Lest we Forget - February 13, 2001
By Gregory J. Dixon
May this date forever live in infamy. The day that 100 federal marshals raided a sovereign church in America, for a so called "tax-debt." But may we also never forget that his 2009 book Never Again, Attorney General John Ashcroft (R), who ordered the raid, admitted that IBT owed no taxes. Following is a brief account of the momentous events.
The Indianapolis Baptist Temple was founded in March of 1950 as an Independent Baptist Church by George Young, who had just graduated from the Bible Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Dr. J. Frank Norris, Founder and President of the seminary, knowing that he originally came from Bedford, Indiana, suggested that he go to Indianapolis to found an Independent Baptist Church. To be independent meant not affiliated with the Northern (now American) or Southern Baptist Conventions. In the fall of the year, the church, upon the advice of Dr. Dallas Billington, who was pastor of the Akron Baptist Temple in Akron, Ohio, incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Indiana, contrary to the scriptures pertaining to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over His divine assembly, and the historic Baptist position pertaining to church polity. The congregation, acting upon erroneous legal advice, was not aware that they had removed themselves from the protection of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the religious liberty clauses of the Indiana Constitution. In essence they had accepted another lord over their church (government), in violation to the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." They had entered into contract placing themselves under the non-profit corporate laws of the state of Indiana and the Non-profit Czar of the IRS to officially teach "Federal Public Policy", rather than "all the counsel of God."
The church (IBT), according to the commands regarding government, obeyed all state and federal laws concerning non-profit organizations, including the collecting and paying of employee taxes to the State revenue agency and the Internal Revenue Service. However, in 1982 the church came to the conviction that they had been disobedient to their Lord by taking upon themselves a "legal" status contrary to the scriptures and the First Amendment and in so doing had sinned against their Lord. After a six-month study by a group of men in the church, the congregation accepted their conclusions that in fact the church had violated the scriptures, but also had put themselves in serious jeopardy by discarding the protections of the First Amendment and had agreed to limit their preaching and teaching ministry to the authority of the IRS pertaining to 501 (c) (3) organizations and made the church a tax collector and payer to Caesar.
On the basis of this information the church stopped operating as this "legal", non-profit entity in 1984, including the collecting of payroll and FICA taxes. The church notified all taxing agencies local, state and federal including a letter to Senator Robert Dole, the chairman of the Senate finance committee. The church operated in peace without any governmental opposition until the IRS put liens on the church property for back payroll taxes in 1987. The US Justice Department filed a complaint against the church in Federal District Court on April 13, 1998. The District Court ruled in favor of the Justice Department and after being upheld by the Seventh District Court of appeals, the church appealed to the Supreme Court which refused to hear the case.
After the Federal Marshal did not honor the court order to seize the church property on Nov. 14, 2000 at High Noon, the members of the congregation remained and occupied the property for ninety-three days until the church property was seized by federal marshals on Feb. 13, 2001. The church property was turned over to a receiver and $6 million worth of property (i.e. an MAI appraisal) including a 2000 seat sanctuary and twenty-two acres of land was turned over to a receiver and sold to the Christel House Foundation for $1.5 million dollars. It also included the church parsonage valued at approximately $175,000 which was to have been given to the pastor and his wife upon his retirement. The main sanctuary was bulldozed to make way for the Christlel House Charter School.
After five years of moving from place to place, under the leadership of Pastor Greg A. Dixon, the church continued on, under extreme difficulties, in leased facilities until they moved to their present location at 2002 E. Southport Rd, after renovating it for approximately $1.5 million dollars which the congregation gave sacrificially, including many man hours in its renovation. The church has remained totally debt free while continuing with their gospel ministry, which includes a world-wide ministry and a church planting ministry locally and around the world. Pastor Greg A. Dixon resigned to lead the church planting ministry and Matt Roller became pastor effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis
CAUSE NO. IP 98-0498-C-B/S
Judge Sara Evans Barker
Summary Judgment given to US on June 26, 1999
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Chicago, IL, same Cause No. as above. Unanimous decision by Judges Coffey, Evans, and Williams. Williams wrote the opinion, sustained Judge Barkers decision on August 17, 2000
Certiorari Denied in the Supreme Court of the United States February 16, 2001.
A court of Divine Judgment was conducted on Feb. 13, 2002. A copy will be sent to anyone who requests it at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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