September 6, 2012
Missionary Sex Abuse Investigation Halts Naming Of Baptist Facility In Honor of Wendell Kempton
"Fresh concerns" about ABWE sexual abuse cases during the 1980s force Baptist Bible College and Seminary trustees to suspend ceremony.
A Pennsylvania Bible college has halted plans to name a student recreational facility in honor of a past athletic director and trustee after concerns surfaced surrounding the honoree's handling of sexual abuse allegations more than two decades old.
Baptist Bible College and Seminary (BBCS) in Clarks Summit announced yesterday (September 5) that it had "suspended indefinitely" the dedication ceremony for a $5.6 million expansion project named after Wendell Kempton, a past athletic director and trustee who died in 2008, following “fresh concerns about the responses of Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) leaders during [Kempton's presidency] to disturbing matters of sexual abuse of missionary children by missionaries overseas in the 1980s.”
Kempton served as president of ABWE for more than 30 years, during which time Donn Ketcham, a missionary in Bangledesh, was terminated for sexual abuse of a female minor. The ABWE began investigating the case in 2011, questioning the way in which Kempton handled the situation.
Last weekend, BBCS was informed that ABWE leadership possibly mishandled other abuse cases during Kempton’s presidency. In light of the ongoing investigation, BBCS trustees unanimously voted to "suspend indefinitely pending a review" the decision to name the building after Kempton.
CT has previously featured Compassion International president Wes Stafford’s experience of abuse as a missionary child, as well as reported how abused missionary children are demanding more accountability and whether or not missionary abuse has resulted in lower attendance at schools for missionary kids.