Board of Deacons: Pastor Admitted Affair With Girl

Board of Deacons President declined to specify why Pastor Jack Schaap was ousted, but said the decision was an obvious one

The FBI is now involved in an investigation into a Hammond, Ind. pastor who admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Pastor Jack Schaap admitted to the relationship and was dismissed Monday. The FBI is getting involved because Schaap is accused of taking a 17-year-old across state lines.

"It was starting to be a difficult decision, but when we found out the facts, we had no choice.  We had to do what was right," said Board of Deacons Chairman Jerry Duff.

Duff said he learned of the relationship one week ago. He talked face-to-face with Schaap on Saturday, during a meeting in which published reports say the pastor, father, and husband of 32 years admitted to the affair.

"We love that man, we trusted that man... we still do love him," said Duff.

Church leaders have also said they are committed to working with all appropriate authorities and will investigate any new accusations, if they come up.

"We don't know. We don't know," said Duff, when asked if there were any other such relationships or accusations. "I don't know of anything we've heard yet, but that's what we want to find out."

The church has also brought in an outside body to investigate the incident, as well as counselors for church members.

Some parishioners said they're heartbroken but are not holding a grudge against their long-time leader.

"I know God put him in that position for a reason and what he did is a mistake, and God will forgive him," said parishioner Jesus Perez.

Asked if Schaap could ever preach again at another church, a spokesman responded by saying some of things that have been done will disqualify him from being a pastor. 

Schaap led the church, located at 507 State St., since 2001 and is married to the daughter of Jack Hyles, the pastor who built the church.

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