Who is Dr. Jay Hines?
“The host of The American Gospel Hour in his own words...”
God has given me a special gift and that is the opportunity to be the voice of The American Gospel Hour which, at this time, airs every Sunday afternoon and evening on WYGG, FM 88.1 in Asbury Park, New Jersey and AM 1600 in Chicago, Illinois. I also have the privilege of selecting all the music for the program as well as the narrative content and the message from God’s Word. Of course, these selections are made by the direction of the Holy Spirit upon whom I rely solely.
I thought that perhaps it would be best for me to tell you about myself for who knows themselves better than the individual, right? First, though, let me tell you how The American Gospel Hour came into existence.
The American Gospel Hour developed from my love for the great old hymns of the church, the kind of hymns that I started singing years ago in the tent meeting that I was saved in that was being held in the summer of 1974 in the Swifton area of Cincinnati, Ohio. I will never forget the big white tent, massive and able to seat probably a thousand people, and the beautiful singing of these old hymns. They sang them as a congregation and also had a choir come in and sing some of the hymns. It was simply fantastic and along with good Gospel preaching, it was the memory of a lifetime and truly a significant way to enter the Kingdom of God. It was there, in that tent meeting, that I bought my first Gospel book, titled, fittingly, Entering the Kingdom. Before I bought the book, though the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I went forward one evening during the altar call and gave my heart to Christ. My father went to the altar at the same time and got saved, also. For him, that was the beginning of an experience that would open up into the Gospel ministry, like it was for me, too, and he has been a pastor and ardent preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ since that day. Consequently, his influence as a man of God has been great in my life.
That was the beginning of love for the good old hymns of the church and I have been singing them ever since. Not long ago, about a year or so, the idea suddenly came into my mind, an ideas generated by the Lord, to have a Gospel show on the radio that would feature these great old hymns and to tell about the history behind them. Now, telling the history of hymns and how they came to be isn’t a novel concept but the manner and method in which the stories are told, that can be quite unique and suited to the individual. My prayer is that God blesses the manner in which I tell the stories behind the hymns as well as the messages I preach for the program, messages offered to strengthen the Biblical and doctrinal aspect of The American Gospel Hour.
Someone may ask, “Why have a message from God’s Word during the presentation of these great old Gospel hymns?” The answer is because while the message of the Gospel through the singing of God’s Word may inspire people to find Christ, God promised distinctly that through preaching souls would be saved. I think God meant for us in our solemn services to preach and sing about the Gospel. Our example in life is Christ and the Scripture tells us that on the night He was betrayed, He preached to His disciples, a message recorded in the 14th – 16th chapter of John and then they sang a hymn together, led by Christ (Matthew 26:30). Could you imagine singing a hymn with the Lord Himself? Well, the same spirit and joyousness can be found by singing along with the hymns we play on The American Gospel Hour because we have abundantly invited Christ, by the agency of His Holy Spirit, to join us in our program. After all, that’s what The American Gospel Hour is all about, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Shortly after being saved in the tent meeting in 1974 the Lord called me to preach the Gospel. I was only 12 years old and thought opportunities would be scarce to none for someone of that age. But many opportunities presented themselves and I found myself telling others about this experience of being a Christian and found converts at that tender age.
My first opportunity to preach from the pulpit came when I was 14 years old, in the mission- churches that belonged to God’s Bible School in the city district of Cincinnati, Ohio. For my first message, I preached from that text where Jesus spoke to the rich young ruler and invited him to sell all that he had and to follow Him. And then the rich young ruler made his excuse and the Gospel tells us, “And Jesus, beholding him loved him” (Mark 10:21). I tied in the story of David and Jonathan from the Old Testament, using it as a type of Christ in His love for the souls of mankind.
Though I was nervous as just a kid taking the pulpit, I found unction in the Holy Spirit and preached like “a house on fire”, as they say, for an hour. The truth of the Gospel was opened to me and I found grace in the pulpit – or out of the pulpit as I left it half-way through the sermon and came down front to be with the people where I continued to preach, moving through my points, adding my Scriptural support, my illustrations, and letting God do the rest. It was a fascinating experience, one of the greatest experiences in life, and from that point on I was hooked on preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to whomever would listen to me.
After the message – which was attended, I forgot to mention – by one of my high school teachers, people expressed that they had been touched by the delivery of the Word of God and I quickly gave the praise to the Lord. That message, delivered with ardor and fervency in the Spirit and consuming an hour wherein I did my best by the grace of the Lord not to bore my congregation, earned me the title, “The Doctor” which was a tough title to live up to. In later years, because I felt odd being called, “The Doctor” without the education to support it, I earned two doctorates to give support to the title, a doctorate in jurisprudence and a PhD in clinical psychology.
At sixteen years old I began teaching the adult Sunday school classes at the Belmont Bible Methodist Church and began holding revivals. My first revival was in Dayton, Ohio and the Lord richly blessed my efforts. At the close of those meetings, the pastor of the church gave me an option. He said, “I can either pay you $75.00 for these meetings or else I can get you a set of 500 Selected Sermons by T. Dewitt Talmage.” Now, I had heard of Talmage, the Brooklyn preacher- orator who held 10,000 people spellbound by grace every Sunday morning for many decades in the late 1800s and I desperately wanted a set of these books, 20 volumes bound into 10 bindings. I instantly made the decision for the set of Talmage’s sermons and I’m happy I did because that gift in exchange for a series of evangelistic meetings that I enjoyed preaching swung open wide the door of delight in godly books that had opened partially in the tent meeting a few years before. I had purchased a set of Matthew Henry’s commentaries and Adam Clarke’s commentaries and had a few other books but the Talmage volumes set my heart on fire for godly books so that I began to collect and read them with a voracious appetite. To them I added volumes by Charles Spurgeon from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Philips Brooks, A.W. Tozer and many more. Today, my library of godly books numbers about 6,000, all of them hand- picked and all of them full of the inspiration of God. They are great friends who bring inimitable joy, especially those volumes that focus on Jesus Christ.
But, even though these books are filled with truths about God and have opened for me a rich vein that is inexhaustible about the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, the first line of truth and knowledge is God’s own Word, the Bible, which I have been reading every day since I was 11 years old. Despite 37 years of reading the truth of God’s Word, I still feel a great need to know more, a feeling which I think is common for those who love the Bible and who love the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, life is good and the presence of the Lord is very near. My wife, Ludie, and I serve the Lord with great devotion and love. She is my great support, both in life and in prayer, and my most venerable critic who helps me stay the course as I push forward for the Lord. Her devotion to prayer and determination to help me uphold the Word of God is a blessing from God, a true gift from the Lord like no other.
I also have great faith that God will bless World-Wide Pulpit, our first formal ministry started a few years ago, and its sister ministry, The American Gospel Hour. World-Wide Pulpit was the first ministry developed a few years ago that supported the publication of my books based on the Gospel and the two little Christian magazines titled, The Modern Evangelist and The Christian Disciple. These magazines contained mostly my writings on the Bible, focusing on evangelical topics for The Modern Evangelist and the lecture materials from Sunday school for The Christian Disciple which consists of the teachings from The Acts of the Apostles, comprised of 54 lectures, and the lectures from The Gospel of John, comprised of about 40 lessons to date. These lessons were taught in an interactive, lecture-type setting to an adult audience over the course of three years and continue on Sunday mornings to a live audience.
These magazines, The Modern Evangelist and The Christian Disciple are available on the web page for World Wide Pulpit and The American Gospel Hour. The new magazine to accompany The American Gospel Hour is another endeavor that goes along with the radio program bearing the same name and it is a joy to put that magazine together every quarter. These magazines are joined by several books in The God Series which can also be found on the website including Holding onto God, Loving God, and Our Adversary, the Devil: God’s Sworn Enemy. Other books written which will be published soon and will join these books on the website, being available to the reading audience, are The Street Preacher, a novel about a street preacher and one solitary person in New York City who comes to find Christ through his preaching even though it is at great cost, Spy for God: Behind the Iron Curtain, another novel set during the Cold War era in 1968 in which the protagonist gets saved and finds himself on a mission in the heart of Moscow where Bible smuggling becomes part of his repertoire. Other books that we have been blessed by the Lord to write include An Expert Looks at the Death of Christ and still others. Look especially for the title, Making it to Heaven: Our Road Map to God and the Celestial City which we are close to finishing and which will become available by the end of Summer on the website.
As for these ministries, the books, magazines, messages, lectures, and The American Gospel Hour, a lot of time goes into preparing them including study, research, and prayer. Each day begins with prayer and Bible study and then reading from the library the Lord has given me which consists of thousands of godly books. My time is divided between writing books, preparing programs for The American Gospel Hour, preparing lessons for The Christian Disciples study group, and other endeavors including recordings that will be available on the radio program and the website; these recordings include books on tape (or CD), additional programs of The American Gospel Hour which won’t be aired on regular radio but will be offered as additional programming for people to have who want more of The American Gospel Hour.
It is our goal to reach out to souls with The American Gospel Hour and to acquire air-time in other areas besides Asbury Park, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois. Our next area will probably be New York City and then Los Angeles. There are two other versions of The American Gospel Hour in the works including The American Gospel Hour on the Road which involves live shows of The American Gospel Hour including screen productions, live music, and the taping of shows before a live audience. There is also the hope for a daily program of The American Gospel Hour and then a television edition which, the Lord willing, will air on one of the Christian networks. The future also holds, the Lord willing, work in psychotherapy and the promotion of a Christ- based psychology to help people suffering with addictions, depression, anger, and numerous other psycho-spiritual problems. Only the Lord knows how this work will fit into our current Christian work and we leave it in His hands. Then there is the preaching and teaching for Christ and the hope for a church home which can double as a sound stage for more Gospel broadcasting to glorify the Lord and to bring more men and women into the kingdom of God. So many exciting opportunities, indeed, and the Lord will work out His plan! For now, we rejoice in The American Gospel Hour, World-Wide Pulpit, the ministry of books, the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and we thank the Lord that He saw fit to put us into the ministry for His dear sake.
So, you can see that the biography of my life has segued into the work I am doing for the Lord. Somebody once said, “Burn out for the Lord rather than just burn out”. I think a lot of people are just going through the motions of living or else they are quickly burning out because of boredom or else the hard lifestyle that some people have which leads to burn out in the negative sense. It is obvious that we will all burn-out some day but my goal is to do everything I can to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to burn out in that fashion. By faith, I believe the Lord will fulfill the goals listed above – we are already seeing the doors of opportunity open by grace – and what great things the Lord has in store. Eye truly has not seen and neither has ear heard the great things the Lord has in store for those who love Him. That includes me for my heart is set on Christ and the love of God through Him.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Dr. Jay Hines July 2012