Statement regarding the arrest of James Arbaugh
Posted on December 1, 2017 by VMMissions Staff
On November 21, the Daily News-Record reported that James Arbaugh, a self-described “tentmaking missionary” in Haiti, was recently arrested for confessing to have sexually abused multiple minors in Haiti. VMMissions strongly condemns the abuse Mr. Arbaugh has confessed and is alleged to have committed. We are heartsick for the victims and for the grievous misrepresentation of Christ and his church by someone who should have been trustworthy.
VMMissions has found no record of having employed James Arbaugh as a missionary. In addition, VMMissions has not partnered with Walking Together, the organization most recently connected to Mr. Arbaugh’s ministry, since its incorporation in 2015. Prior to that time, VMMissions had intermittent work in Haiti, primarily through short-term teams. VMMissions is reviewing its records to determine the extent of its connections to Mr. Arbaugh and invites anyone with information about this to contact Lynn Suter ([email protected]), Director of Operations and International Ministries.
VMMissions first learned in September that Mr. Arbaugh had returned to the States to receive professional counseling for unnamed “sexual sins.” VMMissions was told that Mr. Arbaugh was aware that if he divulged anything about his behavior that was illegal, the counselor would be legally required to report it to the authorities. VMMissions did not learn more about Mr. Arbaugh’s behavior until the Daily News-Record article was published on Nov. 21. VMMissions still does not know the timeframe during which Mr. Arbaugh’s misconduct occurred.
VMMissions has extensive procedures both to ascertain the character and conduct of persons who apply for service with VMMissions and to construct systems of accountability for our mission workers. The revelation of Mr. Arbaugh’s behavior compels us to examine more closely the character and conduct of persons who are not appointed or employed with us, but with whom we associate on the field, and their own systems of accountability.