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First Baptist HammondFirst Baptist Church Hammond voted to accept John Wilkerson as its new pastor Sunday evening.

Wilkerson follows Jack Schaap, who left First Baptist Hammond last year after admitting to having sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl and transporting her across state lines to have sex with her (a federal offense).  Schaap is currently awaiting sentencing. According to news reports: Wilkerson graduated from Hyles-Anderson in 1989 and taught at the church’s City Baptist Schools for a year before moving to California to teach at a Baptist school in Long Beach. He became principal of Calvary Christian School in Baton Rouge, La. in 1993 and returned to California in 2000 to become the pastor of First Baptist Church of Long Beach. During Wilkerson’s tenure as pastor, the Sunday school program at First Baptist Church of Long Beach has grown in attendance from 849 to more than 1,700. The Wilkersons are parents to nine children. In August 2008, the couple’s 17-year-old son, Tyler, was killed in a car accident. The Sunday after his son’s death, Wilkerson presented a sermon entitled, “God Makes No Mistakes,” according to the First Baptist Church Web site. Wilkerson will begin at First Baptist Hammond on February 17. // Read more here…

According to First Baptist Church of Hammond officials announced Monday they are considering a new minister to lead the congregation. John Wilkerson, who has been the pastor of First Baptist Church of Long Beach, Calif., since June 4, 2000, will speak to the Hammond congregation Wednesday. The church is expected to vote on Wilkerson on Sunday, according to a church news release. If approved, Wilkerson will replace Jack Schaap, the church’s fired former head pastor. Schaap pleaded guilty Sept. 26 to having sex with a 16-year-old girl. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 15. // Read more here…  Wilkerson is a Hyles-Anderson graduate.
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