THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG
The purpose of this blog is to bring into the light what has previously been kept in the dark, that is, to publicly identify former ABWE missionary Dr. Donn Ketcham of Allendale, Michigan, as a pedophile and to document ABWE’s coverup of his crimes. It is also to hold ABWE accountable to demonstrate in word and in deed that they have become transparent, trustworthy and have transformed their hearts in regard to abuse victims.
In addition to revealing that Dr. Ketcham is a pedophile, this blog documents how the American mission agency he served under, Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (hereby referred to as ABWE and located in Pennsylvania), protected both his private and public reputation for over 20 years, by stating in writing and in private communication with inquiring parties that he was dismissed from the mission as a result of “moral failure” or adultery.
We hope and pray that this blog will result in a change of heart at ABWE, but we have yet to see a demonstrable change. Since this blog launched, ABWE has shown improving PR skills, a few carefully crafted apologies, and continued acts of self-preservation and secrecy that have been devastating to the victims.
2013 UPDATE: (See 2014 update below.) On Feb. 7, 2013, ABWE summarily dismissed GRACE as the investigative team and hired Pii, a private firm that specializes–according to their own electronic brochure–in confidentiality with their client (read: their job is to protect ABWE). On Feb. 11, 2013, GRACE gave a detailed and thorough response to every allegation slung by ABWE.
The GRACE report was just a few weeks from completion.
Without GRACE, we the victims are no longer guaranteed:
- That the identity of interviewees (victims and whistle-blowers both) will be protected from ABWE and its current staff
- That our interviews are not just fodder for ABWE’s lawyers and their potential defense files
- That there will be FULL public access to the final report* (with victim names protected)
- That MKs will be granted equal footing on a committee with ABWE employees to determine final outcomes of the report
*NOTE: ABWE does claim that the Pii report will be “public,” however after repeated inquiries, they still refuse to offer us even the smallest detail or guarantee of what that will look like, which means it could look like their Simms Showers report from 2012. That report gave the public, including supporting churches, absolutely no pertinent information regarding the number of pedophiles, names of pedophiles, the countries affected, the number of victims, the employees involved in covering the abuse, etc. That report can be summed up essentially as “we found stuff and we took care of it.”
That is not at all what it means to make report findings public, and yet that was ABWE’s idea of making findings “public” as recently as the fall of 2012.
2014 UPDATE: Over the past few months ABWE’s private investigative team has finally begun contacting Bangladesh missionaries and MKs for interviews. This firm is called Pii (Professional Investigators International) and is a Mormon-run firm in Spokane, WA, with close ties to Scott Ross who was roundly condemned for mishandling New Tribes abuse cases in GRACE’s New Tribes report. Pii’s only allegiance is to ABWE, their client, with whom they have complete confidentiality. Please refer to this page for things you should consider before agreeing to interview with Pii. (Also, please consult the TIMELINE icon at the top of the page for more details about Pii and ABWE’s ongoing response to MKs, most notably their refusal to answer reasonable questions regarding the investigation.)
When Bob Jones University terminated its agreement with GRACE on February 7, 2014, a year after ABWE did the same, many questions were raised about the legitimacy of ABWE’s claims about GRACE. Hopefully those questions were put to rest when BJU rehired GRACE officially on February 25, 2014, under the exact terms of their original agreement.
We are happy that the BJU survivors have been spared the pain we’ve been through and remain deeply concerned that ABWE has had A FULL YEAR to demonstrate a transformed heart, trustworthiness and transparency to the MK victims, but has failed miserably on all counts.
NOTE: PLEASE REFER TO THE TIMELINE ICON AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE FOR MORE DOCUMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS OF THIS LONG AND DIFFICULT JOURNEY WE HAVE EMBARKED ON TO BRING TRUTH AND INTEGRITY BACK TO ABWE’s MINISTRIES. TIMELINE INCLUDES CURRENT EVENTS AS OF 2014.