Noted pastor Jack W. Hayford was elected president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel June 3 during its annual convention in San Francisco.
Hayford, 70, was chosen from two other nominees–the Rev. Glenn Burris, Foursquare’s general supervisor since 2002; and Hayford’s brother, Jim Hayford Sr., senior pastor of the Eastside Foursquare Church in suburban Seattle, and supervisor of the Seattle district of Foursquare.
Founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., Hayford also launched The King’s College and Seminary in 1987, and plans to remain its chancellor while fulfilling his duties as Foursquare president. He said he also will assist the pastoral staff of The Church on the Way, which recently appointed a new senior pastor after the sudden death of its former pastor and Hayford’s son-in-law Scott Bauer last year.
Recently, Hayford has been calling for greater accountability among ministry leaders. As Foursquare president, he said he hopes to see a renewal of spiritual vitality and leadership integrity within the Christian community as a whole and Foursquare in particular. “I hope to enfranchise a new, rising generation of leaders who are expectant and ready to join me in evidencing our values to always live, serve and lead as a people committed to biblical, relational and spiritual priorities and values that characterize New Testament leadership and lifestyle,” Hayford told Charisma.
Hayford is to assume office Oct. 1, succeeding Paul Risser, who resigned in March after the Los Angeles-based denomination lost $14 million investing in two companies that were later proved to be fraudulent. Risser apologized for his part in the scandal June 2 in front of nearly 3,000 convention attendees, who responded by standing and singing “Amazing Grace.”
Denominational leaders said Risser was not seeking any personal gain from the investments and is still held in high regard by the church. Hayford said he believes Foursquare handled the situation “with exceeding thoroughness, truthfulness and graciousness.”
Hayford said he is “highly optimistic” about the growth of the movement that was started by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson in 1923. It has since grown to 5 million members in 38,000 churches worldwide.
Adrienne S. Gaines