Saturday, February 7, 2015

Wiley Drake Starts Boots On The Ground Campaign For Kent Hovind In Pensacola

by Ben Sheffler

Kent Hovind supporters are gathering this week for "Boots on the Ground for Kent Hovind" at the Red Roof Inn in Pensacola, Fla., led by Wiley Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif.

"We really have two thrusts," Drake said. "Number one is to be here, to meet with [Hovind] and to hear his story again face-on. But the second reason is to try to draw attention to the case."

To rally support, Drake is hosting his Internet and radio show from his hotel room everyday at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and said anyone can stop by. About five people were at the first show today.
Pastor Wiley Drake

"Anybody who wants to come by and pray with me is welcome," he said.

Hovind, who is currently nearing the end of 10-year sentence on tax related charges, was charged last October with mail fraud.

"The old charges are absolutely bogus. The new charges are, I wouldn't say bogus, but the new charges are just stupid," Drake said.

Drake believes Hovind is being religiously persecuted.

"Absolutely religious persecution. We're in a day and age where the government is saying 'You go to church on Sunday, that's OK...but you can't do anything else,'" he said. "It’s the government wanting to take over the family, just like Hitler did."

Christians are avoiding the Hovind situation "like a plague," Drake said.

"Nobody wants to be associated with a tax cheat...because their attitude is if the government arrested him it must be partially true. And it's absolutely, 100 percent false," he said.

Hovind's trial has been re-scheduled three times now. It was originally set to begin Dec. 1, but it was moved to Jan. 5, then Feb. 9 and most recently has been pushed back until March 2.

"Every time we rally, coincidentally, right after that, the court applies for a continuance," Drake said. "The reason was they were afraid they were going to get coverage, and they will get coverage. It's going to blow up in their face."

Drake was introduced to Hovind 10 years ago by Greg Dixon, whose Indianapolis Baptist Temple was seized for not collecting taxes from its employees. He said Hovind's attitude is very good and that he's been very active in prison.

"He's very quiet and easy going, but that doesn't mean he's not aggressive," he said. "He's won over 700 people to the Lord and done a lot of work with other legal organizations to try to bring his case to bear, and he wants out of jail."

The event at the Red Roof Inn runs through Feb. 10. For those who can't attend, Drake asks for prayers.

"If you can't be boots on the ground, you can be prayer in the air," he said.

Drake's broadcast is available on YouTube and

Ben Shefflerw is a freelance journalist living in Pensacola, Fla. He's studying psychology at the University of West Florida. You can follow him on Twitter @bensheffler.


  1. Makes me wonder what anonymous ID's Ben might work under in order to help support the Hovindication efforts!

    It makes for a good conspiracy theory and I know the Hovindicators like a good conspiracy theory.

  2. We recruited Ben to follow the story. Based on what I have seen of Drake's videos, I have not reason to doubt the accuracy of the story. That's what you get when you talk to Wiley Drake.

    1. Peter,

      I don't doubt the accuracy of the reporting (i.e., 5 people showed up for Wiley's show).

      It's mostly an accumulation of Wiley quotes, lacking some of the most notorious regarding spurious details of the Hovind case.

      You don't give any details of your recruiting efforts, Peter.

      I think I will continue to speculate that Ben may be one of Kent's anonymous Hovindicators; maybe even the infamous "FreeKentHovind" who sports a slick, impressive website that has qualities consistent with Ben's resume.

      It's not like I'm claiming IRS thugs busted down Kent's door without a warrant and dragged Jo Hovind out of bed, or that Judge Rodgers compared Kent's crimes to "rape" and then conspired to eliminate the reference from the official record.

      Speculating about Ben's activities as a Hovindicator is all in good fun.

      Like many of Kent's claims, at this point it is non-falsifiable so I am safe in having such fun with Ben and "FreeKentHovind".

  3. Ben,

    Did you ask Wiley whether he had first read the 1800+ pages of the trial transcript before reaching his fact-free conclusion that the original charges were "entirely bogus"?

    Also, living in Pensacola, will you be able to attend the trial and report?

    1. Samphire, when you hold the mistaken view (as Kent Hovind does) that he's not a citizen of the United States who must pay taxes (a standard sovereign citizen view) and he doesn't believe he owes personal taxes because he's taken a vow of poverty (all the while having constructive ownership of 11 tracts of land and a ministry with cash flow of ~$1.5 million a year), you can delude yourself into just about anything.

      I'd like to point out to the Hovindicators that Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum is not in prison for taxes. Neither is Eric Hovind, who runs Creation Today, the successor ministry to Creation Science Evangelism. As I say over at Hovindology (thanks to Peter), "it's the taxes, not the dinos."

  4. Wiley Drake's church (The First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park) is in possession of a letter from the Internal Revenue service asking for $50,000. Drake is holding it pretty close to his vest as to why the IRS is dunning him, but I would bet money that it's for the same reason Kent Hovind is in jail and the same reason Greg Dixon lost his church to the IRS in 2000.

    It's because these guys failed to remit taxes on their employees (not their ministers, they've got a different deal). Dixon believes that his church is exempt from paying income and Social Security taxes and Hovind believes similarly. As I said, Drake's holding his views on this very specific topic close to his vest, but I would bet money this is Drake's IRS problem.