Magazine article The Christian Century

Indianapolis Church Seized by IRS

Magazine article The Christian Century

Indianapolis Church Seized by IRS

Article excerpt

A prayer vigil inside an Indianapolis church came to an abrupt end February 13 as federal marshals seized the tax-delinquent Indianapolis Baptist Temple.

"We had a promise from the Bush administration," said Greg Dixon, whose son succeeded him as pastor about three years ago. "We had every reason to believe there was a moratorium. They were going to dismiss the case. We had a deal, and they welshed on the deal."

About six or seven people were inside the church praying when authorities entered, the Associated Press reported. Officials were forced to remove Dixon by wheeling him out of the church on a gurney, but no one was arrested or injured.

Under a federal judge's ruling last September, the congregation was ordered to relinquish its building to the Internal Revenue Service to pay some $6 million in back taxes. The church, which lost its tax-exempt status in the mid-1990s, was told to vacate its premises by November 14. The September ruling followed a 1999 decision that sided with the IRS claim the church owed $5. …

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