Finis Dake and His Federal Conviction

Finis Dake and His Six Month Sentence to Federal Prison

      Finis Dake (author of the Dake Study Bible) was sentenced to six months in prison after taking an underage girl to three different motels on a trip across state lines. Dake called her his "wife" at each motel they checked into. He was found guilty of violating the Mann Act. Dake blamed his "error" on the devil and complained that the local authorities were against him. Dake did not apologize to the girl or accept full responsibility for his actions.

      Finis Dake wrote the old testament commentary notes prior to his trying to take advantage of this minor, and wrote the new testament notes while in prison (suffering "like Job"). The Dake family often try to say that those who believe the Dake Bible is unbiblical are taking Dake out of context. It is the aim of this web site to provide proof from Dake’s own writings and history to back up our statements. Below are some copies of actual newspaper articles from his trial. Just click on the thumbnails for larger pics. The .pdf contains all of the pics.

Important: click on the thumbnail to open a .pdf which contains a scan of the actual newspaper article. In you .pdf reader you can increase or decrease the size of the scan to make it more readable..

Complete .pdf of all Dake News and Trial Documents (4.5 MB)

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Admits He Had Petting Parties with a Minor - Minor Rape

1. Dake admits to ‘petting’ parties with a child. He accepts no responsibility but blames it all on the devil.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison

2. Finis Dake admits his guilt and pleads guilty. He had taken the girl to three different motels on their trip.

Finis Dake Starts 6 month Federal Sentence in Jail

3. Finis Dake decided to write the commentary to his Bible while in Jail. He again blames the devil for his sin.

Finis Dake - Chicago Tribune

4. The Federal Trial took place in Feb. 1937.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Kissing Wife after Cheating on her

5. Finis Dake kisses his wife as he gets ready to head off for his 6 month jail sentence.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Leaves for Jail Time

6. Dake blames the devil for his problems. He believes he is like Job in his suffering (though Dake forgets Job did not suffer for his own personal sin).

Finis Dake Starts Federal Sentence as a Convict

7. While Dake went to prison for 6 months, the victim was taken from her family and placed in a girls ‘home’. Dake would not tell her he was sorry.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Flock is Blinded to Dake's Guilt

8. "It’s Not my Fault… The Devil Made me Do it!"  Finis Dake appears to have never admitted and repented of his sin… it was not his fault.. it was the devils!

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Ministry Application with the Assemblies of God

9. Finis Dake’s Ordination Application – page 1.

Finis Dake - Page 2 - Ministry Application with the Assemblies of God

10. Finis Dake’s Ordination Appl. page 2.

Finis Dake - Ministry Ordination with the Assemblies of God

11. Finis Dake Ordination Cert.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Ministry History 1

12. Finis Dakes Ministry History with the Assemblies of God.

Finis Dake - Dake Ministry History - Card 2

13. Finis Dakes Removal from the Assemblies of God.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Christianity Today Article

14. Article in Christianity Today on Finis Dake and the Dake Bible.

Finis Dake - Dake Bible - Dake Family Response to Christianity Today

15. Response to the Christianity Today Article.

Finis Dake - Dake Family - Ad in Christianity Today

16. Ad taken out by the Dake Family in Christianity Today.


This section of this article has been added in response to a comment by "Unknown" below. I have quoted "Unknown" and answered this person here because I wanted to add a map and make a longer reply to him/her.

Where does Dake say, “the devil made me do it”? You have this quoted as if this is an actual quote which came from his lips, but I have seen your evidence and nowhere do I see this quote.

Your right, Dake did not use those ‘specific’ words himself. What he did say in article 1 was: "I am disgusted with the devil. If the devil had a tail and I could get ahold of it, I’d grab it and wrap it around a tree." Doesn’t it sound to you like he is blaming the devil for what happened? Instead he preaches to his church after he was convicted (before the sentence was carried out) that he is being persecuted like Job was in the Old Testament (Articles 3 and 6).

We often see similar situations like this in the news today: someone with power gets involved in some kind of ‘improper’ relationship’ with a woman and then denies it. Here with Dake though we see that he pled guilty to violating the Mann Act. What did he plead guilty too? "

Mann Act:

"Whoever knowingly transports any individual in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with intent that such individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both"

Did the prosecutor have other evidence? It is mentioned in the articles that they had evidence from the three motels he stopped in. There was enough evidence that Dake believed he would be found guilty and possibly sentenced to a much longer jail term if the case went to trial. Instead he (and his lawyer) were able to work out a shorter sentence by pleading guilty and throwing himself on the mercy of the court. Would an innocent man plead guilty know he would go to jail? I don’t believe so.

I am a parent. How would you feel if your underage daughter was picked up by a man almost twice her age, taken across state lines to three different motels (for a trip that was less than 350 miles), and engaged in petting parties? If you were a pastor, responsible to God and your congregation, would you (as a married person with an 8 year old child) pick up a young, underage girl then drive less than 17 miles to a motel to spend the night with her? How about then going to two more motels and spending the night with this underage teenager while your wife is at home taking care of your children?

It seems to me that you are interpreting what he said out of context. I read the article, and to me it seems that Dake did take responsibility. He said that he got some sense knocked into his head, implying that he needed some sense knocked into his head.

What responsibility did he take? It seems to me that he only admitted (publicly) that he had allowed the devil to get the better of him. He seems to be saying that his mistake was to innocently take this poor girl and try to help her… and then the devil takes advantage of the situation! Did Dake make a public apology to the girl? No, in fact he just stared at her without smiling or saying a thing as she was being led a way to her ‘reform school’ (The Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls) (see article 2).

I never saw him confess to having “petting parties”. Yes, these are the allegations of the hitchhidker but based on your evidence, Dake denied these allegations. If you don’t like the Dake bible that’s fine, but you should attack based on things which can be proved, not on the words of a hitchhiker.

He pled guilty! What do you think he pled guilty too? Violating the Mann act which was more than just taking a girl across state lines… it was transporting a girl across state lines for prostitution and other sexual activity! A guilty person can say whatever they want when they are in front of the cameras (or reporters), but he legally already admitted he was guilty. What other evidence than "JUST" an underage teenager did they have? The articles don’t give much information, though they do seem to indicate they had evidence from the motels where he lied and signed in as "Mr. C. Anderson and Wife."

Also to answer your question specifically, In article 6 it states that Dake admitted to the ‘petting parties.’

I don’t want to come across as harsh, but I get almost the same impression from some of Dake’s followers as I do from from Jehovah Witnesses. The JW’s believe the WatchTower organization is ‘perfect’ in the sense of never making a mistake. Why can’t Dake’s followers just admit that Dake was flawed and sinful (as we all are)? Many seem to almost believe that Dake’s writings are inspired and will do everything they can to defend him. Like many other men in positions of authority and power, Dake gave into his impulses and hurt his wife, church, and reputation.

It’s funny how you refer to the ‘hitchhiker" and try to insinuate that maybe she made it up. He admitted and pled guilty to it! Also the underage victim, she has a name. Her name was Emma Barcelli. She was 16 years old. She suffered as a result of all of this and was forced to go to a girls reform school. Instead of Dake preaching whoa is me, and claiming to be being treated like Job in the Old Testament (never mind Job was innocent, while Dake was being held responsible for his own actions) he should have been publicly apologizing to her, her family, and his church.

It’s interesting how the victim is often blamed. The prosecutor had enough evidence that Dake was afraid to go to trial. He plead guilty! How is that just on the words of a ‘hitchhiker.’ But even if it was ‘just’ the hitchhiker, should we ignore the victim because it’s ‘just her word?’ Blame the victim maybe? 

There are a lot of interesting ‘tidbits’ in the newspaper articles if you read them closely.  I doubt most things lawyers say (since they are paid to phrase and word things in a way that will put their client in the best possible light). One of those interesting ‘tidbits’ is in article 2.  Dake’s lawyer says "…There no actual moral offense involved here. He desisted upon her request." The lawyer says his client ‘desisted upon her request.’  First,  Dake had already admitted to the presecuter that he had petting parties with the girl. The way I understand the lawyers statement here is that Dake wanted the underage girl to do more than have a ‘petting party.’   Dake asked for more and the girl said NO! Dake desisted (stopped) what he was trying to get her to do when she asked him too.

Another thing (and there are many) that makes no sense in Dake’s statements: Dake picked up the girl and drove her to a motel that was less than 17 miles from where he picked her up. The motel was less than 8 miles from Zion Il where his wife and house were located.   So Dake’s followers would have us believe that he picked up the girl and instead of taking her to his house (where his wife and child were and where he would have accountability) he took her to a motel 8 miles away? Lets be real folks!  How many married people pick up young attractive (underage) girls and take them to motels less than eight miles from their home for godly reasons! 

Dake’s Official Biography by Leon Bible

Here are a few comments about statements in Dake’s ‘official’ biography regarding these events:

First, Mr. Leon Bible (like Dake) seems to put the blame for these events on the Devil instead of Dake’s misdeeds (this biography is very one sided and continually tries to put Dake in a positive light instead of giving the unvarnished or unbiased truth). P. 245 states "It is at times like these, when the kingdom is advancing and the work of the Lord is being done, that the Devil lets loose with his greatest attacks. This was the case for Dake." (Leon Bible, Finis Jennings Dake,2006). Yes I believe that the devil will attack God’s workers, but the ultimate responsibility for our sin is our own. We can only blame ourselves (something Dake and Mr. Bible can’t bring themselves to do it seems).

Another ‘inconsistency’: on page 246,  the biography states that "Years later, he told Lester Sumrall that he had passed this girl hitchhiking along the side of the road in winter time." The idea seems to be aimed at getting the reader to believe that it was freezing cold outside and Dake was trying to help get the poor girl out of the cold. There is one big problem with this story: Dake transported and stayed with 16 year old Emma on April 26th NOT in the middle of the winter! (See Article 2). It was almost  May, not January or February!

Another example of the Leon Bible showing bias in his bibliography (published Dake Publishing) is when he attempts to make excuses for Dake by stating on page 246: "Zion, Illinois, was more or less a border town, situated only about three and a half miles from the Wisconsin state line. In the course of everyday life, many residents of Zion crossed the border every day." So since Zion IL was 3.5 miles from the Wisconsin border its ok? First the biographer is down playing the fact that Dake did NOT drive her 3. 5 miles, but instead drove her almost 350 miles! He drove her from Wisconsin almost all the way to Missouri (to East St. Louis which is right across the border from Missouri!). Leon Bible also NEVER mentions that Dake stayed at the first motel less than 8 miles from Dakes wife and home! He also never mentions that Dake stayed with her in two more motels (three motels in a less than 350 mile trip!) on his way to East St. Louis!. 

The rest of this section deals with, according to Leon Bible, how Dake’s church and wife ‘stood by him.’  First, what does that prove?  No matter how bad the crime there always seems to be someone who will stand by them.  Leon (being biased again) leaves out those that did NOT stand by him. For example, the denomination he was ordained with, the Assemblies of God, removed him from fellowship and took away his ordination/credentials (see article 13). 

Now Leon Bible in his biography of Dake makes many statements with absolutely nothing to back them up (good biographies will have some footnotes. The Biographer does not use any foot notes in this section). For example he states on p. 248 "As for the girl, she herself said that nothing happened."  There (like in most othe places in this biography) are no sources quoted or stated.  I go on record as asking the author, Leon Bible to publicly post his sources where he got some of his ‘facts’ from regarding this issue.  I have collected every newspaper article I could find on this issue and found nothing to support the claims Mr. Bible makes. 

Dake’s Motel Stops:

Finis Dake stopped at three different motels while taking the underage girl from Kenosha, WI to St. Louis. The first motel was only about 17 miles from where he had picked her up. Here is a map with his stops:

Dakes Motel stops with underage girl

1. The first stop after leaving Kenosha was to drive less than 17 miles and stop at Waukegan, IL. At all three motels he gave a fake name and registered her as his wife (Mr. and Mrs. Anderson).

2. After leaving Waukegan, IL, their next motel stop was in Bloomington, IL – about 166 miles. Again he changed his name and lied about the underage girl being his wife.

3. Finally after leaving Bloomington, IL, they drove 161 miles to East St. Louis, where again he said he was Mr. Christian Anderson and the girl was Mrs. Anderson.

So if we are to believe Dake’s story, then we would have to ask why did he stop at the first and last motel with the young girl?  There was no need to stop at the first motel: it was less than 8 miles from his home!   Leon Bible in Dake’s biography seems to indicate that Dake’s sister (p. 247) lived in East St. Louis. So once they arrived in East St. Louis Dake could  have dropped the young teenager off at his sisters house but instead of stayed in yet another motel with her!