On June 4, at the annual Foursquare convention in San Francisco, Dr. Hayford took the oath of office as president-elect. On October 1, at this special service, the denomination officially confirmed his selection as president.
Following a traditional organ and worship prelude, the celebration commenced with a presentation of flags from many nations, accompanied by a special arrangement by Mark Gasbarro of the hymns “Immortal, Invisible,” “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” and “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.”
Rev. Arthur J. Gray II, the denomination’s director of urban and multicultural ministries, welcomed the guests and led in an opening prayer. Following this, Rev. Mike Larkin, director of Foursquare Missions International, greeted the congregants on behalf of the 49,000 ordained and licensed Foursquare ministers and workers around the world. Foursquare leaders from Bulgaria, Greece, Honduras, Sri Lanka, and Turkey extended their congratulations to Dr. Hayford via video.
Rev. Sy Goraieb and team then led the congregation in an energetic and celebratory set of contemporary worship songs, concluding with the ageless hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, via video, extended personal greetings to Dr. Hayford on this momentous occasion, sharing memories both touching and humorous. He noted that Dr. Hayford has stood with him both on the mountaintops of victory and the valleys of pain and grief, and has been one of his best friends.
“Here is a man of vision and hope,” said Dr. Ogilvie. “He is biblical, Christ-centered and filled with the Holy Spirit.” He also noted that Dr. Hayford is a man of “vision and viability, compassion and courage, and humility and humor.”
Dr. Rick Warren then addressed the crowd after being introduced by Glenn Burris Jr., the denomination’s general supervisor. “I wanted to be here because of the ministry of this man and his influence,” Dr. Warren told the audience, stating that he had not waited for an invitation to the event but had specifically asked to be included because of his close relationship with and admiration for Dr. Hayford.
Basing his brief address on Hebrews 13:7, Dr. Warren noted that true leaders have (1) a message worth remembering; (2) a lifestyle worth considering; and (3) a faith worth imitating. “This is Jack Hayford,” he affirmed in his closing comments.
After Dr. Warren’s greetings, well-known singer Steve Amerson presented a powerful anthem about God’s presence leading and accompanying His people. This was followed by a special video presentation highlighting the convergence of various areas of Dr. Hayford’s life with the values and spirit of the Foursquare Church.
Rev. Glenn Burris Jr. then conducted the official confirmation of the president as Dr. Hayford and his wife, Anna, and the Foursquare officers stood on the platform. A gavel was passed to Dr. Hayford, symbolizing the transference of the authority of the presidential office.
“We believe God has put this mantle of authority on you to lead our church,” Rev. Burris stated. “We declare that what the Lord has done is a good thing. We are thrilled the Lord has blessed our church with your leadership.”
Following the gavel ceremony, Dr. and Mrs. Hayford knelt on the platform as the board of directors and a special prayer team surrounded them, laying hands on them and anointing them with oil. Leading in prayer were Rev. Mike Larkin, Dr. Rolf K. McPherson, Dr. Jim Hayford, Rev. Jim Tolle, Rev. Jim Scott, Rev. Tammy Dunahoo, and Rev. Daniel Prieto.
Dr. Hayford addressed the crowd following the prayer time. In an emotional response to the preceding events of the day, he extended a heartfelt thank you to church leaders, members, family, and friends. He shared a prophetic message based on a passage from the book of Ezekiel, expressed great vision for the expanding of the mission of Foursquare into the future, and noted that “there is a rising of something in our movement.”
This reflected a statement previously released by Dr. Hayford: “I am humbled and honored to become a servant of others in the Kingdom of God. I believe we [The Foursquare Church] have been jointly brought to ‘a moment,’ wherein we as a movement become an even stronger spiritual force for the glory of God. I also look forward to partnering with other leaders in the larger Christian community in extending the good news of God’s grace around the world.”
At the conclusion of his message, Dr. Hayford led in one worship song, after which the congregation stood and worshiped to a specially commissioned arrangement of “Majesty” for organ, herald trumpets, voices, and band.
Rev. Glenn Burris Jr. gave the benediction, praying that those gathered would be models to our world, that people would see our love and commitment to one another and want to know the Lord, and that the Lord would give us a heart for the lost.
Founded in 1923, the Foursquare movement has a constituency of more than 5 million, with more than 38,000 churches and 49,000 ministers throughout 138 countries.