Power Team Founder John Jacobs Faces Assault Charge in Dallas

by | Jun 30, 2001 | Charisma Archive

The divorced evangelist blames former members of his famous strength team for ‘sabotaging’ his ministry



Dallas-based evangelist John Jacobs is 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs more than 300 pounds and measures 5 feet around his chest. He once placed second in the nation in weight lifting, can snap two pairs of handcuffs and can curl 350 pounds.


But Jacobs’ powerful body has landed him in legal trouble. He now faces a misdemeanor assault and battery charge for attacking Jeff Audas, an ex-employee of the Power Team who now works for Team Impact, a ministry made up of 24 of Jacobs’ former colleagues.


Documents on file at the Dallas County Courthouse say that on May 19, 2000, Jacobs grabbed Audas by the shoulders and slammed him into a wall. The records also state that other employees tried to restrain Jacobs, “but he was able to grab [Audas] by the right shoulder and shove him into the wall one more time.”


Jacobs’ attorney, Joe Shearin, denies that his client assaulted Audas. Shearin called Audas “a somewhat out-of-control malcontent whose accusations are false.” At press time a date had not been set for a court hearing.


More than a dozen former Power Team members left Jacobs’ ministry after he divorced his wife of 16 years, Ruthanne, in May 2000.


In an interview with Charisma, Jacobs, who is 41, blasted former employees such as Audas and others who left to form Team Impact, which also blends evangelism and feats of strength to reach young audiences. Jacobs called his former associates “troublemakers, disloyal, antagonizers and womanizers.” He also said he believes these individuals were “pruned” from his ministry “so we could go to the next level.”


But not all of Jacobs’ supporters are critical of his former ministry associates. Larry Jones, founder and president of the Oklahoma-based Feed the Children ministry, served at one time on a three-member advisory team that was helping Jacobs during his divorce proceedings. But today Jones is a member of Team Impact’s board of advisers.


Jones said Team Impact members were “good guys,” adding that Audas’ No. 1 priority is his wife and his family. “I never saw any evidence of flirtation. [Audas] is a hard worker, definitely not an antagonizer,” Jones said.


Jacobs blames Team Impact members for his mass staff exodus and what he calls their attempts to “sabotage” his ministry. He also blames them for contributing to his organization’s financial woes, claiming that Team Impact members spread rumors that the Power Team no longer exists.


“[As a result] we lost 25 crusades and between $1 million to $1.5 million dollars [in potential income],” Jacobs said. “They admitted to it and said, ‘Yes, we’ve done this, but we’re going to stop.'”


But Audas denies ever calling churches where Jacobs was scheduled to perform. “At no time did we ever do that. We never would establish a ministry of thievery based upon someone else’s achievements,” Audas said.


Some ministers rushed to the defense of Audas and Team Impact. Pastor Shane Womack of Knott Avenue Christian Church in Anaheim, Calif., said his church initiated all contact with Team Impact.


Michael Reeves, pastor of Teaver Road Baptist Church in LaGrange, Ga., said he never heard Team Impact members criticize or slander the Power Team or John Jacobs’ ministry. “There were no accusations or misleading rumors spoken,” he added.


The Power Team’s financial woes show no signs of improving. In a layoff announcement dated April 17 and given to a Power Team employee, Jacobs wrote that an additional $20,000 to $30,000 a month is needed to fulfill financial obligations.


Jacobs also claims that his total annual income, which is listed at $500,000 in a document on file at the Dallas County Courthouse, is incorrect. He said he rushed to fill out court-ordered documents relating to the assault and battery charge, and in his hurry he reported the wrong numbers. His actual income, he said, is about $331,000, which includes royalties from his books and tapes, as well as mineral rights in Oklahoma and an inheritance.


Jacobs has since remarried, and the three-person advisory council that provided pastoral oversight during his divorce proceedings has since resigned. It consisted of Larry Jones, pastor Lawrence Kennedy of The North Church in Dallas, and pastor Bill Purvis of Cascade Hills Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga.


“The three-person advisory council assembled by John Jacobs is no longer involved in his restoration,” the three ministers said in a joint statement. “Each of us resigned when we could no longer be effective in this assignment. We are all deeply sympathetic with the Power Team and the effects of this divorce. This is another wake-up call to all Christian leaders who are being greatly blessed and used by God.”


Despite his troubles, Jacobs remains upbeat about his ministry and says many people have come to Christ at his recent meetings. About 135 crusade events have been scheduled for the Power Team this year.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set...
3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]