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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership

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 Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership

From the first page of Christianity Todays newest article

Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership
Longtime board member releases documents on missions agency’s troubled management.
Bob Smietana/ DECEMBER 11, 2015
Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership

Gospel for Asia founder and president K.P. Yohannan.
For years, one of the world’s largest missions agencies has told supporters that 100 percent of donations for its work in India are sent to the field.

That promise of good stewardship is one of the main selling points that Gospel for Asia (GFA) offers donors.

“Gospel for Asia is firmly committed to good stewardship of the funds entrusted to us by our friends and donors,” the ministry’s website claims. “We promise to use your gifts wisely and effectively in Christ’s name.”

Yet, a previously confidential letter from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to GFA, published last week by blogger Warren Throckmorton, shows that GFA failed to live up to that promise.

The ECFA letter reported that GFA used $19.8 million in restricted donations to build its headquarters in Carrollton, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

Those donations were intended for missions work. Instead, the money was sent overseas to one of GFA’s affiliates. The affiliate then returned the money to the United States, without the knowledge of GFA’s board of directors or donors.

GFA leaders also tried to conceal the source of those funds. The $19.8 million was listed in GFA’s 2013 audit as an anonymous donation. Earlier this year, GFA admitted that restricted donations for missions work had been used for the building.

The ministry also solicited millions of dollars in donations, claiming urgent needs, while its overseas affiliates held onto huge cash balances—nearly $250 million in 2014.

The ECFA letter (dated September 2, 2015) was the result of a four-month investigation into GFA’s finances. Soon after the report was issued, ECFA expelled GFA from its membership.

At the time, ECFA said GFA had violated five of its seven core standards. But details of the ECFA investigation were not available to the public. That changed last week when former GFA board member Gayle Erwin released the ECFA’s letter and other documents to Throckmorton.

The ECFA investigation found that GFA leaders misled donors and board members about the state of the ministry’s finances. GFA leaders also tried to withhold details about finances from ECFA.

Among other findings:

GFA delayed sending nearly $50 million in donations to its overseas partners in 2014. The funds were not transferred overseas until the end of the year. GFA also delayed sending $28 million in donations overseas in 2015.
GFA failed to keep track of how it spends designated funds for specific projects.
GFA’s leader, K. P. Yohannan, repeatedly withheld information about the ministry’s finances from its board of directors.
$29 million dollars in donations was moved to the Hong Kong bank account of GFA's India affiliate without disclosing that transfer to the Indian government. GFA also hid financial transactions from both the Indian government and US officials.
GFA failed to exercise control over millions of dollars in donations sent to its overseas affiliates.
The ECFA report also indicates that GFA was less than cooperative with the inquiry.

“Certain information provided to ECFA by GFA that was crucial to our review was, at least initially, inaccurate,” wrote John C. Van Drunen, ECFA’s executive vice president, in September 2015.

ECFA would not comment to CT for this story.

A key moment in the investigation came in June 2015.

ECFA asked GFA about the cash reserves held by its overseas affiliates. At first, GFA claimed those affiliates had $7 million in reserves. When ECFA pressed for more details, GFA revealed that its affiliates had $259 million on hand in March 2014, and $186 million as of June 2015.

(the next 4 pages can be read on CT web pages.

 2015/12/12 10:50

 Re: Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership

Disgusting kingdoms of men and everything that is wrong with Christendom..........bro Frank

 2015/12/12 10:57


other lowlights from page 2 and 3 of the CT article

"Yohannan said he was not aware of how much money GFA’s overseas affiliates had in the bank.

The GFA board was also kept in the dark, according to the ECFA report:

In our meeting on July 1, ECFA staff asked you (Yohannan) what the GFA board would think if they knew of the high balances in partner field accounts. You indicated that neither the board nor you were aware of the magnitude of the balances. You responded, “They would be as surprised as I am.”

Despite running a ministry that collects hundreds of millions in donations, Yohannan appeared to be unaware of the basics of nonprofit management.For example, GFA board records reveal few details about the business conducted during board meetings. Yohannan admitted this as a failing in his response.“We also realize that our board minutes could have been more comprehensive to note the discussions that took place in board meetings and are seeking to improve the details of the minutes in the future,” Yohannan wrote to ECFA.

According to the report, ECFA had questions about who is in charge of GFA’s overseas affiliates.

Yohannan is the leader of Believers Church, an India-based denomination that runs the ministries overseas.

******** Yet he claims that GFA has no oversight of those groups and that he is not in charge of them.*********

But the ECFA review found that GFA had substantial control over the overseas groups.

*****“Based on this level of oversight and control as well observed during our review, ECFA staff questions whether GFA has a sound basis to disclaim any control over the activities of field partners,” Van Drunen wrote.Erwin, who resigned from the GFA board in October after 30 years of service, also released a copy of an internal inquiry he had conducted for the board.******


Those former employees accused Yohannan of demanding absolute obedience from employees, of shunning those who disagree with him, and with misleading donors about the nature of the organization.

Erwin’s report found that most of the accusations were accurate.

*********Of particular concern was that Yohannan demanded “absolute obedience.”**********

“This complaint appears to be true and is the main source of the problem,” he wrote. “If this were to be settled, we would be almost finished with the problem.”

Concerns about GFA’s practices led MinistryWatch, a Christian watchdog group, to issue an alert to Christian donors, asking them to cease all donations to GFA. It especially warned members of Calvary Chapel churches, noting that the global network was “one of the biggest backers” of Gospel for Asia. Calvary Chapel in Auckland—which once housed GFA’s New Zealand office—also cut ties to the group.

 2015/12/12 11:23


From GFA page FAQ regarding believes church in India that K.P. runs

Once in a while, I hear about Believers Church through GFA. Is there any affiliation between GFA and Believers Church?

Believers Church is an evangelical, indigenous church movement within the 18 nations of Asia that GFA, as an international mission organization, works with to fulfill the Great Commission commanded by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Though the church was born through the ministry of GFA-supported national missionaries, t ••••••there is no legal binding between GFA and Believers Church.••••

This organization is controlled and run by K.P Y .
There is documented evidence to support this Now my question why does GFA lie about it?

State of Kerala in India document Yohannan is referred to as the “Managing Trustee” of the Believers’ Church.

G . O. (Rt.) No. 448/2011/LBR. Thiruvananthapuram, 17th March 2011. Whereas, the Government are of opinion that an industrial dispute exists between

******* Dr. K. P. Yohannan, Managing Trustee, Believers Church India (B. C. I.), ******

 2015/12/12 14:33

 Re: From Ministry Watch web site regarding GFA

From Ministry Watch web site:

Since Gospel for Asia was terminated from ECFA membership last month for violating terms of the self-regulatory group’s seven standards, there has been essentially no meaningful explanation coming from the ministry about the specic cumstances that led to the ministry’s expulsion.

******We do know, however, that the ministry has sought to remove from the website (the website blogger Warren Throckmorton has used to report on Gospel for Asia’s apparent misdeeds) the recording made by someone inside the ministry of Chief Financial officer David Carroll making claims about Gospel for Asia which appear to be untrue. One can only presume by their efforts to thwart the continued posting of the recording that it contains information the ministry would rather have hidden from donors. And Gospel for Asia seems to be using hardball tactics to get its way.*******

While not all Christians are familiar with Gospel for Asia, it is one of the larger ministries in the database. It has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from US, UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian donors for missonary efforts in India and beyond. The ministry’s Auckland, New Zealand office, which was housed in a Calvary Chapel church was actually just closed down by the church as a result of the very serious allegations the ministry faces and for which it has yet to give an adequate response.
It appears Calvary Chapels around the world were one of the biggest backers of Gospel for Asia. If you know someone who attends a Calvary Chapel, you should forward this information to them.
Another disconcerting report has come out courtesy of Warren rockmorton. As can be seen in the chart below, $128 million dollars in donation is unaccounted for when one looks at the nancial statements
of the ministry’s various country offices.
It represents 25% of the total amount donated by US, UK, Australian and Ca- nadian donors to Gospel for Asia over the last eight years.

*******Meanwhile, the ministry and its leader, K.P. Yohannon, apparently have purchased a Indian Engineering college for $70 million. Clearly, this is not what most donors had in mind for their donations when they made them.******

Needless to say, the Gospel for Asia situation is extremely troubling. We reiterate our call for donors to cease giving to Gospel for Asia as soon as possible and look for a more worthy alternative for your offeings in the database.

 2015/12/12 14:53


I think we have already discussed that GFA lost ECFA Membership and yes those who make financial contributions have a right to know where the money goes.
But we have already been warned and it is now our own responsibility to do more research if we desire to know more.
This thread is not edifying and does not help to advance God's Kingdom!
So what is our main desire? Do we still have the priorities right?

"Your Kingdom come "!

 2015/12/12 15:56


There is a lot of stuff repeatedly discussed here. And a lot of it is not edifing.
(Just like the Bible) This is NEW information that Rev posted BTW.

KP was one of the few untouchable sacred cows in this place for whatever reason. Bash the Jews and Israel all you want but do my profits no harm.

 2015/12/12 17:02

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


The following petition has been put together requesting the board of directors fire K. P. Yohannan, and replace the current leadership that heads Gospel for Asia.

I am a former donor to GFA and gave for nearly a decade. I pulled my support this past summer at the first hint of mishandling of funds. Since then GFA has continued to be exposed time and time again. They are either liars, or completely incompetent.

I hope you will join me in signing this petition.

Jimmy H

 2015/12/12 22:22Profile


The report says .......

"Of particular concern was that Yohannan demanded “absolute obedience"

Absolute obedience to men is the doctrine of dictators. There is no cult anywhere that does not require this under the guise of " strong leadership." If you disagree then your gone. Hardly the way of the Lord nor His Word.............bro Frank

 2015/12/13 0:00

Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510

 Re: Report Details Why Gospel for Asia Lost ECFA Membership

When news of Gospel For Asia's accountability issues was discussed earlier on this forum, Jeremy221 brought up the "GFA Diaspora":

The website was set-up by former GFA staff, and outlines systematic issues with the organization regarding doctrine, governance and conduct. There's also a list of testimonies from former staff members here:

I've read every single testimony on that page. There is no doubt that the GFA organization is a cult. I recognize the signs, as I knew someone who was involved in a "Christian" cult and the parallels are striking (sadly, last I checked, he still remains mired in that cult almost a decade later).

I encourage you to go through the testimonies as well (if I had to pick one, it would be JD and Chrissy's). This is not to heap condemnation on the persons involved, but to draw attention to issues which are prevalent in many churches - particularly the issue of idolatry. It's also clear from the write-ups that many staff members were made vulnerable to abuse due to weaknesses in their doctrine and theology.

Some thoughts which occurred to me having gone through the testimonies:

1. What is the church? Is it the particular organization we are affiliated with, or the body of Christ composing of all believers?

2. Fundamentally - what is our calling? What does it mean to do the will of God?

3. Is our work meaningless if it doesn't involve actively evangelizing others, or if it's not a formal ministry under a church?

4. Are Christians called to sacrifice? If so, what are we to sacrifice, and to whom are we to sacrifice?

5. What does dying to self mean? Is it something which we actively try to do, or something that is already accomplished through our union with Christ in His death? (Romans 6, Gal 2:20)

6. Are Christians called to live ascetic lives?

7. What are the proper biblical procedures to deal with our offenders?

 2015/12/13 11:33Profile

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