No one could have imagined he would grow into the larger-than-life figure whom critics would dub the Godfather and others would consider the Chosen One.
Born in the tiny Dallas suburb of Italy, Hyles often preached about his alcoholic father, his devoted and deeply conservative Christian mother, and the curse of growing up poor.
Nine of the offenders, from top left: (first row) A. Ballenger, Christopher Settlemoir, Chester Mulligan; (second row) William Beith, Jack Schaap, Tedd Butler; (third row) Joseph Combs, Craig Sisson, Russell Overla he sermon was called “The Polished Shaft,” and in the many times that Jack Schaap, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, had delivered it, it was the kind of showstopper that made him a rock star to his flock.
(Or would have, had Schaap not habitually railed against the evils of rock music.) As with most of his sermons at the northwest Indiana megachurch—the 14th largest in the country and the biggest Independent Baptist house of worship in the nation—the message struck as bluntly as a pounded nail: Submit to God’s plan for your life or be snapped like a twig and flung away (as Schaap would demonstrate by cracking a stick over his head, tossing it aside, and barking, “Next! When you do submit, be prepared to endure excruciating pain.
The effect was powerful, and it inevitably produced the desired result: swarms of male teenagers trance-walking their way to Schaap (pronounced “Skop”), ready to commit their lives to becoming pastors. Then, his voice dropping to a guttural whisper, he said, “Oh, oh, God.
After his first sermon in 1947, “Elijah blushed and Heaven’s flag flew at half mast for three days,” he lamented in a 1975 magazine article.
Whatever awkwardness he may have had soon gave way to his extraordinary oratorical gifts.
“He would just repeatedly talk about sex and repeatedly talk about women, how they were dressed and body parts . Denied bond, he awaits sentencing in the Porter County Jail; the minimum term is ten years.
But Schaap is not simply one of those rogue evangelists who thunders against the evils of forbidden sex while indulging in it himself.
God will hold a metaphorical knife to your throat (as Schaap would illustrate by holding a steel blade against a twig the way an assailant might press on a jugular).