Please Help: You CAN Make a Difference

For the first time in a very long time, we’re asking you for your help. There is something very tangible you can do to help that will only take a few minutes of your time. Please read …

With Bob Jones University’s recent firing and then rehiring of GRACE several evangelical news outlets were once again remembering that precisely a year ago ABWE fired GRACE as well.

We found it interesting and disturbing that in the first Religion News Services (RNS) article (Article 1), they did not name ABWE, but simply referred to them as “an independent Baptist missions agency.” They also linked to ABWE’s highly controversial and widely disputed statement regarding why they fired GRACE.

The complaints we lodged were initially ignored. The general editor was contacted and emails were not returned. Then, after a week of efforts, the link to ABWE’s statement was finally removed, but ABWE was still not named.

Well … you might be saying … it wasn’t intentional on the part of RNS or the article’s author. Right??

Fast forward to Bob Jones rehiring GRACE. RNS ran yet another article (Article 2) by the same journalist and yet again did not name ABWE. Once again, ABWE was simply a nameless “independent Baptist mission agency.”

There is truly no reason in either RNS article NOT to name ABWE. It is a newsworthy matter and they were worth mentioning. Why weren’t they worth naming? Why aren’t the victims worth this small effort?

RNS has chosen to be an active participant in ABWE’s reputation protection either because they deem ABWE and its victims to be unworthy of mention or because they are unaware of what a victory that kind of anonymity in the midst of scandal is for an agency like ABWE. RNS handed them a victory, whether they intended to or not and they dealt the victims a blow. We are not surprised. We are used to evangelical journalism turning a blind eye to ABWE. But we think that our voices deserve to be heard.

If you believe that RNS should absolutely be naming ABWE in relevant articles as opposed to referring to it vaguely as a nameless “independent Baptist mission board” then please drop a quick line to Kevin Eckstrom, the general editor of RNS: [EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED AT ECKSTROM’S REQUEST AFTER ABWE WAS NAMED IN BOTH ARTICLES]

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND THANKFUL FOR THOSE WHO WILL TAKE THE TIME TO BE SURE RNS GETS THE MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR.

A Healthy Mission Board for MKs

We are often asked what a healthy mission board/field for MKs would look like. While we don’t have all the answers, we definitely have some thoughts.

  • In the initial hiring process of missionaries several things should happen:
    • Thorough background checks of prospective missionaries
    • Thorough sexual abuse prevention and response training
    • Waivers signed stating that the mission knows of no allegations of abuse regarding any of the coworkers (nationals and missionaries) on the field where the missionary will serve and that they will be notified immediately in writing if any come to light at any point, even if no longer with the board. Continue reading

Is This Blog Still Necessary?

I did publish this response on my Facebook profile and as a comment to the main post (in there with 1,000 other comments, quite literally), but was asked to republish it here, in a place where others would have better access to it. I wanted to weigh in on a question that has come to some of us from many different sources. The question is:

Now that the blog has “done its job” will you close it down?

I think I can speak for all the other moderators when I explain that the answer is indefinitely no.

To answer the question, here are some thoughts:

1. No, the blog has not yet done its job. Donn Ketcham still has a license to practice medicine in the state of Michigan and is not a registered pedophile. (Please, let’s never forget how important this is. Let’s think about people and children in Allendale, Michigan, and not just ourselves.)

2. Those individual men responsible for the mess at ABWE have not repented individually, publicly or in writing. I speak of their sin and law-breaking (child endangerment laws) as individuals who bear individual responsibility for their actions, and I speak of a handful of men, not the organization as a whole. Let me be clear. Just a handful of men. We fully recognize that the board published a beautiful confession and we are appreciative of that.

[Addendum: Michael Loftis did recently admit in PRIVATE correspondence with moderators of the blog that “ABWE had an “inadequate” response to DK’s sin. We made this letter from Loftis public, but note that he, himself, has never put his name on public repentance or confession in this matter. We take this seriously, and think it is important to note and should not be glossed over or forgotten.]

3. This blog has brought healing to a lot of people. Why would we shut it down? It is the story of truth and redemption. If some of the people discussed on this blog wish to have this blog, with over 1000 comments in just one month and over 6,000 views on average each day become a place where people read a story of redemption, they can go public with their apologies for ignorance or naivety or whatever they are guilty of, right here on this blog, as some others have done. Do you know what a blessing it has been to others? I hear this every day, what a blessing it is to see Christians stand up against lies and pedophiles, and see Christians admit they were wrong (i.e. aunts and uncles, the confession from ABWE’s board, etc.).

4. Even the Bible does not erase the sins of its “main characters” from history. Do you think David preferred the story of his sin with Bathsheba not be recorded in holy books? Do you think Thomas was a little embarrassed that his moment of doubt was all his coworkers for the gospel seemed to remember about him? Do you think the people Paul called out in his letters to various churches really wanted to be remembered that way for all eternity? God’s story is still being written. No, not the Bible, but the story of how God redeems and transforms His people every day.

People can either be part of it or they can look away, but if they are hoping this blog will shut down, they haven’t quite grasped the importance of transparency and honesty in ministry (and life!) and so this blog is still quite necessary.

– Tamara Barrick Rice

ABWE & Dr. Donn Ketcham

Featured

BANGLADESH MKs SPEAK | 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 cover-up of his crimes in the decades since his pedophilia became know to ABWE administrators and former ABWE President Wendell Kempton, now deceased, in 1989.

This blog documents how the American mission agency Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (hereby referred to as ABWE and located in Pennsylvania), knowingly and purposefully protected both Donn Ketcham’s 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 and by failing to report him to proper American authorities from 1989 until 2011.

NOTE: PLEASE REFER TO THE TIMELINE ICON AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE FOR MORE DOCUMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS OF THE LONG JOURNEY TO BRING TRUTH AND INTEGRITY BACK TO ABWE’s MINISTRIES. FOR OTHER CRUCIAL DOCUMENTS AND PAST HOME PAGE UPDATES CLICK ON THE CRUCIAL DOCS ICON AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE.


The comment section below is now closed, but is extensive (1,626 comments in length) and chronicles not only much testimony from key eyewitnesses, but is a window into the emotional struggle of former and present ABWE missionaries, administration, and most importantly former MKs as they grappled with the truth about both ABWE and Donn Ketcham. At the time, blog comments from Bangladesh MKs Speak administrators were posted with the username isaiah618.