By John Greening, GARBC national representative
In a previous commentary A Response to the ABWE Report, I expressed my grief over the abuse that victims/survivors suffered and the cover-up of that abuse by the mission agency, as described in the Report. After reflecting on the 280-page “The ABWE and Donn Ketcham Investigations Final Report,” published by Professional Investigators International (Pii), I must address a statement that was repeatedly made throughout the report concerning Donn Ketcham’s father, Robert T. Ketcham, a founding father of the GARBC and well-respected ministry leader. On at least three occasions in the report (pp. 79, 100, and 245), R.T. Ketcham is alleged as having “long-time sexual addictions.” In each instance where this allegation appears in the report, it is stated as a conclusion without any supporting evidence offered. In other words, there is not one single fact offered in the Report to support this allegation. Further demonstrating the allegation’s lack of merit, the Report itself admits that the allegation against RTK was “outside the scope of the investigation, so no additional information was gathered by the investigative team in this regard.” (See p. 100.) The report further states: “nor was any corroborative evidence peripherally discovered” regarding the accusation against RTK. (See p. 245.)
Furthermore, the GARBC has no evidence to support the accusation against Robert T. Ketcham, nor did the Pii investigators ever contact the GARBC regarding this matter. I have been National Representative of the GARBC for the past twenty years. Never once have I heard this accusation even slightly implied toward RTK. During the last few days, I have had communication with the following individuals who knew RTK and studied his life. These individuals stated that they have not found any trace of the alleged sin in RTK’s life:
- Murray Murdoch, distinguished Senior Professor of History at Cedarville University, author of Portrait of Obedience, the definitive biography on RTK,
- Jeff Straub, Professor of Historical Theology at Central Seminary and a scholar on Fundamentalism,
- Kevin Bauder, Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Central Seminary, who after extensive research including the archives of the GARBC, co-authored with Robert Delnay the book, One in Hope and Doctrine, which chronicled much of RTK’s ministry and battles, and
- Mrs. Pat Carapelle, former employee of the GARBC/Regular Baptist Press, who worked in the GARBC office with RTK.
The information available to the GARBC indicates that the accusation is false. The fact that this unsubstantiated allegation was included in the Report and published on the internet without “any corroborative evidence” is heart-wrenching. While our focus needs to remain on the healing of the victims/survivors and the building of integrity in ministry organizations, Robert T. Ketcham’s reputation as a beloved pastor, dynamic preacher, and godly leader has been wrongly attacked.