In the 1960’s and 1970’s God poured out His Spirit in a mighty and powerful way during a sovereign move of God that was known as the Jesus Movement. It seemed as if overnight, suddenly God moved. God spoke to Greg Lancaster, “It’s going to be the 1970’s again”. That next week after receiving that word from the Lord, America pulled out all of their military forces from Afghanistan just like what took place in the 1970’s when America pulled out from Vietnam. It was a confirmation of the word of the Lord. Despite the things that took place in the negative, God was doing some amazingly awesome things! Many people were overcome by the presence of the Lord as Jesus Christ was being revealed to thousands upon thousands. Jack Hollis was one of those men and he recently sat down with Greg to talk about his exciting journey of walking with the Lord.
Jack Hollis vividly remembers that moment when the Spirit of God was moving through Marianna, Florida and he recognized it was the Lord. “This great powerful move of the Holy Ghost was going around. All of a sudden, in the late 60’s…and some of that great wave of the Holy Ghost came down to Marianna, Florida. And when that flood came through here, I looked at it and nobody was getting in. I went in and dove in, head first. We just told God then we’ll do whatever you want to do.” Jack doesn’t forget where he was when the Lord found him, as he highlights the importance of giving thanks the Lord. He was an alcoholic for 7 years, to which he almost lost his son and wife, he points out. “But when the Holy Ghost came to me in the middle of the night, and revealed Christ to me, I mean I got born again right there.” Jack recalls that fateful night lying in bed when he heard something in the bedroom. Not knowing what it was, he pulled his pistol that was under his pillow and drew the light on just as fast as he could. When he looked at where the sound came from, nothing was there. “You talk about weird, I felt weird.” Wanting to get away from whatever that was, he went and sat in the living room on the couch. It was at that moment that Jack realized what just happened. “I just honest to goodness realized that it was Him. It was a revelation.” It was the Lord Jesus Himself!
From that moment, Jack knew he had to make a decision, and he responded to the Lord. Burying his face in a nearby chair, he started talking to the Lord right then and there. “I’ve failed everything I’ve tried to do. And if I’m gonna fail at this, don’t take me. Don’t even, just leave me alone. If you’re gonna walk through it with me, I’ll do anything you tell me to do.” It was only a matter of time before Jack started hearing and learning about the Holy Spirit and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jack wanted that in his life. He took his tongue in his fingers and said to the Lord, “this is yours and you do whatever you want to do”. There was such a hunger for the Holy Spirit in his life and he was baptized in the Holy Spirit. In those days there was such an overwhelming hunger for the presence of God. As Jack shares, this is what God is doing our present day. What the Lord did in the 1970’s, He is doing again. “The 70’s was years of hunger.” What’s important to remember is that just as the Lord was moving mightily, so was the devil. Jack talks about how the enemy was doing all he could to fill the void anywhere God’s presence was not. “Satan was filling this void of hunger. Witchcraft and everything. You could go anywhere and get into a seance, or whatever else. It was everywhere.” Jack continues to talk about the importance of choosing what you decide to fill a void that presents itself. “When you have a void, somebody, something is going to fill it and God has made the offer. God doesn’t push Himself on anybody. You just open your mouth and I’ll fill it. You just open your mouth and I’ll fill em’. Open your heart and I’ll fill it. Open your hunger up and fill a table before you.” As he talks about Psalm 23, Jack talks about the importance of recognizing how the Lord prepares a table before us. “I do the Psalms a little bit different, He prepares a table before me. Period…then He says, ‘in the presence of my enemies He anoints my head with oil and my cup runs over’”. As Jack points out, the Lord puts us in front of our enemies to fight AFTER He prepares a table for us.
Jack recalls how people were coming to the Lord and the revelation of the Lord was coming instantly to people that were being saved. While he was in a Bible school, he couldn’t help but share the exciting testimonies with others of what the Lord was doing. Surprisingly, not everyone wanted to hear about the Lord. Even at a Bible school. He was shocked to hear the ultimatum that he was given by a handful of religious leaders. “If you want to keep your ordination with us, you have got to quit preaching in Pentecostal churches; quit talking about Pentecost; you’re gonna have to renounce speaking in tongues.” It was a simple response for Jack. “In order for me to be what you’re saying for me to be, I’ve got to quit being what I am.” He even asked to clarify if that is what they were asking of him. He knew he couldn’t, nor would he do that. “I don’t want to be identified with something that rejects the thing that actually gave me more love for Christ, and more understanding of the Bible, more boldness to preach the truth. Why would I throw that away in order to learn three points and a poem?” Jack’s son laughingly recalls that moment as the day he was “de-ordained”.
Jack talks about his decision to choose another pastor, Tyler Ford, to take his place of head pastor. With his iconic hilarious sense of humor, Jack points out that Tyler is 6’ 4”, while he is 5.3”. “I wanted a man that I could look up to.” He highlights that Tyler originally was a Baptist and understands there are differences between Baptists and Charismatics. “It’s quite a change to go from that to a Charismatic Pastor.” Jack knew that the Lord was doing something, and he was following however the Lord was leading. “We’re changing leaders here because God wants to change something in the ministry. You need to get out of the box. You need to get out of the box.” Tyler didn’t exactly understand what Jack was sharing with him as he quickly responded, “how did you get out of the box so easy?” Jack said, “Tyler, they dumped me out of the box”. Jack continues to share about the memorable moment when he appointed Tyler to take over leadership. Tyler was instantly shocked and reminded Jack of all the reasons why he’s not the best suited for that responsibility. “You realize, first of all, that I’m a Baptist, second of all that I’ve got an artificial valve in my heart; I’m a diabetic, and I just had a defibrillator put under my arm…” Jack stopped him and reminded him what mattered most. “I don’t need to know all that. The One that created and re-created all that, knows all that. And that’s all that matters. And He’s the one that put you on my heart.” Jack continued to encourage Tyler with these words. “You’re in for a ride now, so go ahead a get a good grip.” Interestingly enough, those words are indicative to the sticker Jack used to have on the dash of his old truck, “Shut Up. Sit Down. Hold On.”
Jack points out that’s what we all need, for Holy Spirit to just get a good grip on each of us. This is the truth that we need to be teaching our children, to our churches, that most are not hearing about. This is so vitally important to remember, because it was this very topic of the Holy Spirit that many were saying needs to be stopped, which was part of the Time Magazine article written in 1968, “Is God Dead?” Little did they know, three years later, the same Magazine would be dedicating their front cover to Jesus Christ and The Jesus Revolution.
As Jack Hollis is sharing these exciting stories of the Lord, behind him, In the background, is an aged photo of dozens upon dozens of people gathered together in front of a small building. Jack describes how he was sharing the Gospel at Troy University that resulted in some of the people coming to the Lord. Two weeks later, Jack was invited to come again to this small little abandoned school house, and thirty people came to the Lord. Through all the faithful obedience to the Lord, his wife Shelly has faithfully been married for 58 ½ years and been by his side through all these years. He was once a man that drove 100+ mph anywhere he went, now his heart has been so softened by the Lord that he’s unable to even take the life of an animal in the sport of hunting.