Independent Fundamentalist Baptists rocked by dismissal and investigation of Jack Schaap


The internet community of former Independent Fundamentalist Baptists has been buzzing none stop this week, when news that IFB rock star leader Jack Schaap of First Baptist Church Hammond had been fired.


Churchgoers and students at Hyles-Anderson Bible School had initially been told their pastor of 11 years was on medical leave. A Facebook group called Do Right Hyles-Anderson formed earlier this week has just reported that Schaap is in custody.

Schaap was fired Monday night after admitting he had an improper relationship with a young woman, believed to be underage. It is also believed the teen was transported across state lines to meet up with the 54-year-old Schaap who has two adult children. The Indiana Lake Country Sheriff’s department and FBI are involved in the investigation.

If it is true Schaap was taken into custody tonight, the 15 thousand members of First Baptist may not yet be aware. Over 1 thousand went to a church meeting earlier tonight to learn what was going on.

HAMMOND | A somber crowd of people filed into First Baptist Church’s Wednesday night Bible study service with feelings of hurt and disappointment.

Several church members said they were praying for Pastor Jack Schaap, who was fired from his role as the church’s leader Monday after allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a young girl surfaced.

Most declined to comment prior to the service and said they were praying for the Schaap family.

More than a thousand people filled the church during the Bible study, which was led by the Christian Law Association’s David Gibbs Jr.

Heartfelt “amens” were spoken throughout the crowd as Gibbs vowed to fully investigate the scandal that left many shaking their heads.

He asked anyone who may have any additional information to bring it forward to the church immediately.

Abuse experts and former members are urging people to not go to church authorities but to go directly to police.

It is extremely unusual for leaders in the closed system of Independent Fundamentalist Baptists to take the step of going to authorities with information and issuing a press release.

Church officials told media Wednesday it was unlikely that charges would be filed against Schaap for his involvement with the underage girl.

Church spokesman Eddie Wilson said the girl is 17. The age of consent in Indiana is 16.

“There has been a lot of conjecture regarding the girl in the press,” Wilson said, adding that the girl and her family are church members. He said she isn’t a student at the Schererville-based Hyles-Anderson College, where Schaap was the chancellor until he was relieved of his duties. “We don’t expect charges to be filed against him (with regard to statutory rape).”

Oh. That opinion may be different in the morning. That there would be misconduct isn’t a surprise to people knowledgable about the IFB movement, it was that Hammond First Baptist Church contacted police and fired their superstar.
While news outlets have been all over this story, the best information and background is out on forums and blogs.

Stuff Fundies Like helped get the news out with this post and in it’s forum under Fundy News and World Report. The Fighting Fundamentalist Forum thread Hyles-Anderson College has been going none stop. Conservative Babylon has a concise round up of news reports, online chatter and the scramble by First Baptist Hammond to scrub it’s web presence of anything Schaap.

Columnist Mark Kiesling isn’t hiding his scepticism. Jeri at Blog on the Way who has helped abused IFB men and women  says that the unprecedented step of church leadership going to authorities is a CYA move.

And yes, a lot of us are sure that the sudden helpful, transparency policy of FBCH, a church with a history of stalking and harassing child victims of sex abuse and their families, is traceable right back to the Jerry Sandusky and Penn State case.

Please don’t make saints out of the FBCH deacon board. That church has covered a multitude of sins against children and women. Schaap should have been rebuked and expelled long ago.

Jeri doesn’t mince words, which makes sense when going up against the IFB legalistic sub-culture. Blog on the Way is a good place to start if you want to learn about the Independent Fundmentalist Baptist movement.

Update: 24 hours later and no news of an arrest. Interesting the church spokesman  said police”the church does not expect there to be charges filed in the incident,” a FB IFB former member says Schaap is in custody according to a police source and police say an investigation is ongoing.

A couple more interesting links – Stuff Fundies Like has the audio of the church meeting up and a sobering explanation of the lawyer brought in by the church; ‘the fixer’. The Wartburg Watch has a video of the 10th anniversary of the Schaaps ministry at First Baptist Church Hammond. Mrs. Schaap speaks at the end of the video, her demeanour and remarks are sad, especially in light of the events in her life the past two weeks. chucklestravels has advice for anyone who has been abused at First Baptist Church Hammond – do not go to church leadership or the lawyer the church brought in,  explaining why it is important to go to outside authorities.
The FBI confirmed the agency is investigating – Schaap was interviewed Wednesday.


About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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131 Responses to Independent Fundamentalist Baptists rocked by dismissal and investigation of Jack Schaap

  1. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    “When you are acting in courage and do the right thing, you are closer to God, in fact, you are God.”

    A quote from the Lord Ben Chung.

  2. brano says:

    …If a tree fell in a forest and…

  3. highrpm says:


    yes, it would make noise, given the science definition of noise is the movement of atoms/molecules/units of energy. given the vatican’s definition, no it would not.

  4. brano says:

    most excellent!

  5. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Third draft:

    I. God stands in the God Assembly,
    In the midst of God, he so judges:

    II. “Can you make false judgement continually,
    And uphold face of evil ones ?”– selah.

    III. “Do Justice for the poor, and poor orphans,
    And righteousness to the desperate!

    IV. “Rescue the humble and needy,
    And from the hands of evil ones, save them!”

    IVa. Yet, they walk without knowledge, nor understanding, in darkness!
    So that all the foundation of the earth is now shaken!

    IIIa. I will say to you, “God, You are! And Most High’s sons, all of you!”

    IIa. “Surely, as Adam, You must die, And fall as one of the commanders.”

    Ia. Rise, oh God, do justice on the earth,So that You will inherit all nations.

    There four part to this psalm, with duplicate and corresponding verses. This is a hebraic poetic pattern. We have similar patterns in Chinese. So, verse I has a counter part, as God stands in the assemble, in verse I, so he is urged to rise in the Ia. As they judge falsely, they will die as Adam, And in III, as God and Most High;s sons, their role is to do justice and righteous to the poor/orphans (fatherless sons). Insteadm they ignore this, walk about in the dark and not carry out their roles as God/gods.

  6. brano says:

    …and what would your point be?

  7. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Brano, coke is it. That is all, Coke is the real thing. Alice is a beautiful child that believed in a supernatural tale.

  8. brano says:

    …That is the beauty of life my friend,you can choose what you want.

  9. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    I am the Lord, thus saith the Lord, thou shalt buy coke, and smoke weed. Amen.

  10. AtheistAtBirth says:

    Amen, and amen … and all the congregation of the unwashed and unchurched said “Amen”.

  11. brano says:

    Aheeem… be it

  12. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    May all you people out there, be courageous to lead a good life, live without the uses of religion, and the pseudo-religious (Evangelics), and what I called the “Wheelers,” for they know not what they do. I hope this thread allows younger women to stay away from sexually aroused preachers that preached often on sex and adultery. For they are the ones who will molest you, your mind and body.

    Instead, live a good life and follow your true heart. Live in such a way, without any christ, god or jesus. Be the true man you were meant to be and often ponder the mystery of life. Do this, and you shall live!

  13. brano says:

    Define “good life”

  14. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    good wine and great woman!
    and for Brano, the courage to renounce his god.

  15. Susan says:

    I think a good life is one full of celebration and being with those who love you. Thanking God everyday for His grace, protection, family and friends. Anything that is pleasant in life, is good.

  16. brano says:

    Thanks Susan!
    …I see so many angry,jaded,bitter people,stumbling around with no joy,no meaning,no purpose-except to go to starbucks,watch american idol ,and buy the latest greatest cellphone…..or maybe a “cool” book or magazine
    Yes,”The unexamined life,is not worth living”{V.F}

  17. AtheistAtBirth says:

    Poor unhappy atheists – wandering around Starbucks while talking on our cellphones.

    Where was god, when this happened?

    Please explain why god failed to protect these children?

    But god’s word says the foolish will confound the wise, so show us a little bit of his grace Susan.

    1Cor 1:27
    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

  18. Susan says:

    Lot’s of examples to learn from here. Sometimes you can find grace when you’re not looking for it.

  19. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Brano: You have the wrong tree to bark. We live like kings and queens of Narnia! We do not have TV, and all our kids read, play board games, READ constantly, work on puzzles, and most of all, we keep live stock (chickens, sheep, pigeons), and farm/garden in an organic matter. We also recycle and drive a few grease vehicles. Kids play a great part of their community. They still do sunday schools, but it is not a central part of their lives. Religious training is important, but its effect is confined to religious sphere. As you can see, we are firmly planted in our community, and life is beautiful. Kids do extremely well academically, learns modern sciences, and in a few years will begin evolution, and so on. I have begun their education about the higher criticism of the Christian bible, and shortly, they will also learn the history of fundamentalism here in this country. They will navigate the landscape with evangelics and supernaturalism. When in doubt, I ask them to use their head and trust science. Are they like your description? Far from it, their life is filled with purpose, to serve and help their fellow men. We are also a small organic farmer at our local farmers market. Are we full of life? You bet! Now which part of this modern life don’t you understand???

    Now in contrast to your bleak views, I ask you to get a good life, that one that brings dignity and respect to the land, and to live within our means, and use the energy and resources responsibly, and avert wars like the ones we are having for the sake to keep a political Israel and the Premil theory. Listen, that theological view is outdated and we are better off to live in this modern world than to hate it like most evangelicals do. They hate this world, they are not able to make a comfortable living and they are being left behind due to their inability to excel academically or be able to learn new information. They only prepare themselves to live in the next make belief world.

    Does that make sense to you? Life without the evangelical god is free, and beautiful, and without fear. I hope you know what this freedom is?!

  20. Susan says:

    Type in H2580. The word “chen” should come up.

  21. highrpm says:


    “Yes,”The unexamined life,is not worth living”{V.F}”

    as a borderline, i spent my life since adolescent examining why i am the way i am. some folks incorrectly confuse bpd with narcissistic personality disorder. but a lot of borderlines are pathologically narcissistic, wholly consumed with the loss of their true self. that is me. my strict religious conservative upbringing did not help me; in fact i would say it did more harm than good. and i can tell you, along with the 10% bdp’s who end their suffering in suicide, the their examined life is not worth living.

    the british child psychologist, d.w.winnicott, concluded that healthy being is only possible if one plays because in playing, he creates and creativity is the medium we humans understand and relate to one another in. i quit playing in seventh grade; and life became hell. but, man, did i examine myself–incessantly, obsessively, non-stop, looking for joy, for my true self. i did not find peace in christ. i lost count of the number of alter calls. i joined that charismatics and got “filled with the holy spirit by the laying on of hands.” i spoke in tongues. but 3 cans of beer every evening after work numbed me–worked consistenly–thank god for the science of brewing. only now, 50 years later, do i have the brutal guts to admit that. i have yet to find joy. but i know, instinctively, the fruits of the spirit are right.

  22. brano says:

    Yes my friend,Life/Faith are a marathon…

  23. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Life is good without god! Brano, renounce your feeble god!

  24. brano says:


  25. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Aheem, Brano, you have rejected god already by denying the truths about the bible!

  26. Angelyn says:


    I am glad that you are not one of the 10% of bpd’s who have committed suicide.

    To my understanding, the only thing that borderline and narcissistic pd’s have in common (though as any other conditions they can overlap) is that both begin in the first months of life based on the infant’s environmental stressors (neglect, abuse, etc.).

    The challenges you have faced are enormous, and you’ve found within you the strength that the religion of your upbringing could not provide, strength to keep living, finally developing “brutal guts to admit…”. Bravo. Bravo.

    I know, too, as you, “instinctively, the fruits of the spirit are right.”

  27. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Are you playing chicken, Brano? Where is the coke?

  28. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    “Wherefore art thou, my sweet Brano?”

  29. ogden lafaye says:

    Interesting comments. Most here are in agreement except for brano. Brano is a perfect example of a Christian “spokesman”…filled with the LIES that Christianity needs to survive, he blathers on, questioning your every word and how it is used…I do not think the people here are easily baffled with BS.

  30. VanPastorMan says:

    There is no one who is bigger than the,”Faith that has been delivered to the Saints” Jude 1.
    I would point out that Paul believed the same thing. Look at the following verses.
    1 Corinthians 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
    11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

    Ogden, what if this guy was a great pastor who was these things? Some in the church would think they can’t survive without him. Paul says you can, and will if you uphold to the holiness that is supposed to be in the midst of the Body of Christ.

  31. Pingback: Chicago Magazine Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church | Bene Diction Blogs On

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