(J.C.) Hibbard, Sr. was born in Navasota, Texas on January 16, 1909 and
was one of the most prominent Pentecostal preachers that God has ever called to the
ministry. For over 50 years, he fulfilled his calling to spread the Gospel
throughout the world. Thousands of lives have been touched and redirected through
his ministry, including worldwide mission projects throughout the world.
J.C. Hibbard, Sr. is very much alive today and living in Heaven with
most assured high rank. He left here to be at his present home and mansion on June
12, 1980 after establishing, designing and building the 5,000 member
Lighthouse Church in Dallas, Texas. He also carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ to
thousands through his programs on
KSKY radio and KXTX-TV in addition to numerous books
J.C. was married to
Bertha Grewie in 1927. J.C. loved to dance and he and Lillian won several prizes for
their dancing as they enjoyed this very much. Soon after their marriage, he became a
Christian. God began to deal with him to preach the Word Of God, but J.C. was
hesitant. He had always said, "There are two things I don't want to be, and
both of them are a preacher."
When their first
daughter, June Marie was born, she became ill with double bronchial pneumonia.
After a while of soul-searching and prayer, J.C. told God that if He would heal June Marie
that he would obey His call for him to preach. June was healed and J.C. started
J.C. and Lillian had a good marriage for
several years and three children were born to them. June Marie
in 1928, Jay C. in 1931 and
Rev. J.C. Hibbard pastored in several places throughout
Texas. God finally led him to Dallas where he founded and became pastor of the Oak
Cliff Assembly Of God Church after a revival in Dallas by Amie Simple McPhearson where
many people had made decisions to follow Jesus. J.C. worked and sacrificed, but
found little time for anything but his ministry. Lillian had problems with his
ministry and it eventually caused a split in their marriage in 1938. J.C. never lost
his dedication to the Lord or his focal point upon the calling God had called him
to. He simply would not let anything or anyone come between himself and his
On November 19, 1939,
J.C. married Nelda Bertha Conner, who had also been called to the ministry.
They had two children, Jaynell Hibbard-Songstad born
in 1948 and
Darlene Hibbard-Walker born in 1950.
J.C. and Nell Hibbard pastored together at the Oak Cliff
Assembly Of God Church for approximately six months after their marriage. Since the
Assemblies Of God have always had definite rules within their constitution concerning
divorce, there was much controversy among Assemblies people and pastors. In order to
keep peace among Christians within Pentecostal circles, Brother and Sister Hibbard left
that denomination. They always fellowshipped freely with Assemblies people and have
even had various Assemblies Of God trained staff at the church, but have always remained
In 1973, after the leaving to be with the Lord of
B. Greiwe-Hibbard-Ash-Clark, the Assemblies Of God called and offered
Brother and Sister Hibbard an opportunity to be reinstated as Assemblies Of God
ministers. J.C. said, "God continued to bless the Oak Cliff Assembly Of God
Church when they left, and it was certain that the Gospel Lighthouse had been blessed
independently of the Assemblies Of God. When we left the Assemblies Of God as an
act of Love and established The Gospel Lighthouse, it would be wrong to change any of
that. So we will stay an independent church."
Together, after leaving the Assembly Of God denomination,
with the help and guidance of the Lord, they built The Gospel Lighthouse Church. In
1940, thirty individuals began conducting church services in the Roger Q. Mills Elementary
School in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. Services were held there for three months
and laid the organizational groundwork for The Gospel Lighthouse Church, also in the Oak
Cliff area of Dallas.
Over a period of time in its golden years, this was to
become one of the largest independent Pentecostal churches in the world. Property
was purchased in the 1900 block of South Ewing Avenue. A circus tent was bought,
erected and became the home of the church for approximately a year.
Within the same year, Pastor Hibbard began erecting the
first building that would seat around 600. J.C., full of faith, always prayed for
the congregation and conducted healing services. During the construction of this
first building, a young boy with a paralyzed arm came to J.C. for prayer. J.C. took
off his hat and leather gloves and prayed with several other men. After the prayer,
in less than 10 minutes the boy was pulling nails with the arm that had been
paralyzed. He was completely healed. This became typical of their ministry.
December 6, 1942 a radio broadcast that was to become a
tradition in North Central Texas began. It was called
The Hibbard Family and KSKY radio
in Dallas broadcast this program for over 40 years. Four decades of people, soldiers, doctors,
lawyers, laymen, and literally every ethnic group were blessed by this great ministry and
its teaching. J.C., his church and his family stand as a testimony to what the
dedication of an individual can do in building a ministry in the Word of God.