WHEN CALLS THE HEART’s Brian Bird Remembers Pastor Jack Hayford: ‘I Just Loved His Heart’

Photo from Brian Bird’s Instagram

WHEN CALLS THE HEART’s Brian Bird Remembers Pastor Jack Hayford: ‘I Just Loved His Heart’

Movieguide®️ Contributor

The producer behind the show TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL and WHEN CALLS THE HEART, Brian Bird, recalled the “sense of brotherhood” that his family shared with recently deceased pastor Jack Hayford.

“Well when I was a kid, I played in the sandbox with his kids, and we loved the Hayfords. We loved the ministry of Church On the Way,” Bird told CBN.

His connection goes back to the 1950s when Bird’s grandfather Pastor Vincent Bird, or Doc Bird, as he was called, became a mentor to Hayford. After pastor Vincent retired, he became pastor to seniors at Hayford’s The Church On the Way.

Bird’s father Robert also went to Life Bible College with Hayford. When Brian pursued a career in movies and television, he recalled Hayford supporting him with words of encouragement.

“Jack always urged me to not be as an early settler in my work … [to] really strive for excellence,” he remembered.

One saying of Hayford’s that has had an impact on him was, “Don’t just get good enough to be in the rock band. Get good enough to be in the symphony.”

“I actually say that to young people…that I mentor in my life,” the veteran producer said.

Bird points out that his influence reached farther than just him and his family alone.

“Jack just had a kind, intuitive way to be a champion for others. He was a champion for millions of people. I was just one of those people. I happen to be fortunate enough to know Him,” Bird said.

He goes on to say,“ We’re all richer because he was here these 88 years. And we’re all poorer now that he’s not here anymore.”

Jack Hayford passed away January 8th at 88 years old. Not only was he a pastor, but wrote over 500 worship songs, one of the best known is “Majesty.”

About his view on worship he once wrote:

“Worship has often been misunderstood as the musical prelude, rather than the means by which we, as the people of God, invite the dominion of his kingdom to be established on earth. Psalm 22:3 says that the king of kings is literally ‘enthroned’ in our praises. Wherever God’s people come together to worship, we become a habitation for his presence.”

According to Charisma News:

Pastor Jack Hayford, pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, died Jan. 8, 2023, at age 88. He served as chancellor of The King’s University in Southlake, Texas, which he founded in 1996, and was president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel from 2004-2009. He also wrote over 50 books and composed more than 500 hymns and choruses, including the internationally known and widely recorded “Majesty.” But he was probably best-known as “Pastor Jack,” serving The Church on the Way for over three decades.

Born on June 25, 1934, the infant Hayford was gripped by a life-threatening illness and miraculously healed through the prayers of friends and family. Later, he was attacked by polio, and church elders anointed him and prayed for his healing. God granted another miracle.

“These two extraordinary events ignited in Jack’s heart a passion for God and convinced him that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in the contemporary church,” his ministry’s website says. “Contrary to our preconceptions, God is not economical with healings and miracles,” Hayford said. “Such wondrous works are frequently attending the proclamation of truth in Jesus’ name.”

He was married to Anna Marie Smith from 1954 till her death in 2017, and they had four children (Rebecca, Jack III, Mark, and Christa). He is survived by his second wife Valerie Lemire whom He married in 2018.