Jack Schaap, former pastor at First Baptist Church of Hammond had an affair with a 17 year old girl last summer. He claims it wasn’t wrong, in fact it was “desired by Jesus Christ.”
“In our ‘fantasy talk,’ you have affectionately spoken of being ‘my wife,’ ” Schaap wrote in one letter. “That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!”
He’s plead guilty of transporting the minor to other states for their sexual trysts. This affair spurred his resignation as pastor.
In his letters to the girl, Schaap often discusses how he helped save her from self-destruction, helping to put her on a “better path of living — that’s what we call Righteousness.”
In another letter, he talks about how he wanted their time together for three days — which appears to reference their time in Michigan — to show her how much she matters to Jesus Christ.
I’ve never understood why, if someone is doing something so very illegal, they’d take the time to write down their transgressions and send them to someone else. It’s bewildering.
My heart breaks for the young lady in question.
The girl wrote about how she spent her entire life in the church, listening to Schaap preach three times a week and being taught that he was a messenger of God.
“He told me to confide in him, to trust him, and he made me feel safe and comfortable around him as a man of God,” she wrote. “(Schaap) preyed on that trust and my vulnerability.”
In another letter written to Schaap, she says she was shocked when he first kissed her. When she asked if it was wrong, Schaap told her it was OK.
“You told me that I was sent to you from God, I was his gift to you,” the letter says.
She admits that by the time they were discovered, she thought she was in love with him and at first didn’t admit he had victimized her.
Now she’s had to transfer schools, and her family was told it wasn’t safe for them to return to the church, according to letters from her parents. The girl writes that although she still struggles every day, she is determined to “get through this and grow from it.”
He really abused this young lady.
However, he really took her to his personal property in Crete, Ill., and to his cabin in Cadillac, Mich., once spending 36 hours alone with her. When the employees grew concerned about the girl’s continued absence and texted Schaap, he claimed the girl had fallen asleep on his couch.
He also engaged in sexual behavior with her in his office at the church during a youth conference, according to the government’s filing.
Schaap later lied to his staff when they grew concerned about the amount of time he spent with the girl by claiming the girl was on her period and was just resting on his couch. A staff member found photos of the two a few days later, which led to the federal investigation.
“On her period.” I never understood that phrase.
After reading this, I can’t help but wonder if Schaap plans on invoking the insanity defense somewhere along the way.
Schaap received a 12 year sentence. Here’s a statement from his former church:
“We always knew this day would come and still feel the same today as we did when we turned our former pastor in for the crimes that he committed,” the church said in a statement. “We believe that the justice system was and is fair. We are also glad that our church family can now move beyond this situation and can continue the healing process.”