First Baptist Church of Hammond can't escape Schaap's moral stench

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Bert Perry's picture

I'd be looking through all the minutes from deacons' meetings and also through Schaap's other financial notes and see what other shenanigans might have been perpetrated.  I'm guessing this was not the only time it happened.  And since Schaap was involved, I'm sorry, but the church is liable.  This could well be a tipping point where this church becomes unviable--we need to pray for those whose faith is being hammered by this nonsense.  Pray that they find local Bible-believing assemblies where they can heal.  

What's shocking to me, though, is that apparently no one in a church that big had ever learned enough from the Bible or Dave Ramsey about "usury" to call him on this one.  The affair with the girl was in private; this was made public.  (hence my comment about the DA)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

http://www.wral.com/man-sentenced-to-prison-for-bilking-church-members/1...

An Indiana man was sentenced Thursday to 22 years in prison for swindling Baptist church congregations out of an estimated $20 million in what prosecutors describe as a Ponzi scheme run out of a Smithfield used car lot.

Thomas L. Kimmel, 68, was convicted by a federal court jury in June of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Chief U.S. District Judge James Dever also ordered Kimmel to pay $16.5 million in restitution to hundreds of victims.

Prosecutors said Kimmel was hired in 2006 by the owners of Sure Line Acceptance Corp., which was the financing arm of Automocion, a Smithfield car dealership. Kimmel used his financial seminars at Baptist churches to promote what he described as risk-free investments to church members, telling them that their investments were backed by the cars and the purchase agreements. 

Kimmel didn't tell investors that the Sure Line was losing money, especially after the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008, or that he paid pastors a 1 percent commission to steer business to him, prosecutors said. They said he also overstated his involvement with Sure Line and the activities of a "spiritual board of directors" that he set up to help market the program.

As the economy struggled through the recession, the money Kimmel brought in kept Sure Line afloat, paying expenses and the returns promised to earlier investors, prosecutors said. But the scheme fell apart in 2011 after a third money crunch at the company, when there wasn't enough money coming to pay off everything that was owed.

Prosecutors said 326 people invested with Kimmel, many of them retirees who wound up losing their life savings. He received a 10 percent commission from Sure Line for all of the business he secured.

“Kimmel used his professed spirituality and position of trust as a tool to defraud victims at their churches-the very places they felt the most safe," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bragdon said in a statement. "From day one, Kimmel told lies to maximize his commissions. He used trust and faith to defraud hundreds of victims, many of whom invested their life’s savings."

Kimmel's wife and other close relatives also invested with him. His sister and brother-in-law, who lost about $500,000 in Sure Line, walked out of the federal courthouse in Raleigh with him after his sentencing Thursday. They insisted that he never lied and called him a good man.

During his trial, prosecutors played videotaped recordings of Kimmel's presentations to various churches, where he promised a 12 percent return and encouraged people to drain their retirement accounts to entrust their money with him.

"The worst words against him was him," defense attorney Woody Vann said Thursday. "I don't mean his testimony. I mean what (jurors) saw on the videotapes."

Vann said Kimmel gave a third of his commission payments to charity, and another third went to taxes.

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"Kimmel took $1.9 million in commissions, some of it from the four Hammond church members. The victims say Schaap grabbed 1 percent commission, and Kimmel took 10 percent."

 

Under what conceivable circumstances would a pastor receiving a commission (i.e. a kickback) from the third-party sale of anything  to church members/attendees be considered appropriate?

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, it's conceivable in a universe where the (pardon my French) masturbatory "Polishing the Shaft" sermon would be received without anyone saying "that's really, really sick."  It's conceivable in a universe where the pastor suddenly walks away from KJVO theology, and nobody questions why.  Or in a church that applauds as a convicted sex offender returns to children's ministry--and nobody protests.

Yeah, I'm saying it's basically a cult.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

I do agree with Bert about the real genuine people in that congregation and feeling bad for them but the victims  swam with these sharks and got bitten.  A similar thing happened at a Baptist Church near me in my younger days and  remember my friend Police Officer telling me he would never be involved with anyone in church with any kind investment unless it had the name Greenburg Schowyer and  Zimmerman attached to it.  He said he would trust the Jewish brothers with the money before any fellow brothers in Christ as far as investments are concerned. He did not believe n mixing money type  business with people in church.  He did believe in procuring services from his brothers in Christ ie plumber builder etc.  Anyway another sad story.  

Barry L.'s picture

Unless they're Bernie Madoff...

Listen, you don't sell financial instruments in your church at all. Even if the guy is 100% honest, he doesn't know everything and that will happen in the future; and if things go bad, it has the potential of destroying lives and ministries.

Bert Perry's picture

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe haven't steered me wrong yet......

 

Great finance guys AND lawyers.  Small world we live in, to be sure!

Seriously, and on a much broader topic, pastors could do worse than to teach their congregations how to recognize nonsense claims, be it finance, sensational stories, or whatever.  Madoff and Kimmel made their names infamous mostly because their hearers had been primed to believe what was taught them on the basis of "appeal to authority".   We really, really, really need to remember Acts 17:10-11 and the example of the Bereans.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

My soul hurts for the people who continue to be abused and fleeced by their 'shepherds' because they can't pull away on their own or who are still deceived.

I wonder how many thousands have been repulsed from the Gospel because of the myriad ways this organization has brought shame on Christ's name.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

JohnBrian's picture

Larry Nelson wrote:

Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe

I had never heard this name before so googled it and ended up at Wikipedia.

Good thing I wasn't drinking something while sitting at the computer or would have been wiping the screen off!

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