HAMMOND, Ind. -- A northwestern Indiana megachurch has fired its pastor amid a police inquiry into the independent Baptist congregation and a college it operates.
The First Baptist Church of Hammond said Pastor Jack Schaap committed "a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor." Church officials said they were cooperating with police, but gave no details on allegations against Mr. Schaap.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said his department began a criminal probe into the church and Hyles Anderson College after talking with congregation members. He declined to give details.
First Baptist elected Mr. Schaap its pastor in 2001 after the late Rev. Jack Hyles died of a heart attack. Mr. Schaap married Mr. Hyles' youngest daughter, Cindy.
Mr. Hyles' charismatic leadership as pastor starting in 1959 helped the church grow, with hundreds of buses transporting thousands of people across Indiana and Chicago's suburbs to what it bills as the "World's Largest Sunday School."