Board Inquiry Exonerates Dr. Michael Loftis
Following an independent investigation, the Board of DNA Global Network has found no evidence that their current Executive Director, Dr. Michael Loftis, during his previous tenure from 2001-2011 as President of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE), took any action to cover up or hinder public knowledge of the previously known sexual abuse of a minor in 1989 by former ABWE missionary medical doctor Donn Ketcham. Ketcham had been terminated for the offense by the ABWE Board 12 years before Dr. Loftis became President in 2001.
It was Dr. Loftis’s public invitation, in July 2002, to all adults who were former ABWE missionary children, to step forward with any knowledge of mistreatment that gave courage to several previously unknown victims to request his help. Also in 2002, Dr. Loftis, as a matter of due diligence, notified the ABWE Board officers of possible new victims of Ketcham and worked with the ABWE corporate attorney and staff in an ongoing attempt to find any other victims and to offer counseling and assistance to all known adult victims of abuse while maintaining their request for confidentiality.
Loftis sought through the corporate attorney to protect these victims from any further intimidation by their former abuser, to pursue action to stop Ketcham from further abuse, and to guard the ministry from making unsubstantiated public accusations. At Dr. Loftis’s direction, the corporate attorney researched and drafted new child safety practices to protect future missionary children eventually resulting in a new policy in line with best practices and approved by the Board in 2010.
Thus, despite unsubstantiated internet allegations, it is incorrect to conclude that all members of the ABWE Board were unaware of either Ketcham’s criminal behavior or Dr. Loftis’ actions to help newly discovered victims. All ABWE Board members had access to the minutes of the 1989 decision to terminate Ketcham for sexual abuse of a minor at all times and it was their duty to be aware of previous Board decisions prior to Dr. Loftis’s leadership.
The DNA Global Network Board has taken seriously any challenges to Dr. Loftis’s character. We have sought the truth for the protection of our ministry and the reputation of our executive director.
After carefully considering this matter by reviewing available documents, interviewing firsthand witnesses (including former ABWE Board officers, administration, and the former corporate attorney), and questioning Dr. Michael Loftis, the DNA Global Network Board has unanimously concluded that Dr. Loftis acted prudently and in accordance with standard practice in this matter while President of ABWE. Though no human leader or organization is perfect, and delays in discovering all of Ketcham’s victims were regrettable, we unanimously reject such false allegations against Dr. Loftis by those who neither knew him nor had any firsthand knowledge of his actions or decisions. The evidence reviewed is clear and conclusive that Dr. Michael Loftis in no way covered up any wrongdoing by others. We voice our united support of his moral character and spiritual qualifications for continued public ministry and leadership.
Mr. Dave Arch, Chair
Mr. Josef Pavlinak
Rev. Tom Phillips
Mr. William M. Pierson
Dr. Bob Snyder, M.D.
Mr. Geoffrey P. Walker
Mr. Rodney Woods