Claims to fame: Son of Jack Hyles; former Youth Minister, First Baptist Church of Hammond; ex-pastor, Miller Road Baptist Church (Garland, Texas); accused serial adulterer; divorcé; cohabitator; alleged child abuser; suspected child killer
Moral apex: As the story goes (we don’t know; we weren’t there), somebody at Hyles’s church discovered porn magazines containing ads for group sex which, they reportedly claimed, featured photos of Hyles having sex with church member Brenda Stevens (by some accounts, the daughter of a deacon). A story soon surfaced that Hyles had had extramarital sex with some 19 female members of the church.
Every one of these women was apparently stupid enough to think she was Brother Dave’s “one-and-only,” according to a voice on a taped phone conversation attributed to Dave’s wife Paula. And, as you can guess, it appears more than a few marriages where destroyed when the truth came out.
What happened next: It appears to outsiders that Miller Road Baptist threw him out, and his wife divorced him and took off with their two kids, and he started living with Stevens (out of — gasp! — wedlock) in Illinois.
Where it gets really tragic: Stevens had a small son, Brent. Dave Hyles was suspected of abusing the boy — who had suffered some eight or nine broken bones in his short life, which had never been treated. Brent was taken out of Hyles and Steven’s Illinois home and given to his biological father in Texas. Within a few months, for reasons beyond comprehension, Brent was returned to Stevens.
And then, in late 1985, 15-month-old Brent was found dead in his crib. Hyles, who had been alone with the child, claimed he found him not breathing, and called police. It has been suggested in a few online articles that Dave’s father Jack arrived before the cops did.
A coroner’s inquest into Brent’s death (at which Hyles took exercised his Fifth Amendment rights — and which the baby’s mother doesn’t appear to have attended) was apparently thwarted because the little boy had been embalmed and buried (reportedly the very next day after his death), before a proper autopsy could be performed. (An empty bottle of Actifed — for which a prescription had been filled only the day before Brent’s death — was found at the scene.)
Without any physical evidence of wrongoing, Hyles was not indicted. The case remains open.
If those who follow the Hyles story are correct (waving at the Fighting Fundamentalists!), n the mid-1990s Hyles went to work teaching Sunday school at a Pinellas Park Baptist Church in Florida — which reportedly expelled him on charges of adultery. It’s also been reported that he was thrown out of the next church he attended (Berean Baptist Church in Orange Park, Florida), for “sexual misconduct” with three different women.
(One of those women is assumed to be church secretary Joyce Phaneuf, who appears to have been arrested for prostitution in 2003. Assuming this is the same Joyce Phaneuf, her mug shot and arrest report — which notes the tattoo on her right-upper thigh, reading “David’s Girl” — are available at everybody’s favorite finger-wagging site, The Smoking Gun.)
Just when you think it can’t get any more tragic: Hyles, it’s said, finally married Stevens and they had their own child together, a boy named Jack David. In March, 1999, when the child was five years old, Stevens was reported to have run over him with her car, killing him. According to news reports, she claimed he must have fallen out of the vehicle, and she didn’t know it.
Where Hyles is now: We’re not really sure, but, ironically, in 2003, Dave Hyles was reportedly spotted attending worship services at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville — whose former pastor Bob Gray was, in early 2006, arrested on multiple counts of sexual battery against children (and whose current pastor appears to have tried to cover up the abuse).
Last we heard, Dave was a member of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, whose pastor is Jerry Vines, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the über-fundy who gained a few minutes’ fame outside the IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist) world in 2002, for calling Muhammad a “demon-possessed pedophile.”
I began to dream of a day when maybe I would have a little baby of my own. Would there be a church where I would feel safe to leave my child? Here the nurseries were clean and the babysitters dedicated Christians.
Someday I would have my own child, and he would grow. As he grew I would want him to be taught to obey. I walked past the beginner and primary departments. So many little children came there to be told about Jesus and right and wrong. Would my child have the same?
— Dave Hyles, essay written when he was 16
Ironic, road-to-hell, good-intentions quote:
How can one train a child to exercise … self-control? This is done by developing something on the inside that becomes more attractive than that which is on the outside. Then more pleasure is gotten inwardly by resistance than outwardly by yielding. For example, my son, David, is an athlete. During basketball season he does not drink carbonated drinks nor eat pastry. This is not to say that chocolate pie is not attractive. Quite to the contrary, it is most attractive, but there is something on the inside that is more attractive — the satisfaction of making the team, of being in good condition, and of pleasing the coach! Hence, the inward pleasure has overcome the competitive attractiveness of external pleasure. He has developed self-control. His will decides whether or not he eats chocolate pie. Hence, in this matter he is in control of himself. He is not a beast; he is a man. He derives more pleasure inwardly by not eating the chocolate pie than he would derive outwardly by eating it.
I have spent thousands of hours trying to make a man out of my son.
What the American male needs is honor, just plain, old, downright honor.
Make sure to read: Our entry on Jack Hyles.
Suggested Bible reading for Mr. Hyles:
The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief. The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face. In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
— Job 24:14-16
Note to our fellow infidels: We really, really, really want a picture of Dave Hyles for this page! And we really, really, really can’t find one. We can find pictures of Dave’s mom, she of the typically gigantic-fundy-hair, but nothing of Dave-O. If you have a photo of Dave you’d like to contribute, or can definitely identify a picture of him on the Web, please hit the Contact link below, and let us know! We want to see what this… person looks like, too!