IFB Megapastor Jack Schaap Fired for ‘Improper Relationship’ with a Teen

“Jack Schapp had left his cell phone on the pulpit and a deacon had seen it on the pulpit and had picked it up to bring it back to him.  From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out.”

Trisha Kee (link)


First Baptist Church – Hammond, Indiana

Technology can be a wonderful thing when used to glorify God and advance His kingdom.  However, it can also be extremely dangerous as Jack Shaap has just discovered. 

It must have been divine providence when a deacon saw a scandalous photo being sent to Shaap's phone. The megapastor was promptly fired from the church he led for eleven years, and the matter was turned over to authorities.  Here is the press release posted on the First Baptist Church (Hammond) website:

First Baptist Church Pastor Dismissed

July 31, 2012

"Hammond, IN – At this time, we deeply regret the need to announce that First Baptist Church has dismissed our pastor, Dr. Jack Schaap, due to a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor. First Baptist Church is in full cooperation with our local authorities in their investigation of this matter. Our church grieves over the need to take this action and the impact it will have on our people.

We ask that everyone pray for the families involved and pray that the situation will be handled in a Christ honoring manner. We look forward to the days ahead as we continue to service the needs of our surrounding community and the Chicago area."

The Chicago Tribune broke the story this way:

"An evangelical megachurch pastor has lost his job and is being investigated by the sheriff’s department in Hammond, Ind., after admitting to an "improper relationship” with a young woman, according to a spokesman for First Baptist Church of Hammond.

A board of deacons announced the decision to fire Dr. Jack Schaap on Monday night, then reported allegations to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday because it was unclear if the woman was a minor, spokesman Eddie Wilson said."

WGN Chicago has been on top of the story and reported the following night: 

"Stripped of his duties, the pastor of a northwest Indiana mega-church has confessed to having sex with an underage girl when she was 16.

The Board of Deacons shared that with its congregation in Hammond Wednesday night. The girl was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, the same church where Brother Jack Schaap was the pastor for the past 11 years."

Because the "age of consent" in Indiana is sixteen, no charges are expected against Schaap, according to the Post-Tribune.  That article goes on to state:

"At a news conference Wednesday, Terry Duff, chairman of the church’s board of deacons, said the church was cooperating with authorities and refused to cover up any wrongdoing.

“We’re not defending wrong; we’re defending right,” Duff said. “We’re committed to finding the whole truth no matter what the consequences to First Baptist Church.”

Duff said he was made aware of the misconduct last Wednesday. After meeting with the board, he confronted Schaap, 54, Saturday afternoon.

Duff said the situation has been “gut-wrenching.”

“We love that man, and we trusted him,” Duff said. “This is a tough time for his family.”

Duff said Schaap was trying to reconcile with his wife, Cindy, the youngest daughter of former church leader Jack Hyles.

Church officials said they were committed to “calling into the light” any further misdeeds against the congregation’s young people. During a Wednesday evening service, they asked members to come forward with any information they may have."

Perhaps the atrocities condoned at Penn State for so long and the horrible aftermath are altering the attitudes of those who might have agreed to cover-up indiscretions, as so often seems to be the case.  One can only hope…  Yes, we are ALL sinners, but pastors are called by Almighty God to a higher standard.  I am grateful that this church has done the right thing in dismissing its pastor instead of protecting him.

As stated earlier, Jack Shaap is married to daughter of Jack Hyle, who pastored First Baptist Church of Hammond for over four decades, building it into a megachurch.  Wikipedia includes the following information about the church: 

"The First Baptist Church of Hammond is a fundamental Independent Baptist church in Hammond, Indiana. It is the largest church in the state of Indiana, and in 2007 was the 20th largest in the United States.[1] Though founded in 1887, under Jack Hyles’ leadership from 1959–2001 it became one of the megachurches in the United States and during the 1970s had the highest Sunday school attendance of any church in the world.[2] In 1990, the church had a weekly attendance of 20,000.[3] It also operates Hyles-Anderson College, a non-accredited institution, and two K-12 schools, called City Baptist Schools (for children of the bus route of the church) and Hammond Baptist Schools (for children of the members of the church). Jack Schaap, Hyles' son-in-law, succeeded as pastor after Hyles' death in 2001 and served as pastor until July 2012."

Last year First Baptist Church celebrated the 10th anniversary of Jack Schaap's ministry there.  Cindy Schaap, who has spent her entire life in this church, addressed the congregation during the festive occasion.  Her remarks come just after the 33 minute mark.

Ironically, last year's celebration included the singing of Schaap's favorite hymn – Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  Please keep those involved in this terrible debacle, particularly Cindy Schaap and her children, in your prayers. 

This is a developing story, and we likely provide an update next week.

Lydia's Corner:  Genesis 11:1-13:4   Matthew 5:1-26   Psalm 5:1-12   Proverbs 1:24-28


IFB Megapastor Jack Schaap Fired for ‘Improper Relationship’ with a Teen — 107 Comments

  1. mot,

    I saw Jimmy's comment but chose not to respond. I would like to point out that Dee and I talked about our upcoming posts yesterday morning, and we decided then that I would write about Jack Schaap today.  We have gone after the IFB before, so I find his comment absurd.

  2. The question becomes whether they will stick to this or, like many churches, accept his confession, repentance, and restore him to the pastorate! I have seen that happen too many times. If it is suggested, it will result in a split in the church or a loss of members, regardless of whether it is accepted or not. And it should not be. It is just as much an abuse of power as stat rape, when a pastor has a sexual relationship with a member and especially a counselee or a much younger person.

  3. An Attorney,

    As I will share in tomorrow's post, Jack Schaap is a misogynist who had tremendous influence over his flock. Abuse of power is right!

  4. Bravo to the deacon made the right choice to expose the truth. So many in his shoes might have gone into damage control mode by covering up his discovery, making private agreements to hush, etc. Time for the deacon to be promoted to elder!

  5. Dee and Deb:

    This is sad and ironic.

    You may not know the story of Schaap’s former, now deceased, father in law, Jack Hyles.

    Hyles was from Southern Baptist roots but left in the 1940s-1950s era due to concern about doctrinal decline and over lifestyle type issues. He was one of the most passionate young Independent Baptists that followed the earlier generation of John R. Rice, Lee Roberson etc.

    At the end of Hyles’ ministry it was discovered that he had an inappropriate relationship with the woman in his congregation for many years, maybe as many as 20.

    It is sad and ironic that his daughter had to witness the fall of her father and now her husband.

    Hyles’ son, who was also in ministry for many years, was finally booted because of moral issues also.

    One thing I noticed and did not know was that Hyles’ son in law had taken over the church when Hyles left.

    As you know, I am against nepotism in all of its forms. It is prevalent in the evangelical community, unfortunately.

  6. “Jack Schapp had left his cell phone on the pulpit and a deacon had seen it on the pulpit and had picked it up to bring it back to him. From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out.”

    This is commonly called “WHOOPS!”

    Or alternately, “BUSTED!”

  7. At the end of Hyles’ ministry it was discovered that he had an inappropriate relationship with the woman in his congregation for many years, maybe as many as 20.

    Can you document this? The only thing Wikipedia talks about is a situation with a mentally impaired woman who was apparently raped by people associated with the church.

  8. Pingback: More on Jack Schaap firing « A Quiver Full of Information

  9. Hannah – Do you think someone recorded that comment by David Gibbs? Maybe someone can get a hold of it and take it to the police department and the police can go have a talk with the entire board of elders. When are church governing structures going to get it? Who thinks a 16 year old isn't influenced by the "pastor's" authority and prestige. It is spiritual abuse on Schaap's part whether the 16 year old consented or not.

  10. Sad story. I certainly hope and pray that Jack Schaap would sincerely repent of this sin of immorality, experience a godly sorrow and seek forgiveness from the Lord, his wife, family, congregation and others who might be involved… There is forgiveness for repentant sinners; however, I would say his work as a minister should stop for a long time. I remember King David sinned horribly but he was forgiven after genuine repentance but the consequences of his sin followed him all his life. In my church life experience, I attended one church where a pastor committed adultery and had to resign; he never went back to work as a pastor. In another church I attended, the head pastor was sued for "sexual harassment" and was acquitted. These stories are sad but not at all surprising to me. However, neither of these churches has recovered after years. It appears "ichabod" to some discerning eyes.

  11. What is ugly is at the church meeting last night David Gibbs asked if there are other victims to come and speak with him before the police. — Hannah Thomas

    So he can hush it up before it becomes “un-Edifying”?

    You know, there’s a LOT of Catholic heirarchy who are getting tried by media (and sometimes secular courts) for the exact same thing.

    Though I figure the IFB style of behavior modification (including presuading to keep silence) probably relies a LOT more on threats of Hellfire, Damnation, and Losing Salvation.

  12. Try NOT to misunderstand me.

    A) The Deacs at Hammond did right firing Jack Schaap assuming they did indeed see pictures of Jack messing around with some 16 year old girl. ( And I assume they did).

    B) I didn’t want to say Schaap was having SEX with the girl because that would imply ( to me) they were having intercourse and I didn’t want to accuse Schaap beyond what is known.

    Next point: Schaap is the antithesist of a “Calvinista.” As far as I know he’s not buddies with C.J. Mahaney, John Piper or Al Mohler.

    So this time, let’s be fair and not blame the “Calvinistas” for Schaap’s moral failure.

    As to the 16 year old girl; one hopes she gets good help. (editor removed one portion of this comment)

    P.S. Jack Hyles was involved with his secretary; her husband named him as a problem in the divorce proceedings.

    David Hyles (son) was a serial womanizer in the various churches he served and from which he was fired. As far as I know he’s been out of the ministry for some years now. The story actually is uglier than him just being a serial womanizer.

    Never confuse the good guys with the bad guys.

  13. Fair comments, Jimmy, though in the interests of fairness I don’t think I’ve noticed anyone blaming the “Calvinistas” in this incident. It is a sad case, really.

  14. To quote Herman’s Hermits (Henry the 8th), “Second verse, same as the first.”

    We’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again. I have to remind myself that most pastors and, indeed, most MEN, don’t take advantage of girls/women in this way. However, there seem to be situations where the men allocate so much power and authority to themselves and the women/girls are left in a terrible position. Add to that the notion that only THEY know the way to salvation, and if Pastor Joe Schmoe comes on to you during a counseling session…you’re going to be hard-pressed to refuse.

    That said, probably the MOST DISTURBING aspect of this is the intervention of David Gibbs and his “investigation.” It’s not an “investigation.” He is not there to seek justice for those abused (if there are more). He is there to protect the church from financial judgment and ruin. The fact that he told the congregation last night to come to him first before the police speaks volumes.

    Need I say that NOBODY who is a victim of Jack Schaap should go to David Gibbs? NOBODY. Victims are NOT Gibbs’ clients and he will use what victims say against them in a court of law.

    I’d also suggest filing complaints with all the state bar associations if we can get it firmly documented that Gibbs said that. And, if there’s a criminal case, that’s something the prosecution needs to know as well.

    I know in Professional Responsibility all these years ago we learned that everyone deserves counsel and you should defend your client to the fullest, but there’s just something repulsive about what David Gibbs does. Probably why I spend my days with computers now.

  15. Any interference by a representative of a party, that could be interpreted as discouraging a victim reporting a crime, is, in and of itself a crime in many jurisdictions (aka witness tampering) and is a tort as well. The first place to recommend that people go is the police or an attorney of their choosing, and then to the other.

    I think this behavior by an attorney is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from the practice of law.

  16. I find it funny that ministers are allowed to take advantage of teens like this with out any real legal consequences. If a teacher in Texas has sexual contact with any of their students, of any age, they are charged and many are now doing time in Huntsville.

  17. The father-in-law just handed the church over to the son-in-law? Is this a church or a personal fiefdom?

  18. David Gibbs at no time suggested that any victim come to him before the police, he requested that they come forward. The authorities have said time and again the the church is cooperating fully. The church was the first to find out and THEY contacted the authorities … so much for the church trying to hide something. Also, Schaap was voted in as pastor by the congregation. He was not the only choice on the ballot. Nothing was handed over to him. This is a very sad situation and those who are finding the time to be critical and condemn should try to find the time to hit their knees and pray for those who are affected so greatly by this situation.

  19. Rob is right. This is a church and it has the right and responsiility to investigate and respond. Bravo that they fired him. Hope that he will repent and do right for his wife and children.

  20. Thank you, Rob! I’m a member of First Baptist and Bro. Schaap was my pastor for 11 years, and my Bible teacher/vice president in college 4 years before that. I have known him for years, my husband has known him for a couple of decades. He was, and still is, one of the godliest men we know. He taught us often from the pulpit to never place our faith in a man, bc a man can disappoint you, but to put our faith in God, bc He never fails. So he made a mistake. I’m never so deceived to think it could never happen to me. Jack Schaap’s good actions FAR OUT WEIGH his bad! Let’s remember him for the thousands he has helped, the great truths God has used him to teach us over the years, and pray daily for him, his marriage, his wife, and his kids. Let’s pray for him, say kind things, use kind actions towards him, as you would want others to do if it were you. I have heard ENOUGH criticism. I think that in itself grieves God more then this whole ordeal. He looks down on His kids, tearing down their own brother in Christ. I know it must grieve Him extremely. With these thoughts in mind, quit rejoicing in the fact that a preacher has fallen, and let’s get on our knees instead and beg God to restore our country!!!!

  21. BTW, I do not condone ANY sin, I don’t care who it is. I’m glad our church is standing for what is right!!

  22. Sarah, I don’t know that ‘mistake’ is the right word to characterise this, that seems to slight a word for a minister having a relationship with an impressionable teenager.
    Yes, we should pray for him and his family, but we should pray so much more for the girl involved. They need lots of support.
    And I don’t think people ‘rejoice’ that a preacher falls in this sort of circumstance – maybe they rejoice that sin is exposed and those mistreated and spiritually abused get noticed and heard, but that’s a very different thing.

  23. Mrs. Schaap had more than one nervous mannerism, I found that sad.

    Is it common for IFB pastors wives to ‘thank’ their husbands publicly?

    When she left the podium, did he take her hand or shake her hand?

  24. Pingback: Independent Fundamentalist Baptists rocked by dismissal and investigation of Jack Schaap | Bene Diction Blogs On

  25. Sarah

    Your response, and Rob’s as well, is one of the reasons  we write this blog. Both of you, inadvertently, gave us a window into your church and your former pastor. Your pastor has some serious problems that led to this exposure. Letm e say it in yoru language. God exposed your pastor for  the hypocrite that he is. Any man that goes after a young girl has some serious issues in his life that have probably been going on for his life.

    As for “restoring this country” we ned to be praying that God would restore integrity in the pulpit, starting with Schaap.

    And now, for my rant!!!
    You have violated our rpime directive-both of you. You have not expressed one bit of concern for the victim. A young woman who has been deceived by a pastor. You have defended the big guy and given no comfort in yoru comments to the little guy-the young girl. That shows more about your heart, and conceivably the heart of your church, than you can imagine. Based on these comments, I woud highly recommend that people not allow their teens in this church. It is obvious that you don’t care about them.

  26. “Is it common for IFB pastors wives to ‘thank’ their husbands publicly?”

    Without going back to listen again, I remember being amazed that she thanked her husband about 3 times in the short time she spoke.

  27. I find it incredible that the new pastor would also be a relative.

    Dee and Deb, your mentioning the victim is very important. If Schaap has not committed a crime (and that may be the case given the age of consent laws in Indiana), he can merely leave the ministry. I hope that will happen. More likely, he will try to tell the story of David's adultery and note that David did not lose his kingdom, etc. I have heard ministers do this before, and it is amazing how many people fall for that. Schaap is not David. Samuel did not annoint Schaap on the direct command of God. First Baptist Hammond (or some other church) is not the nation of Israel.

    Schaap can go on to make a living in some other business and hopefully put his family back together. We do need to pray for him. And we need to pray that he would not be put in a position of spiritual leadership again. We need to pray for the young girl and hope that her life has not been ruined. She is the minor. Schaap had the position of power here and used it to its fullest.

    I am glad that First Baptist Hammond has learned something from the entire Hyles debacle. Rather than a man of God, that church was led by a fraud for all those years. It was being led by a fraud in the form of the son in law. And now it appears they have hired another relative. We need to pray for the church and that it will find a man of good character to pastor it, and not the frauds that have been pastoring it for these many years. And we need to pray for members like Sarah, who obviously respected Schaap and perhaps Hyles before him. The shock of this can be intense. We need to pray that she, and we, will always look to the Lord as the example, but that they and we will be wise enough to discern the difference between sincere Godly leadership and frauds and hucksters.

  28. It’s amazing how much pastor worship goes on in that church. They all lose sight of the real reason they are in church (to worship God.)

  29. I saw in the comments from the members of the church the hint of possible restoration of this man. That is a great mistake, one of the worst, a church can commit — returning a fallen pastor to the pulpit after a pro forma confession, repentance, and a (likely paid) time off to reflect and “get his life back together”. A pastor in this situation needs to be in intensive counseling for at least two years while not in ministry, by a counselor with training and experience in dealing with adultery by a professional. Then, and only then, and only with the endorsement of the counselor, should the pastor even be present at that church or interacting with any members not in his immediate family.

    If returning to any position in a church, there must be a panel of oversight, by skeptics including both men and women in equal numbers, with weekly meetings for confrontation. The former pastor must have a glass walled office, never counsel a female, never meet alone with a female, never be in authority over a young person or any female (hard given IFB theology!!!), never supervise an employee, etc.

    Keep in mind that in most states, the disparate power structure of the pastor over a young church member gives rise to possible civil liabilities. If the young person had ever been on the payroll, the you have employer abuse. If anything happens a second time by the former pastor, the church will probably not survive the damages sought in a lawsuit.

    There is a good chance that, since there was a problem with the immediate prior pastor and the church “allowed” (by not taking steps to prevent it) this abuse, this could well be treated in the legal sphere as a pattern and result in severe damages as it is.

  30. On our phones when text messages come up they say view text.

    Did the deacon view the text out of suspicion? Or what?

    I am glad he found it though and hope the situation is resolved.

  31. An Attorney,

    I agree with the measures you’ve suggested to ward off any appearances of evil or impropriety. The question is, why haven’t these “common sense” precautions been implemented sooner given all the abuse and immorality we’ve been seeing in the church. Pastor’s have been given way too many opportunities for inappropriate conduct should he have a predisposition to such or not.

    I remember years ago even dentists placed safeguards in place against accusations of improper behavior by always having an assistant present. Unfortunately, prior to this being implemented, I was abused by a dentist. Patients and those needing counseling or spiritual advice are vulnerable at times of their need.

  32. Perhaps the deacon was looking to see whose phone it was and pushed the button assuming that the text would indicate to whom it was sent.

  33. Victorious –

    I’m sorry that you were abused. Most dentists now have no doors into the cubicles where they work and most pediatric dentist offices have no doors or just large rooms where many patients are treated by techs and dds at the same time.

    I have worked at a church and the offices all had glass panels next to the doors and pastors never counseled a women without another woman, or their own wife, in the room with them. There is already an obvious problem if a woman insists that she would only counsel with a pastor and didn’t want another woman present. I think that most women would prefer to be counseled by another woman.

  34. Bridget: “There is already an obvious problem if a woman insists that she would only counsel with a pastor and didn’t want another woman present. I think that most women would prefer to be counseled by another woman.”

    Problem solved with female pastors working alongside male pastors. There are so few female pastors/counselors that women have been conditioned to think that men have all the answers to all of life’s problems. It might take some time to undo that conditioning, but it can and will happen in my opinion. When women are treated with dignity in the church, confidence in them will grow.

    Thanks for your mention of my abuse. It happened many years ago, but surely affected my visits to dentists in all the years since then. When that chair started to go backward, I almost self-ejected myself from it! lol I told my dentist and from that point on, he understood and if a procedure required a waiting period, he always set the chair upright for me.

  35. The father-in-law just handed the church over to the son-in-law? Is this a church or a personal fiefdom? — Pam

    Probably because his wife didn’t give him any sons to hand it over to.

    Back in my Catholic cathechism class, I was told this was one of the practical reasons why Rome insisted on a celibate clergy. So in a time when political power was routinely inherited as personal property, there would be no legitimate heirs who could similarly inherit spiritual power in a clerical dynasty. (The Shia/Sunni split in Islam began as an inheritance fight over who was the REAL heir to Mohammed’s position & spiritual authority, and the blood feud continues to this day.)

  36. Perhaps the deacon was looking to see whose phone it was and pushed the button assuming that the text would indicate to whom it was sent. — An Attorney

    And got a SURPRISE instead…

  37. Hi guys. I used to post as “Christy” but things got complicated in my family. This moniker should work a lot better. I honestly can’t stay quiet at this point because this whole scandal never had to go down this way. At my childhood church, one pastor was discovered to have had an extramarital affair with a young woman that resulted in a pregnancy. As soon as the deacon board learned of the affair, they asked the pastor to step down. The head of the deacons also spoke at the next service and asked that every parent talk with their children and if any inappropriate behavior had happened between a child and the departing pastor, they were to go directly to the police. The church would embrace and support any potential victims. I honestly don’t know if anyone went to the police but I do know that the pastor was asked to take an extended sabbatical before potentially taking a job at another church. He ended up with a divorce and became a truck driver. The young woman and her child remained at the church until she moved away and nothing was ever spoken of the affair.

  38. Perhaps the deacon was looking to see whose phone it was and pushed the button assuming that the text would indicate to whom it was sent. — An Attorney

    More likely the sneaky deacon was being nosey

  39. An Attorney mentioned that in some states, this situation would open the pastor up to civil liability. Actually, in my state (Colorado), it does not have to be a ‘young’ woman. If a pastor (especially if he is offering counseling) gets involved sexually with one of his female (or male) congregants, it is a class 4 felony. Unfortunately, by the time I found this out and had the courage to report it, the statute of limitations (3 years) had expired.

    I have so often read of situations like this where the pastor and/or his supporters try and paint a picture of a young girl coming on to a poor unsuspecting pastor. This is VERY rarely the way these things go down. It is usually the older man doing the grooming/pursuing. BUT even if the young woman did pursue, that is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Are our so-called spiritual leaders so weak-willed that they cannot walk away from that?

    I’ve also heard people immediately imply that the young girl ‘was troubled’. I’ve already heard that implied in this case on the previous thread. First, how do you know that? A sexual predator is very good at grooming his victims. Second, even if she was, so what? Again, that is not an excuse for the pastor’s behavior.

  40. “Second, even if she was, so what? Again, that is not an excuse for the pastor’s behavior.”

    Your right, Jeanette. In fact, that makes it worse in my opinion.

  41. This is the thing here that bugs me- this pastor was preaching til he got caught and guess what? he would have kept preaching if he would not have been caught. That is the truth of it. My guess (and I could be wrong) but he will come out and be all tearful, saying he was terribly wrong; plea to the congregation to forgive him. He will leave on sabbatical for 6 months to a year- come back to the church or start a new one. They know they can just hide out for a little while tip things cool down. Hopefully this man gets the clinker for a little while.

    My view is that these pastors should NEVER step back into a pastorship role or lead ministry role again. This is where we keep recycling these guys who really just need to get a regular job and stop relying on the 501 status or their members for their salaries.

  42. J Terry

    “sneaky deacon was being nosy.” ouch, you have hit on one of my sins. I am way too nosy for my own good.

  43. Let me say this, please just pray for our church family, myself and my immediate family included. We are grieving and the devil is fighting. We trusted our pastor, and he has failed us greatly. I’m not condoning his sin, in fact our church is refusing to cover for him. As soon as it was known, our church exposed the truth. And as for the girl, my husband and I have been praying for her. I do not want, nor do I need to know the particulars of this situation, I’m just tired of everybody bashing. I think it is extremely the opposite of how the Lord wants us to speak. We need your prayers, people, not your gossip!! Thank you..

  44. Sarah, you are in a spiritually abusive church. For one, you think talking about this is “gossip”. That is a red flag that you have been taught wrongly. one of Schaaps false teaching message, which is on another post. is spiritually abusive and LIES about women. I will pray for your eyes to be opened and for you to be set free. thank you for coming here.

  45. “Let me say this, please just pray for our church family, myself and my immediate family included. We are grieving and the devil is fighting”

    Sarah, Admit it. Satan already owned your pastor. He owned Jack Hyles and David Hyles, too. You have been supporting evil.

  46. I read the lenghty articles/information about Hyles through the link somewhere on the blog, and was astounded that this church continued. It is very sobering that such blatant behavior was protected and perpetuated for something like 20 years. I kept thinking of the Detwiler wikileaks. Hyles also had a pastor’s school, and a ‘college’. SGM, take sober notice of the parallels here. (There are some issues that are not parallel; but some are.)

    People were told to keep quiet for the good of the church; but in reality, wayward pastors and churchmen should learn to resign, step aside, and just plain darn go away for the good of the church. Otherwise, it’s not a church — just another personality cult to add to a list that is already entirely too long. And they are not pastors nor churchmen. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  47. BTW, I agree w what Pam said, you are completely right, but Dee’s comments are unfounded. To say I don’t care about the teens of our church is very untrue. You have no room to speak bc you do not walk in my shoes. As you may know, we run hundreds of buses to bring people to church. My husband is a captain on one of those buses. Were you there the day one of our teenage girls’ mom committed suicide, and my husband, and myself included, were there to help her pick up the pieces? Were you there the day another one of our teen boys wad stabbed w a butcher knife by his own mother, blood all over the kitchen, while his Jr higher brothers and sister stood, who also ride our bus, and watched? Were you the one they called to help them make sense of it all? Now tell me I don’t care about the teens in my church, buskids or not. I am not trying to defend myself here, I just think some people say things w out knowing what they are talking about. You know NOTHING about FBC other than what you have been told, or read in some blog that has too much time on their hands. Now get off your computer and find something better to do other than bashing other people, thinking you know better than them Until you’ve walked I’m their shoes, shut your trap! Go win someone to the Lord, instead of gossiping away on some ungodly blog..I’m done. I won’t see your reply, or anyone else’s, bc quite frankly, I have a God to serve, teens who need me right now, bc they’re trying to get on w their lives just as I am. I’m not worried over my future. God is in control. Our church will go on winning the lost, running the buses, bc that is what this thing is ultimately about anyway!

  48. Sarah:

    I will be praying for you and your family.

    Although you may not be able to see it now, there are lots of faithful churches in your state and probably your area.

    I have been in evangelical churches since I was 16 years old, and was a member at Highland Park Baptist in Chattanooga from 1981 to 1983. Dr. Lee Roberson was a great man, and I respected him.

    But with all of my church experience over the last 36 years, I have never been in a church where there were moral problems on the part of the pastor.

    First Baptist Hammond has been plagued with moral problems since Dr. Hyles was pastoring, at least since 1969.

    You are such a sincere person. I can tell that by what you have written.

    You do not need to belong to a church that has such a long history of immorality by the senior pastors.

    There are good places you can go. I hope that you will find the courage and ability to ask the Lord to lead you to another church where you can have peace and a pastor that truly loves the Lord and is not a charlatan.

  49. Sarah
    I am very heartened that your church right away did not cover for this man and I hope that they do not reinstate him to leadership though at any time in the near future. You will have to forgive us, because many of us have been through churches that were abusive or just plain wrong in their teachings. We get a little testy and cannot clearly see everyones situation, especially everyones hearts. You clearly do, from your posts, are hurting and have a heart, but this man cannot be covered for whatsoever. From what I have seen many of these men have NPD (narcisstic personality disorder)- now he may not, but could be likely. You cannot soften to these men because they know how to weasle themselves back into the fold through feigned tears, “please forgive me” platitudes, and “I am a victim too” mentality. The people here are more concerned with girl who was victimized then the pastor.

  50. “Our church will go on winning the lost, running the buses, bc that is what this thing is ultimately about anyway!”

    Oh Sarah, this is not what it is ultimately about IF we are winning them to authoritarian personality cults. And that is what that church has been for years. No, there is a time to be discipled by TRUE shepherds. How can anyone ignore the horrors that have gone on with the Hyles’ and actually listen to the teaching this man Schaap provides if they know the REAL jesus Christ? They don’t!!! That is why he gets by with it. You know HIS made up Jesus Christ and it is not the same thing. And that is why we are telling you these things. You are in a personality cult that goes way back to all the scandals of the Hyles’ Family.

    God has sent you a HUGE red flag. Heed it and get out. Go home and read only the Gospels for 3 years begging the Holy Spirit to remove your filters from these charlatans. KNOW JESUS and Schaap and the legacy of the Hyles will become more clear to you. They are masters of twisting scripture.

  51. Sarah, one more thing if it will help you. No one wants to admit they supported a personality cult. It was one of the things that infuriated me about myself. Being a dupe, I thought. But God has used it to help me help others in many ways. The wounded and fall out from these Nicolaitans is everywhere and we are waiting for them to come out with open arms. I know that Undermuchgrace.com helped me immensely years back before there were so many blogs dealing with this problem of the charlatans masquerading as shepherds.

  52. Anon 1
    Undermuchgrace.com is a great website learn about all the tactics of abusers. WickedShepherds.com is a good site also.
    In agreement about living in a church age of Nicolaitans and I would also add about the fact that many of these pastors are narcissists. Narcissists know how to charm the pants off of people, they are usually charismatic in nature and thrive off of attention, even bad attention. Never trust these people because usually they recommit the same acts of abuse over and over again.

  53. Victorious –

    I would even say that you don’t need a female “pastor” for counseling. You need a friend who loves you and wants the best for you, who will pray, who will be honest, who will seek wisdom, who will apply scripture, who will take into consideration your entire being (spirit, mind, and body), who does not believe that they have all the answers because they hold a certain book in their hand and believe they have authority over you and your life.

  54. Sarah

    You need our prayers, not our gossip? A pastor having sex with a young teen while at the same time jumpuing up and down, trying to get noticed “for the Gospel” is not gossip.  It is truth. In fact, the gossip word is used by those Christians who would rather cover up a problem than deal with it.  Did you know that jesus and Paul gossiped? Both of them confronted entrenched sin in both the church and outside the church. They did so publicly and also made sure it was recorded in the Bible for time and posterity.

    Jesus spoke harshly as well. i believe he called the Pharisees (and you pastor fits this classification) snakes and white washed tombs.

    Might I make a suggestion to your church members? Please read the Scriptures and see how harshly and publicaly sin is dealt with, especially sin in leaders.  It might make for a good Bible study.

    I will give you props for one thing. You actually mentioned you were praying for the teen. You are the first from your church to do so on this blog.

  55. Sarah

    You are referring to the first comment you made in which you did not mention the teen but defended your pastor and church. It was obvious that the teen took second place or you would have mentioned her. Your reply shows that you are feeling guilty about this so you attack instead of dialog. If you want to win the lost and to convince the outside world that you are sincere, try a little love.

  56. Good point, dee! The charge of gossip is often used to try to impose guilt on those dedicated to exposing evil and caring for victims.

  57. I know this is going to sound harsh, but here it is.

    I would almost rather not have that church running buses to bring kids in if they are going to listen to men who denigrate women at every turn and proclaim loudly that they are glad to be men. How glad they are to not be one of those wicked, evil women who are responsible for just about everything wrong in the world.

    It made me literally physically ill to listen to that “pastor” speak about women the way he did. It made me physically ill to hear men saying “Amen” to his words, knowing their wives and daughters were sitting there next to them.

    It is disgusting the way that church speaks about women. Their attitude and teaching have nothing to do with the love of Jesus and the Gospel.

    I would rather those bus kids not darken the door of that church if that is the gospel they are taught. I fear for the rest of their spiritual lives ahead if that is what they are taught.

    I am not saying I do not want them to hear the true Gospel. Of course I do. I do not one single, precious soul to perish but to know the truth and be set free. But when a church speaks that way of women and puts their belief in the KJV before their belief in Jesus Christ in their “What We Believe” statement, I cannot say I am eager for those children to hear the Bible taught in that congregation.


  58. I have so often read of situations like this where the pastor and/or his supporters try and paint a picture of a young girl coming on to a poor unsuspecting pastor. This is VERY rarely the way these things go down. It is usually the older man doing the grooming/pursuing. BUT even if the young woman did pursue, that is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Are our so-called spiritual leaders so weak-willed that they cannot walk away from that? — Jeanette Altes

    That is the same rationale which Extreme Islam uses to justify its treatment of women — FGM, honor killings, burqa, locked harems. Because women are all Jezebels, always to blame for sexual sin, always tempting the men, and can overpower any man with lust unless they’re kept down and kept down HARD.

    Male Supremacists invoking God seem to follow a pattern whether their background is Christ or Mohammed.

  59. I think outreach is a good thing generally. but did anyone notice this church has two schools — one for the ‘church kids’ and one for the ‘bus kids’?

  60. Never Again –

    I was bothered by Sarah’s remark, “Now tell me I don’t care about the teens in my church, buskids or not.” Buskids?

    To go to the church website and see two separate schools – I suppose one is for “regular kids” and the other for “buskids” – well, I just don’t know what to say about Sarah and her concern for the teens in her church. She certainly wasn’t shy about letting everyone know that there are two classes of kids in her church. She wasn’t shy about telling TWW to shut our traps, either.

    Regardless of what Sarah says, however, I am encouraged to see the response of First Baptist Church, Hammond Indiana to the foul behavior of its pastor. I hope they do not allow Schaap back and provide appropriate care to his victim.

  61. My inquiring mind wants to know: who took the photo of the make-out? Was it a third party watching, or a self-portrait a la Rielle and Johnny Edwards? And after reading about Hyles, I wonder who provided the cellphone to the girl? And who else might have received that photo via text message? Some odd behavior — I personally hope the girl was using the only way she knew how to blow the whistle on the perp.

  62. Jimmy:

    As to the 16 year old girl; one hopes she gets good help. The odds are, she doesn’t come from a stable background but I certainly don’t know that for sure. She’ll need help.

    Where are you going with this? Your language comes pretty close to blaming the victim. Please clarify. So what if she comes from an unstable background? Are you suggesting that she seduced the pastor? So what if she did?

    If she did come from an unstable background, the pastor exploited it for sexual abuse which is what molesters do: they are manipulative and conniving in how they target the vulnerable. That she may have come from an unstable background further points to the pastor’s despicable character, not the victim’s flaws.

  63. Sarah:

    Jack Schaap’s good actions FAR OUT WEIGH his bad!

    Nobody can make that kind of pronouncement.

    Only the Lord on his judgement seat can do. I have absolutely no idea how to quantify one’s “good actions” and weigh them against his/her bad ones. Can you say you have examined all of his actions both private and public and assigned value to every one and categorized them into the bad and good categories?

    I have no idea if my good actions outweigh my bad, let alone somebody else’s. I can only pray for Lord’s mercy when I stand before his judgement seat.

  64. David C:

    Jimmy never takes the victims side. He is an incorrigible person. Personally I think he needs a heart transplant.

  65. Jimmy

    How do you know that she didn’t come from a stable background. I know of some families who were wonderful and their kid got taken in by a pervert. That was uncalled for. I am removing that portion of your comment since it seems to blame the victim.

  66. Mot, David

     Thanks for pointing out Jimmy’s comment. You are right. He rarely, if ever, shows much concern for victims. in fact, he has stated that he dislikes the “victim mentality” which he appears to abscribe to all victims. I have deleted that part of his comment.

  67. Dee, you got it wrong again. I am very concerned for the ( now) 17 year old girl. Though David C was wrong about my motives for bringing it up, I brought it up EXACTLY because girls/boys from unstable backgrounds more easily become targets.

    Schaap was 53, she was 16.

    Dee, your heart is so negative towards me that even the most innocuous of comments now draw your wrath. I do wish you would read the comments I make more carefully.

  68. Pingback: Law or Grace for Jack Schaap?

  69. Jimmy, you know that on occasion I have defended you when I have thought others have been harsh on you.

    However your words do remind me of the case in the UK recently where a gang of Muslim men from NW England were convicted of grooming young girls, often from troubled backgrounds, for sex. Obviously the girls were vulnerable and possibly more open to being abused. But the court rightly took the view that the guilt was with the men and (correctly, in my view) passed heavy sentences on them. The “Get out of jail free” card that some of them tried was claiming that the court was racist, etc. It didn’t wash and they’re now sitting in prison. Rightly so.

    I know you’re not blaming the girl (at least I hope you’re not!) but if she was from a troubled background, then Schaap’s action was all the more reprehensible.

  70. Jimmy –

    Reading your comments more carefully will not erase the reputation that YOU HAVE BUILT FOR YOURSELF. If people misread you it is no ones fault but your own.

    Like many of the men you so deeply admire, you expect people to think the best of you no matter what your observable track record has revealed. Proverbs has much wisdom on how to deal with a man of your character.

    I have also never once seen you apologize for a rude or harmful comment that had to be deleted. Hmmmm . . . lack of apology and true repentance is an all too familiar story in the world of those you seem admire.

    I’m glad you have some empathy for the girl in this situation. I pray you’re heart continues to soften. Trust me — we will notice!

  71. While we are on the subject of Jimmys comment note the following:

    B) I didn’t want to say Schaap was having SEX with the girl because that would imply ( to me) they were having intercourse and I didn’t want to accuse Schaap beyond what is known

    A 16 year old girl does not have sex or intercourse with a 53 year old man who is in a position of power over her. Jimmy you should call it what it is- rape, sexual abuse. You are minimizing the abuse as usual.

  72. Jimmy:

    I used to not like the expression–It is what it is. But that so accurately describes you.

    Or the old expression of–If the shoe fits.

    You earned it man and it is on you to unearn it.

  73. KOYLA – “I know you’re not blaming the girl (at least I hope you’re not!) but if she was from a troubled background, then Schaap’s action was all the more reprehensible.”

    Absolutely correct. – He found the vulnerable.

  74. Jimmy

    All teens before a certain age are vulnerable in one way or another. That is why they are not allowed to vote, go to war, etc. They are especially susceptible to hero worship which is what is going on in this church. I do not know her home life and neither do you. Perhaps it will come out. Until then, do not make an assumption. The only critique I have about her parents is that they allowed her to go to a church with such a whacky pastor.

  75. J Terry

    Thank you for your comment on Jimmy. There seems to be something in his soul that feels a need to minimize victims. It could even appear that in these cases he empathizes with victimizers and I am sure that he does not want to do that. So why does he? Odd.

  76. A commenter in one of the articles reporting the story says the age of consent is 16 in Indiana and 17 in Illinois. However, the age goes up to 18 in both states if the child had sex with someone who was in authority over her.

    That makes a lot of sense. So the age of consent at 16 would prevent cases of prosecuting an 18 year old boy sleeping with his 17 year old girlfriend, but not teachers and other authority figures.

    Schaap’s lawyer may argue that his “authority” over the girl is defined not by the government, but the church and therefore he was not in authority over her in a legal sense. So while public school teachers can’t bang 16 year old boys and girls, Sunday school teachers and pastors can with impunity because their authority is spiritual, not secular.

    Schaap might very well get away on that technicality. How twisted would that be?

  77. I find accuracy in description of events to be important. Loose accusations I leave to others.

  78. Wisdom Hunter (a novel published in 1991, and still on the market today) illustrates the destructiveness of dictatorial and authoritarian pastors. Many consider the book to be a “classic”. The author graduated from Tennessee Temple University, and grew up in the Independent Baptist camp. When the book was first released, it was banned at many Independent Baptist churches, even Bob Jones University. Maybe the author had something to say that was, and is, worth listening to.

  79. Dee re Jimmy- As to why Jimmy defends the abusers, he could be an abuser himself. Who knows? Maybe that’s why he feels a great need to come on TWW and defend the perverts.

    Unfortunately for the girl in this case due to her age she will be blamed for her abuse. Because what constitutes sexual abuse and rape by law, as well in people’s minds, has been mostly defined by men. That’s why people like Jimmy can call sexual abuse by a 53 yr old man to a 16 yr old teenager “having sex” or “having intercourse”.

  80. Legally, it is RAPE in most states to have sex with a person unable to consent, whether by age, disability, drug, etc.

  81. Sallie, I agree that it might be better for the ‘buskids’ not to be bussed into a church that will teach them oppressive ideas about women. Out of the frying pan and into, well, if not the fire then at least another frying pan.

  82. Kindly pay attention. Jack Schaap is not deserving of defense for his sexual intimacies with the 16 year old. NO WHERE have I even hinted at that.

    Feel free to hang me for what I’ve done; please don’t hang me for what I haven’t done.

    I’ll try to grant you the same grace.

  83. I have been following this situation closely since I have a friend who was fortunate to have escaped this FBC cult. It cost her a relationship with her parents and siblings who are still under the influence and indoctrination of this so-called church. She has told me many horrendous stories of growing up within this misogynistic community. How the boys/men have all the power, how the girls/women are treated and allow themselves to be treated and all other sorts of gross and disturbing behavior all in the name of religion.
    I personally live in Utah, another state filled with its share of “moral” and “holier than thou” people. What all these cults have in common are the following: power, sex and money. It always comes down to these 3 things. You have gullible people, searching for some answers that no one has. They then find themselves seduced by some con-man (Utah had Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) who demand complete and utter devotion. They give not only their time but their hard earned cash …. and occasionally access to their wives and children.
    You can obviously hear the contempt in my writing. I find organized religion to be at the heart of much intolerance in our world today. Occasionally we hear some good stories but much more often we hear of financial theft or sexual perversions that boggle the mind. I’m tired of the barely contained racism and homophobia that is often encouraged and barely hidden if at all. My friend’s family is just about as f—d up and dysfunctional as I’ve ever seen/heard. She is the lucky one who managed to get out and break free. I would dare say she is far more honest, moral and kind than any of the phoney fundamentalists whom were of a constant torment to her.

  84. Nicholas

    I did not know this. Janz abused his sister? I would like to look into this. Any info you have would be appreciated.

  85. Bart Janz sued Jocelyn Zichterman for libel. He is a typical unrepentant fundamentalist abuser.

    The ABC 20/20 documentary about Tina Anderson told the story of Jocelyn being sexually abused by her father and brothers. They didn’t name them but showed their photograph.

  86. Nicholas,

    Thanks for that link. It seems odd that there is no mention of the daughter. Connie and Mark Dever have both a son and daughter. I see that Jason Janz interviewed David Gibbs back in 2007. The same David Gibbs that purportedly visited FBC Hammond after the Schaap debacle.

    Oh no! Another can or worms has been opened!