Dating between catholics and protestants
A few years after Kim’s family arrived at the compound, a female missionary wrote directly to ABWE officials, recounting how Ketcham’s own daughter suspected he was having an affair; she’d caught him in his office, door locked, with a woman.When questioned, Ketcham claimed that he had been “trying to help” the woman and insisted that “there was NOT an immoral relationship.” At Ketcham’s request, ABWE resolved the situation by banning the woman from the mission.
The 50 or so missionaries and children at the compound all seemed like one big family. He had everybody fooled.”Around the compound, it was an open secret that there had been “extramarital affairs” involving Ketcham and missionary women.“We’re not pastors or preachers,” says Sue, “but he always wanted to have his hands to help.”It took years for the family to raise the money they would need in Bangladesh—$4,000 a month—to cover travel, living expenses, insurance, and contributions to ABWE.They spent their Sundays and Wednesdays driving to conservative Baptist churches across Indiana and several other Midwestern and Northeastern states, giving presentations about the missionary work overseas.She missed her friends, the dozen or so missionary kids everybody called “MKs.” She missed the menagerie her parents let her keep: goats, cows, a parrot, a monkey.She missed the jackals that called in the distance at night, and the elephants that sometimes crashed through the compound fence.Her parents were back in Bangladesh, working at the remote Baptist missionary compound where the family had lived, on and off, for five years.
For an adventurous and high-spirited 13-year-old like Kim, Indiana seemed dull compared to Bangladesh.
He’d been the undisputed patriarch of the Bangladesh mission for almost three decades.
Kim gave the pastor only a partial, fuzzy account of what had happened to her; as a child raised in a fundamentalist “haven,” she lacked the vocabulary to describe sex acts, let alone understand them.
His father had co-founded the Baptist denomination that sponsored the missionary group, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism; its goal was to create a “militant, missionary-minded, Biblically separate haven of Fundamentalism.” Little known outside the world of Christian fundamentalists, ABWE is among the largest missionary groups in the United States, deploying more than 900 Baptists to 70 countries.
His father’s legacy made Ketcham a sort of prince within the world of ABWE: the doctor with the “magical name,” as one missionary later put it, much beloved by the family of churches that supported the group.
But rather than call Kim’s parents or contact the police, the shocked cleric turned to a higher authority, placing an urgent call to ABWE headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.