The Indianapolis Baptist Temple will celebrate her sixty-fifth anniversary today at 9:30 a.m. with just one service and then a dinner in the church gymnasium afterwards, catered by Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria. Buddy Mullins of the singing Mullins family will be guest soloist for the day. Dr. Greg J. Dixon (83), who was the pastor of the church for forty-one years, will be one of the speakers. His wife who in recent years has been quite infirm is hoping to be in the services with him.
Greg A. Dixon, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Dixon, along with his wife Kathy, will also be celebrating nearly twenty years as pastor of the church. Considering the time that he spent as Co-pastor and Associate-Pastor Rev. Dixon has been with the church nearly forty years having come to the church right after graduation from Baptist Bible College in 1977.
The church is located at 4002 Southport Rd. having moved there in 2006 after leasing the abandoned health club from the Jackson Brothers that had sat empty for five years. The church congregation gave over one and a half million for renovation and parking.
The Federal government raided the church facilities after a 91 day siege on Feb. 13, 2001 after the Supreme Court of the U.S. had refused to hear their case in regards to the collecting and paying of Federal withholding and FICA taxes from the gifts received by those who ministered in the ministries of the church. The building and twenty-two acres in the 3700 block of South East St. were turned over to a receiver and sold for One million five hundred thousand dollars to satisfy a $6 million dollar tax judgment. They also seized the church parsonage located six miles south of the church for $150,000.
Ironically, Attorney General John Ashcroft (R), who ordered the raid on the church wrote a book after he left office titled, Never Again, He devoted six pages to the Baptist Temple case. On page 93 he wrote, “Shortly after I left office a highly volatile situation threatened following a sixteen-year dispute between the Indianapolis Baptist Temple and the Internal Revenue Service. The church comprised of more than a thousand members stopped withholding federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from the paychecks of its employees back in 1984 on the grounds that church employees were receiving “love gifts” for their services rather than wages. The employees paid their own taxes on the money they received from the church, but the church itself continued to accrue back taxes, penalties, and interest amounting to more than $6 million dollars.”
At this point the church rests its case. If the Chief Prosecutor declares in writing that the church owes no taxes, how was there a case against the church by the U.S. Government? The fact is this was a case of pure religious persecution and fraud at the highest levels of the government of the U.S. backed up by the federal courts, in broad daylight, with the press and clergy of America watching and there is nothing that one person on this earth can do about it. That’s where we are in America today.
But what man meant for evil, God meant for good. The church didn’t take up weapons and begin killing IRS agents or federal marshals, but under the leadership of their Pastor Greg A. Dixon, instead of
“crying over spilled milk, they just got up and chased the cow.” For five years they met in High School and cafeteria auditoriums. One Sunday they couldn’t meet at all. But under God they persevered until the day that the Lord was pleased to make one of the most strategic locations in Marion County available to them.
We won’t take time in this article to tell of all the good things of the Lord upon the church in internal and external blessings. We will leave that to another story. But on this 65th Anniversary, all of you who are members of IBT, at least for one day, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and give all Glory to God.
Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.