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Greg J DixonMore About: Religion: Unregistered Churches
Tenth Anniversary of the Siege and Raid of Indianapolis Baptist Temple ~ February 13, 2011
It is hard to believe that ten years have flown by this quickly since that fateful, cold day ten years ago on Feb. 13, 2001, when Federal Marshals crashed into the sanctuary of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, carried out those of us who were praying at the altar in front of the church auditorium, padlocked the doors, and turned the property over to a receiver, who eventually sold $6 million worth of property for $1.5 million to the Chrystel House Foundation for a Charter School.
So, we are going to use this issue of The Trumpet to go back down memory lane and try to recreate The Day That Religious Liberty Died in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. The lead article in this issue is the front page article that was in the January – February 2001 Trumpet:
Indianapolis Baptist Temple Raided by Federal Marshals
U.S. Marshals forced their way through a side door and came into the auditorium. Approximately 30 people had slept at the church over night, but several of those had left for work or other duties by the time that the Marshals came. The Marshals were backed up by the Indianapolis Police Department directed by Police Chief Jerry Barker, who handled traffic and crowd control off of the church property. In a press release, the Marshal gave special thanks to Chief Barker for his assistance. Altogether there were 85 federal officers, including ATF and other "feds," who participated in the raid. Among the Marshals were several from SOG (Special Operations Group) who normally handle anti-terrorist and hostage situations. Several snipers were posted on the roof of the Big K-Mart across from the church and also on the roof of IBT. Several news helicopters circled the area.
Federal marshals remove Dr. Dixon from the Baptist Temple on a gurney as Pastor Greg A. Dixon follows on foot
When I saw the Marshals appear at the back side door of the auditorium, my mind quickly went back to October 18, 1982, in Louisville, Nebraska when 18 police of different jurisdictions came into the Faith Baptist Church and carried 100 of us out after an all night prayer meeting. The issue then was an uncertified church school. The same issue has risen again. Who will be the Lord of the church? God or government?
As we did in Louisville, those of us at the altar began praying as loud as we could until they picked us up and put us on gurneys and rolled us out. Softest ride that I've ever had. Obviously the federal government has more money than the states, so they can afford "Cadillacs" for these occasions. As a whole, the Marshals treated us very kindly and with great respect. Although Pastor Robert McCurry said that when he saw the pictures on the internet of the Marshals inside the church, it was a most eerie and chilling sight. It seemed to me that they realized that this was not just an ordinary raid. The only ugly situation involved an epileptic lady member of our church who was not allowed to cross the barrier back to her home across from the church. She had left to walk her two dogs before the raid began. Her brother had to come and take her away so they wouldn't arrest her. They told him that anyone could leave their homes but could not return until 2 PM. They did allow him to take the dogs home. In these times, animals seem to have more rights than humans.
In just a few minutes, scores of church members, friends, neighbors, and onlookers gathered to watch the proceedings. A man from another church in the area who had supported us many days went to a fabric store nearby and bought a long piece of black cloth. Bro. Hunsley and Greg Dzula, another one of our pastors, draped it as a huge shroud over the sign on the highway. Then Bro. Hunsley preached a powerful impromptu sermon to scores of people that stood around while media of all types filmed it.
From there, approximately 200 members and supporters gathered at the Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria where we were given a private room to eat and fellowship. We rejoiced together that we as the disciples of our Lord had also been counted worthy to suffer shame for His name's sake. Over 400 met at the cafeteria on Wednesday night in one of the greatest services that I have ever experienced. Connie Stephens, who can no longer serve in our children's ministry, sang Palms of Victory amid great shouts and tears. On Sunday the church met at 10 AM in their new auditorium at Manual High School which is located about 3 minutes away from the old church location.
Many called from all over the nation to tell us that they had seen the story of the raid on national news. Paul Harvey carried it as his lead story on Tuesday, we were told. Both Dan Rather and Peter Jennings mentioned it on their world wide news programs. God has allowed us to be a witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ to untold millions here and abroad.
For His name sake and glory, we are most grateful. We are not angry at the Marshal or anyone that participated in the raid of the Lord's church. The church does not belong to us; and the one who founded it, bought it, and perpetuates it will deal with each one in His own time. We do pray that they will repent of their sin and turn to Christ for salvation before it is too late if they do not know Him. I thought of the scripture where they laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. Just as Saul was never the same, I believe that some of those that participated in the raid will too never be the same. No doubt some will point to this day as the time that they met the Lord.
Two things hurt the most as I reflect on this day. First is the press release that the United States Justice Department gave out to the media. It said, "Today's action concludes a long standing tax evasion case against Rev. Gregory A. Dixon, Gregory J. Dixon, and the Church. The tax judgments stretch back to December 1990. They stem from IBT's refusal to withhold employees taxes and pay the churches share of Social Security taxes. Over a decade later following a lengthy series of hearings, trials, appeals and veiled attempts at negotiation with the IRS, IBT placed one final appeal to the US. Supreme Court. On January 16 the high court denied IBT's request."
This is a pure case of misinformation. At no time has the Indianapolis Baptist Temple or any of its pastors been charged with tax evasion. The government never at any time so much as mentioned the term. Judge Barker was the one who said that we left our old corporate status to "evade taxes." However, there was never any evidence to support such a claim. The U.S. Justice Department knows that tax evasion is criminal conduct. The action against IBT and Dr. Greg Dixon are civil cases. Marshal Anderson was quoted in the February 14 Indianapolis Star that they didn't handle this as a normal raid because it was a "civil action." This is how our government brands people that they target and attempt to destroy. They did the same thing to the Lord Jesus. They hung him between two thieves. He was not to look innocent. After all, the Roman empire did not crucify innocent people. Neither does our government raid innocent churches, do they?
Now that it is all over and we have exhausted our appeals to the Supreme Court and the church has been raided, these final thoughts come to my mind. First, we have not lost. It is only to be required of Stewards to be found faithful. That we have done, not only for these 50 years but particularly these past 92 days. We have fought a good fight. We have fought to protect the integrity of the New Testament Church from a total take over by this government. We have done our best to preserve religious liberty. We have no regrets.
Hebrews 10:34- ''For ye...took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." As Mrs. Dixon said recently, ''Wait till you see me in my new home."