Jack Hollingsworth Tribute

Dr. David Reagan celebrates the life and ministry of a homeless drunk turned evangelist, Jack Hollingsworth, on the show Christ in Prophecy.

Air Date: January 14, 2018

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Transcript

Jack Hollingsworth: Dave, I lived 20 years off and on on the streets, homeless. I was certified insane in three states, but praise God, I finally found Jesus and He transformed my life.

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Folks, I grew up in a church that taught that the miracle working power of God ceased in the First Century with the death of the last Apostle. Now, that, my friends, is a doctrinal position that simply cannot be maintained for a number of reasons, the most important being that God continues today to perform mighty miracles in transforming the lives of those who have put their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The person who has been the featured singer on this television program since we started broadcasting in 2002 is a classic example of the miracle working power of God. Jack Hollingsworth was a man who lived on the streets for 20 years in an alcoholic and drug haze until he met the Lord Jesus Christ in 1988. His life was totally transformed by that encounter. It was so transformed that he became the founder of a Christian ministry called Acts 29, and he and his wife, Sally, began traveling the nation singing, teaching, preaching and counseling for Jesus. I am sorry to report that Jack died suddenly and unexpectedly in November of 2017, and this program is a tribute to his memory.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our tribute to the memory of Jack Hollingsworth, the man who served as the featured singer on this program for the past 15 years. Jack was born in Mississippi in 1947, and he died in Florida in 2017 at the age of 70. In December of 2002, on the 14th broadcast of this ministry, I interviewed Jack Hollingsworth and his wife, Sally. At that time they had been ministering together for 10 years, and they had ministered with me many times at meetings and conferences all across America. Here, now, is some footage from that program that was broadcast 15 years ago.
2002 Show with Jack and Sally Hollingsworth

Dr. Reagan: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I’m Dave Reagan, senior evangelist and we have a very, very special program for you. A different one. We normally focus all our time on studying Bible prophecy but in this program we want to introduce you to a very special ministry and to two wonderful people who constitute that ministry. The ministry’s name is Acts 29, and the two people are two very dear friends of mine, Jack and Sally Hollingsworth. Glad to have you all on the program!

Jack Hollingsworth: Dave, we’re glad to be here.

Dr. Reagan: And thanks for driving in all the way from Mississippi to be here!

Jack Hollingsworth: Yeah.

Dr. Reagan: Now I didn’t say that right did I?

Jack Hollingsworth: No, you didn’t, you have to say “Miss’sippi.”

Dr. Reagan: And you’re a native aren’t you?

Jack Hollingsworth: I was born there.

Dr. Reagan: So you know how to do it.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Miss’sippi?

Jack Hollingsworth: Miss’sippi.

Dr. Reagan: Well, Sally, where are you from?

Sally Hollingsworth: Originally from Illinois.

Dr. Reagan: From Illinois, a Yankee?

Sally Hollingsworth: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: You know, we like to kid you Sally because we have all kinds of nicknames for you. I always think of you as the little mac truck because you’re small but you’re tough. And we’re gonna find out more about that in the program, but I also sometimes call you shotgun because you’re only 4′ 10”

Sally Hollingsworth: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: Well, Jack, is it really true that you lived on the streets for 20 years?

Jack Hollingsworth: Yes, right, it’s true. Almost 20 years, off and on.

Dr. Reagan: Is that all over the United States or are we talking about Mississippi here?

Jack Hollingsworth: No, I was over the southeast: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Texas.

Dr. Reagan: Wow.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yeah.

Dr. Reagan: Well, Jack, we’re showing a picture right now of what you looked like during those 20 years on the streets. And when people see that picture and they see you now, there’s only one conclusion, there has been a major transformation in your life. And that’s what we’re going to share with these people this evening. I mean a radical transformation, right?

Jack Hollingsworth: Absolutely.

Dr. Reagan: It reminds me of something that I read about in the Word of God over in 1 Samuel chapter 10. You know, it wasn’t until 1967 that the first heart transplant was done by Christian Barnard in South Africa. But the Bible reveals that God’s been in the heart transplant business since the beginning of time.

Jack Hollingsworth: Amen, amen.

Dr. Reagan: And in 1 Samuel chapter 10, a prophet said to Saul, he said, “You’re going to be changed into another man.” And when Saul turned to walk away, it says, “Then it happened, that when he turned his back to leave God changed his heart.” He gave him a heart transplant right there. And you got one too, didn’t you?

Jack Hollingsworth: I sure can identify with that.

Dr. Reagan: Now, I just want to get right to the core of this thing by asking you a question. How in the world did you end up living on the streets for 20 years? Now, I say that because we see homeless people all the time, and I think the average response of a person seeing someone homeless on the streets is there’s a no good bum who’s too lazy to work. They’re running away from life, or whatever. I don’t know. The attitude is really very negative. How did you end up on the streets?

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, Dave, that attitude I think is yes and no. You’re right and wrong in that. I think there are so who are and some who aren’t. But, it’s a long story with me. I wasn’t wanted before I was born. And after I was born, my father died when I was four years old. And my mother remarried and my step-father was very brutal, very violent. He beat me. And I spent my life in fear. And I learned how to be angry very young. And I was full of hatred. And when I was 15 years old I went out to the river with a bunch of young boys and somebody brought some beer. And I drank some beer and just messing around, and it did something for me that nothing else had ever done.

Dr. Reagan: You thought you were Superman.

Jack Hollingsworth: I did. I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

Dr. Reagan: Bulletproof.

Jack Hollingsworth: Handsome and charming too. But, things were changed, and I thought I’d found what I was looking for, but–

Sally Hollingsworth: You managed to make it through school.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yeah, I managed to make it through school. And after I got out of school and I got out of my family’s home. And I found out that I wasn’t prepared to deal with life and I just couldn’t cope with it. So, drinking and alcohol took on a big portion of my life, and I started drinking more and more and I couldn’t keep jobs. I just, at a loss. And some people that I counted on and believed in they had me committed to a mental hospital. And in that mental hospital that’s where I found out what drugs were. I went in there, depressed, and angry, and full of fear, but I came out psychotic, because I started mixing alcohol with drugs. And I just, it just spiraled down.

Dr. Reagan: In all this time that you were living on the streets did you ever had anybody share the Lord with you?

Jack Hollingsworth: I hated God. I thought–there’s never been a time in my life that I didn’t believe in God, because I thought He was the one that made me the way I was. I thought it was His fault that I was where I was. And I’d just shake my fist at the sky and curse at God. I mean, I didn’t curse at God, I cussed God and I screamed at Him. I blamed Him. I hated Him. I hated people like you. When somebody would talk to me about Jesus, I’d either run or cuss at them.

Dr. Reagan: Did you just feel that God didn’t love you?

Jack Hollingsworth: Oh, I was convinced that He didn’t love me. I knew that He didn’t.

Dr. Reagan: Sally, you spent a lot of years in counseling with homeless people and alcoholics, was this an attitude you found?

Sally Hollingsworth: It’s very common when people are rejected real young in life. Everybody has a story. Everybody out there on the streets is somebody’s son or daughter, or husband or wife, or friend.

Dr. Reagan: But is it common to project that rejection on God?

Sally Hollingsworth: Yes, absolutely. Well, the thing of it is, when people believe in God and they know there’s a God, who else are they going to blame? They can’t blame the people because the people aren’t there that hurt them.

Dr. Reagan: Wow. Well, Jack, how did you support yourself during those years on the street? Did you just dig out of garbage cans or did you steal things or what?

Sally Hollingsworth: Yes.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yes, I tell folks a lot of times it’s easy to feed me because good food today, I’ve got something to compare it to, because I did eat out of garbage cans and dumpsters. I’d beg. I’d steal. It didn’t matter. Police would pick me up and put me in jail and that was a relief.

Dr. Reagan: I remember you told me one time about a fellow who really befriended you, and really treated you decently. And you turned around and stole something from him. It reminded me of the story of Les Misérables, where he brings in the fella and the fella steals the candlesticks and then comes back and he says, “I gave them to him.” Now, tell us about that story.

Jack Hollingsworth: Absolutely, and that was here in Texas as a matter of fact. I was running. I was running from God. And this old gentlemen was sitting on a porch of an old country store and I went in and had a little change and I bought some beer and had another guy with me and he said, “You boys look like you’re kind of road weary and tired. Would you like to rest awhile?” We said, “Sure.”

Dr. Reagan: And then you end up stealing from him.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yeah. And he put us in a trailer that he was working on. And we walked in that trailer, and he said “I’ve got some things I need to do.” So he said, “You boys make yourselves at home, clean up, and take you a nap and get you some rest.” And the place was full of power tools. And there was a big can of change in there; a big three or four pound coffee can full of change, it must have had a hundred dollars in it. Saws, drills, hammers, I mean power tools and everything. And we looked around there and I said, “Man, you know, we can take this stuff and make some money out of it.” So we grabbed it and left.

Dr. Reagan: Despite the fact this man had befriended you.

Jack Hollingsworth: Didn’t matter to me. I was a people user. I didn’t care about that man, or anybody else. But, it wasn’t far down the road that–well, let me back up just a little bit because when we were leaving, I looked back and he was pulling in his driveway. And I knew we were in trouble. And it wasn’t long before the Texas State Troopers were all over us. And he came down and he looked at the Troopers and they had me handcuffed and then I was afraid I was gone. I knew I was gone because you steal from somebody in Texas and I knew that.

Dr. Reagan: We don’t take to that too well.

Jack Hollingsworth: No, and I was up for some time. But I don’t know why, but that old gentleman came up to them and he said, “No,” he said, “you let these boys go.” He said, “All I want is my stuff back.”

Dr. Reagan: Wow, isn’t that something.

Jack Hollingsworth: And they said, “No, we’ve got them now. You don’t have to press charges. We’ll get them in the state because we’ve caught them with stolen property. This is your property?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then we’ve got them.” And I don’t know how he did it, but he took them off to the side and he talked to them and he convinced them to turn us loose.

Dr. Reagan: But that didn’t turn your life around did it?

Jack Hollingsworth: Absolutely not.

Dr. Reagan: Because it took Jesus Christ to do that.

Jack Hollingsworth: It took something more.

Dr. Reagan: And you’ll hear about that in just a moment.

Part 2

Dr. Reagan: Folks, you are watching excerpts from a television program that we broadcast in December of 2002, a program that featured Jack Hollingsworth and his wife Sally. Jack served as the featured singer on this program for 15 years until his death in November of 2017. This program is a tribute to his memory. Let’s return now to the interview we conducted with Jack and his wife, Sally, 15 years ago.

Dr. Reagan: Now, Jack, we want to find out how you came to meet the Lord. And I know that one key element of that was when you got to the end of yourself one night and decided to commit suicide.

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, that was after many times of–

Dr. Reagan: Many times. I know you jumped off a bridge one time, missed the river!

Jack Hollingsworth: Missed the river. That shows how successful all my plans were. My best thinking. My best planning just didn’t get it.

Dr. Reagan: Well, tell us about this particular night.

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, I’d run and I’d ended up in Lexington, Kentucky. And I had a couple of dollars in my pocket and I went into a little store and bought me two bottles of rubbing alcohol and a Mountain Dew.

Dr. Reagan: Rubbing alcohol?

Jack Hollingsworth: Rubbing alcohol. I knew it’d either kill me, or it would just fry me to a vegetable state. And I crawled under an old truck in a parking lot that I found. And I kept drinking that rubbing alcohol. Oh it was horrible, I can remember to this very day. And passing out, but I kept waking up. And I just couldn’t die. And the next morning when I woke up, I was so sick, I just turned green.

Sally Hollingsworth: Very green.

Jack Hollingsworth: And I was stumbling around town. And that’s when I stumbled into a place there in Lexington and it was a detox, the only non-medical detox within a hundred miles of there.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah but there’s something you forgot to tell us before that. What kind of truck were you under?

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, that came after I got saved, actually, but God took me back to that place and He was showing me the things that He had done for me. And what the Lord had showed me there was that when I’d crawled under that truck, and He just took me back where I could see it. And I saw on the side of that truck was Salvation Army. And the Lord spoke to me right then and he said, “Son, don’t you know that you can’t crawl under salvation and die?”

Dr. Reagan: Wow, oh man. What a story. Ok, so you went to a detox center and there you met a very special person.

Jack Hollingsworth: Sure did. A little Yankee girl that I didn’t like. Didn’t like her a bit.

Dr. Reagan: Ok 4′ 10” tell us about that.

Jack Hollingsworth: She wasn’t crazy about me either.

Sally Hollingsworth: Well, he came into the detox center. And from the very beginning I knew he was somebody special to God. He just, sometimes you meet people that just don’t fit, and he was one of those. And he was afraid to sleep at night so he always ended up in my office, of course we kept the cigarettes and lighter in there. We didn’t turn them loose on the unit with him, so, he had to come in there and get his cigarettes. And he would sit in there and talk and we would talk about everything. It was very obvious that he was very intellectual and you know. He would talk about how people told him about his potential and he said, “Yeah, if I can ever get out of the gutter, I’ll show you my potential.” And so we would talk and he went through the programs and he still wasn’t saved. But he went real good for about a year, he was working with a rehab program that they had there in Lexington. And then he decided to try to get drunk again. And I had already shared with him that he was never going to be able to get drunk again.

Dr. Reagan: You’d already told him that, huh?

Sally Hollingsworth: Yes, I told him that. That’s what the Lord told me to tell him. It was in faith. And he tried for two weeks to get drunk and he couldn’t get drunk.

Jack Hollingsworth: It’s true.

Sally Hollingsworth: And that’s a whole ‘nother story that we don’t have time for. But anyway, he came back, and on December 5th, he came back and that’s when the Lord led me to give him the Scripture. And I’ll let him tell that.

Jack Hollingsworth: Yeah, this was late at night I decided to just get up and leave, I was fixing to run again. I was headed for the highway. But God got me back down to detox and they checked me in. And I was sitting there. Like she said, that was on December the 5th, 1988. And on December the 8th, about 3 o’ clock in the morning, I was sitting back in her office. And Sally had a little Bible that she’d carried with her since she was in the 5th grade. I told you she was weird. I mean, she’d had this Bible more years that I can ever imagine anybody having anything, but she gave it to me. I was sitting in a chair in her office, and she handed it to me. It’d been opened up to John 14:6. And she said, “Jack, I want you to read this, and read it out loud.” And I started reading that when Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but through Me.” And something in my heart started breaking. And for the first time in many, many, years, I started crying. I just couldn’t help it, I just started weeping. I wasn’t just crying, I mean just, I was uncontrollable. And in that crying all I could say was “Jesus, if there’s anything you can do for me, please help me.”

Dr. Reagan: If there’s anything.

Jack Hollingsworth: Because really I didn’t think he would do anything for me. I’d been too far, done too much. And number two, I didn’t think He could do anything for me. I thought I was that person who had just gone too far.

Dr. Reagan: So you discovered the grace of God. Absolutely. Instantly, miraculously, and absolutely. He changed my life right then. It wasn’t a gradual change. And Jack your life is a testimony to the fact that the Bible teaches over and over there is no sin so great, so black, so terrible that can separate you from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ.

Jack Hollingsworth: Amen. None at all.

Dr. Reagan: Very quickly, tell us what happened shortly after that when you went to her house one day and she was washing dishes.

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, the Lord started dealing with me Dave. And He said, “Sally’s gonna be your helpmate.” And I said “That’s fine Lord, she’s helped me a lot.”

Dr. Reagan: I don’t like her!

Jack Hollingsworth: Well, by that time I had a great respect for her, and a grudging friendship. This has been a period of two years you know that I was bouncing back and forth in that. But the Lord was speaking to me and when I got saved I went and got a job. I went and got a real job. And got out of all the programs. And so I was at work one day and I’d got me a Bible when I got saved and I’d been reading the Bible. And I remember reading in Genesis 2:21 I think it was. “And the Lord saw it wasn’t fit that-” No, that’s not Genesis 2:21, but anyway. “The Lord saw that it wasn’t fit for man to be alone, so he made Adam a helpmate.” And that keyed me right there. I said, “No, no, no she’s not Lord.” But He kept dealing with me so I just asked my boss one day after work, well, after lunch if I could get off work early. And I went over to her house and I knocked on her door. Of course she said, “Come in.” And I went back in her house and she was in her kitchen and I said “God’s been dealing with me, and I think he’s been dealing with you. Are you ready to go get married?” And her in her little way, she just stepped back from the kitchen sink, ‘cause she’d been washing the dishes and she was kind of wet, and she said “No, but if you give me a minute I’ll change and we’ll go.”

Dr. Reagan: Well, praise God!

Sally Hollingsworth: You wanna make sure that’s God though!

Dr. Reagan: Jack, I’ve heard you sing many songs because we’ve ministered together all over this nation but the one that always touches my heart the most deeply, because it really is your story, is that great song “It’s my Desire.” Folks, here is Jack Hollingsworth singing “It’s My Desire.”

Jack singing You Are My Desire

Jack Hollingsworth: What is your desire? What do you long for in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Listen this is how I feel.

It’s my desire

To live for Jesus

It’s my desire

To be like Him

Though often I fail

Brought Him such shame

But it’s my desire

To live for Him

It’s my desire

To help someone today

Someone who may have failed

To see the way

For I too once was so lost

But I found my way to God

Now it’s my desire

To live for Him

If you could see

Where Jesus brought me from

To where I am today

Then you would know the reason why

I love Him so

Well, you can take this world all its wealth and its riches

I don’t need its power

But it’s my desire, to live for Him

If you could see

Where Jesus brought me from

To where I am today

Then you would know the reason why

That I love my Jesus so

And I sure do

And you can take this world

All its wealth and its riches

I don’t need that kind of power

It’s my desire

It’s my desire

Yes it’s my desire

To live for Him

Part 3

Dr. Reagan: “If you could see where Jesus brought me from to where I am today…” Wow! And people say God no longer performs miracles! Jack and Sally married in 1988, and in 1993 they founded a ministry called Acts 29. And for the next 24 years, they traveled all over America ministering for Jesus. Several years ago our great video team recorded six of Jack’s most popular songs and creatively edited them to produce a video album called, “Jack Sings.” I’d like to conclude this tribute to Jack by playing for you my favorite song from that album. It is called, “We Shall See Jesus.”

Jack singing We Shall See Jesus

Jack Hollingsworth: We shall see Jesus

Just as He is

Once on a hillside

People were gathered

Hoping to see Him

As thousands were fed

He touched the blind eyes

Healed broken spirits

Moved with compassion

He raised up the dead

But once on a hillside

People were gathered

Watching as Jesus was crucified

No one showed mercy to the one who had healed them.

Yet, Jesus loved them as He suffered and died.

But once on a hillside people were gathered

For Jesus had risen and soon would ascend

And then, as He blessed them

Listen.

He rose to the heavens

But He gave them this promise to come back again.

And we shall see Jesus just as they saw Him.

There is no greater promise than this

And when He returns in

His power and glory

Yes, we shall see Jesus

We shall see Jesus

Just as He is!

Closing

Dr. Reagan: Now, that’s what I call a powerful Christian song, sung with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it’s been a blessing to you, and I hope you’ll be back with us again next week, the Lord willing. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program