1934 - 1995
"A lot of people teach that Jesus' death on the cross was necessary but that it was not enough. But Jesus didn't come to help you save yourself; He came to save sinners. He didn't make the down payment and say, 'All right, here is the installment book. Make sure you keep up the payments.' No, He paid it. In spinning a robe of your own righteousness, before the sun goes down you will find it all unraveled. He didn't come to show me how to save myself; He came to save me. He didn't come to help me save myself; He came to save me. Take your hands off it. Don't touch it. Accept it like it is. Receive it as a free gift from God Almighty and be saved!"
In 1961 a mail carrier and pastor of a very small church attended a Sword of the Lord Conference, got on fire, gave up his route and set out to build a great soul-winning work for God. Forrest Hills Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia, grew from 40 people into a membership of 7,900. In 1972 the church was recognized as the fastest-growing Sunday school in America; and the last four years of his pastorate there, the Sunday school was recognized as the largest one in Georgia.
After being a pastor for 21 years, Dr. Hutson--the great soul winner that he was--became so burdened for the whole nation that he entered full-time evangelism, holding great citywide-areawide-cooperative revivals in some of America's greatest churches. As many as 625 precious souls trusted Christ in a single service. In one eight-day meeting, 1,502 salvation decisions were recorded.
At the request of Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. Hutson became Associate Editor of THE SWORD OF THE LORD in 1978, serving in that capacity until the death of Dr. Rice in 1980. At the time of Dr. Rice’s death, Dr. Hutson became Editor, President of the Sword of the Lord Foundation, and Director of Sword of the Lord Conferences. Dr. Hutson was at the head of the Sword ministries when he passed away in March, 1995, all these ministries literally changing the lives of thousands of preachers and laymen alike, as well as winning many more thousands to Christ.
As an editor, Dr. Hutson kept THE SWORD unapologetically on an uncompromising path, and he spoke out clearly and unmistakably on the issues that affect fundamentalists, warning against the message of liberals and modernists.
As a fundamentalist he held to the great cardinal doctrines of the Faith: the verbal inspiration of the Bible in its original autographs; the virgin birth and deity of Christ; His vicarious death for sin; His physical resurrection; salvation by grace through faith; and the visible second coming of Christ. He was a believer in ecclesiastical and personal separation.
As the Sword Conference Director, he saw many now successful pastors in America begin their ministries with the life-changing influence of a Sword Conference.
Dr. Hutson had a charming preaching style, and he was the master of illustration and humor. His winsome, crystal clear presentation of salvation made him in great demand as an evangelist and conference speaker. He had a fervent appeal to sinners, and God gave him the ability to draw the net artfully. In every meeting, scores came forward to trust Christ. His sermons challenged and moved Christians to win souls. He personally presented the plan of salvation almost until his dying day--too weak to speak or sit up, but still whispering 'the sweet, sweet story'-his own words.
Dr. Hutson authored many fine books and booklets, widely circulated and translated into several foreign languages.
Dr. Hutson left behind his wife Gerri and four wonderful children--three daughters and a son--and fourteen grandchildren. All three of their daughters are married to preachers, and their son is pastor of the Middle Tennessee Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.