Jack Schaap, 54, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond since 2001, was fired by a deacon board, said Eddie Wilson, director of public relations for the church.
Wilson said Tuesday church officials didn’t believe anything criminal occurred, but information was turned over to the sheriff’s department “for the sake of transparency and honesty.”I have my fingers cross with this case. I don’t want this to be another story of abuse. I don’t want to hear that another child was hurt. Please be infidelity or something to do with money. Please…. I am afraid it is something to do with sex though.
“They’re trying to reconcile their marriage,” Wilson said. “The church will move on and begin the process of calling a new pastor.”The “they” in the quote above is pastor Jack Schaap and his wife Cindy. Reconciliation sounds a lot like the have marital issues to work out.
The First Baptist Church of Hammondis a mega church with 15,000 members. They did the right thing and went public with a press release.
First Baptist Church Pastor Dismissed
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.
For any media-related questions, please contact First Baptist Church spokesman, Eddie Wilson at (219) 945-6475.
Source: First Baptist Church Pastor Dismissed
*** Update 8/1/2012: Schaap allegedly had an relationship with a girl that may have been as young as 16. The FBI and local police are investigating. The relationship may have crossed state lines.
*** Update 8/1/2012: Schaap admits to sleeping with an underaged teen.