Greg J. Dixon

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157 Year Old Baptist Church Attacked by Indiana County

When you leave Highway 37 South of Indianapolis, after traveling through Bobby Knight country past Indiana University, you make a right turn on to U.S. 450 soon after you enter Bedford, just after you pass Walmart; and you are on your way to Trinity Springs, Indiana.  But before you reach the land of nowhere, you are going to drive over one of the most winding, picturesque forty miles of wooded landscape that could only make an artist drool, or where Ballard MacDonald must have gone before he wrote “Back Home Again in Indiana”.  If you don’t crash or end up head long in a beautiful lake, that you are sure to run into, if you don’t keep your eyes on the road, you will come to the big metropolis of Trinity Springs, population 60 not counting dogs and cats.  There is no stop light, no gas station, no grocery store, drug store, or scrool house as Rush would say, and no Andy Griffin or Barney.   No nothin’ but a few houses, and some out houses.  Oh, and before I forget, there is one business establishment according to Martin County assessor Carolyn Magwire , it is “a commercial theater”, which in her great wisdom she has so declared the 157 year old Trinity Baptist Church to be, which sits in the center of town with its forty foot bell tower looming over the country side like a quiet sentinel, which would make it the only theater in America with a bell tower.
And the esteemed leader of the Trinity Springs church for the past sixteen years is Pastor Martin Jones, who is declaring on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ and his congregation, with help from the Biblical Law Center, that Trinity Springs Baptist Church is not such a den of iniquity as Magwire has deemed it to be, in which she has taxed the congregation an assessment fee of $568.02 because they refuse to file a Form for property tax exemption.  He will also emphasize that our unregistered New Testament churches have been using a letter of notification in Indiana, rather than the exemption form, for over twenty-five years with no problems until now. 
Pastor Jones is a modern day Mordecai, and his Haman is this tax assessor along with the three women County review board that the church appealed to.  Apparently they agreed with Magwire’s assessment on the “public theater” thing, because they merely rubber stamped her findings without a public hearing, or maybe the poorest county in the state is this desperate to raise revenues.
Many will say, why is Pastor Jones and the Trinity Springs folks, making such a big deal out of a little piece of paper, like an exemption form, after all the other churches have all filed theirs?  First that’s the biggest problem.  All the pastors and churches have bowed except Pastor Jones and Trinity Baptist Church.  It was the same when they all bowed to Haman except Mordecai and It was the same way with the three Hebrew Children when Old Nebee made his image of Gold and demanded that they all bow down and worship it.  Everyone did but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
And then there is that problem with the first commandment.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  That does get sticky at times.  The Lord’s church doesn’t have to get permission to do God’s work.  The Lord Jesus said, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (Mat 28:19).    If the Lord Jesus has all power or authority, He hasn’t left any for any other to have over His church that He bled and died for.  The Lord’s church is not tax-exempt, it is non-taxable.  The meaning of exempt is, “Free, or released, from some liability to which others are subject; excepted from the operation or burden of some law.”  The church for which Christ died, is not liable for the laws that the state passes for corporations and other tax-exempt Public Charities such as corporations, unincorporated associations or corporations sole, etc. (See IRS Pub. 1828). 
Also the Lord’s churches are not ruled by statutory law but by the Holy Scriptures.  There is a vast difference between that which is legal and that which is lawful.  The state can make something legal, but only God can make it lawful.  The disciples had this same problem when they told the religious leaders in the early days of the church, We ought to obey God rather than men, when the religious rulers told them that they were not to teach in Jesus name, or in His authority rather than with ecclesiastical/state authority.
By refusing to file the exemption form, and demanding all of their rights guaranteed by the Indiana and Federal constitutions, Trinity Springs is declaring that the Lord Jesus Christ is the head over His church according to Eph. (5:23) not the state.   Taxes can only be paid to a sovereign.  The Lord Jesus said, …Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (Mt. 20:22)  Christ is the King of the church, not Caesar.  People may or may not owe taxes to Caesar, but they do owe the tithe to God through the local church.
For the church to file the exemption form, it would have to admit that it is in fact no different than a “commercial theatre” or a business enterprise.  Also the assessment board of appeals made it further impossible for the church to comply with their unreasonable demands in their decision on July 1, 2013 with the following words, “THE PTABOA DENIED THE LETTER THAT WAS PRESENTED, NO FORM ANSWERING THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WAS FILED, NO ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OR BY LAWS WERE FILED AND NO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS WERE FILED
Trinity Baptist Church is not a “legal entity” as the IRS defines a State church at 550
The church has met all requirements keeping the church property off of the tax rolls.  They filed a letter of Notification with the Tax Assessor on June 5, 2006 explaining that Trinity Baptist Church’s property was used for Biblical purposes exclusively.  The letter was accepted by the Assessor and nothing was said for the next seven years until April 2013 when the church received a notice of Tax due.  Pastor Jones called the auditor and was told that it was a mistake and she would take care of it.  Instead the church received a letter stating that the exemption would not be granted because, “Assessor McGuire stated that “you have not filed the proper paperwork in order to be considered a non-profit.” 
The matter was timely appealed and denied as was stated above so the church had no choice but to appeal the matter to the Indiana Board of Tax Review which has scheduled a hearing before an administrative appeals judge at the court house in Shoals, Indiana at 1:15 p.m. this Feb. 11th.  We are asking all concerned to be much in prayer for Pastor Jones who will be defending the church at the hearing.  This case will not only have great effect on Trinity Springs Church, but also on many other unregistered churches in the State of Indiana and even across the nation.
Anyone who would like to help Trinity Springs Baptist Church financially in this fight for liberty can do so by sending a gift of any amount through the Biblical Law Center PayPal account at their web site at Posts. or send a check or MO to:
P.O. Box 11
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Go to

to see pictures of Trinity Springs Baptist Church and Pastor Martin Jones.

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