Hollywood Producer Reveals Pastor Jack Hayford’s Unique Prayer Habit, Impact Over His Life: ‘There’s a Lot of People in Heaven Because of Jack’ By Billy Hallowell for Faith Wire
As the faith world continues to celebrate the life of the late Pastor Jack Hayford, a renowned preacher and the founder of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, a well-known Hollywood writer and producer is sharing details of the minister’s impact on his family.
Brian Bird, co-creator of the popular TV show “When Calls the Heart” and a veteran film and TV writer, told CBN’s Faithwire about his family’s meaningful relationship with Hayford, who died Jan. 8 at 88.
As it turns out, Bird’s grandfather, Pastor Vincent Bird, was a spiritual father of sorts to Hayford. Bird said his grandpa, a lifelong preacher, even ended up working for Hayford after his retirement.
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“When [my grandpa] retired … Jack Hayford invited him to come on staff at Church on the Way as the pastor to seniors,” Bird said. “Because my grandpa was a mentor to Jack when Jack was … first coming up through Life Bible College.”
Bird said his father, Robert, was also at Life Bible College at the same time Hayford attended and added there was a “real sense of brotherhood,” especially considering the familial connections.
And that relationship only grew over the years.
“When I was a kid, I played in the sandbox with his kids, and we loved the Hayfords,” he said. “We loved the ministry of Church on the Way. I loved everything about them.”
Hayford, a larger-than-life character who Bird said made everyone feel as though they were his friends, wasn’t only a monumental ministry figure. He also took the time to encourage people one-on-one, building and fostering relationships throughout his life.
Bird, a former newspaper reporter who has found massive success in Hollywood, recalled the preacher encouraging him on his own journey to Tinseltown.