HAMMOND — A Hammond megachurch has fired its pastor amid a criminal investigation involving the church and its college.
The First Baptist Church of Hammond said Tuesday that pastor Jack Schaap committed "a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor." It says church representatives are cooperating with police.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich tells The Times of Munster his department began a criminal investigation Tuesday after talking with senior church representatives. He says the investigation involves the church and its Hyles Anderson College.
The church elected the 54-year-old Schaap pastor in February 2001 after the late Rev. Jack Hyles died of a heart attack. Hyles' daughter married Schaap.
The church says it moved into a new 7,500-seat auditorium under Schaap, a native of Holland, Mich