Does anyone out there know what the actual hierarchy is in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church? I was raised Catholic before joining my old fundigelical church that was not affiliated with the IFB. Emailed that fount of wisdom over all things IFB Bruce Gerencser, but haven't heard back yet. I'm confused as to who is actually in charge, or is it like my old church where each pastor was the leader of his own lil' fiefdom and allowed to behave much like King Henry the VIII and enact as many crazy rules and laws as possible while the rest of us scramble to make it happen. I just do not know.
Here in the Culpeper area we had an IFB church and school that was ruled over by King...eerr.. Pastor Charles V. Shifflett. Shifflett was palsy-walsy with Jack Schaap's father in law Jack Hyles, founder of the Hyles-Anderson College in Hammond, Indiana and Pastor at First Baptist in Hammond. Shifflett had Hyles down here to speak a number of times over the years and the church sent a large number of young adults to Hyles-Anderson. Symbiotic relationship.
There were always whispers about Shifflett, that he'd beaten this child or been sexually inappropriate with that one. But the church covered up any rumors, kicking out anyone that disagreed with him. Finally in 2005 during a church split former members and their children came forward with horrendous tales of rape, beating and other claims of bizarre sexual abuse. Half the church went with Shifflett to form a new church in Brandy Station, Virginia, First Baptist Church of Culpeper. The other half stayed behind and started with a new pastor.
When the Commonwealth finally brought charges again Shifflett and he was convicted in 2008 it was not for child rape, it was for a variety of other things. From Stop Baptist Predators:
Shifflett, who was pastor at Calvary Baptist Church for 17 years, received five years each on nine counts of obtaining money by false pretenses from his congregation, three counts of filing fraudulent documents to obtain a worker's compensation award, five counts of obtaining money by false pretenses from two insurance companies and three counts of making false statements on 2003-05 Virginia income-tax returns.
I've written about this before because I was mistakenly told last year that he was out of prison even after receiving a 100 year sentence. That wasn't true. But he's out now and more crazy and outrageous things have come to light.
The new church he started, First Baptist Church of Culpeper, has been paying him a full pastor's salary the entire time he's been in prison, roughly seven years now. Not only that they've not paid the man who's been acting pastor in all that time, only Shifflett got paid while he did de nada. When Charles V. Shifflett emerged from prison one of the first things he did was attempt to return to the pulpit at First Baptist. But Shifflett was unsuccessful, there are a few attending now that sit on the elder's board that stymied his return. But guess what? They have to keep paying his salary to him.
I've been closely watching this church for quite some time now, keeping tabs on who is attending and who the pastor is. I'm not surprised at all that Shifflett tried to retake his pulpit, but I am shocked that they've been paying this child raping criminal while he's been serving prison time. That's just low.
One day his buddy's son-in-law, Jack Schaap, will emerge from federal prison and we'll see something quite similar go down if past history is a indicator of future behaviors. Betcha the first thing Schaap tries is to regain his throne.