Jack Schaap & The First Baptist Church of Hammond

I have had long conversations with Eddie Wilson this week; he is the media spokesman for FBC Hammond. As I said to him, he has been put on the front lines by Schaap armed with a pea shooter while Schaap hides in his office. Wilson does mean well, and I sense that he is a good man, even though he has not read “Fundamental Seduction,” “The Wizard of God,” or Sumner’s article, “The Saddest Story We Have Ever Told.”  Wilson knows nothing of the legendary mountains of abuse in the church’s past. If he stays, he will be tainted by Schaap’s ambitions.

I sat in the family’s kitchen after the young girl was molested in the church by deacon A.V. Ballenger, and I cried with them. I asked Wilson if Schaap in his “new day” had reached out to them to even try to say “I’m sorry” after having ruined their lives and condemned the father to raging alcoholism. I asked him how he would feel toward Schaap if it was his daughter. I asked him how it could be “a new day” at FBC with all of Hyles’ old staff on the platform every Sunday after decades of rubber stamping Hyles’ abuses, including the legendary philanderings of Hyles’ son, Dave Hyles. He told me many of the problems were caused by members who “came to us with problems in their lives already.” So I asked him about Joe Combs, their premier Bible teacher for many years now serving 175 years in a Tennessee prison for sexually abusing and torturing his adopted daughter. He had no answer.

I didn’t have time to relate to him the the account of a funeral I attended.  It was was the funeral of a wonderful woman and mother of three whose cancer had come out of remission and overwhelmed her body in the aftermath of her tortuous dealings with the kidnapping and multiple rapes  of her eleven year old daughter by a  Hyles-Anderson  trained minister.  Wilson did say he would meet with Schaap on 4/16/11 and get back to me. He has thus far failed to do so.  Surprise, surprise . . .

Maybe it is a new day at FBC Hammond. Maybe new standards are in place. Maybe they really are buying background check forms in bulk. Until they step up and take responsibility for the thousands of families driven from their faith by the abuse and rotten example of this cultish organization, however, they will get no respect from me. I don’t care care how many homeless people they feed or how many shelters they take over for the city of Hammond, or how many buses they fill up (as if anyone has ever believed those perpetually cooked numbers, a blatant and systematic fraud in which I once sadly had a hand) .

Schaap will make millions from selling his books to his followers, just like Hyles did, but he will still let the elderly teachers continue to work well into their 80’s because they have no pensions.  Meanwhile, church staffers drive new cars, and 75 year old Bible teachers in their schools run paper routes in the shadow of their unaccredited and academically inbred (they hire almost exclusively their own graduates)  Bible college at 5:00 a.m. on sub-zero mornings, barely making it home with enough energy to be in their classrooms at 8:00 a.m..

All is not well in FBC paradise, however. I can’t share the details yet, but there have been some raucous deacons meetings with some of the younger men speaking out against the cover-ups in the style of Vic Nischick before writing his book, “The Wizard of God,” exposing the adultery of Jack Hyles. The older deacons are still trying to shout down the whistleblowers, but this time it is not working quite so well. Nevertheless, the church is still certainly adept at the political maneuverings that serve to pressure out anyone who does not toe the church party line. Like all personality cults, they do not tolerate dissent.

So the abuse, chest puffing and misogyny of FBC Hammond will continue. (Schaap seems to have bought into the old Fundamentalist mantra:  “If you say it loud enough, it must be so.”)  One young woman we counseled after the church literally sanctioned her ex-husband’s abuse before she dumped him aptly called the church “a Boy’s Club.”  Their response was as always, “What do you suppose you did to make your husband act that way?”

Schaap and I were close friends and business partners for years. I have been in his home and he has been in ours. My wife and I were the first couple he married in 1985. I believe he could have a great ministry, a great life, and enjoy great respect. He has enormous talent and he is a smart individual. But he first has to cross the narrow and imposing rope bridge over the raging rapids of accountability and then lead his church to take ownership of their past. So far, he has not had the courage to take the first step. I do not believe that this is something he will ever do. He is still bent instead on trying to control the flow of water under that bridge, and that has never worked for anyone. That is apparently still the modus operandi at First Baptist Church of Hammond. It is not, however, the way of Jesus Christ.

About Jerry Kaifetz

Christian author, c.e.o. Omega Chemical Corp.
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22 Responses to Jack Schaap & The First Baptist Church of Hammond

  1. Jerry Kaifetz says:

    I have spoken with Eddie Wilson & Rick Sparks, the two point men delegated to manage this crisis for the church. The problem for the church is that these guys combined are no political Bill Clinton and fall considerably if not laughably short of convincing anyone hoping for the transparency and accountability they seek to project. Until they own their past, they will have no credibility, and if they man up and do own it, they fear that their ship will be bottom mates with the Titanic & they will rust into oblivion together.
    These people need to drain the swamp and stop pointing to the pretty Lilly Pads as evidence of a healthy ecclesiastical ecosystem. There is some NASTY stuff in that swamp that too many people have seen, and even more can still smell today. To operate on the premise of denial has been wearing very thin since 1989. Now it is a pathetic, monstrous and unsustainable concept, and the victims continue to pile up.
    This outfit will only be restored through the leadership of a heroic and righteous figure WHO DOES NOT EXIST in Fundamentalism. What they have now is a Bill Clinton with a Bible under his arm and a gaggle of culpable and complicit yes-men for whom the word righteousness is something grandma embroidered and hung on her wall 50 years ago and eventually went the way of a garage sale.

  2. Voyle Glover says:

    Eloquently put, Jerry. I am not sure I agree with there not being anyone in Fundamentalism who can pull it off. I could be wrong, but I sure like what I hear from Johnny Pope. His sermons are pretty powerful. Not sure of his “politics” in all of the FBC stuff. I could be wrong, but always came away ffeling like he had some substance.

    • Jerry Kaifetz says:

      For anyone on the scene to elicit the respect and have the moral stature necessary to right this ship, you would have to show me where they have been for the last 30 years while the FBC’s pathologically corrupt record was being amassed & the IFB movement sat there sucking their collective thumbs as the victims piled up. Did Johnny Pope blow the trumpet? If so, I would want to see that evidence. If not, though probably well meaning, he is just more of the same from where my tent is pitched.

  3. Benjamin Pearson says:

    I believe that change can come but it will likely have to come from the a rising generation of young fundamentalists committed be faithful to the Bible.

  4. Mark Jones says:

    FBC and HAC need to fall. They are beyond repair, built on a very shaky foundation. They have named (and degraded) the name of Christ for more than fifty years. Anyone currently on the premises is so full of the cultic programming that they will be worthless to actually reform the place. They must first be reformed themselves. My prayer is that the place will crumble, go through a sell-off. If a faithful few remain, then perhaps the Lord will raise a leader to bring a true Christ-honoring ministry from the ashes. Good thoughts Jerry, I remember you from the glory days of the FFF and of course my old friend Voyle is always in with a good word. (The G Man)

  5. Jerry Kaifetz says:

    You are exactly right, Mark. When Christians turn a blind eye to pathological levels of corruption in a church for 30 years, they must like everyone else follow the biblical guidelines for restoration. Since anyone who knows them knows they will never do that, I say SHUT IT DOWN. It has been a cancer on the cause of Christ for too long.
    Realistically speaking, they will undoubtedly dwindle more, and it won’t take much of a loss to put them in serious financial trouble. In fact, I am confident that they are there now. Unfortunately, the damage they have done will last for a generation or two or three. There is no getting around that. They are seriously delusional if they think anyone is buying their new mantra of transparency & accountability. I hear the death rattle, and I thank God for it.

  6. Nancy Hutchins says:

    I agree with you Voyle Glover, Johnny Pope is the real deal.

    • Johnny Pope is to me anything but the “real deal.” He has never, to my knowledge, spoken out, and on Sept. 24, 2012, he stepped into the pulpit at H.A.C.. They badly needed his legitimization of their corruption of three decades, and he happily provided it for them.

  7. Jeff Smith says:

    There are many wonderfull godly people at HAC and First Baptist church and I highly respect many I knew when there, including some of those directly related/involved in past scandals. I believe that the key to this church and college turning around for God will be the leadership, focussing On God! SAC Cloth and ashes, Repentence, Preaching the Word, not fundamental philosophy. Fundamental churches are so caught up with focussing on whose camp we are in and in- fighting we post this above major doctrines. I wonder if we have become little fundamental denominations, each with our own lead pastoras/ college, following him/them like sheep, instead of being true independent local NT churches following Jesus.
    Verses which come to mind, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matt 28:19, 20

    • I know that there are some very decent people there, but I am always conflicted when I ask myself why they never spoke up when Schaap was sexualizing the Lord’s Supper, Psalms & so many other things. Same with his “Polished Shaft” sermon. The Holy Spirit had to be screaming in their ear, I think. There is, I believe, fault in following a man. Ultimately this is God’s call of course, & I will not nor am I equipped to judge their heart. Hard for me to give them a complete pass, though.

      • Cindy Dutton says:

        When I first viewed the “Polished Shaft” video, my very first thought was exactly as many others – HOW could those men sit there straight-faced and do absolutely nothing?! And while we can’t see the audience, it begs the question – did any of the thousands of adults – pastor, youth leaders – did even ONE of them take their kids and walk out? Seriously doubt it. I can tell you without a doubt that if my kids came home with a DVD of having attended this so-called sermon, I’d have screamed to high heaven to my pastor, my church, posted it online – anything to expose that filth. This is NOT exaggeration – because I raised a ruckus when our HAC clone youth pastor did a number of disturbing things – and got forced out of the church for it. Yet, I also had family and friends who sat in the audience at that youth conference and watched that garbage; not only did they not react – they didn’t report it to their home churches, and continued to bring kids back there the next two years. Just read this post on the DRHAC site by a young man who was a HAC student then: ” i still cant believe I seen that and was there and never noticed….” There is a mesmerizing trance-like state that occurs to those who have been trained that they are inferior to the man-in-the-pulpit – and it’s truly frightening. You can hear the “amens” in the video, but I don’t hear a single objection. The only explanation I’ve come up with yet is that these people either do not have or have never learned to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit – because HE does speak up and expose danger and sin if we’re listening.

  8. My Life changed at First Baptist Church of Hammond says:

    I’m a bus-kid from FBC of Hammond. I was hooked up on drugs and alcohol from the age of 12-17. My life had no purpose and no joy. Not until I was invited to go to church. I was taught the salvation plan. A new purpose and a new way! I found Christ. I graduated from Highschool, and quickly enrolled in Hyles Anderson College in 2008. Ever since Highschool I always had a background for technology, so I started a software-company and I will fully focused my energies on it when I graduate from HAC this coming June 2013. At HAC I learned true values, true principles, real self discipline, and learned about a real God who changed my life. When I head Dr. Schaap’s fault, I admit, I was broken; but, I wasn’t following a man. I knew that it was not a man who changed my life; nevertheless, CHRIST. I’m so happy that I attended HAC. Perhaps I would have never started my company. I have dreams and aspirations of building a team and launching my software company with an IPO at the NYSE by 2014. Thank God for HAC! It is unreasonable because I’m going to graduate from a Bible college. As a business man, I have more desire than ever to going to places all over the world as well and taking Christ to them. Thank you everyone. it was an HAC ladyworker who told me about Christ and invited me to FBC. I was high on weed while holding a marijuana joint, and she told me that I should trust Christ for my salvation. wow! I will never forget that moment. HAC and FBC of Hammond are a work that was started by God. We all are witnesses of that. Anyway, I’m excited about Jesus Christ, The Great Commision, FBC of Hammond, HAC, I’m working on my software company, I want to create new technologies, I have a passion for business, and I’m ready to go swim against the current.

    • I am posting your story for several reasons: 1.) I admire it. 2.) It is very similar in general to my testimony. 3) There are some comments that must be made in the interest of balance.

      1. You were taught a plan of salvation that had no repentance. This is not the Bible plan. Stay in the Bible and you will understand that and later make the adjustments many have realized are biblically necessary.
      2. You would have absolutely had the same re-stabilization in your life if you had been helped by two Mormon missionaries. You would have gotten off drugs, learned “true values,” and gotten even far better help with successful professionals among them to start your new business.
      3. The “real God” you learned about is also a God judgment who does not tolerate the cover-up of thirty years of rampant adultery, child abuse, whoremongering,, fornication, abuse and all that FBC has been known for throughout America under the Two Jacks. This is ALL well documented and has been since 1989.
      4. HAC & FBC may have had noble origins, but they fast became hotbeds of corruption and abuse with a trail of victims in the thousands. Even today, there is still no repentance at FBC, nor has anyone done anything for the victims other than revictimize them by blaming them for the acts of their perpetrators against them.
      5. We are NOT all witnesses of their nobility as you claim. I am a 1986 H.A.C. graduate & a 1988 Hyles-Anderson Seminary graduate. I was close personal friends with Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap. They are CORRUPT men, as the world now understands. Thousand of HAC graduates and former students share my views; just check out the Do Right H.A.C. Group on Facebook. With 1,200 members representing a combined thousands of years experience in those institutions, they cannot be dismissed. You can’t just pretend they don’t exist or are all liars.
      6. Yes, it is possible to make it through the HAC/FBC swamp with drowning or sinking in their quicksand of immorality, but those that do, like you and me, are the exception, N-O-T the rule. My hat is ABSOLUTELY off to you for your successes. Sadly, however, not everyone has your resolve, your skills, your strengths, or your abilities, or mine. As such, they will be ground up and spit out as have thousands and thousands of their victims for several decades. I have seen the pain, I still read the horror stories every day, I have been to the funerals, I have seen the horrid criminal acts, and I have cried with many of the victims as I tried to help them re-balance their lives and find hope these last 25 years.
      You crossed a very busy roadway with speeding cars on every side and you made it through alive and unharmed to the other side. So did I. Sadly, many, many, many did not.

      So congratulation to you for your admirable victories and success. I truly mean that. Never forget, however, that the bridge you built to that success was constructed on the bones of those who failed in that same journey and paid a very great price for their misplaced trust.

    • Rhonda Howell says:

      I agree with the bus kid. And no a mormon would not have led you in the same direction. Just because Dave Hyles was immoral and Jack Schaap was immoral and Joe Combs was abusive does not make the whole staff and church of Indiana all in bed with them. That is only 3 out of 20,000. Not bad odds. I would hate to see what would be said about David and Bathsheba whom all you preachers raise up in honor of the man who beat Goliath and the man after God’s own heart, yet you don’t tear him down like you do other fallen Christians of today and you don’t tear the whole Castle down with him in critizing every soul that ever had any contact with him. You people are vultures.Yes Dave Hyles sinned, yes Jack Schaap sinned, yes Joe Combs sinned and they are paying the consequences of their sin. In the process they helped many people before their sin and hurt many well meaning people who trusted them but those people are not the sinners. Leave them alone.Instead of burning down the church why don’t you help lift them up back on their feet to serve the Lord. Get off your throne. You are not God and you do not know the heart of all those people there. Let God do His business, He doesn’t need you to do His judging for Him. You do more damage to Christianity than they are.

      • This is where you are completely and drastically wrong, Howel. YES, the whole staff at FBC Hammond was immoral because THEY KNEW of Schaap’s serial adulteries in enough detail to know exactly where to call every time he went missing for prolonged periods, INCLUDING the 16 year old girl’s home. That makes them GUILTY, and that guilt inundates the current pastor John Wilkerson. The ENTIRE CONGREGATION ALSO HEARD SCHAAP SAY COMMUNION WAS “SPIRITUAL SEX” with Christ and witnessed him simulating masturbation from the pulpit. GUILTY AGAIN! King David REPENTED with all his heart, and he paid a dear price for is sins. THAT is the difference between him and Schaap, and Hyles and Combs and Ballenger and hoard of other abusers and adulterers. I cannot “lift them up back on their feet” until they meet God’s requirement for repentance, which they have not done and probably never will. I am commanded by God to “judge righteous judgment” and to be “a person in whose eyes a vile person is condemned” (Ps. 15). I am also commanded to “work righteousness” which implies in the Hebrew language much more than to simply believe in it. The victims deserve no less. I believe in light of the abusive legacy of First Baptist Church of Hammond and their HORID public reputation that hey should disband and sell all as they are a disgrace to the name of Jesus Christ . . . and I own no throne, nor would I ever come near one if offered. I don’t have to be God to judge sin. It is not my judgment but the vicarious application of God’s extant judgment. It is people with bleak and seared consciences like yours who turn their back on a myriad of tortured and destroyed victims and uphold a corrupt institution who “do damage to Christianity.” May God have mercy on your darkened soul.

  9. Michael Rickman says:

    I am a 1983 grad from HAC. You made a reference above to Joe Combs being sentenced to a Tennessee prison. Can you give me more information on that and also contact information? Thank you in advance for your help.

    Mike Rickman

  10. Rick Bagwell says:

    I was a member of FBC of Hammond for 20yrs. From a lad of 9yrs. old in 1961 to an Adult at the age of 29yrs. old. I worked at Inland Steel for 10yrs. Hyles tried to talk me into going to HAC a school I helped financed and remodled all Hyles schools. My kids went to Hyles Grade School. Two or three graduated Senior Kidner Garden. At first in 1976 when God told me to leave I had to try the spirits as the Bible says. I had a good job, { the pay was EXCELLENT! } The kids were in a good Christian school. Or so I thought. {Craig Sisson??? } Everything was going so well. Anyway to make a long story short my Family and I left and went to Arkansas in 1981, 5yrs. later. Six months after I left the Steel Mill closed and I had a job in another State. Also that’s when I got to find out what was really going on behind the curtain of the wizard of Oz. I always wondered why Jack Hyles would put his Son, a knowing fornicator and adulterer in charge of the youth dept. I am two years younger than Dave and I know the whole Hyles Family. Why would someone put a fox in the hen house? Later we moved to Texas and joined Miller Road Baptist in Garland. I discovered the brief case along with the janitors Son. A Mr. Johnson. I told him I had to go to work and do not have the time or tools with me to open the briefcase. Take it to your Dad and decide if you want the calculators, pencils, or whatever is inside or the briefcase itself. Since we found it together, we were going to split the find. The boy was about 11yrs old I was about 30- 32yrs.old. When Dave got into trouble about the contents of the briefcase, I thought there were love letters inside. A few years later I talked to a deacon and he told me there were pictures of a sexual nature inside. I was shocked! I would tell you more, but I have to go as I have an appointment to keep. Rick

  11. Diana Starkey says:

    I have sent you my email. May we correspond through that? Please.

  12. I wish I could say says:

    I know for a fact that Lepina and Cindy both knew what he was doing and were trying to get him to stop. Luckily, that “photo” was seen and he was exposed before they could talk him down from his place of delusion, and yet ANOTHER cover up was made. I am also a former HAC student, and the hypocrisy astounded me. I’m glad I’m a former fundy.

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