Jack Hamilton was Hesperia Unified School District's board president for 19 years, making him the longest-serving politician in the community's history.
Hamilton was born at Loma Linda University Medical Center and raised in Redlands as the youngest of five children. His father died when he was 12 years old and his mom raised him as a single parent for his junior and senior high school years.
Q: What do people not know about your job?
A: I am the executive pastor of High Desert Church in Victorville. Most people do not know that I give functional oversight to the overall ministry of our church. We have a budget of over $6 million and employ 47 full-time staff members. We have about 10,000 people who attend our three campuses.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or personal, to date?
A: I have remained true and devoted to my wife, the love of my life, for nearly 41 years of marriage.
Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?
A: Right where I am now. Working in ministry trying to help people be who God wants them to be. My faith in God is really what makes me tick. Jesus was the most influential man to ever live. I want to emulate his character and values. I want my life to make a difference in this present world. It gives me purpose each day as I roll out of bed.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: There is no one person. I believe all of us have mentors, examples and models as we go through life. When in college, a youth pastor named Frank Mercer led me into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Then there was a local Christian business man named George Beardsley who taught me about integrity and what it means to be a Christian man. Another man, Pastor Dan Barbour, my best friend, taught me about loving people. Another man taught me about answering God's call, a missionary with Wycliffe Bible translators, Ron Ryan. Other pastors — Sherman Wall, Tom Mercer, Todd Arnett, Kurt Thielen, George Beardsley, Jr. — have all had a huge influence and enormous effect on me. There have been so many I could not list them all.
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: "Only a fool listens to one side of the story," from the Book of Proverbs.
Q: What are five things you can't live without?
A: God's love. The love of others, especially my family and those close to me. Faith. Hope. Major League Baseball.
Q: What words of advice do you have for younger generations?
A: Search for God wholeheartedly. When you find Him, put God first.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: Most of my free time is spent with organizations that I am part of. I am a board member for the Hesperia Recreation and Park District. I am also a board member with Forest Home Christian Conference and Camp Center. They have over 57,000 young people and adults coming to their camps each year. There are some amazing stories of life change when folks get away from the regular distractions of life and hear God up in the mountains. I also am a mentor pastor for my association of churches where I spend one day a month with younger pastors trying to help them lead their churches.
Q: Which three people, living or from history, would you like to have at a dinner party, and why?
A: I am going to pick four. Abraham Lincoln would be one. He was such a great leader in the midst of the greatest crisis in the history of our country. Tony Dungy would be another. Tony was a great football coach even winning the big one, the Super Bowl. He was and is a builder of men. He also started and works with an organization that helps young boys without dads. Rick Warren would probably be the third. He is a pastor in Southern California that has done a wonderful job at building a church with God's help. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins. He didn't just build a famous basketball program but he impacted young men for Christ.
Q: Tell us about a special vacation.
A: Every summer since 1972, my family goes to a Christian Camp up by Santa Cruz called Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center. We have attended the last 39 summers. I only missed one year in 1982 to go back to Indiana for some summer classes at Grace Seminary.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.
A: That I had Perthese Disease as a young boy and could not walk until the age of 12.
Q: What's your favorite sports team and why?
A: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Great name. Ever since junior high I have followed the Angels. They came into existence in 1961 and all my friends were Dodger fans, so I naturally chose the Angels.
Q: What's the best thing about living in Hesperia?
A: Our long history here. I came to Hesperia in August 1970 to be a public school teacher at Joshua Circle Elementary School. I have remained friends with several of the students from those first few years of teaching.
Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?
A: It was about 1955 when my sister, Jeanne Brown, came to Hesperia. Mom was scared to death with her oldest daughter coming to a town that did not have telephones in most houses. My sister used to have to go to Village Market to make telephone calls home.
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