Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania Sits Up and Listens

We are so grateful for the many supporters, including a great number of BBC alumni, who rose up over the weekend to email, tweet and Facebook their disappointment that BBC Clark Summit would name its athletic center for Wendell Kempton, when his leadership at ABWE has left so many wounded.

His legacy did include some admirable things, but we feel–and you agreed–that mishandling and hiding child sexual abuse was collusion with the pedophiles. The good he did does not outweigh the bad. We said he was ABWE’s Paterno and you agreed. We are so very, very grateful for the outpouring of support, but we are also very grateful to BBC for quickly hearing our cries and halting their plans. (Who knew large organizations could act so swiftly!) We are very thankful that they have reconsidered, and we hope their final decision will be a wise one.

You did it! Thank you.


About Bangladesh MKs Speak

We are a group of American former missionary kids (MKs) who lived in Bangladesh while Donn Ketcham worked as a missionary doctor there with the mission agency Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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9 Responses to Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania Sits Up and Listens

  1. canadianreader says:

    I appreciate BBC’s swift and courageous response and will continue to pray for those in leadership as they decide how to proceed.

  2. concerned reader says:

    Pleasantly surprised with BBC’s decision… encouraged to read the FB comments too.

    I found it interesting to gain a better perspective on how close the leadership was/is by reading a few of the Message magazine articles with their own words.

    The magazine is now online (at the ABWE website and click on news) and you can go back to archived issues… in particular —
    2012 Vol 60 #1(Great Things He Hath Done); and archive MESSAGE magazine issue April 2, 2008 Vol. 56 #2 (Memorial edition). Continued prayers, encouragement and support.

  3. Nancy Nelson says:

    I find this all very disturbing and am compelled to comment. I have checked in on this blog from time to time and this has gone too far. I have great sadness for this whole situation, for what occured all those years ago and also for the new travesty occuring today.

    You are ruining a great man’s reputation. Dr. Kempton was not the criminal, he was not even on the continent. You are misguided in your anger toward the men who were across the pond when all this occurred. As hideous as it all was, they are not your enemy. They did not do the crime, nor would they.
    Where is your anger toward the evil doctor? Were your parents not somehow more responsible than Dr. Kempton, Russ and Don as they presumably were in Bangladesh during the time of the crime? Where were they in all of this? I don’t want to pile on for the travesty that occured but I have wondered if you have the same anger toward all of those who were actually there and could have done something different at the time.

    You must consider what you are doing for the cause of Christ and the reputations of good men. I know all three of them and they are good men. THEY DID NOT DO THE CRIME- THE DOCTOR DID. It is wrong to continue this smear of them.

    I find it exceedingly sad that you have successfully smeared 3 good men to the point where BBC would consider taking this honor away from Dr. Kempton. This will not bring justice for the crimes of Dr. Ketcham nor healing to your soul. Please reconsider the path you are on.

    Nancy Nelson

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Nancy. If you have questions about why we hold Kempton in part responsible, you may want to read through our Timeline (icon is at the top left of the page) if you have not already. That may help clarify some questions.

      We are sorry this has hurt you, and we agree that all of these men have had good qualities. But we have to take a stand where the good qualities ended and the deep flaws and sins which contributed to our pain began. And, truly, it has been very, very encouraging and life-bringing that BBC has chosen to be sensitive to those of us who were wounded by Kempton’s leadership. It truly has brought healing already to have the pain acknowledged in that way. It is so good when God’s people humble themselves and admit wrongdoing, admit failure, admit sin, especially when the world is watching. We believe that in acquiescing, BBC has shown the world that they care for victims of abuse and that they worship no man, only God. It is a good, good thing.

      But I accept that you disagree, and I hope that you will pray for truth and healing for us in these matters, as I’m sure we can both agree they are necessary, and we do serve the same Lord.

      Thank you, Nancy.

      — Tamara

    • I’m sorry that you feel this way, Nancy. We are not smearing his reputation, we are only bringing to light the truth (smearing involves slander which is un-truth). Dr. Kempton was aware of the crimes that Ketcham committed and he did nothing. He covered it up. In essence, he is complicit in the crime by not reporting it to the authorities. We are not denying that he did many great things in his lifetime. But the good does not outweigh the bad.

    • amazed says:

      Nancy, it really would help you if you would read the timeline and the diaries of the two interviewers. Blaming the parents, who were lied to by these ‘godly’ men is a travesty. A question you might have to ask yourself as you really really read all of the blog is, “If as President of ABWE you did not reprimand in the very least — two MEN for taking a minor from her guardians in the US; with no woman present and flew her to Bangladesh, after she had stated to her local Pastor she had been sexually abused- do you not find that odd? Believe me it will take time- Please read. Please make the connection that this was very very wrongly handled.

  4. This is all tragic but it is time this all comes out. From what I know Joe Paterno did not abuse children and yet I think the words would be complicit, collusion and cover up. Surely we don’t think the world should set higher standards than we set for Christian organizations. Full stop.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Pamela, you are so right about that. So strange that the world was outraged over Paterno, but many Christians don’t see Kempton as a problem leader. Found a very, very old issue of Guideposts … like yellowed and falling apart maybe decades and decades old issue that had a story about Paterno and his love of family and faith. Good men CAN DO bad things, like be complicit in evil. We must never forget that. Each one of us is capable of evil, even if it is only by condoning it. None of us is immune and we worship no man, only God. Full stop. 🙂


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