Former Staff at Gospel for Asia Speak Out About GFA’s Response to ECFA

On October 2, the board of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability voted to terminate the membership of Gospel for Asia due to multiple violations of ECFA standards. This board action came after an ECFA investigation into GFA’s financial dealings, integrity and public statements. Yesterday, GFA responded to ECFA.

In that response, GFA leaders claimed they have corrected the problems found by ECFA but presented no specific actions they have taken. It is also not clear if the letter came from the GFA board or senior leaders (K.P. Yohannan, David Carroll, John Beers, and Danny Yohannan).

Today, two former GFA staff have responded to GFA.* I asked several former staff to comment about GFA’s statement. I wanted to know if the former leaders at the mission organization believed the statement was credible and/or represented a positive change.

Cody Carnine was formerly Co-Director of Development at GFA and managed the construction of the new headquarters. He was not impressed by GFA’s reply to ECFA. According to Carnine, the statement did not reflect a change of heart. He said:

Sponsors and donors have also been misled by GFA. But instead of apologizing and asking forgiveness from the ECFA and the supporting donor base of GFA, we get talking points and spin from GFA. Those that have sacrificially given and prayed for the work of GFA are entitled to straight answers. One way of doing this would be for GFA to release the detailed report from the ECFA showing in concrete example after example where GFA has not been in compliance with the basic Biblical principles of the ECFA for the last 30 plus years since the incorporation of Gospel For Asia. 

Carnine’s challenge to GFA is to release the results of ECFA’s investigation. It would be a helpful step for GFA to do this. I would add that an explanation of why the violations were allowed to occur should accompany the report. GFA went for months saying everything was fine. They criticized the former staff and disregarded my reporting. Now we learn that ECFA has come to similar conclusions. GFA has a lot of fences to mend and much to explain.

Travis Helm told me that his reaction is to be skeptical. Helm was a senior leader and Co-Director of Development with responsibility for church relations. Having left GFA several months ago, he doesn’t have trust in GFA’s senior leadership. Helm said,

GFA top leaders have betrayed the trust of the faithful and loyal service of me and my family as well as other former staff. It doesn’t stop there. The betrayal extends to the donors who have sacrificially given and prayed for years. The negative and damaging effects are real and for some the wounds may be chronic. Please stop the posturing and spiritually abusive behaviors. 

In the coming days, I call on GFA leaders (where is K.P. Yohannan?) to release the ECFA report and provide specific answers in response to multiple outstanding questions.

*More may be added to this post as staff respond on the record. Others have replied as well but did not want their name to be used.

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