December 1, 2015 * Gayle Erwin Sends Original Board Report and ECFA Report to Diaspora

Former GFA board member Gayle reveals the ECFA report and his original investigation report that was rejected and altered.

“I am sending you a very complete set of files that will give you understanding.”

From: Gayle Erwin <>
Date: Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: mailing list
To: JD Smith <>


I am sending you a very complete set of files that will give you understanding. However, I am placing in the report of my investigation permission for you to share the report with anyone including staff. I will not be sending the report to everyone, but you can. If you wait on me, it will be too long. I am on the road with only brief access to Wifi. So, look these files over in the folder. There are some surprises.


Gayle Erwin
From the highways and hedges handing out invitations

Gayle’s apology to Diaspora.

Gayle’s original report to the board.

Gayle’s official “Final Report” of the board’s investigation sent to Diaspora in March 2015.

Gayle’s letters of concern to KP, giving reasons why he disagreed with the final report.

ECFA’s final report.

GFA’s response to ECFA’s report.

Gayle’s resignation letter.


Diaspora’s full communication history with GFA and its boards.

October 2, 2015 * ECFA Terminates GFA Membership

The Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability is an organization that many Christian groups are affiliated with to prove their financial trustworthiness. According to their site, the “ECFA enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ to accredited organizations.” On October 2nd, the ECFA removed Gospel for Asia from its list of members. This removal was not voluntary on GFA’s part. The ECFA lists the reasons for GFA’s removal as the following (taken directly from the ECFA’s list of former members):

Terminated for failure to comply with Standard 2 Governance, Standard 3 Financial Oversight, Standard 4 Use of Resources, Standard 6 Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions, Standard 7.1 Truthfulness in Communications, and Standard 7.2 Giver Expectations and Intent

“Terminated for failure to comply with Standard 2 Governance, Standard 3 Financial Oversight, Standard 4 Use of Resources, Standard 6 Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions, Standard 7.1 Truthfulness in Communications, and Standard 7.2 Giver Expectations and Intent”

GFA had been a member in good standing with the ECFA for over 32 years and posted the ECFA’s seal of approval prominently on the financial integrity page of their website (the link is a record of what GFA’s page looked like on September 15th, 2015). A closer look at the ECFA’s reasons for terminating GFA are quite revealing.

Standard 2 – Governance
“Every organization shall be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be independent, who shall meet at least semiannually to establish policy and review its accomplishments.”

Standard 3 – Financial Oversight
“Every organization shall prepare complete and accurate financial statements. The board or a committee consisting of a majority of independent members shall approve the engagement of an independent certified public accountant, review the annual financial statements, and maintain appropriate communication with the independent certified public accountant. The board shall be apprised of any material weaknesses in internal control or other significant risks”

Standard 4 – Use of Resources
“Every organization shall exercise the appropriate management and controls necessary to provide reasonable assurance that all of the organization’s operations are carried out and resources are used in a responsible manner and in conformity with applicable laws and regulations, such conformity taking into account biblical mandates.”

Standard 6 – Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions
“Every organization shall set compensation of its top leader and address related-party transactions in a manner that demonstrates integrity and propriety in conformity with ECFA’s Policy for Excellence in Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions.”

Standard 7 – Stewardship of Charitable Gifts

7.1 Truthfulness in Communications
“In securing charitable gifts, all representations of fact, descriptions of the financial condition of the organization, or narratives about events must be current, complete, and accurate. References to past activities or events must be appropriately dated. There must be no material omissions or exaggerations of fact, use of misleading photographs, or any other communication which would tend to create a false impression or misunderstanding.”

7.2 Giver Expectations and Intent
“Statements made about the use of gifts by an organization in its charitable gift appeals must be honored. A giver’s intent relates both to what was communicated in the appeal and to any instructions accompanying the gift, if accepted by the organization. Appeals for charitable gifts must not create unrealistic expectations of what a gift will actually accomplish.”

In two years, only two other organization have been terminated by the ECFA for reasons other than failing to renew their membership, resigning membership voluntarily, or merging with another entity. Donors should be made aware of the seriousness of this action that the ECFA has taken.

April 16, 2015 * GFA leaders send apology emails to some Diaspora members en masse

Multiple GFA leaders sent emails to many Diaspora individuals today, asking forgiveness. Some members received confession of specific personal wrongs referenced from their personal testimony. Others received a more generic, form-like apology, indicating that the leader was not aware of any specific actions. The majority of these emails were sent at the same time.

These emails were clearly intended as a way for the leaders to formally apologize for individual, personal offenses, hurts, and errors in judgement. While their personal apologies—as limited as they are—have been accepted by many, there was neither acknowledgement by any of the leaders of the systemic abuse arising from unbiblical doctrines and practices of the ministry as a whole, nor indication of genuine repentance.

If the Holy Spirit is the One prompting true repentance for personal offenses, it seems He would have prompted that leader to ask forgiveness sooner and in a more personal, individual manner. Although our names and testimonies have been available to GFA leaders for many months, we find it odd that it took so long to recognize the hurts of former staff—and leadership’s offenses that caused them. In fact, leadership has spent previous communications denying our claims.

While it seems that the email apologies are a coordinated PR campaign, we hope that these limited apologies are genuinely sincere. Some of us have emailed back with forgiveness and love for these confessions.

We hope this brings closure to individual sins, and allow the leadership to focus on the root of these sins—the false beliefs and unbiblical practices outlined in our initial letter.

April 2, 2015 * Diaspora Response to Final Report from GFA US Board

The Diaspora’s response to the Final Report from Gayle’s investigation.

“we will not make any further appeal to you—but we cannot agree that the matter is closed or resolved”

April 2, 2015

To: [GFA US and Canada Board]

Dear GFA Board Members,

Thank you for formally responding to our concerns. However, your final report leaves us confused and disappointed.

You begin by expressing broken-heartedness and repentance but fail to describe any specific change in thought and action. There is no acknowledgement of specific wrongs committed. Instead, what follows appears to be a defense rather than repentance. How can someone confess broken-heartedness and repentance and then state that the accusations are neutralized?

Are you speaking for the board or on behalf of GFA leaders when you state that individual contact has not been afforded? Aside from one e-mail requesting a testimony (which was provided), and contacting a former staff member who is not part of the Diaspora, how many of us did you attempt to contact?

Prior to writing our first letter, attempts had been made by some former staff to address concerns on an individual basis but without success. Was it not biblical to next bring some witnesses to voice concerns and hear as a group GFA’s response? If our biblical process was unclear, did you ask any of us why there is now hesitancy to meet one-on-one with GFA leadership?

If GFA is willing to do anything within their power to apologize and seek forgiveness, why did you not meet with some of us along with a neutral party to help facilitate? If GFA truly seeks healing for those who have suffered damage of spirit, we expected a willingness to handle the situation in the reasonable manner proposed by those who were wronged. This would have been a good step to restore broken trust.

We hoped a full investigation would include a summary of the reason for the investigation, testimonies of people you interviewed, and careful confirmation or refutation of each accusation and our supporting evidence. These components appear to be almost completely absent. While mostly overlooking our original concerns, you respond to some matters we don’t recall bringing up.

We heard that GFA leadership was interviewed, but we wonder why no interviews were conducted with any of those who are part of the Diaspora? We had no opportunity to hear and respond to GFA leadership’s testimony provided to you.

You believe that our concerns are without foundation in terms of fulfilling GFA’s call to enlarge the Kingdom of God. However, God is concerned not just with numerical growth but spiritual health (Mat 7:22–23). Jesus’ own letters to the seven churches in Revelation also make that clear. Considering the seriousness of our concerns, is it excessive for you to make time for a meeting? After all, it is your responsibility to oversee the ministry and make sure it is being conducted in a manner worthy of the gospel.

While we respect your freedom to respond as you did, we are disappointed because your report is incomplete and inconsistent. Since this is your final report and communication, we will not make any further appeal to you—but we cannot agree that the matter is closed or resolved. May God bring correction by some other avenue as He sees fit, so that GFA might walk in His ways, bear much fruit and, in KP’s own words, “finish well”.


The Diaspora

March 27, 2015 * Pastor Bruce writes GFA Canada Board

Bruce, a concerned pastor who is involved with GFA, writes his concerns to the GFA Canada Board.

“The number and consistent nature of the allegations arising from testimonies in the group known as the Diaspora is overwhelming. … It is quite apparent that the stories do not stem from collusion. They have every appearance of being collaborating accounts of some very serious and long standing relational sins.”

March 27, 2015

Dear Members of the GFA Canadian Board:

Sincere greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord!

I am the lead pastor at [a church] in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, and have served this church for 26 years. I am writing you today out of concern arising from information I received from the group known as the Diaspora.

I was first introduced to GFA by Wendell … in the mid-nineties. He called me, introduced himself, and asked to meet. We arranged a time and during our first conversation I learned he had slept in his car in our church parking lot on the night before. This was my first look at the kinds of sacrifices GFA personnel are willing to make in pursuit of their calling. Thereafter, we made sure he stayed in our home when visiting. Our church also began regular financial support for GFA that has continued to this day, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

On one occasion Wendell was a guest minister in our church and visited in our home. At the same time, our daughter, Sharlene, had just returned home from a 4-month discipleship training course. After Sunday dinner she and Wendell sat in our living room discussing her future. This led to her and another young woman from our congregation, Donna _____ (DJ), moving to Dallas to work at the GFA head office. After several months of orientation and volunteering, they moved to India to begin studies at the GFA seminary in Kerala, later graduating with Bachelor of Theology degrees.

In 1999 my wife, Marlene, and I visited them in India. GFA staff treated us very well. I spoke to the seminary student body and travelled to two Bible training centres, one in Tamil Nadu, the other in Sri Lanka, ministering several times to the students. We also visited and ministered at two rural churches. GFA staff members who escorted us were very accommodating and friendly. Our trip ended with a few day visit at the GFA office in Delhi, where Daniel ______ was living at the time. He and other staff graciously hosted us and served as tour guides.

On the first Sunday morning after returning to our church in Canada, I spoke to our congregation about GFA’s work in India and mentioned some specific needs that we were made aware of during our visit. In that Sunday evening’s service a missions offering amounting to over $14,000 was received to help meet these needs.

After their graduation, Sharlene and DJ returned to Canada and worked at the GFA office, first in Hamilton, and later in the new facility in Stoney Creek, Ontario. It was required of them that they not take out membership in a local church and they could not contribute financially to a church. Tithes and offerings were to be given to GFA. They were permitted to attend a Sunday morning service at a local church, but not Bible Studies or young adults groups.

During a missions-fest event at which they had set up a booth for GFA, they met a man, working in another booth, Mike _____, who eventually became DJ’s husband. Later, Mike introduced Sharlene to his close friend, Colin _____, who later became Sharlene’s husband. During the time they were dating, Colin attended several prayer meetings with GFA staff. He became friends with staff members and fellowshipped in their homes. Once their engagement was announced appeals were made to Colin to join GFA. Colin respected GFA and its ministry but did not feel it was God’s will that he serve with them. A few months passed and then one day Sharlene was given an ultimatum requiring that she break off her engagement with Colin or be dismissed.

That day Sharlene left GFA with a very heavy heart. There was no exit interview, no chance to say good-bye, no-one reached out to her. No one said, “thank-you”….She was simply – gone! This was June, 2001.

In spite of this, and out of my respect for the work GFA was doing, I did not stop my support of GFA. Like many others, I didn’t see our daughter’s experience as being symptomatic of a deeply rooted systemic problem. This changed upon receiving testimonies from the Diaspora and from learning of some changes in GFA’s ministry practices about which I was previously unaware.

For example, I am concerned about the implications associated with KP Yohannan being addressed as, “His Eminence the Most Reverend Dr. KP Yohannan”. The word “eminence” suggests something more than honour due to ministers of the gospel, touting instead an air of superiority. It is also titular, such as seen in the Roman Catholic church’s use of the term in reference to its Cardinals. Use of the adjective “most”, attached to “Reverend”, also indicates pre-eminence, setting one person above others. The elaborate robes seen in pictures of KP, and testimony where individuals are seen kissing the ring on his finger, are practices not seen in biblical portrayals of New Testament ministry.

Paul, never referred to himself as, “The Apostle, Paul”, it was always, “Paul, an apostle”. The former is titular, the latter refers to role. In the Bible the idea of leadership is most often associated with servant-hood, not hierarchical position or title. The only man upon whom the Bible confers pre-eminence, is Jesus. (Colossians 1:18).

It is in the Gospel of Matthew that we first see the word “church”. It is first used in the 16th chapter in context of a question Jesus asked: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (vs.13). In response to Peter’s affirmation that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus stated that this confession was the foundation upon which He would build His church.

The second time the word “church” is seen is two chapters later in Matthew 18 where again, its use is predicated on a question. This time the question came from the disciples of Jesus. They asked: “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (vs.1) In response Jesus taught foundational and timeless principles about Christian leadership and ministry. When observed they produce much good fruit. When they are not followed, churches and ministries can fail with many being harmed as a result.

There is a high and holy calling on Christian leaders to ensure that spiritual ministry is established solely on biblical precepts. We also need to recognize that human nature, being what it is, disinclines us to do so.

The question the disciples asked was the wrong question. It should never have been asked. Being the “greatest”, seeking “ascendency”, is the very opposite to everything ministry is about. The whole Matthew 18 discourse demonstrates this.

First, Jesus responded to the question by putting a child in the centre of the group. This child would be seem as the least ascendant one. The child had no aspirations to the elevated positions the disciples vied for. Jesus then said that unless they were converted, humbled themselves, and became like this child they would not see the kingdom of heaven. Conversion in this context, is not about salvation. It’s about wrong thinking when it comes to position in relation to fellow believers. Ascendency is opposite to humility. Humility is about emulating the nature of Jesus who, as Paul said, :…made himself of no reputation…..He humbled himself” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Jesus said that the person who, “Humbles himself as this little child Is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (vs.4). Thus, the answer to the question about greatness is found in the lives of those who do not seek it. As James said, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Second, Jesus warned about the damage a lack of humility could cause (vs.6-7). He said it would be better to perish by drowning with a millstone around one’s neck rather than cause another person to be offended by behaviour that results from prideful position seeking or any other action that compromises the well being of others.

Third, Jesus elaborated on humility by teaching the importance of self-discipline (v.8-9). In these verses he spoke of cutting off various body parts. In other words, sinful practices must end. This is a strong warning, one that is too easily lost in the church today. Leaders are responsible for the affects their wrongful behaviours have on others.

Fifth, Jesus made this amazing statement.

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (v.10)

Since Jesus had just spoken about the need for His followers to become like little children, His reference to “little ones” includes fellow believers. Jesus refers to angels on assignment – angels charged with the care and oversight of the fellow believers the disciples were trying to step over in their pursuit of greatness. If the angels see the face of the Father, His very image stamped upon other fellow believers, what possible grounds could any one have to seek ascendency over them?

Fourth, Jesus gave the parable of the lost sheep, (vs. 12-.) To understand the meaning of this parable the context is important. Unlike the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 where Jesus was addressing Pharisees steeped in pride, believing they had no need of repentance, in Matthew the context is in relation to the warning Jesus gave about pride in the church. Here, the lost sheep refers to a person who is lost to the kingdom of God due to wrongful actions by Christian leaders. The parable emphasises the onus that is placed on the church to find and restore persons lost for these reasons.

Fifth, is the teaching that Jesus gives on the three-fold process to be followed when a brother or sister sins, (vs.15-17). It is here that the word “church” appears. Often when this passage is discussed the greater context is missed. Although a brother or sister who sins can refer to any kind of sin, the context is prideful sin on the part of spiritual leaders who see themselves positioned above others.

Sixth, Peter, after listening to all that Jesus said, finally asked the right question: “How often should I forgive my brother?” (vs.21). His focus was now where it ought to be, not on his own ascendency in the church, but on his responsibility towards others.

Throughout the New Testament, deference to any kind of human supremacy is avoided. In Lystra, where Paul and Barnabas were preaching, a lame man was healed at the command of Paul, (Acts 14). The people believed the gods had come among them and proceeded to worship them. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes and declared that they were mere men, no different than any of them. They claimed no special status as ministers in their proclamation of the Gospel to the lost. This was not self-abasement but neither was it self-promotion. This is a very important principle of evangelism. The purpose is to deflect all attention off man and onto Christ, for He alone is Saviour and Lord.

It was said of the Corinthian church that they, “came behind in no gift” (1 Corinthians 1:7). Considering Paul’s description of spiritual gifts later in chapter 12, this must have been an amazing church in a most positive sense. At the same time however, it was also said of them that their church meetings did more harm than good, (1 Cor. 11:17). Here we see extreme opposite realities present in one church. That this could happen is the very thing Jesus spoke about in Matthew 18.

The reason had to do with sin, many sins, but foundational to them all was their pursuit of ascendency. In 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, we read:

My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

3 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

The Corinthian believers were caught up in the Matthew 18 question, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of God”. This was the root of all the other sins seen in this church. Whenever anyone other than Jesus is seen as being eminent in the church, humility – so essential to Christian ministry, is compromised. The fruit is never good.

During most of the first three centuries of the church, persecution was severe and constant. Many Christians were martyred. Early in the fourth century after Constantine became the emperor of Rome, he decreed that Christianity was to become the official religion of the empire. To accommodate the new law, polytheistic religious leaders simply added Jesus to the list of gods they recognized. As a result the church was infiltrated with many contrary interests which led to a significant loss of its counter-culture distinctiveness. As time passed it became increasingly difficult to recognize the true church.

Among the many contrary influences to infiltrate the church was deference paid to priests that went way beyond the kind of honour the Bible promotes for leaders. As various branches of the church emerged, some celebrated leadership with things like elaborate attire, expensive jewellery, special seats in the congregation, and titles. Assimilation of these practices led to hierarchical leadership systems quite removed from biblical precepts.

I question the legitimacy of KP’s practice of wearing elaborate apparel and his use of titles. I say this from the standpoint that I do not see where the associated veneration garnered is scriptural or Christ honouring.

I also question how the gospel is advanced by this. Our world is filled with idolatry, including relational idolatry. The caste system, which holds many in the nation of India in spiritual bondage, has, as its most ascendant cast, the Brahmin priests. At the other end of the human spectrum, the dalit, or untouchable caste, is comprised of people considered so inferior and repulsive that to even touch one is seen as contamination. In a culture that enables spiritual darkness and bondage due, in part, by a transcendent priestly class, one would think that the greatest care should be taken by the church to avoid any appearance of priestly privilege on the part of its ministers through things like attire, jewellery and titles.

Jesus lived in a culture where religion was Pharisee led. Among the things these religions leaders considered to be important, three top priorities, were attire, seats of prominence in the synagogues and titles. Jesus did not observe these traditions as an attempt to be culturally relevant. He thereby demonstrated that in advancing the kingdom of God, culture must always be made to bow to the scriptures, not the scriptures to the culture.

At the heart of the gospel is equality, where no one person is esteemed to be better than another. In Christ, race, gender, socio-economic status do not matter. The scriptures teach us to not hold the faith of our Lord with respect of persons, (James 2:1). Great care must be taken by the church to demonstrate humility in all things. No practice of ministry, either among believers in the church or in witness to a lost world, should include any relic, symbol, attire, promotion, or any other thing unless humility, not elevated status, is advanced thereby.

Consubstantiation is a belief concerning the Lord’s table that most evangelicals do not embrace. It appears from literature that I have recently read that Believers Churches may have adapted this doctrine. I do believe that the special presence of Christ is manifest when we break bread and drink wine together in remembrance of Him. However, it is unclear to me how far GFA churches have taken this. Is there a leaning toward salvation by sacrament? In matters such as this, an onus on the part of GFA to proactively inform supporters of changes in practices and beliefs should be taken at the time they occur.

I was also unaware, until recently, that GFA has adapted an Episcopal form of church government. This is not of great concern to me due to the many divergent opinions surrounding ecclesiological doctrines that exist in the Body of Christ.

The word, “Episcopal”, simply means pertaining to bishops or governed by bishops. Oversight by bishops and an archbishop is rooted in Anglican tradition.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He is seen as first among equals, the leader of other bishops. He is appointed by the Queen of England serving under her authority and the authority of the other bishops. Checks and balances are present in Anglicanism. An archbishop cannot function autocratically.

The term “Metropolitan”, meaning “Metropolitan Bishop”, or “Archbishop”, is being used to describe KP Yohanan’s oversight of the Believer’s Churches. However, GFA’s practice of Episcopalian governance does not necessarily mean that the same accountability arrangements practiced in other Episcopal groups, such as the Anglican church, is present. Authority, responsibility and accountability by GFA, depends upon both its definition and by its practice of the Episcopal governance system it has created. It is not clear to me what this is.

Several questions arise. Does the Boards of Directors in the US have active input with respect to doctrine and practice in GFA churches and its Episcopal structure? Do sister boards such as your own Canadian board contribute any input? How are roles, authority, responsibility and accountability arrangements, as well as overall purpose and function articulated in GFA’s Canadian governing documents (Constitution and By-Laws), filed with the Charities Division of the Canada Revenue Agency? If they are not found in Canadian governing documents are there international joint ministry or agency agreements in which they are included?

The foregoing are some questions that occur to me regarding GFA’s governance.

On the Diaspora website reference was made to an ordination service for Pat _____, the current director of GFA Canada. It contains 3 questions that KP asked him:

Are you resolved to build up the church as the body of Christ and to remain united to it within the order of bishops, Metropolitan, and under the authority of the successor of the Metropolitan?”

. Are you resolved to accept and obey the given orders, responsibilities, and disciplines of the church and the ministry and discharge them in absolute submission in accordance with the constitution of the church?”

Will you promise to submit to my leadership, my successors, and authorities of the church and the ministry set over you all the days of your life and ministry?”

More questions arise from my reading of this.

First, there appears to be an order of bishops in GFA churches. Who are the people that make up this order, and how are they appointed?

Second, reference is made to the successor of the Metropolitan. How is successor-ship determined by GFA?

Third, reference is made to, “absolute submission in accordance with the constitution of the church”. Is this constitution published and available to supporters? Is this constitution a part of GFA governing documents or has a parallel entity been established under a different name? What are the terms of “absolute submission” found in the church constitution?

Fourth, reference is made to life-long submission to GFA. If there is a biblical basis for requiring this of someone it is unclear to me as to what it is. Will you furnish an explanation?

The exercise of spiritual authority and submission as a response to authority, are often misunderstood concepts. As head of the church, Jesus has absolute authority over the church. Devils, diseases, death and all things are subject to His word. Nature itself bows to Him.

Ephesians 5 describes the Lordship of Jesus over His church as taking the form of sacrifice. Jesus loves the church, His bride, and gave His life for us. Through the example of Jesus we learn that sacrifice is the outflow of true authority. Authority is always for the benefit of those being loved and served.

Obedience is deference to the will of another at the expense of one’s own will. Obedience to Christ comes not from fear of judgment, but from the joy of being loved by Him. Thus, mutual love, mutual honour and mutual sacrifice form an never ending cycle of deep intimacy and mutual benefit in the authority/submission relationship between Christ and His church.

Biblically, in terms of human relationships, the most beautiful expression of authority and submission is found in the relationship between a husband and wife. A husband’s headship is not dictatorship. It is sacrifice, the giving of his life sacrificially for his wife, as Jesus gave His for the church. This principle applies to the practice of authority in all areas of life, including church leadership.

The assertion of authority by anyone who himself is not under authority, is not a godly arrangement. The exercise of authority by anyone that is disproportionate to the practitioners own submission to authority, is corruption.

Consider Jesus. One would not think that anyone bearing the title, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, would need to be in submission to anyone. However, Jesus practiced submission more than any man. He only did the things He saw His Father do and nothing else. In prayer, before His death, His words were, “Not my will but Yours be done”. He demonstrated perfectly the relationship between authority and submission.

There is a danger for any leader to traffic in worship by revelling in the praise and honour of others, to take honour that belongs to God alone, and siphon some for himself. This was the iniquity found in Lucifer that led to his fall. It is relational idolatry, which has led to the downfall of many men and women in ministry. I hesitate to raise this lest it be thought I am accusing KP of such evils. I am not doing that. I am bringing a strong cautionary concern to you due to current practices I see in GFA, and appeal for sober second thought to be given to them.

GFA supporters are giving support for both missions endeavours and for GFA churches.

This is quite natural and acceptable since church planting should result from evangelistic endeavours. GFA does a good job of describing the evangelistic and social help projects it undertakes. Supporters are made aware of the purposes for which their help is sought.

It seems to me that the same cannot be said for GFA taking similar pro-active measures to inform supporters of the nature of the churches they have set up. It appears that invitations are given to supporters to do research on their own regarding this with some information that is posted on their website and in literature they have produced. This, however, is not the same as up-front transparency. I think it likely that supporters are just now beginning to learn of the nature of GFA churches, especially with respect to clerical adornments, titles, doctrinal stances, and governance. Changes to more zealous measures of information sharing is needed. Trust on the part of supporters may lost if present practices continue.

The number and consistent nature of the allegations arising from testimonies in the group known as the Diaspora is overwhelming. Reading them brought great pain to my heart and I imagine that others who have read them are similarly affected. It is quite apparent that the stories do not stem from collusion. They have every appearance of being collaborating accounts of some very serious and long standing relational sins.

Canadian law that governs not-for-profit corporations such as GFA, treats board members as fiduciaries. I think it likely that the same is true in the USA. This requires that the board exercise proper and adequate oversight of an organization.

The testimonies of Canadian members of the Diaspora, could, if presented to the Ontario Labour Board, give cause for strong censure. Labour laws do not condone the kind of treatment reported.

By asking for and receiving corporate and registered charity status, GFA has made promises to abide by the law. Status is not granted without this. Integrity is measured by the degree to which these promises are faithfully kept.

It cannot be said that GFA has discharged itself faithfully in carrying out fiduciary responsibilities, by acting with all due diligence and performing all duties of care, if it has failed to abide by any pertinent law, such as the Ontario Labour Laws.

The pursuit of integrity in matters of natural jurisprudence not only carry legal ramifications, but moral and spiritually ones as well. Righteousness in its truest biblical, sense is compromised in the presence of broken promises. As Christians this should always be of great concern.

Pretence abounds when promises are broken. We cannot say we will abide by the law and then not do so, while at the same time present ourselves to others as though we do.

Apparent success and the applaud of others are not the truest measure of honour. Honesty is. Pretence is no friend of honour.

In all matters of natural law, such as labour laws, laws that govern finances, trustee law, and all other applicable laws, Christian organizations must be above reproach.

KP Yohannan has accomplished much for the kingdom of God. He has demonstrated an amazing ability to be both a great visionary leader and one well able implement his God given vision. He has influenced many to follow his example of “glad sacrifice”, summoning believers all over the world to pursue the greater callings and work of the kingdom of God. Children in my church have at times given themselves to raising money for bicycles for GFA missionaries. Personally, KP has been an example to me of a man I have always considered to have set a pattern in ministry to emulate.

My purpose in writing this letter is not to castigate or condemn. I do believe that intervention is needed to arrest and change detrimental practices. Nowhere is this more necessary than when it comes to taking responsibility for wrongs committed against members of the Diaspora and any other former GFA workers who may have had similar experiences. I strongly appeal that this take place.

One important consideration regarding this is process. Whenever behaviour by one party creates trauma for another party, care to not exacerbate the damage must be taken. Therefore, I strongly advise against meeting with members of the Diaspora individually until there is a much greater degree of trust than presently exists. For this reason I believe the Diaspora group as a whole should be addressed first. I also suggest that a third party arrangement made up of spiritual leaders, not employed by GFA, be asked to facilitate this process.

My wife, Marlene, and I have ministered in areas of abuse and trauma counselling over the years. I was asked by the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Department to help in the aftermath of 9/11. I did two tours of duty at ground zero as a chaplain to police and firefighters during recovery operations. Extreme trauma, such as generated by something as terrible as 9/11 can have devastating and permanent affects. It is hard to describe the degree of trauma experienced at ground zero. In the debriefings I received, I was made aware of affects in my own life that I would not have recognized had I not received them.

Reference to 9/11 is for comparing the affects of trauma only. An event of the magnitude of 9/11 does not have to take place in order for severe trauma to happen. Any breakdown in human relations or other difficult life experiences can be the cause.

As I read the testimonies of the Diaspora I observe affects that often occur when there is a power differential between conflicting parties. One of the affects is fear on the part of the abused. As a first step towards reconciliation, practices and behaviour that created the breakdown in trust, and thereby the resulting fear and other affects, should be addressed first.

I have offered to meet with the Canadian members of the Diaspora as a group for the purpose of debriefing and identifying areas of concern where individuals in the group may need ongoing help. I consider this to be of utmost importance. I hope to do this soon.

I am asking that you consider my request, made herewith, for a meeting with the GFA Canadian Board of Directors. There are a number of things I would like to discuss with you, including the kind of help you could offer the Diaspora at this time. If a meeting with the whole board is not possible, I will gladly meet with a contingency or individual members.

Thank-you for your consideration.

Yours in His glad service,


Bruce _____

cc. The Diaspora, GFA Board of Directors, USA

March 26, 2015 * Gayle’s Investigation Final Report is emailed via KP

The Final Report from Gayle’s investigation is emailed to the Diaspora via KP.

Read our response to this report in our April 2, 2015 post.

“That individual contact has not been afforded to us by you, which, to us, neutralizes your accusations. …We send this as our final report and communication and now consider the matter closed.”

March 26, 2015

To: J. D. xxxxx:

In response to your letter of September 3, 2014, after many hours of investigation, intense prayer and examination of heart, we are broken-hearted and repentant that we damaged by our actions and attitudes any believer for whom we had responsibility by relationship. We have proposed, and still do, to go wherever we need to and do all within our power to apologize and seek forgiveness and healing with anyone and everyone on your list who may have suffered damage of spirit or heart from us. That individual contact has not been afforded to us by you, which, to us, neutralizes your accusations. But, we have done all we can do about the past until freedom is granted to us.

We have, from the beginning, made our new headquarters fully open to the community and have purposely served the community. We do not have church services in our chapel. We do encourage workers to go to local churches, be a part of them and receive any and all counseling from the local pastors and churches, except in very rare cases. Our gates are left open and visitors are welcomed and shown whatever they wish to see and questions are answered. We are, indeed, a community and fellowship, but no one would be able to find evidence of being a cult.

Your final combined declaration about the structure and presentation of the personnel and headquarters in India, coupled only with a photo was misapplied about an ordination service whose presentation is required by the state for proof of ordination, otherwise one could be imprisoned for doing religious activities limited to the ordained. Other parts of that accusation could not be verified in the manner in which you made them, and have been dropped as worth considering.

Consequently, we feel that your other accusations are without foundation in terms of the fulfilling of our call to enlarge the Kingdom of God. We also feel that your demand that we gather the boards of the USA and Canada to meet with you in order to escape your threats is excessive, impractical and counter to the commitment of our time to getting the Gospel to those who have not heard. We do not intend to call for or participate in such a board meeting.

Therefore, we send this as our final report and communication and now consider the matter closed.


In behalf of the Board of Gospel for Asia

From: K.P. Yohannan
Sent: March-26-15 12:24 PM
To: [GFA Offices, GFA Board]
Subject: FW: Final Report

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I just received the final report that Gayle did on behalf of the USA Board of Directors that addresses JD’s appeal to the Board. I am forwarding it for you to see. The text from the attachment is below in case you have trouble opening it.

Let us continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters who are a part of this situation, that we could sincerely be reconciled as one (John 17:21).

Thank you for serving our Lord and bringing the Gospel to the unreached in our generation.

In His grace,

K.P. Yohannan

October 17, 2014 * JD sends 12 more testimonies to board

JD offers Gayle more information, including additional testimonies, to help in the investigation. [Note: Our group was not asked any questions by the board investigation before or after this email.]

“A big thank you for taking on this investigation. Please know that we are praying for you, and we are available to answer any questions.”


JD  <xxxxxxxxxx> Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM
To: Gayle
Cc: [GFA Board]
Hi Gayle,

A big thank you for taking on this investigation. Please know that we are praying for you, and we are available to answer any questions. Feel free to share these testimonies with GFA leadership as you see fit; I did not copy them here.
We felt that it would be important for you to know the rest of the former staff testimonies that were written, so I’m attaching here a dozen more for your reference.
I’m copying the board on this communication as well, so that they know what we have sent you and can also look into the testimonies.
In Him,
On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM, Gayle wrote:
Hello, J.D.,

As you know, I have been appointed to examine your claims in behalf of GFA. I have made a lot of progress, but there are still loose ends to tie up. As soon as my work is done, I am sure KP will let you know. I am at a conference in Indiana at the moment, so it MAY be another week.
From the highways and hedges handing out invitations


September 18, 2014 * JD & Larry call KP: KP promises to meet with us and to inform staff

K.P. says that 75 signers can not all be wrong, that the Lord is using us, and offers to give us the group meeting that we were looking for.

He promises to tell the staff the next morning that we are not trying to take down the ministry and that God is using us. We request that he do this because we value our friends on staff.

K.P. does not admit any specific wrongs or concede that we are correct in our accusations.

“Listen JD, tomorrow, tomorrow we have our entire staff meeting.”

Phone conversation transcript

Note: As far as we know he did not tell the staff, or at least adequately, because many staff still believe and have even told us that we are being used by the Enemy to try and take down the ministry, and that “there are two sides to every story” and even though we served there, somehow we don’t understand the “other side.”

September 2, 2014 * Diaspora’s 2nd Letter – Final Appeal to Board

JD sends Diaspora’s Appeal to arms-length board members in US and Canada to please consider our concerns.

“Since the leadership at GFA has dismissed our claims that a number of serious issues exist within GFA, we now appeal directly to you…”

Appeal to GFA Board

[note – this is the corrected version that was sent in the Sept. 3, 2014 email. The original will not be posted for the same reasons given in that email.]

Gmail JD <xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Final appeal to GFA board from 75 former staff

JD <xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 10:28 PM
To: [GFA Board]
Dear GFA US & Canada Arms-Length Board Members,

Since the leadership at GFA has dismissed our claims that a number of serious issues exist within GFA, we now appeal directly to you, the arms-length directors, as the only people in the world who can possibly address these issues internally.
Won’t you please prayerfully consider the information presented in the attached letter and let us know if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to see additional information or testimonies? Thank you for caring about GFA and its staff, students and supporters.

In Him,
JD Smith, on behalf of myself and 74 former GFA staff
Please feel free to contact me directly:
xxxxx, Dallas, TX 75219


July 21, 2014 * GFA’s detailed response and testimonies

GFA sent an email to JD that details their belief that we handled this matter unbiblically, that we refused to respond to leadership’s attempts to contact individuals who signed the letter and that we sent the letter to supporting pastors and churches to get them to drop support. GFA accuses JD of refusing to meet with leadership and a local pastor. They attached testimonies of GFA staff to the email, but we have not included them because we do not have permission from each staff member to publish the document. They tell of the board’s counsel that GFA not respond to our letter any further. Nevertheless, David says he will give his response to each of the five points raised in the initial letter.

“We explained [to the board] that after receiving your letter… we were led to contact each one of you… for the sake of reconciliation. But, we shared that you refused to do that. We shared how we successfully contacted JD and asked him to come and to even bring a pastor with him to meet with Brother K. P. and the leadership, but that he chose not to do that.”

Note that although each of our issue points is addressed and denied, we believe the evidence shared on this website overwhelmingly contradicts many of the answers given by GFA below. We invite you to judge for yourself.

JD Smith <xxxxxxxxxxx>
Response to your letter-corrected
David  Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM
To: “JD Smith” <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>Cc: “K.P. Yohannan” <>, [and other GFA leaders]
July 21, 2014
JD Smith,
Thank you for your email and care in continuing to pursue this matter.
That said, it is so sad and grievous to us that none of you approached us about these five things in your individual exit interviews, which every one of you had. If these things came up later, why did you not come to talk with us in the actual Biblical way that our Lord Jesus prescribed in Matthew 18:17-19 (come yourself to us directly to resolve the matter. If there is actual fault, then it can be resolved. If it can’t be resolved bring one or two with the heart for resolution.) The way that you have gone about this (sending this letter around the world before we even got to see it, sending it to supporting pastors and churches in hopes that they will drop our support, etc) makes us think that you do not really desire reconciliation, but the destruction of GFA, God’s work. Still, we as a leadership team chose the proper Biblical route with you, trying to contact each one of you to talk about these matters with the heart and view of Biblically reconciling and restoring fellowship in the Body of Christ. However, you would not do that. You have handled this matter as a class action smear campaign, not an attempt to love and reconcile.The USA Board of Directors met at their regularly scheduled time last week, and discussed your letter at length. We told them that we did not know of these things since none of these five items were raised in the exit interview that we had with you all. What is more, none of you came to us individually to discuss this since then. We explained that after receiving your letter and taking much time in prayer and fasting, we were led to contact each one of you according to Jesus’ instruction of Matthew 5:23, 24 for the sake of reconciliation. But, we shared that you refused to do that. We shared how we successfully contacted JD and asked him to come and to even bring a pastor with him to meet with Brother K. P. and the leadership, but that he chose not to do that. Upon hearing all these things, our Board suggested that since we had done what our Lord Jesus instructed, that we should not respond to your letters any further. Nevertheless, in another attempt at resolving this, here are our answers to your five accusations:
• GFA leadership practices and teaches a false view of spiritual authority.

This accusation is unfounded and false. Furthermore, the specific testimonies of these accusations by some of the signers of this letter differ greatly and/or lack key documented facts about the actual circumstances surrounding their testimony. Although we tried to contact every single one of you to discuss particulars and come to reconciliation, you refused to contact us back and give us that opportunity. With a clear conscience before God, we believe that GFA leadership regularly encourages staff (at morning and evening prayer meetings, new staff mentoring teachings, required readings, Sunday Bible studies, etc, etc) to have a vibrant daily walk with Christ, with the foundation of that being a few hours of daily Bible study, private prayer, and corporate prayer. The emphasis is always, if the tree is good, the fruit will be good also. In addition, GFA leadership will take the time to listen and to help staff with life issues when they are approached, but are careful not to control personal decisions, including where staff choose to worship, who they marry, where they live, etc. That said, Gospel for Asia is not a vocation or a job; it is a God-given calling. If someone chooses to serve at GFA (all of GFA not just Dallas), they also choose to follow the requests of leadership including where they will serve and what they will do, as long as they believe they are called by God to serve there. This is also true of secular companies (such as Donald’s, IBM, Wal-Mart) or the Army, and anywhere that people are to do what is asked of them as a requirement of their job or service. We cannot call this sin, nor will we apologize for this commitment which is taught by our Lord Jesus, Himself, and is normal for many Christian as well as some secular organizations. Finally, in your original letter, you included a photo of Brother K. P. in his formal dress as the Metropolitan of the church during an ordination service. Since Believers Church operates under government approved church status as a constitutional episcopacy, it is required that he wear this uniform during the ceremony of ordination of pastors. This is done only for a few minutes; much like it is done during college graduation ceremony here in the west. We are NOT Catholic, nor are we Episcopalians, nor Anglicans, etc., etc. Rather, we are a Spirit-filled, evangelical church, born out of obedience to Christ’s Great Commission command to make disciples in all the world.

• GFA leadership prioritize ministry over family, and teaches the same.
GFA leadership actually believes and practices the opposite of this accusation. There is a clear teaching and messaging from the leadership regarding family, ministry, or personal life, that the overriding priority in all of these is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, or Christ in your family, Christ in your ministry, Christ in your personal life. There is plenty of deeds that support this, such as us giving one of our department coordinators about a year off to return home to care for her aging mother or even your wife, JD, who needed to reduce her time serving in the office for her well- being and then later stopped serving altogether to care for your adopted child. Or the many times we as GFA leadership have fasted and prayed for staff children and staff families. Or the prayer, fasting, and counsel we have provided (as well as the professional counseling we have arranged and paid for) for marriages that were struggling. Some former staff did not choose to take our counsel in these areas, and that was their choice and we respected that choice. Therefore, it seems extremely unreasonable that leadership would be accused of having a hand in ending their marriages.


• GFA leaders lie or intentionally deceive people in order to protect the ministry.

GFA leadership has never to our knowledge lied to or deceived staff, donors, sponsors, or anyone else for that matter, as accused here. For you who signed the letter, we attempted to reach out and contact literally all of you to share our side of your accusation, but you refused to do so. We have never lied about why a staff person left, but we have intentionally left out details that would be damaging to the staff person’s character. The truth is, none of you who signed your name to this letter knows the background and circumstances that we faced while working with some staff. Because we fear God and practice that love covers a multitude of sins, you now accuse us of sin? And the one of you who accused us of lying about your leaving, calling it a dismissal rather than you choosing to quit, appears to have forgotten the details of the incident. But we went back to copious notes and conversations between you, your pastor and leadership, and you simply are not being truthful in your testimony. When I called you to try to discuss this and reconcile, I left you a messages, but you would not call me back. What more can we do? Regarding the accusation and speculation of us raising money for one thing and spending it on the field for something else, I have had the privilege to take part in the audit of our USA office for 22 years. By God’s enabling and for His glory, I am a CPA with extensive fraud audit experience. I worked for one of the largest and most respected world-wide accounting firms, doing among other things, accounting system creation, evaluation, and implementation. I have had the privilege to work on the initial public offerings of some public companies. I give this background to you not as a means of boasting, but as a means of establishing God’s grace and gifting in the area of financial accountability. I have personally looked at the books and records on the mission field on a few occasions, and found them to be complete, accurate, and extremely detailed. Auditors in both the USA and Asia have reported the same. So an unfounded accusation against our financial integrity is totally baseless. The truth is, we often spend more on field projects than we raise in the USA, due to the fact that more than 30% of all field work is now financed by the churches we are planting on the mission field. If you would like to know more, please do what others have done and go and visit again the field to check this out. As of today, 4,000 congregations are self-supporting, have a church building, and are in turn funding mission outreach to many unreached areas. It is unfortunate that unchecked speculation has been pass off as proof when all the way we have always been very honest and forthright with our finances.


• GFA practices unbiblical shunning.


We do not, nor have we ever practiced unbiblical shunning of neither current, nor former staff. With that said, in only a few cases over our 35 years have we made the painful decision to discontinue fellowship with people, and that was done for clearly Biblical reasons and after much effort was expended unsuccessfully to try to reconcile fellowship with them. While we do not as a leadership practice shunning, we do, after much prayer and sometimes fasting, take seriously Romans 16:17 and Titus 3:10, when we have personal experience and knowledge of a situation to know that fellowship with certain people is very likely to damage another staff person’s calling from the Lord and/or their relationship with Him. God is our witness, and our conscious is clear that we have done this out of love for the staff that God has brought here to serve with us. Some of you have accused us of shunning you or you have told our staff that after you signed the letter that you would be shunned, and we have not done so whatsoever. If others on staff have felt the need to distance themselves for any reason, that did not come from us. The truth is that we sincerely pray for many of you and will continue to do so.


• GFA prohibits or discourages staff involvement in bible studies, small groups, and local churches.


This is simply not true. As proof, many of our current staff are attending and involved in Bible studies and local church activities in various churches in our community. However, while we do not prohibit or discourage the staff from these, we do encourage, remind and even exhort them that these and other things must not become a distraction to their calling from the Lord to serve Him at GFA and reach over 2 billion people on the planet who are dying and going to eternal Hell without Him. This is what we left family, friends and home to do. If we have concern that these are becoming a distraction, then we will talk to the staff person and share our concern with them and try to find resolution with them. At least one of you who signed the letter was so upset that you were not allowed to go to special Bible studies, but you might have forgotten that at that same time, you were not regularly coming to GFA prayer meetings or ladies meetings, nor were you involved in the ministry that God had called you to. The only other time that we have prohibited or discouraged staff involvement in Bible studies was when it was used as a platform to teach a disputable doctrine to the staff (e.g., Reformed Theology), which we as leadership saw as unhealthy and distracting to the call of God upon the precious staff that He has entrusted to us.

Finally, it might interest you to know that dozens of our current GFA staff worldwide took the initiative to write letters of affirmation of the GFA leadership to the USA Board of Directors. We have attached these for your review in case you are interested.

David, on the of behalf of the GFA USA Leadership

[testimonies redacted due to lack of permission from each staff member to publish the attachment]

From: “JD Smith”
To: “K.P. Yohannan”, “David”, “John”
Subject: Fwd: Response to your letter-corrected

Dear Brother KP, David, and John,

I am writing to follow up with my phone call with KP regarding scheduling a meeting. At this time, we 37 signers unanimously agree that before any such meeting takes place we must receive a thorough, written response to the weighty concerns we outlined in the letter. We feel that any meeting would be unproductive if we have not heard your clear explanation on these matters in writing first.

Again, they are as follows:
• GFA leadership practices and teaches a false view of spiritual authority.
• GFA leadership prioritize ministry over family, and teaches the same.
• GFA leaders lie or intentionally deceive people in order to protect the ministry.
• GFA practices unbiblical shunning.
• GFA prohibits or discourages staff involvement in bible studies, small groups, and local churches.

Please respond to these points as thoroughly as you would like. We have thirty-seven witnesses who all affirm the sins at Gospel for Asia are public in scope and grave in nature. If there is going to be any chance of remediation, it is vital that you outline strategies to root out these persistent sinful patterns, or clear up misunderstandings by clearly presenting your explanations. We firmly request you address only the five offenses above.

In a spirit of love, we earnestly desire restoration and accountability within Gospel for Asia. We are happy to follow up with a meeting once you have presented your side in a formal, written response.

We attached the one letter we have received from David. Unfortunately, such a reply was insufficient and unsatisfactory as it neglected to address our concerns. We trust you will give a suitable reply this time. Please do so within seven days; by July 20, 2014, and please reply to confirm your intention of doing so.

You may do so by email to this address, or by postal mail to xxxxx, Dallas, TX 75219.


(xxx) xxx-xxxx

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: David
Date: Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM
Subject: Response to your letter-corrected
To: “JD<mailto:xxxxxxxxx>” <xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:xxxxxxxxxx>>

Hi Brother JD,
We found that our original communication to you sent earlier had a typo in it.  Here is the corrected letter.

Thank you.

From: David
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2014 9:32 AM
To: ‘JD Smith<mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>’
Subject: Response to your letter