Joe Henry Hankins, former pastor of Little Rock’s First Baptist Church was one of the most evangelistic pastors ever!!!!


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Adrian Rogers uses an illustration by Joe Henry Hankins

Dr. Joe Hankins said that he was preaching in a revival meeting one time, and, God’s Spirit was moving
mightily and souls were being saved. And he said, ‘I looked up there in the balcony and I saw a man, a young man. He
had the hymnal in his hand, as they were singing out of the hymnal the invitation hymn. And he saw the boy close the
hymnal and start this way, like he was coming down out of the balcony to give his heart to Christ. But then he stepped
back and he opened the hymnal again and began to sing. A second time he closed it and he turned, like he was
coming forward, but he hesitated. He stopped. He turned back and opened the hymnal again and started to sing. The
third time, he closed it with a pop, laid it down, but rather than coming forward, he walked out the back door of the
balcony and out of the church. Later on, that boy was diagnoses with a fatal illness. They told Dr. Hankins about it.
And Joe Henry Hankins went to see this boy, recognized him as the same boy that had been in the balcony.
And the preacher said, “Son, have they told you how sick you are?”
He said, “Yes, sir. You don’t need to beat around the bush. I know I’m dying.”
“Well, son, I want to ask you a question. Sometime ago, when you were in church, I had my eyes on you. I thought
you were under conviction. I thought you were about to come forward and give your heart to Christ. Was that
He said, “Yes, it was true.” He said, “As a matter of fact, when you preached, I wanted to get down there so badly I
felt I could jump over the balcony railing and come down there.”
“Well, son, why didn’t you come?”
He said, “I thought of my favorite sin, and I knew if I went down there, I would have to give up my sin. And I closed
the book and walked out of the church.”
Dr. Hankins said, “Well, son, that was tragic you would do that. But you’re going to die now and you can’t keep your
sin anyway. Son, won’t you come to Jesus now?”
That boy looked at Joe Henry Hankins and said, “Preacher, there’s something you don’t understand. When I said no to
God, something died within me.” He said, “I can’t come.”
Dr. Hankins wept and prayed, but the boy died, never giving his heart to Jesus Christ because his sinned against light.
[taken from Adrian Rogers]

The following was written by John R. Rice about Dr. Hankins time in Little Rock.

Brother Hankins is one of the greatest preachers in America. When he had been pastor of the First Baptist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, four years and eight months, I learned that the church had received 1,165 new converts as candidates for baptism in that time, and 1,667 members had been added to the church by letter or statement, a total of .832 additions in the four years and eight months. That meant a total of five new converts each week who had found CHRIST and joined the church for baptism under Dr. Hankins in five years and a total of 118 members every week of that time!

Meantime the church had been so wisely led and so prospered of GOD that the Sunday School attendance was from 1,100 to 1,300 weekly, the church had built a new auditorium seating 2,000 people. And while carrying the heavy administrative and preaching burden of that great church, Dr. Hankins had held outside services in which over 2,000 public professions of faith had taken place, altogether, in addition to those who were saved and joined his own church for baptism! Viewed from the viewpoint of success in the pastorate as a soul winner, a preacher and administrator, Dr. Hankins is a great preacher.

More than four years ago Dr. Hankins, pressed on by the fire in his bones, wooed by his love for CHRIST and for lost sinners, gave up the pastorate and has, since then, been a full-time evangelist. He has had revival campaigns in churches of many denominations. He has now become so well known and in such demand that most of his time is given in union city-wide campaigns. He has had such union campaigns with great blessings in Bellingham, Washington; Altoona, Pennsylvania; Scranton, Pennsylvania; in a number of suburbs of Los Angeles; in Pontiac, Michigan; and is scheduled, when this is written, for a great city-wide campaign in Cleveland, Ohio.

The solid Scriptural background in Dr. Hankins’ sermons, the directness of speech, his strong convictions about Heaven and Hell and CHRIST and His Blood, and salvation by faith, make Dr. Hankins a great preacher. He is distinctly a Bible preacher. He is manifestly a Spirit-filled preacher. He is a compassionate, prayerful, brotherly preacher. We pray and believe that many thousands will be blessed by his sermons in this book and trust that the volume will be scattered far and near and put in the hands of saints and sinners, preachers and lay Christians alike.

These sermons were first printed in The Sword of the Lord. A number of them appeared with a decision form and we have letters from several people who have found CHRIST as they read Dr. Hankins’ sermons. With the earnest hope that sinners will be saved as they read these messages, a decision blank is attached at the close of the book.

November, 1946

Wheaton, Illinois

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Former Razorback Football Coach Ken Hatfield speaks at First Bapt Little Rock May 4, 2011

former coach of the arkansas razorbacks football team gives his speech at the 112th annual grape festival Highlights of the #17 Razorbacks 14-10 upset of the #7 Aggies in 1986. I heard Ken Hatfield speak and he told a funny story about  Steve Atwater. He said he wanted a chance to play quarterback. Coach Hatfield […]

Former Razorback Football Coach Ken Hatfield speaks at First Bapt Little Rock May 4, 2011 (Part 1, mentions Branch Rickey and Don McClanen)

This is the pregame broadcast of the Arkansas-Texas game at Razorback Stadium in 1985. It features both the Razorback and Lonhorn bands and the 1964 punt return by Ken Hatfield. I got to hear former Arkansas Razorback Football Coach Ken Hatfield speak and it was very encouraging and enjoyable. The “Zone Luncheon” is held the […]

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