More details have emerged on the hundreds of text messages exchanged by Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, and the then-16-year-old girl he took across state lines for sex. The Indiana preacher is expected to be sentenced next week.
Schaap was fired by First Baptist Church of Hammond, Ind., after the obviously troubled minister admitted to “adultery”. He was apparently found out when a deacon at the church somehow came across his cell phone (yeah) and somehow discovered a photo on Schaap’s cell phone showing him and the girl kissing.
Some sordid details of the relationship were reported this week:
A former pastor of a northwest Indiana mega-church who has admitted having a sexual relationship with an underage parishioner exchanged hundreds of text messages with the girl and told her Jesus Christ sanctioned their relationship, prosecutors say.
Further details revealed:
In the sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said they had recovered photographs of Schaap and the girl taken in his Crete home and at a Michigan summer home. Prosecutors said the two had sex in his office while a youth conference was underway at the church in July 2012.
The two exchanged 637 text messages and 25 telephone calls between June 21 and July 21, prosecutors said.
That last bit of information, about Schaap and the teen supposedly having sex in his office while a youth conference was going on at the church, is particularly strange in light of the last tweet sent out by Schaap from (presumably) his Twitter account:
Jack Schaap’s final tweet: “Youth Conference Hammond 2012 – Join us as we Follow Him! #FollowMe2012″
Of course, it is quite likely that Schaap, who is married with two children, doesn’t even manage that Twitter account, as many busy ministry leaders often have their staff handle such things. Either way, someone should consider closing down Schaap’s Twitter account.
Speaking of busy, Schaap claimed as part of his defense (in addition to not knowing taking a teen across state lines for sex is a federal crime) that he was stressed and overworked from logging in more than 100 hours every week at First Baptist Hammond…which the church has actually admitted to.
It is in no way an excuse for his behavior, which he has acknowledged, but perhaps someone should have had a clue that Pastor Schaap was burned out when he started preachy wacky sermons about God and Jesus wanting to know Christians “intimately”… like real “intimately” — from the pulpit during a youth conference no less. [Read more about that here]
Also, why hasn’t First Baptist Hammond’s new pastor updated his Twitter account, that he’s still using, after starting on the job in February?
Read more about Jack Schaap’s sentencing at the Chicago Tribune.
Obviously, everyone involved in this sad affair needs prayer.