Popular preacher and author Francis Chan issued a strong defense of the nonprofit charity Gospel for Asia following the announcement Friday that the organization will pay $37 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the alleged misuse of donations.
Chan, the author of Crazy Love and former pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, released a statement responding to the news of Gospel for Asia’s settlement with plaintiffs who accused the organization of mishandling hundreds of millions in donations earmarked for the mission field worldwide.
“When I first heard of the accusations against K.P. Yohannan, I was surprised and deeply concerned,” the 51-year-old pastor, who has served as a GFA board member since 2015, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
“I have been let down many times by people I once respected. At the same time, I know that public figures will often be wrongly accused. It goes with the territory.”
Chan explained that when the accusations first hit Gospel for Asia over three years ago, he did not race to “abrupt conclusions” as some of his colleagues did.
He did his own research by traveling to the Texas headquarters and to the mission field in India with a trusted financial expert who was a partner in a large accounting firm. Chan also asked Yohannan and his son, Danny, to send over their tax returns from the previous year.
“After careful research, our conclusion was that there was no money misappropriated and that all funds were channeled to the intended areas,” Chan assured.
As a result of the ordeal, Chan’s admiration for founder K.P. Yohannan “only grew.”
“From the start, it didn’t make sense that he was misappropriating funds,” Chan reasoned. “There was no logical motive. I had spent time in his home and driven with him in his car. He lives very humbly. When I saw his tax returns, I was shocked at how little he made and how much he gave.”
Gospel for Asia, along with Yohannan, have fought a years-long legal battle to clear the organization’s name after accusations that funds meant for charitable purposes were used to build personal residences and a headquarters in Texas, among other things. The lawsuit was brought by former GFA donors Garland and Phyllis Murphy.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith