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Hammond Pastor Dismissed For ‘Improper Relationship With Young Woman’

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Updated 07/31/12 – 8:21 p.m.

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) – The longtime pastor of a northwest Indiana church has been dismissed due to an “improper relationship with a young woman.”

Dr. Jack Schaap, who has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond for 11 years, was removed Tuesday, according to a church spokesman.

The spokesman would not provide the woman’s age, but said she was a member of the church.

In a written statement, church spokesman Eddie Wilson said Schaap was removed “due to a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.”

“Our church grieves over the need to take this action and the impact it will have on our people”, Wilson added. “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.”

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said his department was notified by church leaders of allegations that are sexual in nature. CBS 2′s Brad Edwards was told that, when confronted, Schaap admitted to his sins to the church’s governing body of deacons.

The FBI has also joined the Lake County Sheriff’s office in the investigation.

FBI spokesman Robert Ramsey said: “It is too early at this point to release any further information.”

The church is a conglomerate that includes a 7,500 seat auditorium and is headquartered in the old federal courthouse in Hammond, IN. Schaap helped grow the church into its ‘mega’ status with 15,000 people attending weekend services, according to Wilson.

Parishioners were shocked when they heard the news.

Norma Hogan described the pastor as “very charismatic, very magnetic.”

“He’s always saying how his wife is beautiful and so much in his life,” Hogan added. “This is jaw dropping.”

The church has scheduled a meeting for the entire congregation for Wednesday night.

Schaap is married to the daughter of the church’s late leader, Rev. Jack Hyles.

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Neither incest, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, rape, nor pedophilia are FBI territory (not speculating on what is going on -- but that list pretty much lists sexual "violations") -- so the big question at this juncture is --- how do they justify FBI involvement unless a minor is taken across state lines???

Edited by Old fashioned

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I don't know. My first thought was that if this is true it's another black mark against Baptists.

Hammond is just across the Illinois-Indiana state line.

Edited by cubfan1969

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Neither incest, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, rape, nor pedophilia are FBI territory (not speculating on what is going on -- but that list pretty much lists sexual "violations") -- so the big question at this juncture is --- how do they justify FBI involvement unless a minor is taken across state lines???


That was my thought, why is the sheriff & FBI involved?

For the sheriff & FBI to be involved its more than just a case of pure adultery.

That church sure has had its problems.

Found this.

A press release the church issued Tuesday afternoon states Schaap committed "a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor." A source close to the investigation said Schaap began an affair in April with a 16-year-old girl who was affiliated with the church's Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, though she was not a student. Edited by Jerry80871852

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If this is true, with emphasis on "if" then the church maybe reacting in light of the scandals that hit Trinity Baptist in Florida or most recently Penn State University. I really don't know much about this man at all other than it seems folks have really been gunning for him for a long time.

Edited by Wilchbla

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"If" it's true, his "confession" would "seem" to imply it, and the girl is 16 that would explain the county involvement (although the difference between investigation and arrest, too early for possible arraignment, would say there's more to the story of his "admittance"), but again, unless there is a suspicion of crossing the Ind border the FBI should not be involved.

Edited by Old fashioned

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...Schaap admitted to his sins to the church’s governing body of deacons.


I realize this is an article and the media usually gets things wrong but this caught my attention because it's not scriptural. If this is the structure of the church, then what other errors are going unchecked at this megachurch?

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The problem with the one I went to it was still a baptist but not IFB one. We are very careful what churches we attend now . I am too the point i just want to be home church.

One of the tricks of the devil is to turn believers away from gathering together in a local church. There are many bad churches, not so good churches, and just okay churches out there, but at the same time there are still some good churches with Christ following pastors doing the work of the Lord. We need to be a part of these Christ honouring churches.

When we last had to look for a new church home it took a long time to find one. Much prayer, much research and visiting before finally finding our new church home. What a blessing a good church is!

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Why is there a double post here? I been through this a few years ago with one of the pastors seen things I didn't want to see I'll stop here, it goes to show that these men are only human and they make mistakes.


Don't know why it showed twice....I locked the other one since all the activity is here.

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There are other reasons why I am avoiding some churches which i cannot display here its personal actually. We are slowly going back to church

There are churches we should all avoid, for a variety of reasons. The important thing is to find that one church where God has reserved a seat for us.

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Don't know why it showed twice....I locked the other one since all the activity is here.

One of the many reasons it's so important to pray for our pastors, for them personally, for their ministry, for their marriage, etc.

The devil knows that if he can tempt one pastor into sin that can eventually be made public he can do great harm to the cause of Christ.

Our pastors, their families and ministries need our prayer support.

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I realize this is an article and the media usually gets things wrong but this caught my attention because it's not scriptural. If this is the structure of the church, then what other errors are going unchecked at this megachurch?


There is lots of Baptist Churches that's set up that way, of course its not the Bible way.

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There are other reasons why I am avoiding some churches which i cannot display here its personal actually. We are slowly going back to church


There were no biblically sound churches in the area in which I used to live at the time. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, I moved my family over sixty miles north to become members of a New Testament Church. Membership in a NT church is more important then our jobs and perceived prosperity.

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While I agree that Schaap is no longer qualified to pastor a Church, (per 1 Timothy 3:1-7) I also have to say that Church he pastored is not adhering to Biblical guidelines concerning the pastors role and the deacons role in the Church. There is no such thing as a board of deacons in the Word of God. Deacons were appointed to take care of the physical needs of the Church and to adhere to the qualifications set forth for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Nothing in the Biblical guidelines for deacons gives them the authority to fire a pastor.

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All I can say is he better get himself a good lawyer.


Off topic a bit, yet something to think about.

Pastorj, Got a question. If he is truly a saved person and he did this sin, broke laws, and he is tried in a court of law, should not he just confess his sin and throw himself on the mercy of the court?

Instead of getting a lawyer that tries every method under the sun to get him off.

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Off topic a bit, yet something to think about.

Pastorj, Got a question. If he is truly a saved person and he did this sin, broke laws, and he is tried in a court of law, should not he just confess his sin and throw himself on the mercy of the court?

Instead of getting a lawyer that tries every method under the sun to get him off.
He should only retain an attorney if he is innocent of the charges.
Since he has admitted before the board of deacons that he committed the crime, he should not look for loopholes in the legal system to get a lighter sentence or no sentence at all.

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