My entrance began in the late 70's. At the age of 14 my family decided to move across the state from where I had lived my whole and begin our IFB adventure. It was there that I learned about Hyles-Anderson College and First Baptist Church of Hammond. It was also there that when my mom decided to get re-married, the preacher of the church came up to me in the middle of the high school and said if my mom married, she would be committing adultery. You see, the man my mom wanted was divorced and his wife was still alive. Then a few months later when I was helping my mom move (we lived at the church and my mom was his secretary), the preacher went ballistic, yelling all kinds of threats at us. The memory of his face being all contorted as he was yelling, gave me nightmares for years. My father had died 5 years earlier and my preacher was like a dad to me. By this time I was a junior at H.A.C.
Skip ahead a few years: I got married to someone I met at H.A.C. who later became staff. He ended up having an affair with a college girl. When I approached Jack Hyles about this, I was told they were already aware of it and to keep it quiet. After all, we wouldn't want to damage the reputation of my husband or this poor college girl. So, I tried to keep it quiet. But, having the girl you knew your husband was having an affair with serve me and my children their meals in the dining hall was too much for me! Even after I approached Hyles, my husband was still on staff and the girl was still doing her work scholarship job just like nothing happened. After much complaining from me, the girl was taken out of her job and eventually was expelled or left on her on accord. My husband left before he was fired and moved. During this, Hyles called me to see how we were doing. How thoughtful, I thought! But, the following words out of his mouth were anything but thoughtful and so confusing. Hyles asked me what I wore to bed! I was so flustered. That was the end of our conversation.
After all of this, my husband ended up coming home and we moved to another state and another I.F.B. church. While attending this church, I began to notice some changes in my oldest daughter. I was afraid someone was molesting her. I confronted the preacher and he seemed to be willing to help. But as the proof turned to my husband, again I was told that allegations like that would damage his reputation! I tried to divorce my husband, but was called out in the church service. We ended up moving back to Indiana and First Baptist Church of Hammond. I was so happy to be back. I thought our family was going to be OK. Within a short time after we were back, my husband was back on staff. Things seemed to be OK. Then Jack Hyles died and Jack Schaap became pastor. Within a year, my husband was fired for inappropriate relations again. After this, my fears about my daughter started again. I went to counseling with Schaap alone the first time. Then he wanted me to come in with my husband. At this meeting Schaap pounded his fist on the table with so much anger over the thought of me wanting a divorce. At this meeting he asked my husband to move out for two weeks. This happened to be Father’s Da. I went as often as I was allowed to meet with Schaap. He told me to let my husband live in the basement to help out financially. He told my kids, “The next time you see your dad, you need to run up and hug him and tell him you love him.” I was told not to press charges because he is the father of my children. I was told I would be the one in jail if I turned the kids away from their father. I was told so much crap! I went to the attorney I was told to go to. I got yelled at by my own attorney for wanting a divorce.
We stayed in the church through all of this. It was so ingrained in me not to miss church, your preacher is always right, keep your kids in a Christian school, it's the woman's fault. etc. So we stayed.
The final straw: My son had cussed at the youth director. (Many events led up to this. Allegations that the youth director flashed the boys in the shower at school camp, the youth director saying perverse thing to my son and his group of friends, and having to stand up in chapel if you didn't have a father and it being said you won't amount to anything.) I wanted a meeting with Jack Schaap . In that meeting was the youth director, principal and Schaap. My son had apologized. I had apologized too. I felt really bad that my son would talk like that to an adult.
What happened at that meeting was deplorable! As the youth director and principal sat with their heads hung, Jack Schaap proceeded to spit at us with so much passion we jumped off the couch. He grabbed himself by the crotch and said to my son, "You think you have balls? I'll show you balls!" He said "You know what F**K you ! F**K you!
He told us that he has been so mad at kids that he had put one kid’s head through the wall and had to pay his family a lot of money to keep them quiet. He named kids he had beat up. At the end of the meeting, on the side of my son that I could not see, he had twisted his ear so badly that it was swollen and bruised. Even after all of this, I stayed until this past January. The control that place has on people!
One Woman’s Account of life at Hyles-Anderson College:
My ex-husband and I were down at Hyles-Anderson College from 1979 to 1984. He was very abusive and molested my daughter from the age of 6 to 9yrs when I found out and left him. I agree that there is a lot of brain washing and using scripture to beat people up and try to keep them silent about abuse. When I went to a Pastor who was a graduate of Hyles-Anderson College, he was also abusive to me and my daughter, calling us out in public, putting us on the spot to humiliate us and treating us like we were the worst for leaving this abusive man I was married to. Then of course the whole church came down on us too. Hyles-Anderson means being bullied, and most of all brain washed to believe in the man instead of looking to Jesus and having Jesus as the first and foremost you treasure and look to for help and direction. What a sham this place has been and has destroyed thousands of innocent lives. My children are mostly atheists now because of the life we lived back then. I hope and pray that one day they will come back to know the Lord on a personal relationship basis like it should be. Keep us informed, people need to know what is really going on there. C.B.
A Jack Schaap Staff Meeting
The Behind the Scenes Jack Schaap You All Didn't See --- Daily required staff meeting at the church. Schaap was fired up this one morning.
Cutting to the "interesting" part of staff meeting, Schaap publicly humiliated and shamed several individuals. He, one by one, told select individuals to stand up. From there he belittled them and raised his voice telling them if they didn't produce or change their ways, they would no longer have a job there. I was completely shocked by his comments, tone, and manner of approaching the "problem". I don't remember all of the people called out, but I recall Auclair being called out. Next it was Freddy DeAnda. It was horrendous seeing the reactions of each individual. Your heart just hurt for them. Then...yours truly, Brother G. .
I was belittled and told I needed to produce (numbers) or I wouldn't have a job. What he didn't tell anyone in the meeting was that he hired me and had me work under ______ and ________. If any of you know _______, you know they had the final say in everything. You also know that he did whatever he was told to do. So Schaap put me in a position with no voice, power or control, and then wanted to call me out when "we" weren't producing enough.
I, like most people on that staff, put in well above my required hours, and I stupidly gave my life and health for that place. I changed vacation plans, real job plans, dreams and goals, and gave my all. That was, apparently, his version of a "thanks".
I immediately drafted my letter of resignation and requested a meeting. Of course, it took about a week to get in. I walked in and slid my letter of resignation across the desk to him. It was a proud moment. Brother G.