Brian and Team at RFP:
There is so much I want to say, but due to time, I just cannot go into a full debriefing of my time in fundamentalism. But just to give you my street creds, my family moved to FBC Hammond to be under Jack Hyles in 1984. At the time it was just me and my brother, and of course, my parents. I was 4 years old and registered into Hammond Baptist Schools in Pre-K as my dad enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College. I grew up in Hammond from Pre-K all the way through college at HAC. Our families were personal friends of the Hyles/Schaap families for many, many years. My father and I were personal security guards (amongst a select few other men) to Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap, and for a time, I was personally assigned to Beverly Hyles. My father was an honorary pallbearer for Hyles’ funeral. I don’t think I need to prove my creds anymore, but in case I do, the teenage girl that Jack Schaap was caught with was my sister-in-law’s cousin. (please don’t read that part on the air, if you choose to read any of it. In fact, I ask that you keep that part confidential.) Fortunately, I have left that cult known as IFB’ism and am more reformed. Nate, we would be friends. Unfortunately, my parents are still die-hard IFB’ers.
I say all this because I just recently came across your podcast, and I’ve been listening like a mad man trying to catch up from the first episode on. I cheated and skipped a handful of episodes during the Phil Kidd episdoes. Wow. I never thought I’d respect that guy, but do I ever now. Anyway, I was listening to the Rager Rebuttal episode when Brian was talking about baptisms with popsicles trying to encourage people to get baptized on a hot day during one of Hyle’s promotions.
It’s hard to say this, but I believe I have one better.
During one of Hyles’ big days, we were in the projects of Chicago doing baptisms. I was a teenager at the time. They had a big horse trough filled with water to do baptisms all across Chicagoland. This particular instance, after they gave a 1, 2, 3, repeat after me style sermon, anyone who got baptized got a large pickle. They had brought jars and jars of large dill pickles to give away, to those (primarily black) living in the ghettos of Chicago, if you got baptized.
Looking back, I can’t imagine how they got away with something so brazen yet I’m actually not too surprised.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Maybe at some other point I’ll have the time to share the rest of my escape story. Keep up the great work; really enjoy the show!