesis, Romans, and Revelation.
2. Three Books You Should Read Daily.
Then there are three books that I would exhort you to read daily for your own personal edification. I would exhort you to read from the book of Psalms, Proverbs and Acts every day. No preacher can be successful unless he has the warmth and praise of the Psalms, the integrity and character of the Proverbs, and the zeal of the book of Acts. What combination could be more effective in the ministry than the love of David in the Psalms, the wisdom of Solomon in the Proverbs, and the zeal of the life and ministry of the apostles in the book of Acts.
3. Three Christian Privileges.
Then there are three Christian privileges that you ought to exercise constantly. The first one is Bible reading, the second is prayer, and the third one is soul winning. It is a tremendous temptation for a preacher to major on any one of these at the exclusion of the other two. I know many pastors who have become Bible students to the exclusions of their prayer life and their soul-winning time. I know many others who have spent hours and hours on their knees in prayer but not in learning the Bible and not in winning souls. I know others who have spent all of their time on the field witnessing to the exclusion of prayer and Bible study. To be a successful preacher or pastor, you must know the book, you must know God, and you must know sinners. These three things are essential in the ministry.
4. Three Things for Which You Must Pray.
There are three things that as a preacher you must pray for more than any other single thing. The first thing you must pray for is the power of God. The second thing you must pray for is love, and the third thing for which you must pray is wisdom. Without the love of God, the power of God is void. Without wisdom to use love and power oftentimes wrong decisions make void what we do for God.
For many years I have had on top of my prayer list the power of God.
Secondly, pray for love-love for lost sinners, love for your people, and love for everybody.
Then pray for wisdom. You will have to know how to advise people. You will have to counsel with people who need advice about their homes. You will need wisdom. You will have to know some things that only years can tell unless you get wisdom from God. People will come to you and ask you questions, and your answers will determine what they will do. You will hold in your counsel and your advice the destiny of homes, of children, and of souls. You will need wisdom. I exhort you to pray for the power of God, for love, and for wisdom.
5. Three Types of Preaching.
In the fifth place, there are three types of preaching that you ought to do. Number one is evangelistic preaching. Number two is the exhorting of the saints. Number three is the teaching of the Word of God.
Evangelistic preaching without Bible study will build Christians but not strong Christians. Bible study without evangelism will build strong Christians without getting new Christians. Always stay after sinners. Never think it is shallow to be a soul-winner preacher or an evangelistic preacher, but never let it be said truthfully that you do not teach the Bible to your people, and that you do not exhort the Christians.
6. Three Temptations You Will Face.
There are three big temptations that face a preacher. May I alert you to them tonight. Never, never forget what I am about to say. The first temptation that you will have as a preacher is laziness. I suspect that of all the sins of the ministry laziness is one of the greatest. There is no place for a lazy person in the ministry. many talented men have failed because they did not work hard.
The second temptation you will find in the ministry is that you will find the temptress over and over again. Your relationship with the opposite sex will be scrutinized very carefully by all who hear you. They will watch how you behave yourself with women.
Yesterday morning I heard of a pastor who had misinterpreted someone’s affection for him as a pastor to be romantic affection and had left the ministry because of an ugly story. Let me say this to you (I say this because I know preachers and I know them well): Never mistake the affection that a member has for a pastor and a man of God to be romantic affections. Men, stay in love with your wives. Let it be known that you are in love with your wife. Let the whole world know that you have the only woman you want. The Devil is after a fundamental preacher. Fundamental preachers are real men. They have to be men to stand the test. Be careful! Gird yourself now for the temptations that are to come.
The third temptation is a strange one but it does happen. Money oftentimes enters into a preacher’s temptations. One reason is that things are given to preachers. People love to give things to their pastor. I think this is well and good but if you do not watch it, you will become expectant of things to be given to you. One of the cheapest things that will ever happen to a preacher is when he expects to be given monetary privileges that others do not have. Never expect discount in a store. Never expect people to give you something, Just serve God and let God take care of all of the provisions. Never talk about how much the salary is going to be. Let others talk about that. You just stay busy for Christ. God will take care of you. He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” So keep your attention on His work, and He will take care of your needs.
7. Three Things You Must Be.
There are three things that you ought to be as a preacher. you ought to be a leader. The ability to be a leader of men comes only from God. You should also be a pastor and an evangelist.
First and foremost, if you will notice your ordination paper, it says “ordained to preach.” We are ordaining you to be preachers! This is the great work. If you fail in conducting funerals, that would be sad but not fatal. If you fail in performing weddings beautifully, that would be sad but not fatal. If you were to fail in your hospital visitation, that would be sad but not fatal. However, if you fail in preaching and do succeed in every other facet, it will be fatal! WE ORDAIN YOU TO PREACH! This means to herald the good tidings and tell the world something good has happened.
With this admonition, as pastor and people we ask God’s blessings upon you and express to you our love and appreciation. Wrapped around this little service are thousands of memories. We wish the power of God upon your lives and the blessings of God upon your ministries. We pray these ‘three’s’ shall be incorporated in your lives.
You may have a seat where you were, if you will, please. May I say to Mrs. and Mr. Loser my word of congratulations. Seldom does God bless a home by calling one of its boys to be a preacher. Even more seldom does God bless a home by calling all of its boys to be preachers. This is unusual. Night before last I had refreshments in a home and the pastor of the church said, “I want you to meet my son, who is my assistant pastor; my other son, who is an assistant pastor in Denver, Colorado; my brother, who is a pastor; and his two sons, who are also pastors.” My, what a time we had. Each home had two preacher boys; you have three. Two of them are already pastors. may we commend you for it and wish God’s blessings upon your boys. We know that each of you has a lion’s share of the credit in making these boys what they are.
To Johnny’s mother and father, we pray God bless you dear ones. Young men like Johnny Colsten do not come accidentally. They come from a lot of toil, prayer, training, and teaching.
Of course, Elaine, our congratulations, our love, affections, and God’s blessings to you.
Mrs. Larry Loser-Pat-we share a lot of memories together. We do wish God’s blessings upon you and Larry.
Barbara, you are not Mrs. Loser yet but if I had kept my big nose out of it you would have been! (Laughter) Dave and Barbara came to me last summer and said, “Brother Hyles, we would like to get married this summer but we will do what you say because we would like to have your advice. What you and Dad and Mom and Brother Hyles agreed that waiting another year would be better. Do we have a flower for Barbara? Yes, Barbara, if you do not go through with the marriage plans, you will have to return the flower. (laughter)
The Bible says that a preacher should be the husband of one wife. Dave does not qualify, but I have talked with the Lord and received a special dispensation. If we can have the assurance that he will have a wife soon, we can proceed.
Thank you, God bless each of you. We trust that God will bless the lives and ministries of these young men. After the service we are going to ask you to come by and shake hands with them.
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