April 16, 2015 – Greg attempts a meeting between Diaspora members and GFA

Note: GFA never informed us of, or invited us to, a May 2015 meeting. Nor has GFA introduced us to Greg. We have not received any communication from GFA (except for some individual apologies) or the Board since their final report on March 26, 2015.

Greg, a third party friend of GFA, attempts to negotiate a meeting between Diaspora members and GFA by emailing members of Diaspora, excluding JD.

“…this meeting will be a safe environment for you to share your heart and your hurts and receive needed closure on this chapter of your life.”

Note: Greg had contacted JD multiple times over the previous weeks via emails and phone calls, attempting to reconcile the Diaspora and GFA. It is clear from Greg’s email here that JD’s numerous efforts to help Greg comprehend the true problem at hand—that the issue is not personal relationship restoration but addressing systemic unbiblical ministry practices—were misunderstood or ignored.

The Diaspora’s last communication from the GFA Board stated our concerns are nullified and the matter is closed. Additionally, since then, no GFA leader has attempted communication with Diaspora stating anything otherwise. Until the Diaspora is contacted directly by GFA’s board stating they reverse their decision, we have no alternative except to assume that GFA leadership is now operating outside of their Board’s explicit direction.

From: [Greg]

Date: April 16, 2015 at 11:14:21 PM CDT
To: [individually, to most Diaspora members, excluding JD]
Subject: re: GFA Diaspora and Reconciliation

Greetings in the Name of Jesus our Lord,

My name is Greg [xxxx], and I am the founder of [xxxx]. For 12 years I have run this web based ministry by the grace of God. If you have run across the website and know of it yourself, then you know that the resources offered on [xxxx] represent a very wide spectrum of Christian leadership in the body of Christ, many churches and ministries.

The reason for my writing is that, being a supporter of GFA for many years, I was recently given the GFA Diaspora website. I then contacted the website and have spoken with J.D. Smith extensively through emails and on the phone over the past few weeks. I took the time to contact GFA staff personally with many questions and ended up also discussing things with K.P. Yohannan directly. Here are some of my general observations and what transpired:

From an outside perspective it seems clear to me some of the problems listed on the Diaspora website have been a result of inference and that both sides are being misunderstood to a certain extent. Having said that, this still does not nullify the valid concerns or problems listed.
I am confident, and have been assured, that even now changes have been and are being made on the GFA level to prevent similar hurts from happening to people in the future.
In talking with the GFA staff personally I have advised that the Biblical way forward in this situation would be a meeting in person so that apologies and even reconciliation can be made face-to-face, “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
I offered myself as a mediator between GFA and Diaspora for a meeting like this to take place in person. J.D. stated he would be willing, as a meeting like this was requested before. The GFA staff also were willing, but in the final preparation for the meeting it was denied by J.D.

I then contacted GFA and asked if there was a way for them to get this letter to you, the other Diaspora members, to make sure you are aware fully of what is transpiring and given a chance to pray about this yourself and consider it before the Lord, and in light of eternity.

The proposed date of this meeting is May 9th, 2015 at the GFA Campus: Wills Point, TX. I will be present also as a mediator (where needed). I will ensure this meeting will be a safe environment for you to share your heart and your hurts and receive needed closure on this chapter of your life. I know many of the staff are heavy hearted and desire to express in person their apology and reconciliation.

After speaking with K.P. Yohannan they are willing to fly-in anyone who need this, also boarding and food would be taken care of as well as transportation (if needed).

We are all human and doing the best we can and “we all stumble in many ways,” even as it is written. But between brothers and sisters in Christ, may the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself be present whenever there is repentance over a grievance, for we are all members of one another and of His very Body, even as it also is written. “Forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

God’s grace and peace be with you today,
Greg [xxxx]

I can be emailed directly at: [xxxx] and my direct USA number is: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Please feel free to contact myself or [David] with questions, or to share that you are planning to come to the meeting.


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 14, 2015 – Diaspora Responds to Warren Throckmorton

“One desire we have is to not spread this matter further than it needs to go.”

From: info@gfadiaspora.com

Date: April 14, 2015 at 11:42 PM CDT
To: [Warren Throckmorton]
Subject: Re: 2014 letter


Our group has discussed this and I will try to summarize for you:

As you gathered from the letter, we are all followers of Jesus Christ and we seek His glory and to obey Him above all. Last June, we began a process of formally raising our concerns about five key things we believe are sin being practiced at GFA to their leaders and board. We also received counsel from a number of pastors, to see that we approached this as biblically and carefully as possible. We wanted to give the leadership ample time to work with us and respond, and to clarify misunderstandings we may have had.

Initially they responded, flatly denying all of our claims and accusing us of libel. We then prepared a second letter to their board, this time with 75 signatures, three additional testimonies, and two pieces of evidence. But despite numerous and repeated attempts to meet as a group with GFA, they refused to work with us or even communicate with us reliably.

In the fall they said their board would conduct a full investigation of our claims. We never heard a report until March, and that report denied the legitimacy of all of our claims, and told us that they considered it their final communication and the matter closed. They never interviewed or contacted any of us during their supposed investigation, apart from two ex-staff from Canada who they asked for their stories but didn’t interview them either.

Due to GFA’s unwillingness to work with us, we felt it was time to email every staff member we knew, giving them access to a private website we set up to share all of our testimonies and other relevant info including the history of communications between us and GFA leaders, most of which were documented.

Shortly after this (just a couple weeks ago,) we heard from many of the current staff that the leaders were continuing to deny any wrongdoing and were also continuing to lie to the staff. The trust level in leadership is at an all-time low among staff as a result of this.

Knowing this, we also felt it was time to begin notifying our pastors and former supporters, as well as personal friends who also support GFA.

Even now we feel we are at the beginning stages of notifying all of them and spreading the word by relationship. We felt that sharing it by relationship instead of through the press would be much more convincing and effective. So far this seems to be working and the reports are generally well-received with some exceptions.

One desire we have is to not spread this matter further than it needs to go. At the same time we recognize a moral obligation to see that donors are able to find this information.

We are uncertain about if or how we would ever go public with this info, but if you and others are going to publish it anyway, ideally we’d like at least a few more weeks for word to spread among the churches before you do, so that the closest donors and pastors aren’t surprised by the news and the fact that their own connections haven’t contacted them about this yet.

We realize you are not under our control and you are free to do as you wish with the info you have received. But we would like to work together with you on this in order to guide and direct the content to see that it’s as accurate as possible when you do write it. We think this will result in a better outcome.

A God-honoring effort, and doing all of this above reproach, is what we’re interested in. We don’t want to see information shared simply for news views, but rather only for the edification of the Body of Christ.

Also can you send me a copy of the version of the letter you have? We have made a version without signature names and testimonies for wider distribution to churches and supporters, and we’d like any public release to use this version as many of us do not wish our names to be released in a public manner in connection with this.

We’d also appreciate knowing how you found out about us, if you are at liberty to divulge that info.

JD, for the Diaspora

April 11, 2015 – Warren Throckmorton Contacts Diaspora Requesting Comment

“I am planning to leak the 2014 letter to the public”

From: [Warren Throckmorton]

Date: April 11, 2015 at 6:02 PM CDT
To: info@gfadiaspora.com
Subject: Your concerns with GFA

I would like to interview someone about the concerns you have regarding Gospel for Asia.

Thanks, Warren Throckmorton

A second email was received from Warren two days later, while we were discussing how to respond:

From: [Warren Throckmorton]

Date: April 13, 2015 at 7:14 PM CDT
To: info@gfadiaspora.com
Subject: 2014 letter

Sirs: I am planning to leak the 2014 letter to the public. I want to have conversation with you first but given the nature of the allegations in the letter, I think potential donors need to see it.

Could you please contact me at your earliest convenience?Thanks Warren Throckmorton

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

March 25, 2015 – Diaspora responds to KP’s apology to Troy

Diaspora responds to KP’s apology to Diaspora member Troy.

“What he is hoping for, along with all of us in the Diaspora, is your repentance—a change in mindset and behavior from you and your leaders as well as public acknowledgement of your sins against staff and deceptive practices toward donors.”

To: [KP Yohannan]
Cc: [GFA Leaders, Arms-Length Board Members]
Date: Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 2:36 PM
Subject: Troy
From: gfadiaspora.com

Dear Brother KP,

We are writing you on behalf of Troy, and by his request.

While we understand your reaching out to Troy to ask forgiveness, he has already forgiven you and is not asking for an apology.

What he is hoping for, along with all of us in the Diaspora, is your repentance—a change in mindset and behavior from you and your leaders as well as public acknowledgement of your sins against staff and deceptive practices toward donors.

Until this happens we do not believe there can be true reconciliation with anyone individually in our group, nor do we believe GFA is fulfilling its mission in a manner pleasing to the Lord.

Please contact us at this email if you desire further conversation with the GFA Diaspora.

The Diaspora

March 23, 2015 – Diaspora introduces web page to respond to comments and questions

To continue a dialogue with GFA staff, prompted by a response to our March 17 email, we invite them to visit our “Comments & Responses” page.

“We hope you will consider our responses. May this discussion be fruitful for all.”

From: GFA Diaspora <info@gfadiaspora.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 5:36 AM
Subject: Re: GFA Diaspora response
To: [Hiro and those he Cc’d]

Dear Hiro,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our concerns. We appreciate that you value people’s feelings and acknowledge that “some harsh things were said and done over the years.” You also ask us to “stop this campaign” and made a number of comments on which we would like to further dialogue.

We know we are not perfect, and our hearts are open to scripture-based correction. It is good for the Body of Christ to discuss matters of serving Him. “Come, let us reason together.” Therefore, our responses to people’s questions and comments, including yours, are posted on a new GFA Diaspora page called Comments & Responses.

We hope you will consider our responses. May this discussion be fruitful for all.


The Diaspora

Our non-public website uses the following anonymous login:
Username: gfa
Password: redacted
Please keep this confidential to GFA staff only.

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 5:05 PM, Hiro _____ wrote:

JD, Et al.,

Thank you for sending me a link to your GFA Diaspora site. It has provided the background for why so many people have felt hurt when they left on their own accord or were asked to leave. I’ve read through every page, every attached document and even heard from a couple of you first hand.

I know that many of you have experienced genuine pain, of a type that couldn’t possibly come from someone you didn’t love. I believe some harsh things were said and done over the years.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been supporting missionaries with GFA since 1989, and sharing the opportunity about GFA to everyone I came in contact during my military career. (Which is a lot of people since we moved every 2-4 years.) I was a volunteer before there even was a volunteer department. I’ve been on full time staff since my retirement in 2011. I was, and remain, a major donor and don’t receive a salary. Even so, since coming on staff, I’ve had some harsh things said to me as well, one time in love, other times… not so much. I’ve experienced stress and wanted to “give up” many times. (I’ve never thought of quitting GFA though, they’d have to fire me.)

One of the grievances you mentioned is not portraying the liturgical nature of Believers Church to GFA supporters. I’m not convinced that is necessary, after all, many of our supporters come from a KJV Bible only background but no one expects us to specifically tell everyone that we are not printing English KJV bibles in Asia! Liturgical churches are what’s recognized as “church” over there. However, leadership has expressed openness about sharing the liturgical nature with our donor base. I think you’ll agree this should be done in a wise manner, which usually includes slowly. You don’t turn a multimillion dollar, multinational organization around on a dime. Organizations and bureaucracies, by their nature, are SLOW. This is a good thing, if they weren’t, the organization would be whipped around by every change of opinion and circumstance so that it could not stand.

It seems most of the grievances were centered on the “authority” issue, as people took offense (angered or hurt) when leadership tried to exercise authority over your families or your activities during off duty times. There is legitimate debate as to the correctness or error of this teaching, even in evangelical circles, with some fuzzy line about when it turn’s “cultish”. http:// www openbible info/topics/spiritual_authority , http:// www worldchangers org/monthly-UnderstandingSpiritualAuthority.aspx I’ll let people more spiritual than myself delve into these issues. However, it seems to me that the problem is not whether someone has that level of authority over your life or not, but in the taking of offense when authority is exercised. Anger rising up within us if leadership tries to tell our wives what to do, getting into conflicts because others are not doing things the way we think they should be done, taking offense when someone exercises authority in a harsh, haphazard way. In my mind, leadership trying to exercise those authorities, if they believe them to be biblical, are not sinning, they MAY be in error, but not sin. However, taking offense and causing conflict and disunity among the brethren IS sin. In fact, these accusations (judgments in other words) against leadership is specifically warned against in James 4:11-12.

We should also remember that they are people, just as we are. They may be having a bad day, going through a season where their thinking is dominated by circumstances around them, or just plain inexperienced dealing with certain issues. Hypothetically, how would we react if we spent all day hearing about thousands of our people who just became homeless and jobless due to flooding and someone asked whether they’d get a 3 or 4 bedroom house in the new campus? How would we react if we spent weeks dealing with people attacking everything we said in the field or here in the states and someone came up to you with another grievance? How would we council people inquiring about doing certain things if you had previous experience of many others doing it and coming away with disastrous results? What would we do if we think we just learned a new insight from the Word and had the opportunity to share it with others in your circle of influence?

It seems to me that, Brother KP has taken steps to address your concerns with multiple meetings, phone calls and offers of arbitration. He’s spent considerable time with his leadership board on this topic as well. In my mind, this is unprecedented access! Brother KP is president and founder of a multimillion dollar, multinational organization and head of one of the fastest growing churches in Asia with the largest missionary force ever assembled. Do you realize:

· Believers Church has more active missionaries than the entire militaries of over 40 nations? http:// www.globalfirepower com/active-military-manpower.asp

· There are move baptized members in Believers church than there are people in 60 nations? http:// www.worldometers info/world-population/population-by-country/

· Believers Church has more people serving in it than the largest corporations in the world? http:// www.statista com/statistics/264671/top-20-companies-based-on-number-of-employees/

· That GFA has a lower employee turnover rate than most ministries (Ave. 24% per annum) http:// nccs.urban org/resources/faq.cfm or churches? (Ave. 10% per annum) http:// www.christianitytoday com/le/1993/winter/93l2103.html

It is unreasonable to expect him to answer your demands for written responses within seven days, organize meetings with people scattered across the continent or answer your emails immediately, all while leading such a huge movement, just to address your grievances. How many mayors, governors, presidents, CEO’s would have given you this amount of attention?

I understand that you are saying you are doing this for the good of the ministry and the staff here. However, what good are you actually accomplishing? By sending this email out to all the staff, all you’re doing is sowing seeds of doubt, shaking people’s confidence in what they feel God has led them to do and stirring up conflict. Think of the time, energy, and finances (not to mention pain) already expended on this issue. That is time, energy and finances that are no longer available to reach the lost. How many people are you willing to sacrifice to have your demands met? This isn’t just about staff at the US and Canadian offices. This is ammunition the enemy can AND WILL use to slow down or even stop people from getting SAVED!

PLEASE, PLEASE, stop this campaign. I trust leadership here has already heard and prayed about your concerns. I know they are taking active steps to change some things, provide training in others and putting still other safeguards in place to help stop hurting people in the future. Just hearing these concerns has already changed their hearts and behavior and Bro KP has already apologized to you for things he or other leaders have done. They have already reached out to each grieved party to try to make amends. Do you REALLY need a cross-continent group get together for him to publicly say everything was his fault to be recorded and used by the enemy? One last batch of statistics, 78% of pastors surveyed at a pastors conference in 2005 – 2006 said they were forced to resign from at least one church and 80% said it was due to conflicts that the pastor could not resolve (the rest had this reason as one of thetop three issues). http:// www.intothyword org/apps/articles/?articleid=36562 Do you want Bro K.P. to quit or be fired?


Your Simply Silly, Speedy, Shipping Servants

March 17, 2015 – The Diaspora invites GFA staff to this website

The Diaspora invites GFA staff to visit this website to educate them about our efforts, since many have only heard about us—apparently with some misinformation—from their leaders. The GFA leaders and Board were included in this email.

“After seeking the Lord in prayer and much godly counsel, we feel a responsibility to share with you these concerns and the full story.”

From: GFA Diaspora <info@gfadiaspora.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 9:17 PM
Subject: Speaking the Truth in Love – The Rest of the Story
To: [GFA staff, leaders, and board members]

Dear GFA Brothers and Sisters,

Last year, after learning that many former GFA staff saw systemic unbiblical practices and were improperly treated during their service, a group came together and reached out to GFA’s leadership and boards to address these problems. Although we have all seen God do many good things through His people at the ministry, we could not overlook these issues in good conscience.

Unfortunately, communications have failed to bring about any resolution or further cooperation. We can only conclude that our concerns have been dismissed. After seeking the Lord in prayer and much godly counsel, we feel a responsibility to share with you these concerns and the full story.

While all of our stories are different, many of us individually tried to work through questions with leadership, only to be put off or asked to leave the ministry. Very few of us ever had a formal exit interview, and many attempts to reach out to leadership while on staff were ignored. Most of us forgave and decided to move on. Then we realized our individual stories were part of a larger narrative revealing unbiblical doctrines and practices. Now we have done our best to justly and prayerfully bring our concerns to everyone responsible for holding GFA accountable. We can only conclude that our concerns have been dismissed–viewed as petty offenses at worst. It is not our intention to cause unnecessary division, but rather long-term reconciliation and peace.

We desire that, while reaching the lost in Asia, GFA maintains a healthy spiritual environment for the staff and transparency for the sake of those who support the work. We are concerned for the ministry and for you, the friends we love, who have invested your lives as we have ours to reach Asia with the Gospel.

Scripture directs us to test all things and to walk in the light as He is in the light. By sharing the communications we’ve had with leadership and the GFA board, you can judge for yourselves our concerns and perhaps help bring needed change for the sake of fellow staff, supporters, those on the field, and ultimately the glory of the Lord.

To hear our personal testimonies and all that has transpired, please visit our non-public website and use the following generic, anonymous login:
www dot gfadiaspora dot com (remove the spaces and replace “dot” with .)
user: [redacted for security]
password: [redacted for security]

We appreciate your devotion to the Lord and hope you prayerfully assess our concerns. May God give you grace, peace and discernment as you consider His view on these issues.

The Diaspora

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