UPDATE: Jack Schaap Early Release 05/04/22
Updated: May 19
A year before the ex-pastor of Hammond’s First Baptist Church committed the Mann Act violation, he recently pled guilty to in 2013, he appeared briefly in an ABC investigation of Independent Baptist churches… and became irate on the network for questioning the idea that women aren’t the reason man is fallen.
You may recall the arrest of pastor Jack Schaap for taking a 16-year-old girl across state lines to have sex with her; he pled guilty and received a twelve-year prison sentence.
Just looking at his sermons and then actions paint a portrait of what some call "a deeply embedded culture of misogyny and sexual and physical abuse at one of the nation’s largest churches": "Multiple websites tracking the First Baptist Church of Hammond have identified more than a dozen men with ties to the church—many of whom graduated from its college, Hyles-Anderson, or its annual Pastors’ Schools—who fanned out around the country, preaching at their own churches and racking up a string of arrests and civil lawsuits, including physical abuse of minors, sexual molestation, and rape."
The most vivid example is Schaap's "Polished Shaft" sermon. It's as profoundly creepy as it has been described. Here are some examples if you're counting: simulated masturbation, a giant knife, and a compound bow and arrow set. Schaap was given to surprisingly, shockingly sexual sermons, quoting one member as saying, "it was so vulgar sometimes that it was just a grief to my spirit." Schaap's defense of this… was not any less creepy:
"We want to say to my fellow brethren cremate me over this. Absolutely destroy me on the blog pages. Massacre. We’ve lost scores of HAC students because pastors get furious when I talk about this. But who wrote the book on sexuality folks? Nobody wants to be more intimate with you than God does. The language that Jesus Christ used when he talked to his Father about what he wanted for his people. Read John 17, mom and daddy, and tell me how intimate he wanted your kids to be with him. Read John 15 and ask me if Jesus Christ just wanted to shake hands. [whispering] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you. I in you. You in Me. We in the Father, the Father in us. Don’t try to reach some ambiguous theological nonsense in that. Jesus was saying, can I put it in language that everybody understands. He says, “I want be the most intimate of intimates with you.”
Here's John 15 and 17. The meaning seems clear enough to me, straight out of the KJV: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you…. I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." But it gets more disturbing, at least from a moral perspective. Before Schaap was arrested, ABC's 20/20 did an investigation into the Independent Baptist/Independent Fundamental Baptist church movement, a loose knit, theologically simpatico group to which the Hammond church belongs, and allegations of abuse and misogynistic fundamentalism among the churches.
Schaap appears briefly, criticizing wives: "it irritates me and bothers me when a man falls in love with a beautiful woman God made and she just lets herself go… you keep what you were when you caught that man. And you stay at that…. Good grief! Touch that man's heart! Motivate that man! Inspire that man to do something big for God!" They also capture Schaap preaching "it'll be cold day in hell before I listen to a woman tell me about theology." After ABC contacted Schaap, he hung hellfire on 20/20. Some highlights:
"Don't you think that's kind of think that's demeaning to the genders?" I said, "Ask Adam what he thought about getting his theology from a woman." I said, "It damned the whole world. The reason your sorry soul is going to Hell is because a woman told Adam what God thinks about things." "I wouldn't get theology from a woman. I don't mind if mamma teaches the kids, I don't mind a strong lady, and a wise woman, and a gracious godly woman, that follows the lesson and teaching of the pastor." "No woman ever got me involved in ministry. I didn't follow a woman into ministry. A woman didn't write this book. No woman wrote the scriptures right here. A man wrote the Bible — got it from God. A man hung on the cross. His name is Jesus Christ and God called a man to lead the church here. Hey! I'm glad I'm a man!"
A little more than a year later, Schaap began his relationship with the 16-year-old girl, whom he was counseling. He is currently in prison and is scheduled for release February 2, 2023. He has appealed multiple times to have his meager 12-year sentence reduced or moved to house arrest. These requests were denied.
First Baptist Church of Hammond IN is also in current litigation with previous victims under the Hyles as well as the Schaap leadership. Founder and influential IFB role model Jack Hyles' son, David Hyles, have been under investigation for manslaughter and has left a documented trail of adultery and abuse in his wake.
UPDATE: On May 4th, 2022 Jack Schaap was given an early release. This has been confirmed by a phone call to the federal correction institute in KY where he was incarcerated
Schaap’s most recent projected release date was February 2, 2023, according to a judge’s order denying an early release request last year. However, the Bureau of Prisons’ website states that federal sentences are being reviewed and recalculated as part of criminal justice reform measures. A new rule implemented early this year, but applied retroactively, lets federal inmates get credit toward an early release if they take part in certain prison programs meant to reduce reoffence.
It is unclear where Schaap will settle now.
He wrote to U.S. District Court officials last year he has no more family in Indiana and would move to Michigan where his parents were living.
Another court record stated he previously told prison officials he planned to relocate to Texas.