John Wilkerson’s “Ordination” at First Baptist Church

Posted: March 5, 2013 in IFB, The "Do Right" Cults

thIt is one thing for church members and even ex church members to be angry over past incidents at First Baptist Church of Hammond and occasionally offer a rant about it, but utter buffoonery to posit constant anti-fundamentalist rhetoric on nearly EVERY aspect of FBC’s ministry and members. My observance today of such rhetoric made by the “Do Righters” and other “ex-fundies” surrounding Pastor John Wilkerson’s “ordination” at First Baptist Church of Hammond had me shaking my head in awe at the ignorance and spiteful agendas and motivations behind these groups.

Pastor John Wilkerson was chosen to replace former Pastor, Jack Schaap whose sentence for sexual abuse is to be determined in federal court near the end of this month. A video was made of the ordination service which has been re-posted by several of the anti-fundamentalist groups such as “Do Right First Baptist Church” [1]

Some of the comments read as follows:

*Rachel Raub Marie, maybe it like being baptized over and over. Maybe they are going to ordain them again every time they change sentencings…er…. I mean jobs.

*Amy Whitford They screw up everything!

*Jeremy Lape Sounds like it. Hmmm, they called an unordained preacher? my word. What’s next, an Episcopalian?

*Marie Smith No, he was ordained when he became a pastor -that is standard procedure for IFB. FBCH re-ordains because they place little value in other ordinations…That arrogant thing again.

Since these comments do not accurately portray what entails an ordination service, and include some ridiculous accusations, I will take a moment to set the record straight (as I too often must do with these groups).

Pastor Wilkerson’s Ordination

As is custom for independent Baptist churches, Pastor Wilkerson was ordained prior to becoming pastor of First Baptist Church of Longbeach, California on May 7, 2000. So yes he was already ordained.

Double Standard

The ordination process prior to becoming a pastor normally includes an examination of ones beliefs. It is ironic that the naysayers criticize FBC of being “blind followers” of men and “man worshipers”, but then question the ordination process of a preacher to verify that he actually does maintain Biblically based beliefs. One would think that to avoid having a wolf in sheep’s clothing pastoring a church, such an examination process would be encouraged, not ridiculed.

Ordination or Installation?

Jeremy Lape opined that the service should have been called “installation” instead of ordination. And they call Baptist Pharisees while they pick on the name of a service! Eddie Lapina himself clarified what the purpose of the service was for beginning at the 4 minute mark of the video. Mr Lapina even stated that it was not necessarily an inauguration but an installation service which they chose to call ordination. So it was clear from the video that it was not an initial ordination service, nor a RE-ordination.

Multiple Ordinations? Is It Biblical?

Finally, Marie Smith states [and her sentiments are shared by other groups] that FBC’s “re-ordination” is because they don’t accept ordinations from other churches and such displays the arrogance of FBC. Not only is this a complete misrepresentation of what the service was about, but displays a complete lack of ignorance of the Biblical history of laying on of hands of preachers throughout the Bible.

In Acts chapter 13, the Holy Spirit wanted Paul and Barnabas separated for a particular ministry. Paul was already directly commissioned by Christ Himself to preach (Acts 9:1-20). Yet even though Paul had already been a preacher for several years, prior to the sending out of Paul and Barnabas, hands were laid on them again. Acts 13:3.

Therefore there was nothing unbiblical about the service, or what title they chose to use to name the service.

Just another example of how the anti-fundamentalist crowd are willing to be as petty and Pharisaical as those whom they point fingers at, and often without any accurate description of IFB practices or Biblical knowledge.


  1. Kim says:

    The Wilkerson brothers (John and Matt) and their sweet wives (Linda and Jeri Lyn) were humble, hard-working, people-serving, fun folks who actually seemed out of place at HAC when we were in college there together. I have to think as I watch a clip of one of Pastor Wilkerson’s first sermons at FBC, that these folks are having a hard time adjusting to the soft spoken, humble man before them. May God use him mightily to lead these dear people.

    • Excellent article on the examining of the beliefs of Pastor Wilkerson prior to his becoming pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, IN. Thank you for your bringing out Pastor Wilkerson’s initial ordination in May 7, 2000.

      The Lord gave me the privilege of meeting Pastor Wilkerson in our home church in Missouri. Pastor Wilkerson is a man of God and has the spiritual maturity, sound wisdom, holiness, and the other attributes of a God called pastor, to lead the First Baptist Church.

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