Many people don’t really understand why a mission board with such strict regulations and rules that its missionaries cannot dance or drink would allow a man who has broken his marriage vows and conducts himself suspiciously around the opposite sex to continually return to the mission field in the 70s and 80s (where he was incidentally molesting female children–a piece ABWE claims it knew nothing about until 1989).
The first assumption is that it was because he was a doctor, and that probably had a lot to do with it. Doctors are unquestionably given preferential treatment by mission boards, as it is usually assumed they are sacrificing more or somehow working harder than evangelists, teachers and others.
But in the case of Donn Ketcham, one has to understand whose son he was, and the close relationship the mission board ABWE had with the GARBC (General Association of Regular Baptist Churches). These ties are unmistakable and unfortunate, for they clearly led to preferential treatment that we can only hope would never have been given to another missionary. We do not point this out to discredit the GARBC, on the contrary we point it out to expose the hidden motives and agenda of ABWE, which relied on the support and money coming in from GARB churches. In fact … it still does. They had every reason to not upset GARB churches, every reason to not upset one of its founders, every reason to not rock the boat by dismissing Robert T. Ketcham’s son.
We plea now with GARB churches for their help. We are grateful for the GARB pastors and leaders who stand with us, but can only ask those who don’t why they do not offer support to the victims of Robert T. Ketcham’s son. Are they so enamored with the last name they cannot bear to see the truth of this matter? Are they so enamored with ABWE that they cannot see the truth about the organization now? How would they respond to victims of abuse in their own congregations?
GARB pastors, you hold the purse strings of ABWE. It falls to you to force them to discipline all involved employees and ministers and shake the rotten fruit from their tree. It’s likely that they did what they did because of a misguided sense of keeping the GARBC happy. Show them now that it is integrity you desire, not secret sin.