Day 92 - The day they finally came
by Jessica Campbell
The battle has just begun.
After the rally downtown, the trip to Chicago (the seventh circuit court of appeals), and all the exhaustive measures that were taken to try to secure religious liberty, it was hard to believe that the battle was just beginning.
Who knew that the same freedoms our forefathers fought and died for would be the same freedoms we would be fighting for in our society today!
The Sunday before November 14th, 2000
It is Sunday morning, and the church is nearly filled. Many have came to hear what may be the last message ever preached at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. With powerful singing and powerful preaching, everyone could feel the presence and the power of God.
God has a plan for IBT, and they would soon find out just what it would be!
God has chosen His remnant few to take a stand.
The IBT pastors and members were prepared to defile the order given by Judge Sarah Evans Barker to vacate the property at 2711 S. East St. by November 14th, 2000. This church was in no hurry to give up now, or ever! For once a church would stand and make their voice known. The IRS is not lord over a church, but Jesus Christ who gave His life for all is Lord, is God, is all powerful, is all knowing, is King, and is sovereign over His church! A true church is already paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ! It was time in America for a church to stand up and say, "Enough is enough!" Jesus Christ is head over His church. He is the preeminent one, and we, His church, will not bow down to the wickedness of this Nation!
It was time for the righteous to take a stand that God may have mercy upon this Land!
The deadline has arrived
On November 14th, 2000, the deadline arrived. This is the day a federal judge has ordered the Indianapolis Baptist Temple to be seized. The deadline was set for 12:00 noon, and the church held a service at 11:00 a.m.
Including pastors, members, and supporters, there were well over a 1,000 people.
Hundreds gathered outside to witness what would be, the first time in history, the federal government seizing a church over a "tax" issue.
As 12:00 came, the services inside the church continued. As the hour went by, there was no sign of the federal marshals. The church could breathe just a little easier, for the Lord had removed the spirit of fear (II Tim. 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.). It was obvious to all that God was in control, and that He was covering the church with His hands.
As the day rolled on many began to wonder, "Where are the marshals?"
Media coverage was phenomenal as they waited to see what could be the biggest story of their time.
Anticipation began to set in as we began to think about what was to take place. Shortly after a while word came in that Dr. and Mrs. Dixon's home was seized. The marshal had placed the postings on the door, and the property was no longer the former pastor's. People began to get a little on edge, for surely now the marshals were on the their way. As the sun began to set and darkness came in, the marshals were still not here. The nighttime had fallen and a choice had to be made.
God was not through here yet, and it was time for the congregation's faith to be tested. As it began to get late, the pastors, members, and supporters, would settle in for the night. They would sleep in the church for the very first time. As the dawn came, and the sun began to rise, security was set to watch the church doors. Surely today the marshals would come. They must have been waiting on the attendance to dwindle and the excitement to wear down. But just as day one, day two would bring continuous music and powerful messages all day long. Soon day two would pass, and then day three. What was God doing? It would become obvious that God was bringing revival to the church, and bringing revival to the hearts of Christians.
A week passed, then two, and supporters began to leave. Many were pastors from out-of-state churches, and would have to go back home. Still, there were several hundred individuals peacefully keeping vigil at IBT.
Preaching continued daily, and the Sunday morning crowds were phenomenal. "Every day is a miracle." That would be a statement made throughout the next 92 days.
As a week turned into a month, many began to wonder if the marshals would ever come. Still, the church knew that they must continue to stand (Eph. 6:13, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand). The world must know that Jesus Christ is Lord over His church, and He is Lord over all (Eph. 4:6, One Lord and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all).
The Supreme Court
After many exhausting days of pastors, members, and supporters keeping vigil, there was word that the Supreme Court was looking at our case (This was an act of God, the Supreme Court wasn't even to look at our case, until next year). Obviously there was a lot of talk. Would they hear our case? Would they preserve religious liberty a little longer? After patiently waiting to see if religious liberty would still exist, word came through on January 16th, 2001, that the Supreme Court said "No". "No" to religious liberty, "no" to freedom, and "no" to God. Our speculations had come true. "Our government is now completely corrupt!" Tears were shed as the thought flooded our minds.
The next day the pastors, members, and supporters, mourned the death of religious liberty. There was a service held, and a tombstone was placed on the platform. There was sadness for our nation, for they have rejected Jesus Christ. But there was also gladness, gladness that Jesus Christ counted us worthy to be persecuted for Him.
(The months began to pass, and there was still no sign of the marshals).
Al Cunningham (our attorney) and Pastor Greg A. Dixon flew to Washington D.C. to get someone to listen to their case. Pastor and the attorney spoke with several individuals who seemed to be concerned with our case. They assured our attorney and pastor that they would seek to find a political solution to our situation. There was nothing left for them to do, so pastor and our attorney headed back home. They explained the situation to the church, and how they were told not to tell who they had spoken to in Washington. It seemed possible that this case would be 'swept under the rug', so to speak. If there was a deal, the taxes would be rolled back and forgotten. IBT would become a "hush-hush" case, and know one would know about it.
(Because of this news, many of the out-of-town supporters went home. They felt in their hearts there would be a resolution).
Tuesday, February 13th, 2001
Breaking news all across the radio and television stations: After 92 days, the federal marshals are in the process of seizing the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. At 8:40 a.m., 85 marshals stormed the building, while 70 of the Indianapolis Police barricaded the surrounding areas (this was a shock to all, the day had finally came. Many people had believed that this day would never come). Frank Anderson, the head marshal, read the court order, and then they began to defile the House of God.
While 30 individuals had stayed the night at the church, they had left for work in the morning. Six remained, and the six began to pray! They knelt at the altar and prayed out loud. "God have mercy on them, they know not what they do.", "God, please forgive them.", "God I forgive them.", "God help them." Outside in the parking lot, pastor Greg A. Dixon was furious. He had left in the morning to take his girls to school, and on his way back he received the news. He rushed back to the church as fast as he could. When he arrived, he demanded that they let him in the church. The federal marshals were telling him no, and pastor Dixon was getting angry. Finally, Frank Anderson (the head marshal), told the pastor to follow him. This would be the last time pastor Greg A. Dixon would step inside his church. The marshals inside the church began to ask those who would like to be escorted out to follow them. Only a few members chose to get up, and be escorted out.
Dr. Dixon (former pastor), was praying continuously out loud until Frank Anderson knelt down beside him and said, "It's time. We have to do this." Dr. Dixon refused to walk out, so they put him on a stretcher and wheeled him out. Pastor Greg A. Dixon walked along his father's side.
The remaining members were also wheeled out on stretchers.
The marshals then began to violate, and desecrate the house of God.
The barricades were set several hundred feet away from the church. Only from a distance could this nation see what was taking place. Marshals were standing on the rooftops and dogs were sniffing out the property. This surely didn't seem like a siege for a church. This was an act of tyranny! Where have our rights gone in America today? The church pastors, members, and supporters watched from a distance as this horrible act was taking place. There was weeping and sorrow. This is the saddest day in America, "the day Americans have lost their freedom." There was a black cloth draped over the Indianapolis Baptist Temple sign. There was preaching, and singing, as the church mourned the death of religious liberty.
Around noon the church met at Johnathan Byrd's Cafeteria. Pastor Greg A. Dixon asked the church members to give their testimonies.
One by one they stood: "I'm thankful that God is sovereign.", "I'm thankful God has chosen us.", "I'm thankful for our pastors, who have been so strong.", "I'm thankful to be a part of a 'true' church, a church that believes Jesus Christ is Lord."
Later that evening, the church pastors, members, and supporters gathered across the street from the church building to sing praises to God, and to hear preaching from the Word of God. It was an unfamiliar territory: the church was on the outside looking in.
What will IBT do now?
The church will go on! The church will continue to serve Jesus Christ wherever they may go! They will continue to spread the truth about Jesus Christ, and will continue to claim Him Lord of all. The church is the people, and a "true" church is the Lord's. Jesus Christ is, and will remain, head over the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.
From this stand of 92 days, the church has become stronger. Their faith has been tested, and from that they have grown. They have put it all on the line for Christ, and were persecuted for "righteousness" sake. How astonishing to think that Jesus Christ found IBT worthy. "He has found His remnant few."
The only thing the IRS has gotten is a 50-year-old building. The government failed in there conquest. They have not conquered the church. They have not silenced the preachers. They have only brought judgment on themselves, and their families.
For the first time, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple has become an underground church! In America? How could this be? What about the Constitution? What about the First Amendment? What about our forefathers who fought and died for freedom? What about them?..."They are all dead!"
The best part
There have been so many good times throughout this battle!
Over 20 people have been baptized, and many have been saved! God can use any situation, and He has definitely used this church.
The spiritual growth of the members and supporters has grown tremendously.
The friendships that were made are friendships that will last a life time, not only with supporters, but with the media. It was great to see God work in the lives of those who stayed day after day, and night after night (including the media).
The hundreds of messages brought by pastors from all across the country was such a blessing.
"Has there ever in America been preaching for 92 days straight?"
God has shown His sovereignty throughout this entire battle!
The hardest part
There were so many difficult times throughout the battle, but the hardest part was getting out the truth! There are a lot of people throughout the nation that just didn't understand the issues. They were falsely informed, and knew little about the facts. It is hard to deal with the negativity, especially when there is no logical reasoning behind it.
What is the truth
The truth is that Jesus Christ is head over His church! (Col. 1:18, And He is the head of the Body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence).
The truth is that Jesus Christ is Lord over all! (Col. 1:16, For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:).
The truth is that we have to follow Jesus Christ, and no other. (Mat. 10:38, And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me). The First Commandment in the Bible says, "thou shalt have no other gods before me." ( Jn. 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments).
The truth is that it is mandatory for Christians to suffer. (I Peter 4:12,13, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy).
The truth is that it glorifies God when Christian's suffer. (Mat. 5: 10-12, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you).
The truth about IBT
The truth is that IBT is just standing on the foundation of God, and our forefathers. Our forefathers fought and died for our freedoms. They came to America for the sole purpose of religious freedom. This nation was founded by God, and blessed by God. The same God that founded and blessed this nation is the same God that will judge this nation and destroy the wicked.
Separation of church and state
501(c)(3) not for profit organization churches are acting as an agent of the government. How can you believe in separation of church and state when your church is funding government programs. You are either in or out, there is no in-between. You are either separated or not!
Those churches (such as IBT) that do not have a tax-code, that do not receive a penny from the government, and are not told what to preach, are known as a "true" church, a New Testament church, the Lord's church. These are the only churches today that are truly separated from the government. And sadly, as of today, they can no longer exist in America. They can no longer own property, and they are no longer recognized today as a "church." We are becoming a communist country, and the preachers of today are making it happen. (II Tim. 4:3,4, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables).
Wolves in sheep's clothing
We can be thankful, as Christians, that Bush and Ashcroft have apparently shown their true colors. An illustration in the local paper sums it all up into one. As Dr. Dixon was being pulled out on a stretcher, above his head said, "Is this President Bush's faith-based initiative?" A President who claims to be a Christian has allowed, for the first time in American history, the federal government to seize church property--God's property!
Watch out America! Bush and Ashcroft are seemingly no better then Clinton and Reno. Their new plan to fund churches for government programs is just the next step in "total" control (This proves exactly why IBT refused to register with the state). Wake-up, all of you 501(c)(3) corporations, because you are in for it! You are bringing in the "one-world church," which will be responsible for the "one-world government."
These are the last days that the Bible speaks about. And these so-called churches of America (501(c)(3) organizations), will be held accountable unto God for being partners with this wicked government! (John 16:2, They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service). (I John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).