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Nov182018

Part 3: A Critical Analysis of the Administrative Council’s Report Justifying the Decision to Withhold All Knowledge of the Police Investigation & Imminent Arrest of Thomas J. Chantry from ARBCA Pastors

This is Part 3 in a comprehensive series of articles concerning Thomas J. Chantry and the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).  My two previous articles are linked below. 

Part 1: Sexual Sadist Tom Chantry Persecuted Like Jesus, Tested Like Job, & Betrayed Like Joseph According to ARBCA Leaders & Enablers
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 6:58PM

Part 2: Walt Chantry, Miller Valley Elders, & ARBCA Officials Knew Tom Chantry Was a Child Abuser Even Before the 2000 Investigation Began
Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 2:10PM

In 2016 and 2017, I also wrote the following articles.

Tom Chantry, Well Known Reformed Baptist Pastor, Charged on Multiple Counts of Child Molestation & Aggravated Assault with Serious Injury 
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 3:51 PM

Did Reformed Baptist Leaders Cover Up Tom Chantry’s Alleged Sex Crimes & Serious Physical Injury of Children?
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 4:06 PM 

My Letters to All Lead Pastors in ARBCA to Investigate the Past Cover Up of Tom Chantry’s Sins & Alleged Crimes
Friday, December 30, 2016 at 4:12 PM
 
More Evidence Against Alleged Sexual Sadist Tom Chantry & the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America
Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:20 PM 

This Part 3 article is in response to the recent report put out by ARBCA on September 5, 2018.  The complete title of their report is “ARBCA Membership Process of Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Hales Corner, Wisconsin, and the Case of Thomas J. Chantry – Administrative Council Report – Part I.”  They also released a Part II report on October 25, 2018.  I will deal with that one in my next article. 

Tom Chantry and Christ Reformed Baptist Church (CRBC) applied for membership in ARBCA on July 26, 2015.  The Membership Committee recommended CRBC to the Administrative Council for membership on February 9, 2016.  The Administrative Council recommended CRBC to the ARBCA General Assembly on April 25, 2016.  The General Assembly (i.e., delegates made up of ARBCA pastors) approved CRBC for membership. 

This vote of approval passed because the pastors were not told by the Membership Committee (MC) or Administrative Council (AC) that Chantry had been under investigation for nine months on multiple counts of aggravated assault and sexual molestation and was about to be arrested.  The MC and AC purposely withheld this information from the delegates.  In this Part I report they seek to justify that decision.

I have responded to their report in bold italicized print.  I’ve also added underlining for focus and notes in brackets [ ].

##

ARBCA Membership Process of Christ Reformed Baptist Church [in] Hales Corner, Wisconsin, and the Case of Thomas J. Chantry 
Administrative Council Report - Part I

September 5, 2018

PREFACE

Children are precious to God. While no parent, teacher, or pastor perfectly fulfills his responsibilities to God for the children entrusted to his care, by our holy and loving heavenly Father, we must never accept or excuse treatment of children that breaches the standards of love, kindness, and wisdom God has prescribed for their provision, protection, training, and care.  As an association of churches, we are grieved by the events involved in the case of Thomas J. Chantry, a former pastor of a church in our association.  We deeply sympathize with all of the parents and children affected by this situation, and we pray for their healing, comfort, and spiritual well-being.

“We are grieved by the events in the case of Thomas J. Chantry.”  If they were the 2018-2019 Administrative Council would be calling for Chantry’s repentance and supporting his prosecution.  Instead, many top ARBCA officials and pastors have defended Chantry’s innocence for over three years. 

The Administrative Council claims to “deeply sympathize with all of the parents and children affected.”  Al Huber is on the current AC.  He is Chantry’s father-in-law and the one largely financing his defense.  David Dykstra is also on the current AC.  They were at the July-August 2018 trial supporting Chantry’s wretched defense and Don Lindblad’s perjurious testimony.  Needless to say, neither of these men made any effort to “deeply sympathize” with “the parents and children” in the courtroom!  I was there observing them.  Instead, they were supporting the sociopathic lying of Chantry and the false witness of Lindblad on the stand! 

Here is the way Susan Eazer, the Deputy County Attorney, describes Chantry’s defense in Verified Motion Pursuant to A.R.S. 13-3961(D) to Hold Defendant without Bond and Request for Hearing.(Sep. 11, 2018).     

“At the Defendant’s recent trial, defendant took the stand and boldly claimed that every single one of the 20 individuals who testified at trial had lied about something.  He literally denied every single thing of significance that every single witness testified to during the  trial.  Undersigned counsel [Eazer] and Mr. Sears met with four of the jurors after trial, all of whom unanimously agreed that they did not believe anything that the Defendant said under oath during his testimony.  The State would submit that this is relevant as it goes to whether the Defendant can be trusted to abide by any conditions of release set by this Court, especially since the Defendant has been living in another state [Illinois] with absolutely no supervision other than that of his father-in-law [Huber], who just happens to be a ranking member [on the current AC] of the very church association that covered up the Defendants criminal conduct in 2000.”

Yes, that’s right.  Criminal conduct was covered up!  How?  Simple!  By not reporting it to law enforcement.  It is not complicated. 

Tom Chantry is a sexual sadist and sociopathic liar.  The evidence is overwhelming.  Yet, he “boldly claimed that every single one” of the 20 witnesses against him lied.  Even those that testified against him for the crimes of which he was found guilty and sentenced! 

Eazer and Sears (Chantry’s lawyer) had opportunity to talk with four of the jurors immediately after the verdict on August 21, 2018.  The jurors saw through Chantry’s audacious and continuous lying.  “They did not believe anything that the Defendant said under oath.”  Lying has been his sole defense from the beginning.  It is lie, lie, lie.  And this lying defense has been supported by ARBCA over the years despite mountains of evidence beginning with the police reports I brought to their attention in December 2016.     

In this “Verified Motion…To Hold Defendant Without Bond,” Eazer gives an overview of the evidence against Chantry and on that basis argues he be held in jail without bond.  As it stands, Judge Michael Bluff, set the bond at 1 million dollars in cash because Chantry can’t be trusted and therefore poses a great danger. 

Chantry has been in jail since he surrendered on September 10, 2018 for four counts of sexual molestation, four counts of aggravated assault with sexual motivation, and one count of child abuse.  He surrendered because he didn’t want to go through the horror of being extradited from Wisconsin to Arizona on a long trip with other criminals in the vehicle, etc.  The last time he was extradited from WI to AZ it was brutal. 

In addition to the nine counts above, he will be retired on four previous counts of sexual molestation.  In total, he is looking at 13 counts.  No trial date has been set.  His lawyer, John Sears just retired.  His new lawyer is playing catch up.

The 2018-2019 Administrative Council says,

“We are grieved by the events involved in the case of Thomas J. Chantry … We deeply sympathize with all of the parents and children.”  “We pray for their healing, comfort, and spiritual well-being.” 

This is extremely offensive to the victims and their parents.  The current AC has never reached out to any of them.  The same is true of the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 Administrative Councils.  Moreover, the past councils have condemned the victims by their official and public support of Chantry’s innocence.  They have worked against their “healing, comfort, and spiritual well-being.” 

If ARBCA ever plans to please God, they will renounce their past support, beg forgiveness of the victims and parents, voluntarily make restitution for the harm’s they suffered, take a stand against Chantry, stop justifying the men who covered up his criminal behavior, and remove the men from ARBCA positions who have unjustly protested Chantry’s innocence despite the evidence.

The purpose of this report is to communicate, clearly and transparently, information to member churches about decisions of the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).  We have made every attempt to provide an objective account of the events, circumstances, deliberations, and decisions regarding the handling of the application for membership of Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Hales Corners, Wisconsin, by the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council.  During this period, Mr. Chantry was pastor of Christ Reformed Baptist Church.  We have included an abundance of documentation, as attachments to this report, and have taken great care to detail material facts and oral testimonies accurately and coherently.  Additionally, an explanation of the operational purview of an association of churches and an examination of biblical injunctions, regarding divinely established procedures for handling charges or allegations, are necessarily incorporated in the “Analysis” section of this report.

Sounds impressive.  It’s not.  Continue reading. 

Moreover, the men writing this report can’t possibly “provide an objective report.”  That is why there is such a great need for an independent investigation by an outside, third party chosen in concert with input from the victims and their families.  Why not if you are genuinely concerned for their healing, comfort and well-being.

Our goal has been to provide an exhaustive chronicle of the administrative processing of Christ Reformed Baptist Church’s application for membership in ARBCA, along with an assessment of the integrity of that process and the constitutional, procedural, and biblical grounds for the decisions and actions of the ARBCA officers involved in the process.  We pray that this report will provide the pastors and members of our associational churches the information necessary to answer questions regarding this matter and to maintain the unity of fellowship and confidence in our association.

“Pastors and members of our associational churches” are, and will, be leaving because this report, and the one to follow, do NOT provide “the information necessary to answer questions.” 

For instance, you will not find “Verified Motion Pursuant to A.R.S. 13-3961(D) to Hold Defendant without Bond and Request for Hearing” cited above.  It was filed as a public court document on September 11.  The Administrative Council Report - Part II was published on October 21, 2018.  Why was it not included?  Because it is so incriminating.  Honestly, an incredible amount of important information has been left out of Reports I and II and the information included has often been obscured or misrepresented.  There is good reason to break fellowship and lose “confidence in our association.”

INTRODUCTION

The delegates to the General Assembly of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches (ARBCA), which met in April 2016, voted to approve Christ Reformed Baptist Church (CRBC) of Hales Corners, Wisconsin, for membership in ARBCA.  In July 2016, Thomas J. Chantry, pastor of CRBC, was arrested and subsequently charged with five counts of child molestation and three counts of aggravated assault.  The charges stemmed from the period of time he was the pastor of the Miller Valley Baptist Church (MVBC), Prescott, Arizona, from June 18, 1995 to November 8, 2000.  No police report concerning Mr. Chantry was filed during this time.  In July 2015, a new allegation was made about Mr. Chantry’s actions as pastor at Miller Valley, which resulted in a criminal investigation and his arrest.  After his arrest, a number of pastors and members of churches affiliated with ARBCA understandably questioned whether the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council were aware of the allegation against Mr. Chantry and the existence of a police investigation prior to the General Assembly.  They also questioned why CRBC was recommended for membership in ARBCA, if the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council did possess this information.  Additionally, the Administrative Council received requests to provide a full written report concerning this matter to ARBCA member churches.  Out of concern for possibly affecting the judicial process in some way, the Administrative Council deferred such a report until the completion of the trial.

This AC Part I report was written by an ad hoc committee that does not identify itself.   That is disingenuous.  They are Steve Marquedant, Dale Crawford, Jeff Massey, and Bob CurleyMarquedant was Chairman of the 2015-2016 Membership Committee.  He and Douglas VanderMeulen were the central figures that decided to withhold knowledge of the police investigation and forthcoming arrest of Chantry from the General Assembly in April 2016. Marquedant should not be investigating Marquedant.

On August 21, 2018, a jury in the Yavapai County Superior Court in Camp Verde, Arizona, announced its verdict in Mr. Chantry’s case.  The jury found Mr. Chantry guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, not guilty on one count of aggravated assault, and not guilty of one count of child molestation.  A mistrial was declared on four other charges of molestation.  Since sworn testimony of all the principles in the trial and other evidence related to the charges are now public record, the Administrative Council can provide a report to the member churches of ARBCA.

“A mistrial was declared on four other charges of molestation.”  The hung jury was 11 to 1 in favor of Chantry’s guilt.  He got off by the skin of his teeth.  These four counts will be retried.

As soon as the trial ended on August 21, 2018, the Administrative Council began the preparation of a two-part report regarding the membership process of CRBC and the Thomas J. Chantry case.  Part I will cover ARBCA’s actions between the April 2015 and the April 2016 General Assemblies.  Part II will cover the work of an ARBCA informal council requested by MVBC, in December 2000, and the subsequent ARBCA actions related to the results of the informal council’s assistance to this church.  This is Part I of the report.

I am working on a response to the AC Report – Part II regarding the “ARBCA informal council” and “subsequent ARBCA actions.”  It was sent to ARBCA churches on October 25, 2018.  I’ve discovered several critical documents that expose the cover up put forth in the report.  People will be shocked and dismayed by the deceit of ARBCA officials!  I wish it were not so.  I hope it reaches people and pastors in ARBCA who are being denied the truth.

PART I 

This part of the report contains a discussion of the events of the membership process for CRBC in chronological order, an explanation of the decisions made by the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council related to the membership process, an analysis of those events and decisions, and a summary, which includes conclusions and recommendations. 

Chronology of Events 

 The Membership Committee requires churches applying for membership in ARBCA to send at least one officer of the church to attend a General Assembly prior to applying for membership.  Mr. Chantry attended the 2015 General Assembly, as pastor of CRBC.  At that time, he had not informed the Membership Committee of any plans for CRBC to apply for membership in ARBCA. During the April 2015 General Assembly, Chris J. Marley, pastor of MVBC, talked with Steven Marquedant, Chairman of the Membership Committee, and asked Mr. Marquedant if CRBC was going to apply to join ARBCA.  Mr. Marquedant informed Mr. Marley that Mr. Chantry had not communicated any plans for CRBC to do so.  Mr. Marley asked Mr. Marquedant not to accept an application for membership from CRBC, because members of MVBC believed that Mr. Chantry had never fully resolved issues with MVBC that developed during the time Mr. Chantry was pastor of MVBC.  Mr. Marley also stated that, if CRBC was allowed to apply for membership in ARBCA, MVBC would consider resigning membership in ARBCA.  Mr. Marley was in possession of the report of an informal council [i.e. “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations”] conducted in December 2000 at MVBC, which contained information about issues regarding Mr. Chantry. The elders [Rich Howe & Eric Owens] of MVBC and Mr. Chantry signed a document [i.e., “Distribution of the Complete Report”] on December 16, 2000, restricting distribution of this report.[1]  As an elder of MVBC, Mr. Marley was an authorized recipient of this report and had read the report. 

The ad hoc committee who wrote this Part I report often write in an obscure manner.  I think that is intentional and designed to cover up facts or make them hard to understand.  Let me illustrate. 

The December 16, 2000 document was called “Distribution of the Complete Report.”  It wasn’t really a document and it wasn’t a report.  It was a list of nine parties that were to receive a packet of material.  One of the documents in the packet was the “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations” “which contained information about issues regarding Mr. Chantry.”  But the packet included more.  Here is what it contained according to Bob Selph, the ARBCA Coordinator in 2000-2001, in his September 7, 2018 letter of explanation. 

“The packet included all the reports, transcripts of testimonies from Tom Chantry, the families, and one of the children, the letters that had been exchanged between MVBC and Walt Chantry, and a timeline of events.” 

“The reports” is a reference to the three reports written by the Informal Council. 

1. Confidential Report and Recommendations of the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches (Dec. 16, 2000) – Level 1 

2. Report, Conclusions and Recommendations of the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches (Dec. 16, 2000) – Level 2 

3. Report of the Informal Council of the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches (Dec. 16, 2000) – Level 3 

The “transcripts of testimonies from Tom Chantry, the families, and one of the children” is a reference to Chantry’s resignation letter (Nov. 8, 2000) and the five letters written by four parents of victims (Nov. 14, Nov. 19, Dec 3, Dec. 7, 2000), and one from a victim (Nov. 20, 2000) for the Informal Council.  

The five letters can be read in my blog article, Part 2: Walt Chantry, Miller Valley Elders, & ARBCA Officials Knew Tom Chantry Was a Child Abuser Even Before the 2000 Investigation Began.  The letters contain horrific and compelling evidence of Chantry’s guilt.  

“The letters that had been exchanged between MVBC and Walt Chantry” are the letters from Walt Chantry to the MVBC elders (Nov. 9, 2000) and the elders response to him (Nov. 21, 2000).  They too can be read in the blog article linked above.  The elders referred to his son, Tom Chanty, as a known “child abuser.” 

A timeline of events is the timeline given to the Informal Council by the MVBC elders on their first day investigating Chantry in Prescott, AZ (Dec. 13, 2000). 

The three reports were written by “the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.”  Tom Chantry, Rich Howe and Eric Owens had no jurisdiction over their distribution.  None. 

Likewise, the five letters documenting Chantry’s child abuse were written for the Informal Council, who was there investigating on behalf of the Administrative Council, and to whom they were accountable.  The IC was not an autonomous group.  The five letters to the IC could and should have been shared with the AC.  The parents put no restrictions on such a distribution.  They wanted Chantry stopped and the AC having their letters could have resulted in that happening.  

“Restricting distribution of this report” (i.e., the packet of material) by Tom Chantry was part of his evil plan to cover up the criminal evidence against him.  I believe he played Rich Howe and Eric Owens.  They were non-vocational lay elders.  For instance, they didn’t even know what was in the packet.  It was supposed to include the damning “Confidential Report and Recommendations” that raised serious questions about Chantry punishing the children for his sadistic and/or sexual pleasure.  Eric Owens told me at the July-August 2018 Chantry trial the elders were never told about this Level 1 report and they never received a copy of the report.  Chris Marley told me the same thing.  That is more than a coincidence. 

But even more, Chantry by his sinister design, had Howe and Owens sign an agreement restricting its distribution!  He is so evil!   This agreement, by the way, was handwritten by Chantry.  Check out the penmanship with his signature.

In any case, Chantry, Howe, and Owens had no authority to keep the IC reports and the five letters from the AC in 2000.  The agreement would only have legitimacy if it was also signed by the Informal Council on behalf of ARBCA and by the parents and victim.  This critical issue of legitimacy goes totally unaddressed by the current AC in this report. 

Furthermore, I have no doubt, Walt Chantry and his cronies, were putting pressure on others like Earl Blackburn (Chairman of the 2000-2001 AC) and David Dykstra (Chairman of the 2000-2001 MC) to back off and not make the evidence available to the entire AC as promised.  Remember, Dykstra required a report of “your findings and recommendations” be sent to the Administrative Council.  That request was also recorded in the January 4, 2001 official minutes and in a January 6, 2001 note to the AC from Jamie Howell, the recording secretary.  

Walt Chantry was actively and aggressively involved in covering up his son’s crimes.  That is why he “demanded” Bob Selph set up an Informal Council.  He thought he could control it.  That is why Tom Chantry required that Mike McKnight, who was an elder in Walt’s church, be on the IC.  And that is why Walt instructed his daughter, Judy Chantry-Rogers to take the oar from the parsonage on December 4, 2000 that Tom used to beat and injure children.  There is no question DNA’s tests would have confirmed its use.  It was used on bare skin and caused severe welts and bruising.  

So, why didn’t all the men on the Administrative Council receive the reports?  There is only one logical reason.  It was prevented from happening.  Dykstra backed off his request.  So did Earl Blackburn.  So did McKnight, Tripp, Jensen and Selph.  All these men knew the findings and recommendations in the two reports were to be sent to the Administrative Council.  It didn’t matter what Chantry or the MVBC elders said about distribution.  That information was not theirs to control.  

Here is how Bob Selph put it in his September 7, 2018 letter when talking about the Level 2,  “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations.”

“The [Informal] Council also wrote a signed report to the Administrative Council of ARBCA.  As they had been directed in Dykstra’s letter, they sought to “Summarize [their] findings and recommendations in a written document [they] all can sign.”  The Council’s specific recommendations concerning Tom Chantry were contained in this report to the Administrative Council of ARBCA.”

Here’s one of the problems I have with Bob Selph.  He was on the AC, he was the ARBCA Coordinator, and he worked extremely closely with the IC in 2000.  He knows “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations” signed by McKnight, Tripp, Jensen, Lindblad, Chantry, Howe and Owens was never sent to the Administrative Council as directed.  I believe he also knows why it wasn’t sent.  In 2000-2001, he should have demanded both the Level 1 and Level 2 reports be given to the AC even if it cost him his job.  Selph remained the ARBCA coordinator until 2007. 

Personally, I don’t think McKnight, Tripp, Jensen or Selph had the courage to defy Walt Chantry, Earl Blackburn, David Dykstra, et al.  They should have insisted everyone on the Administrative Council receive everything in “The Complete Report” (i.e. packet) and discuss it!  Why?  Because it contained their findings and recommendations.  Tom and Walt Chantry were not in charge.  Neither were the MVBC elders.  The Informal Council was in charge of the investigation on behalf of ARBCA at the request of Tom Chantry and the MVBC elders.  This was the formally agreed upon arrangement.

On June 16, 2015, Mr. Chantry notified Mr. Marquedant that CRBC was ready to seek membership in ARBCA.

On July 21, 2015, Mr. Marley met with an investigator in the Prescott Police Department and reported that he had “inherited” the case file concerning Mr. Chantry, a former pastor of MVBC.  Mr. Marley kept the file in a binder, which was impounded as evidence at this meeting.[2]

“Mr. Marley” is Christopher J. Marley.  He became the senior pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church” in 2011.  He was given the “case file” (i.e., the red binder with evidence) in 2012 when John Giarrizzo tried to get Chantry into ARBCA back then. 

In July 2015 on the way to a meeting with one of Tom Chantry’s victims, Marley learned he was a mandatory reporter.  As a result, he reported what he knew about Chantry to lead Detective Barnard-Belling.  He gave her the red binder on July 21, 2015.  He has been helping the victims and law enforcement ever since.  ARBCA on the other hand has never cooperated with law enforcement. 

Moreover, Douglas VanderMeulen, Steve Marquedant, and John Giarrizzo never contacted Detective Barnard-Belling to learn about the charges against Chantry in 2015 or thereafter.  Like Marley, they could have talked to her any time given their strategic positions.  ARBCA officials have never searched out the truth by contacting law enforcement.  That is reprehensible but it is also revealing.  They did not want to disclose their knowledge of Chantry’s crimes and their cover up of his crimes going back to 2000.

In July 2015, Mr. Marley notified John Giarrizzo, ARBCA Coordinator; Douglas VanderMeulen, Chairman of the Administrative Council (AC); and Steven Marquedant, Chairman of the Membership Committee; that a man had recently made an allegation that Mr. Chantry had molested him several years earlier, when he was three or four years old and Mr. Chantry was pastor of MVBC.  Mr. Marley indicated this was a new allegation and the individual making the allegation was not named or involved in the issues described in the report of the informal council.  Mr. Marley stated that the police were going to investigate the allegation and had imposed a gag order on dissemination of information, by giving instructions for the allegation and the investigation to be kept confidential.  Presumably, Mr. Marley received permission to inform a very small group of officials in ARBCA about the allegation and investigation.  Mr. Marley instructed them not to talk about the allegation with anyone else.  The police did not want Mr. Chantry to discover that he was the subject of an investigation and the substance of the allegation.

The investigation of Chantry began in July 2015 when a victim of sexual molestation came forward.  Marley immediately told Giarrizzo, VanderMeulen and Marquedant.  The molestation occurred in 2000 not “several years earlier.”  This paragraph contains the first of 19 references to “a gag order” by the ad hoc committee but there was no gag order!  Only a judge can order a gag order.  No such ruling was ever made! 

Detective Barnard-Belling did not issue a gag order.  She can’t.  She asked for prudence and confidentiality but that is not a legally binding order.  This is a grievous error by the AC and ad hoc committee.  Marley was free to inform these men on a need to know basis.  He was trying to help them and protect ARBCA.  The writers of this report repeatedly use this false assertion of a “gag order” against Marley.  Each time, they bear false witness and violate the Ninth Commandment they love to quote.  

In July 2015, Mr. Marley also informed Rob Cosby, a member of the Administrative Council, of the allegation against Mr. Chantry.

Neither Mr. Giarrizzo, Mr. VanderMeulen, Mr. Marquedant, nor any Administrative Council members or Membership Committee members not included in the distribution list, from December 2000 to August 2018, had access to the December 2000 informal council’s report, due to the distribution restrictions placed on this report by the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry.  Those Administrative Council members, who were included in the distribution list [i.e., Bob Selph, Mike McKnight], were prohibited from sharing the contents of that report with anyone else, including the other members of the Administrative Council.[3]  The only exception, which the Administrative Council learned during its inquiry into this matter, was that Mr. Marley provided the informal council’s report to Mr. Giarrizzo in late 2015 or early 2016.[4]

The claim that no one “not included in the distribution list” received “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations” is false.  Let me cite several examples.

Jamie Howell was a member of the 2000-2001 Administrative Council and its recording secretary.  I contacted Howell with questions and he kindly responded.  He wrote me the following on September 21, 2018.

“Then about a year ago I did another search and I did find it [i.e., “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations”].  I have no recollection of who sent it or when I received it.  I would think it had to have been in 2001, but I honestly do not recall.  I don’t remember reading it, but I must have. … It is not accurate that no AC member from 2000 - 2018 had the middle level report, because I clearly did, but John Giarrizzo is the only person who has ever asked me about it.”

It is amazing that no one on the ad hoc committee writing this report made any attempt to contact Howell and ask him about the report or other documentation in his possession since he was the recording secretary.  That is no way to investigate the facts.

Howell also wrote me that he sent this note to all the members of the AC on January 6, 2001.   

“The AC received a [oral] report concerning the Council sent to Prescott, AZ, concerning the difficulties between former pastor Tom Chantry and the church.  Three reports will be distributed: a general report to be sent to all the churches, a middle level report sent to all the AC members (to remain confidential), and a much fuller report to be given only to nine individuals involved.” 

Therefore, everyone on the 2000-2001 Administrative Council knew they would be receiving “a middle level report.”  Chantry and the two MVBC elders did NOT have the authority to prohibit this report from being distributed to the AC.  The report was done by “the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.”  It was their work and their property.  Mike McKnight, a lawyer, was Chairman of the Informal Council and on the AC.  Bob Selph was the ARBCA Coordinator and on the AC.  These men knew the report was explicitly written for the Administrative Council.  They should have made certain the AC received it and talked about it at length.  Chantry, Howe, and Owens had no authority to stop them.  

Furthermore, the Level 2 or middle level “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations” was written at the direction of David Dykstra.  He was Chairman of the 2000-2001 Membership Committee and also a member of the Administrative Council that term.  Bob Selph asked him to give guidance to the Informal Council which he did.  This shows the AC had authority over the IC.  Dykstra instructed Mike McKnight, Tedd Tripp, and Rich Jensen to do the following in a letter dated December 6, 2000. 

“(1) Find out the facts through careful interviews.  (2) Make recommendations to the parties involved, and (3) Summarize your findings and recommendations in a written document you all can sign.”   

I have the complete letter but the current Administrative Council says it could not find it.  In their Part II report, they say “a search was made for the statement [above] without results.”  That’s ridiculous!  All they needed to do in their “search” was ask their good friend, David Dykstra for a copy!  I don’t believe the AC is being honest!  How can I have a copy of Dykstra’s letter but the top brass in ARBCA cannot find it?  More on this in my Part 4 article. 

It is clear, McKnight, Tripp and Jensen were directed to produce a report for the Administrative Council.  In the same letter, Dykstra also gives careful argument as to why the Informal Council is authorized by ARBCA to do the investigation.  I think that is another reason the current AC can’t find it!  I’ll share the complete contents of Dykstra’s letter in my next article.  

Let me quote again what the ad hoc committee says about “the distribution restrictions.”

“Neither Mr. Giarrizzo, Mr. VanderMeulen, Mr. Marquedant, nor any Administrative Council members or Membership Committee members not included in the distribution list, from December 2000 to August 2018, had access to the December 2000 informal council’s report, due to the distribution restrictions placed on this report by the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry.” 

This is blatantly untrue in three other respects.  First, Don Lindblad was on the 2000-2001 Administrative Council.  He was Chantry’s “advocate” during the 2000 investigation but he was NOT on the distribution list.  Therefore, he should not have received anything in “The Complete Report” (i.e. the packet of reports and letters).  But in fact, he received everything.    

Second, Lindblad not only had everything in “The Complete Report,” he passed all of it on to Earl Blackburn who was Chairman of the 2000-2001 Administrative Council.  Blackburn was NOT on the distribution list either.  I will prove this in my next article.  

Third, Steve Marquedant denies he “had access to the December 2000 informal council’s report, due to the distribution restrictions placed on this report.”  This claim is contradicted by what follows in this very report he helped to write.  At a bare minimum, Marquedant had the middle level “informal council’s report” with all the recommendations for Tom Chantry.  He also knew Chantry was under investigation for sexual molestation. 

And then there is John Giarrizzo.  He too was on the 2000-2001 AC and many since.  If you want evidence of a cover up all you have to do is read the 46 page report put together by his four elders and a pastoral intern.  It is called “Pastor John’s Involvement in ARBCA’s Coverup of the Tom Chantry Scandal.”  

Pete Smith, Mark Flin, Joe Godal, Josh Rusev, and Nick DeBenedetto are to be commended for their integrity and careful research.  They all resigned and left Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, AZ because Giarrizzo remains stubbornly unrepentant.  So did Scott and Pam Weinland.  They are the faithful members who confronted Giarrizzo and presented evidence of his lying and coverup to the elders.  Giarrizzo should not be a pastor in ARBCA.   

On July 26, 2015, CRBC applied for membership in ARBCA.[5]

On August 2, 2015, MVBC submitted a letter protesting CRBC’s application for membership.[6]  The protest centered primarily on MVBC’s belief that Mr. Chantry had not taken action “to seek full repentance and the forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents” named in the informal council’s report.  Significantly, the letter of protest did not reference the new allegation, which was communicated by Mr. Marley to ARBCA officers in July 2015, or the related investigation.  The letter maintained the strict confidentiality about that information imposed by the law enforcement authorities.

Chantry did not do what he promised.  That is clear.  This report intentionally leaves out the word, “endeavor.”  Recommendation 6 required, “That Tom Chantry endeavor to seek full repentance and forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents.”  He did NOTHING of the kind!  He never contacted any of them! 

“Strict confidentially” was on a need to know basis.  There was no “gag order.”

On September 23, 2015, Mr. Marquedant, as a member [and the Chairman] of the Membership Committee, replied to MVBC’s letter of protest and notified MVBC that CRBC’s application would be accepted and processed in “normal fashion.”[7]  Mr. Marquedant had reviewed the available documents regarding the recommendations of the informal council.  This documentation included the “Report of the Informal Council” to member churches of ARBCA,[8] a letter from the elders of Providence Reformed Baptist Church (PRBC),[9] an excerpt from the AC Meeting Minutes of January 22, 2002,[10] a letter from MVBC to Earl Blackburn (AC Chairman) dated February 5, 2002,[11] a reply to that letter from Mr. Blackburn dated February 13, 2002,[12] and a statement included in a letter from Don Lindblad dated June 17, 2015.[13]  In addition, as Mr. Marquedant stated in his letter to MVBC, he also conducted private interviews with several individuals regarding the issues raised by the elders of MVBC in their protest.  Additionally, the Membership Committee requested Mr. Chantry to certify that he had met all the conditions recommended by the informal council.[14]  Based on the information available to them, Mr. Marquedant and the members of the Membership Committee concluded there was no impediment to proceeding to consider CRBC’s application through due process.

Mr. Marquedant was not on the “distribution list” and therefore, not authorize to review “the available documents regarding the recommendations of the informal council.”  Neither was his committee.  The recommendations were not in the Level 3, “Report of the Informal Council” which he mentions by name.  They were in the Level 1, “Confidential Report and Recommendations” and the Level 2, “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations,” which he does not mention by name. 

Again, there were NO recommendations in the Level 3 report.  That means, he likely had access to the recommendations in the Level 1 report and certainly had access to the recommendations in the Level 2 report concerning Chantry.  This is concealed since Marquedant claims he was denied access not being on the distribution list.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

One hopes the Membership Committee read the Level 2 report that contained the recommendations for Chantry since “the Membership Committee requested Mr. Chantry to certify that he had met all the conditions recommended by the informal council.”  If they read the report, they were supposedly unauthorized, not being on the distribution list.  If they didn’t read the report, how can they possibly know if Chantry complied? 

Therefore, we must ask the question, who gave these reports to Marquedant?  And did he give the Level 2 report to the Membership Committee?  So how can an application for church membership “be accepted and processed in the ‘normal fashion’” by Steve Marquedant, the MC Chairman in 2015-2016, when he knew the man submitting the application, Tom Chantry, was under investigation for aggravated assault and sexual molestation?  Stay tuned. 

Moreover, the “due process” followed by Marquedant did NOT include contacting law enforcement for “information available.”  Nor did it include talking to the victims or their families.  They should have been contacted to verify Chantry “had met all the conditions.”  Instead, he and the committee “requested Mr. Chantry to certify that he had met all the conditions.” 

There has never been “due process” for the victims.  They were physically and sexually abused in most cases by Chantry.  They have been emotionally, mentally and spiritually abused by ARBCA.  So too their families.

One other point before I move on.  It concerns this statement.

“Based on the information available to them, Mr. Marquedant and the members of the Membership Committee concluded there was no impediment to proceeding to consider CRBC’s application through due process.” 

That is shameful.  An active police investigation for aggravated assault and sexual molestation presented “no impediment” for Marquedant and his committee comprised of David Dykstra, Larry Vincent, Jeff Massey and Jason Water. 

Dykstra and Vincent are long time heavyweights in ARBCAMarquedant would never withhold knowledge of the police investigation from them!  Furthermore, Dykstra and Vincent knew Chantry was a child abuser way back in 2000.  They were both on the 2000-2001 Administrative Council and Dykstra was the Chairman of the 2000-2001 Membership Committee.  Remember, Dykstra was the one who argued the legitimacy of the Informal Council and gave McKnight, Tripp, and Jensen directives for how to do their investigation and report their findings with recommendations back to the 2000-2001 Administrative Council. 

On November 12, 2015, the Membership Committee interviewed the officers of CRBC.[15] 

The MC interviews the officers [elders and deacons] of Christ Reformed Baptist Church but makes no effort to interview the victims or their parents.  Marquedant, Dykstra, Vincent, Massey and Walter did the interview.  They didn’t tell “the officers of CRBC” that Chantry was under investigation.  

In January 2016, Mr. Marley told Mr. Giarrizzo that Mr. Chantry was being investigated for multiple counts of child molestation, and that ARBCA should not vote CRBC into the association. 

In July 2015, Chris Marley had already “notified John Giarrizzo, ARBCA Coordinator; Douglas VanderMeulen, Chairman of the Administrative Council (AC); and Steve Marquedant, Chairman of the Membership Committee; that a man had recently made an allegation that Mr. Chantry had molested him” and “the police were going to investigate the allegation.”  He “also informed Rob Cosby, a member of the Administrative Council, of the allegation against Mr. Chantry.”  

Now, six months later, instead of one count, Marley tells Giarrizzo that Chanty “was being investigated for multiple counts of child molestation.”  Apparently, Giarrizzo told Rob Cosby who told the entire Administrative Council the following month.  It didn’t matter to these men!  

In late January or early February, Mr. Marley informed Jason Walter, a member of the Membership Committee, of the new allegation against Mr. Chantry. 

Jason Walter was the young guy on Marquedant’s Membership Committee.  He may have been kept in the dark.  In any case, Marley tells him about the “new allegation” “for multiple counts of molestation.”  The criminal investigation was six months old and it had expanded to include more counts and a second victim.  This should have frightened everyone including Walter.  Not ARBCA.  The AC and MC justified Chantry despite their knowledge of the expanded investigation.    

On February 9, 2016, a Membership Committee report recommended to the Administrative Council that CRBC’s application for membership be approved.[16] This report was submitted to the Administrative Council at its March 1, 2016, meeting. 

Inconceivable! 

In mid-February or early March 2016, Mr. Marley notified Steve Martin, the newly elected Coordinator of the Administrative Council, of the allegation and investigation. Mr. Marley also requested disapproval of CRBC’s membership application. 

Steve Martin is another major leader in ARBCA.  He was fully involved in 2000 and on the 2000-2001 AC.  For example, he met with Rich Howe and Eric Owens, the MVBC elders, on November 14, 2000 to talk about the accusations of physical child abuse and the prospect of an Informal Council.  Earl Blackburn, Don Lindblad, and Bob Selph also participated in that meeting.  You will find that information in the MVBC timeline.  This critical meeting is not cited in this report or the one to follow.  

Marley in his ongoing quest to alert top officials in ARBCA, tells Martin about the accusations of sexual molestation against Chantry.  In all probability, Giarrizzo had already told him.  

In late February 2016, the Administrative Council was informed of the allegation against Mr. Chantry [by Rob Cosby] and discussed what effect, if any, the allegation and the report of an investigation might have on consideration of CRBC’s membership application. 

Keep in mind “the allegation” was “for multiple counts of child molestation.”  It had NO effect on denying membership to Chantry’s church.  Let’s be clear.  In accepting Christ Reformed Baptist Church, they were accepting Chantry as their senior pastor.  These are the responsible men. 

2015-2016 Administrative Council

1. Ron Baines (Vice Chairman)
2. John Giarrizzo (Coordinator)
3. Steve Marquedant
4. Jeff Oliver (Treasurer)
5. Fred Pugh
6. Brandon Smith (Secretary)
7. Doug VanderMeulen (Chairman)

In late February 2016, the Membership Committee was informed of the allegation against Mr. Chantry and discussed what effect, if any, the allegation and the report of an investigation might have on consideration of CRBC’s membership application.

Same result.  No effect. 

2015-2016 Membership Committee

1. Steve Marquedant (Chairman)
2. Larry Vincent
3. Dave Dykstra
4. Jason Water
5. Jeff Massey (Secretary)

On March 1, 2016, the Administrative Council approved the Membership Committee’s motion to recommend CRBC to the delegates of the April 2016 General Assembly for membership in ARBCA.[17]

It is shocking the AC approved the motion “to recommend CRBC to the delegates” knowing Chantry was under investigation for multiple counts of aggravated assault and multiple counts of sexual molestation.  He was unfit to be their pastor.  The application should have been rejected.  In recommending CRBC, they implicitly recommended Chantry.  

The Administrative Council withheld this information from the delegates (i.e., ARBCA pastors) at the April 2016 General Assembly.  Why?  They claim for reasons of confidentiality, etc. but they know there would have been a revolt if they told the pastors they were recommending CRBC with Chantry as their pastor, even though he had been under investigation for nine months AND about to be arrested!

In March 2016, Mr. Marley informed Mr. Marquedant that investigators had met with Mr. Chantry and that there was no longer a gag order to keep the allegation and investigation confidential.

There had never been a gag order.  Only a Judge can make a formal ruling and impose a “gag order.”  That is not the legal prerogative of a law enforcement officer.  A detective can ask for confidentiality but he or she has no legal backing to impose it.  This is a shameful example of the Administrative Council making a grave error and using it to justify their silence in not telling the delegates. 

But here is what of central importance.  Marley is making it clear to Marquedant, the Chairman of the Membership Committee, that he can freely talk about the allegations of physical assault and sexual molestation with ARBCA pastors! 

Detective Justin Landry from the Hales Corner Police Department went to Chantry’s house on February 10, 2016 to “see if he was willing to provide a statement as to the allegations in this case.”  Chantry was uncooperative and refused to answer questions.  From then on the cat was out of the bag.  Chantry immediately hired a lawyer.  ARBCA was free to talk about the investigation and nature of the investigation.

In March 2016, Mr. Marquedant made inquiry to verify Mr. Marley’s report that the gag order had been lifted. He discovered that Mr. Chantry had not been notified of the allegation or of the fact of an investigation.

That is not true.  With whom did Marquedant make the “injury to verify”?  Yep, Don Lindblad.  Now, that’s a reliable source!  Marquedant should have talked to lead Detective Jessica Barnard-Belling if he wanted to “verify Mr. Marley’s report.”  She would have talked to him.  ARBCA has avoided the police like the plague.     

Here is what the Prescot Police Department report says about Chantry being “notified of the allegation” and “the fact of an investigation.”  

“On 02/10/2016, Detective Justin Landry of Hales Corner Police Department assisted me [Det. Barnard-Belling] with this investigation per request of the County Attorney’s Office.  It was advised to contact (S) Thomas Chantry to see if he was willing to provide a statement as to the allegations in the case.  

Det. Landry documents in a report that he arrived at Chantry’s residence and asked to speak with him about events that occurred in Prescott between 1995 and 2000.  Landry advised him that he could chose [choose] what he wanted to do.  Chantry reportedly declined to speak with the detective about the allegations in this case.” 

At this point, Chantry knew he was under investigation and he knew why, “the allegations in this case” which concerned the “events that occurred in Prescott between 1995 and 2000.”

In April 2016, just prior to the General Assembly, Mr. Marley told Mr. Giarrizzo that an arrest in the case of Mr. Chantry was pending.

Giarrizzo was the ARBCA Coordinator.  He would have told others on the AC and the MC about the pending arrest.  Marley is doing an extraordinary job keeping the AC and MC up to date on the criminal investigation.  It didn’t matter.  Three months later, Chantry was arrested.   

On April 25, 2016, CRBC was presented to the delegates of the General Assembly, which approved CRBC for membership.

This is really nuts!  The AC and MC refuse to tell the delegates that Chantry is going to be arrested for aggravated assault and the sexual molestation of children on multiple counts!  This is not the fault of Chris Marley or the other MVBC elders.  It is primarily the fault of Douglas VanderMeulen (Chairman of the AC) and Steve Marquedant (Chairman of the MC).  Both men need to publicly confess their sin to ARBCA churches for withholding this information from the General Assembly delegates who voted on behalf of the churches.

Discussion of Decisions 

Membership Committee’s Setting Aside of MVBC Protest 

Chris Marley, senior pastor of MVBC, wrote an excellent nine point rebuttal to this ARBCA Administrative Council Report – Part I.  The report was sent to the ARBCA churches on September 5, 2018.  His rebuttal was sent to the ARBCA pastors on September 12.  I quote Marley’s letter and add comments of my own and notes in brackets [ ].  I’ve also added underlining.  Marley  starts with these two fundamental points.

“The recent report issued by the ad hoc committee investigating the involvement of ARBCA in the Tom Chantry case has raised some serious concern.  First, it is of concern that the elders of MVBC were not contacted in the course of the ad hoc investigation.  When we were contacted, it was only concerning matters wherein blame could be partially distributed to the elders of MVBC.  It is irresponsible to report on a series of events that surround our church without ever contacting us. 

“Secondly, it is of concern that the men on the ad hoc committee are all men involved in the AC and MC during the duration of those events.”

The ad hoc committee writing this Part I report was made up of Steve Marquedant, Jeff Massey, Bob Curley and Dale Crawford.  The ad hoc committee for Part II was made up of Steve Marquedant, Jeff Massey, Bob Curley and I am not sure who else.  

Marquedant was the 2015-2016 Membership Committee Chairman that recommended Chantry’s church be accepted into ARBCA in April 2016 despite his knowledge of the police investigation and upcoming arrest.  He is on both ad hoc committees.  No conflict of interest there! 

Marley is right. All of the men writing this report were “involved in the AC and MC during the duration of those events” related to Chantry’s acceptance into ARBCA.  Therefore, they all have plenty of motivation to write a biased report to vindicate themselves.  That is why “the elders of MVBC were not contacted in the course of the ad hoc investigation.”  That is wrong.  This report is not impartial.  That is not how you do an independent investigation! 

After careful consideration of MVBC’s letter of protest (Attachment #5), the documents included as Attachments 7 – 13, and the information provided through personal interviews, the Membership Committee decided to dismiss the protest and to continue to consider CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA through the established procedures in policy. The elders of MVBC protested CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA, because they believed Mr. Chantry had not taken action “to seek full repentance and the forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents” named in the informal council’s report [i.e., the Level 1 report].  The documentary and verbal evidence showed that Mr. Chantry had visited all the families of the children, as well as all the families of the church, to express repentance and seek forgiveness.  The MVBC protest did not contradict this evidence; the issue for MVBC was that the repentance and forgiveness was not “full.”  Mr. Chantry asserted that he had fully repented and sought forgiveness and that he believed the MVBC elders wanted him to repent of things he did not do.  MVBC’s protest letter referenced the informal council’s recommendations [in the Level 2 report], but the Membership Committee did not have access to that report. [If true, it is because Marquedant withheld it from them.  This report states above, “Mr. Marquedant had reviewed the available documents regarding the recommendations of the informal council.”]  Absent any specifics or explanation of what was lacking in Mr. Chantry’s seeking of forgiveness, during his visits with MVBC families for that purpose, the Membership Committee concluded that the report of compliance (Attachment 8) submitted by the PRBC elders dated January 1, 2002, substantiated satisfactory completion of the recommendations of the informal council. Additionally, the elders of CRBC’s sponsoring church, Grace Reformed Baptist Church (GRBC) in Rockford, Illinois, fully supported CRBC’s application and affirmed Mr. Chantry’s qualifications and fitness without reservation.  The MVBC eldership had relinquished authority over Mr. Chantry in December 2000, when he placed himself under the authority of the elders of PRBC.  Subsequently, Mr. Chantry was under the authority of the elders of GRBC and, finally, under the authority of the congregation of CRBC.  No ecclesiastical mechanism existed for MVBC elders to secure compliance from Mr. Chantry concerning matters they perceived to be unresolved for almost fifteen years, nor were they in a position to evaluate him personally or professionally.  Considering these factors, the Membership Committee proceeded with the regular processing of CRBC’s application.

Here is Marley’s reply.

“Third, the report states the following:

“The elders of MVBC protested CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA, because they believed Mr. Chantry had not taken action “to seek full repentance and the forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents” named in the informal council’s report.  The documentary and verbal evidence showed that Mr. Chantry had visited all the families of the children, as well as all the families of the church, to express repentance and seek forgiveness.  The MVBC protest did not contradict this evidence; the issue for MVBC was that the repentance and forgiveness was not “full.””

"This is an egregious error.  MVBC’s protest was in direct contradiction to the claim that Mr. Chantry “had visited all the families… to express repentance and seek forgiveness.”  We provided evidence that Mr. Chantry had, from the time of the council onward, never even contacted those families, let alone expressed repentance or sought forgiveness.  This evidence was a signed letter from one of the parents involved.         

“I call this error egregious because it portrays our objection as an unreasonable demanding of Mr. Chantry to accomplish full reconciliation and admit guilt in what he claimed he had not done.  Our objection was that he had not fulfilled the requirements of a signed contract.  This then evidences a lack of repentance as well as him not being a man of his word.  All these elements of our letter of objection were omitted, and other sections quoted out of context to misrepresent our objection.”

"This egregious error” is like so many others in this report.  And honestly, it is not an error or a mistake.  It is deception designed “to misrepresent our objection.”  That is the only plausible explanation. 

Membership Committee’s Approval of CRBC’s Application

While Mr. Marquedant had informed Mr. Massey, Chairman of the Membership Committee, of the allegation against Mr. Chantry in July 2015, the allegation was not discussed in the Membership Committee until late February 2016, due the gag order imposed by the Prescott Police Department. Although Mr. Marley had breached the Police Department’s restrictions on maintaining confidentiality of this information, the ARBCA officers, who had been informed of the information, attempted to comply with those restrictions. Therefore, CRBC’s application for membership was handled by the Membership Committee, according to the normally established procedures, without consideration of the allegation and investigation; however, the protest from MVBC delayed the process, while information was gathered and the protest was evaluated.  The only exception to the normal processing procedures was the Committee’s request for Mr. Chantry to provide a certification that he had met all the conditions recommended by the informal council (Attachment 13).  The Membership Committee conducted the Membership Interview of the CRBC officers on November 12, 2015, and voted to approve CRBC’s application and recommend approval of the application to the Administrative Council.  This approval relied on the same policy criteria and conditions under which all applications for membership in ARBCA are considered.  The evaluation of the documentation submitted by CRBC, the results of the Membership Interview, and the recommendation of an ARBCA church in good standing, GRBC, combined to meet all the criteria necessary to warrant approval of CRBC’s application.

Marley did not breach “the Police Department’s restrictions on maintaining confidentiality of this information.”  This is a slanderous statement.  The AC should publicly asked forgiveness of  Marley.  They are guilty of bearing false witness.  Marley responds to the accusation. 

“Fourth, the report states: 

“Although Mr. Marley had breached the Police Department’s restrictions on maintaining confidentiality of this information, the ARBCA officers, who had been informed of the information, attempted to comply with those restrictions.“

“Allowance was given by the detective in charge of the investigation to inform those who needed to have the information with qualification that efforts be made to prevent information from reaching Tom Chantry prior to his being notified that he was being investigated.  After Mr. Chantry was spoken to by a police officer [Det. Landry on Feb 10, 2016] and notified that an investigation was ongoing, this “gag order” was then only restricted to giving the details of the accusation and generally not publicizing the information.  Our communication with the AC and MC during the course of 2015-2016 at no point “breached the Police Department’s restrictions on maintaining confidentiality of this information.”  It is a grievous and ungrounded accusation that portrays MVBC as violating the rules while the AC and MC did what was right in spite of such errors.”

It makes one sick to read this account of the AC and MC damming Marley in order to look good.  Saying he “breached” a gag order is saying he broke the law.  But there was no gag order to breach!  It is pure slander. 

In late February 2016, the Membership Committee met telephonically, in special session, to discuss the [additional] allegation [“for multiple counts of child molestation”] and pending investigation [it was not pending, it was expanding, it was seven months old in Feb. 2016] concerning Mr. Chantry and its affect, if any, on the recommendation to approve CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA.  The Committee concluded the following: 1) that the report of the allegation and investigation was, at that time, third-hand, unofficial information, which lacked authoritative, formal confirmation, and could not be discussed with CRBC or Mr. Chantry, because of law enforcement’s admonition to keep the allegation and investigation strictly confidential; 2) that a review of ARBCA’s Constitution and Policy Manual, as well as ARBCA’s historical practice, showed that ARBCA is an association of churches, not elders, and that CRBC met all the requirements for membership; and 3) that, if the allegations were true and Mr. Chantry was convicted, CRBC would desperately need the help and support of the Association.  Consequently, the Committee found no reason to rescind or modify its recommendation for approval of CRBC’s application.

“Fifth, the report states:

“that the report of the allegation and investigation was, at that time, third-hand, unofficial information”

 “A number of times, this language of “third-hand” reporting of the investigation is severely misleading on multiple counts.  It is later referenced as “unsubstantiated allegation or rumor.”  The existence of the investigation was, by 2016, known to be true not only by Mr. Chantry, but was conveyed by MVBC to the MC and AC.  That would be second-hand information on two different fronts.  There could not possibly have been any doubt that there was a police investigation into Mr. Chantry’s actions.”

This is so deceptive.  The information was not third hand, it was second hand and the MC was free to discuss it.  But here is the real issue. 

In late February 2016, the Membership Committee could easily have called lead Detective Jessica Barnard-Belling to verify the investigation for multiple counts of child molestation was underway.  Chantry had already been contacted by a detective and knew of the investigation.  The “third-hand, unofficial information, which lacked authoritative, formal confirmation” could have easily been first-hand, official information with authoritative, formal confirmation.  That is, if you know how to use a cell phone!  Lame, lame, lame.  Furthermore, they could have asked Barnard-Belling about talking with CRBC and Chantry.

More importantly, VanderMeulen (AC Chairman), Marquedant (MC Chairman) or Giarrizzo  (ARBCA Coordinator) should have contacted her to express their willingness to help with the investigation.  At that point, they would have pulled everything out of the ARBCA archives and turned it over to the police.  They would also have agreed to interviews.  This never happened because ARBCA was covering up for Chantry.  There was no contact and no cooperation.

Of course, all “distribution restrictions” end when vital evidence of criminal abuse is located in the ARBCA files.  For instance, the damming Level 1 report about “punishment for his own pleasure.”  This report was hidden from law enforcement by former and current ARBCA officials.  It wasn’t discovered until Susan Eazer, the prosecutor, deposed Don Lindblad on March 21, 2018!  Even then Lindblad and Chantry’s lawyer, John Sears, tried every trick in the book to prevent Eazer from discovering it.  You don’t read about that in this report or the one that followed! 

In addition, VanderMeulen, Marquedant, Dykstra, Giarrizzo, the IC, and many other ARBCA officials should have done telephonic interviews or traveled to Prescott, AZ to tell Barnard-Belling everything they knew!  Tedd Tripp would not even return phone calls to Susan Eazer while she was preparing the case for trial.                                                                       

I find it reprehensible this report covers for the MC using the lame and fallacious argument they didn’t know if there really was an investigation in February 2016.  Finally, the MC accepting CRBC into ARBCA so they could help if Chantry was convicted was the furthest thing from their mind.  Even after his arrest in July 2016, ARBCA officials were emphatically telling CRBC he was innocent.  That continued for the next two years.  Thank God 70% of the church saw through it and left.  So much for helping them. 

Mr. Marley had stated that MVBC would oppose approval of CRBC’s application, and the Committee considered the possibility that MVBC delegates to the General Assembly could present the allegation against Mr. Chantry and the investigation to the General Assembly. However, ARBCA policy and Christian prudence circumscribed the Membership Committee’s actions to evaluating the church’s fitness for membership in relation to established criteria, which CRBC fully met, and excluded any consideration of unsubstantiated allegation or rumor, as well as any apprehension of possible opposition to approval of a church for membership at the General Assembly.

Another unbelievable statement.  The case was extremely strong by April 2016.  The AC and MC were not even willing to postpone their endorsement of Chantry and acceptance of CRBC into membership. 

In addition, they prevented the Miller Valley Baptist Church delegates (pastors) from telling the General Assembly about the multiple allegations of aggravated assault and sexual molestation, the nine month investigation, and Chantry’s imminent arrest.  Why?  Because it was all “unsubstantiated allegation or rumor.”  On my goodness!  Call the cops!  Literally.  Once again, the Membership Committee should have talked to the Prescott Police Department and inquired about their unsubstantiated allegations and rumors.  The MC was not interested in knowing the truth of the matter.  That is obvious. 

One other point.  This report says the church was fit “for membership in relation to established criteria.”  That means you can have a senior pastor about to be arrested for physically assaulting and sexually abusing multiple children and still be welcome into ARBCA because all “established criteria” were “fully met.”  No thanks!  Anyone with biblical sense, knows you do not, cannot, accept into membership a church whose senior pastor is credibly accused of being a sexual sadist by multiple victims. 

Administrative Council’s Approval of CRBC’s Application

In late February 2016, the Administrative Council met telephonically, in special session, to discuss the allegation [no, multiple allegations] and pending investigation [no, it had been going on for eight months] concerning Mr. Chantry and its effect, if any, on the recommendation to approve CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA.  Mr. Cosby informed the Administrative Council of the [expanded] allegation and pending investigation [of multiple counts of sexual molestation]. [Remember, Cosby, VanderMeulen, Giarrizzo, and Marquedant learned about the initial single accusation of sexual molestation in July 2015 – eight months earlier].  The Council wanted to know if Mr. Chantry and the members of CRBC were aware of the allegation.  Mr. Cosby notified the Council that the police investigator had imposed a gag order on the information and admonished Mr. Marley to keep the information strictly confidential and to notify only those few people who had an absolute “need to know.”  Mr. Cosby stated that this gag order applied to the Council members also, until Mr. Chantry was notified of the allegation and investigation by the law enforcement agency.  The Council discussed the fact that an allegation was only an allegation; that it did not constitute guilt; that anyone could be an object of an allegation at any time; that this allegation was third-hand, unofficial information; that the Council was not an investigative body and had no mandate to conduct an investigation; and that the matter, as reported by Mr. Marley to Mr. Cosby, was in the hands of a law enforcement agency with appropriate jurisdiction.  The Council concluded that its proper course of action was to wait for the law enforcement authority to complete its investigation and to take whatever action the investigation warranted.

“Mr. Cosby notified the Council that the police investigator had imposed a gag order.”  There was no gag order and the allegation was not “third-hand” information.  If the AC or MC cared about knowing the truth they would have contacted Detective Barnard-Belling. 

On March 1, 2016, the Administrative Council met telephonically, in regular session. The Membership Committee’s Report dated February 9, 2016, which contained the recommendation to approve CRBC’s application for membership, was included in the business agenda for this meeting.  The Council again discussed the allegation and pending investigation concerning Mr. Chantry.  The Council received the Membership Committee’s conclusions regarding the allegation and concurred that an allegation and pending investigation, relating to an individual, cannot be considered as criteria for making decisions concerning the membership application of a church into ARBCA. The Council also concurred that ARBCA was an association of churches, that CRBC fully met the criteria for membership, and that, if the allegations were true and Mr. Chantry was convicted, CRBC would desperately need the help and support of the Association. The Council also affirmed that the responsibility and authority for determining the fitness of elders resides solely in the local church, and that the onus to take action in relation to Mr. Chantry, if he were charged and found guilty, remained vested only in the local church.

Why in the world is the Administrative Council discussing “third hand, unofficial information” among themselves when they should have been discussing it with law enforcement.  I have always talked directly with law enforcement when investigating cases like this one.  I have never been refused a conversation.  Law enforcement would have loved a cooperative call from ARBCA.

Additionally, the Council maintained that communication of the allegation beyond the auspices of the judicial system of the State of Arizona could damage Mr. Chantry’s reputation and, consequently, violate the Ninth Commandment.

The Administrative Council would not have been violating the Ninth Commandment if they had talked to law enforcement and reported the fact of their investigation and the nature of their investigation to the General Assembly given Chantry’s application to be a member church.  If Chantry didn’t want this information taken into consideration by the General Assembly, he could have withdrawn his application. 

Chantry was also withholding this information from his church and the officers of his church.  The AC and MC should have exhorted him to make it know to them.  If he refused, that would have been an added reason to reject his application.

These are obvious points.  How can the AC and MC accept an application for church membership from the senior pastor knowing he has not told the church he’s been under investigation for nine months.  The church was clueless. 

Marley was right to inform members of the AC and MC, but they had a biblical responsibility to confirm the information first-hand by talking to law enforcement.  Otherwise, they could simply be engaged in gossip.  

And let me reiterate.  The “distribution list” Chantry sought to impose was illegitimate.  Most of the information listed was the property of the Informal Council and ARBCA.   Any Administrative Council was free to read it.      

The 2015-2018 ACs and MCs have been preoccupied with protecting Chantry’s reputation while destroying the reputation of the MVBC elders and especially the victims and their families.  How?  By taking the position over the past three years  that Chantry is innocent.  That makes the victims out to be liars.  Of course, that is exactly what Chantry and Lindblad did at the July-August 2018 trial with the support of David Dykstra, Al Huber and other enablers in the courtroom.

Analysis

The Operational Purview of ARBCA as an Association of Churches

A thorough analysis of the events and decisions concerning the handling of CRBC’s application for membership and the related issues must begin with highlighting applicable aspects of the operational purview of ARBCA as an association of churches. As the Administrative Council stated in its letter to member churches dated August 22, 2018,

ARBCA is not a denomination with any control whatsoever over local churches or their pastors, whether members of ARBCA or not, except to provide assistance, counsel, make recommendations and, in the most serious matters, disassociate from or give moral support to individual congregations and their members. Constitutionally, ARBCA does not install or remove pastors, discipline individual church members or pastors/elders, or interfere in any material way with the work of local congregations, whether to impose courses of action upon them corporately, or any of them individually, or to shield them from any false charges.  ARBCA has no ongoing means to determine the state of affairs within local congregations, involving members and/or church leaders, and can only rely solely upon reports given to ARBCA by them from time to time.

ARBCA is extremely concerned it will be sued for damages since they covered up known crimes and withheld evidence in their possession.  Therefore, they go to great lengths to repudiate the work of the Informal Council on behalf of the ARBCA.    

This statement reflects the strictures and prerogatives of the Association and its officers specified in ARBCA’s Constitution, as stated below.

The Association may not interfere with the affairs of its member churches.  The Association will only offer advice to a member church when requested to do so by a majority of duly elected officers, or by congregational request made in accordance with a church’s own constitution or by-laws.  When requested by a church, the Association will give advice to the church but has no power to enforce its judgment.  The Association will not respond to the requests of individuals or groups within churches unless brought through a member church.[18]

When ARBCA got involved with Miller Valley Baptist Church in 2000, it was not to give non-binding advice.  They were authorized to do a fact finding investigation based upon extensive interviews with the elders, victims and families.  They also gathered documentary evidence.  They were further authorized to write up their findings and make “recommendations” that were binding.  Tom Chantry and the MVBC elders formally agreed to these terms.

Let me illustrate.  The Informal Council made ten recommendations in the Level 2, “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations.”  Some of the “recommendations” were conclusions.  The first sentence reads as follows.

“The following are the conclusions and recommendations of the Informal Council of ARBCA which have been agreed to and adopted by the Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church of Prescott, Arizona and by Thomas Chantry, former Pastor of the Miller Valley Baptist Church.” 

Plainly, this report is the property of ARBCA and its “conclusions and recommendations” are binding.  Here are Recommendations 6-8.  Number six contains three recommendations of its own.  I’ve added a “Note” after each recommendation. 

6. That Thomas Chantry submit himself to the oversight of Elders from a member church of ARBCA and refrain from any employment involved in the care of children or any position as an Elder until he receives the recommendation of the Elders of his church to resume such positions of employment in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is also recommended that the Elders who assume oversight of Thomas Chantry consult with the members of this Informal Council.  We further recommend that the Elders of his church inform the Administrative Counsel of ARBCA prior to the reinstatement of Thomas Chantry as an Elder or as a teaching Elder in any church.

[Note: The “Elders who assume oversight” (i.e. Tom Lyon & Mark McCormick never consulted with the IC.  Nor did they inform the AC when Chantry began to regularly preach in Providence Reformed Baptist Church starting September 2001.  He was not an ordained “teaching Elder” but he was clearly fulfilling the role.] 

7. That there still remain serious factual differences between Thomas Chantry and the four children he disciplined during his ministry at Miller Valley.  These factual differences include the purpose, frequency and severity of the physical punishment.  It is recommended that the Elders who assume the oversight of Thomas Chantry address these differences because it is the opinion of this informal council that his repentance may not be complete.

[Note: Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick never addressed the “serious factual differences” that included “the purpose, frequency and severity of the physically punishment.”  These differences were the central issue and would have required extensive interaction with the victims and their parents.  Lyon and McCormick never made any effort to contact them.] 

8. That Thomas Chantry endeavor to seek full repentance and the forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents who have been the subject of physical discipline by him.  It is recommended that the Elders who assume the oversight of Thomas Chantry assist him with this process.

[Note: Chantry never endeavored “to seek full repentance” for himself (thereby acknowledging his repentance was incomplete) or “forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents.”  He solemnly promised the Informal Council and the MVBC elders he would do so.  Lyon and McCormick were to assist him in this endeavor.  That would of necessity involved interaction with the children and parents to understand how they felt sinned against.  Lyon and McCormick didn’t care about the victims or their families.  They never talked to them.] 

At the end of the document, we read the following “signed and sealed” solemn agreement. 

We the undersigned hereby agree to abide by and implement the above recommendations made by the informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America to the Miller Valley Baptist Church, December 13-16, 2000. 

Signed and sealed this 16th day of December, 2000. 

        Thomas Chantry

        Rich Howe, Elder

  Eric Owens, Elder 

Chantry put himself under the authoritative recommendations of the Informal Council and so did Lyon and McCormick when they agreed to be “the Elders who assume oversight.”  Therefore, the IC and ARBCA had every right (and responsibility) to hold them to their Word.  Of course, that was never an issue with the MVBC elders.  Only with Chantry.

This review of the Association’s relationship with member churches enables a proper understanding of the effect of the distribution restrictions[19] imposed by the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry on the informal council’s report of December 2000, the authority of the local church to impose those restrictions, and the incapacity of ARBCA’s officers to access the council’s report, or for those ARBCA officers included in the distribution list to share the contents of the report.  The Association simply did not have the authority to overrule the distribution restrictions specified by the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry.

They are making up an argument that does not exist.  Chantry and the MVBC elders had no right or authority to restrict distribution of the Informal Council’s report.  Of course, “the Association” had “the authority to overrule the distribution restrictions.”  It was their report.  It was not Chantry’s report or the elders’ report.  The report was authorized by the Administrative Council for the Administrative Council.     

Consequently, none of the information about the allegations against Mr. Chantry in 2000 and the subsequent informal council’s report was available to the Membership Committee or the Administrative Council.  This means that nothing contained in the report was available for consideration by the Membership Committee in its evaluation of MVBC’s protest of CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA.  Additionally, nothing contained in the report was available to the Membership Committee, the Administrative Council, or the delegates at the General Assembly in 2016 in the process of considering CRBC’s application for membership. In December 2000, when the informal council visited MVBC and prepared its report, Appendix II of ARBCA’s Policy Manual, “Guidelines for Forming and Conducting a Church Council” (Guidelines), did not exist.  These guidelines were apparently first drafted in December 2001,[20] and were not officially approved as late as May 2002.[21] This means that the current policy requirements stipulating distribution of Church Council reports to the Chairmen of the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council were non-existent.[22] Consequently, MVBC, the local church, retained absolute authority over the distribution of the informal council’s report and did, in fact, exercise that authority. When the Guidelines were eventually incorporated into the ARBCA Policy Manual, their provisions were not retroactive and MVBC’s distribution restrictions legitimately controlled the informal council’s report.

This is phony baloney.  The Level 1 and Level 2 reports were the property of ARBCA.  So were the five letters from the parents and the victim.  Those letters contained devastating evidence of aggravated assault and children abuse.  The AC and MC had every right to access those letters in their official files given the investigation.  In fact, I think they had a legal obligation.  They knew the reports and letters contained evidence against Chantry; therefore, they should have provided it to law enforcement.  In particular, the Level 1 report and the Counselor’s report.  In not doing so, they withheld  evidence.

I have no idea why this ad hoc committee brings up “the current policy requirements stipulating distribution of Church Council reports to the Chairmen of the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council were non-existent.”  That is another irrelevant and completely contrived argument.  

David Dykstra instructed the IC to write a report for the AC.  Why?  Because as Chairman of the MC he had “the duty” to make sure Chantry and MVBC were complying “with the standards of the association.”  Here is what he wrote Mike McKnight, Tedd Tripp, and Rich Jensen. 

December 6, 2000 

Dear Brethren, 

Bob Selph asked if I would write to provide some guidance for your scheduled trip to Arizona next week.  He did so because the membership committee of our association has as part of its responsibilities, the duty of making sure that member churches comply with the standards of the association, namely our Confession of Faith and Constitution. … 

(1) Find out the facts through careful interviews.  (2) Make recommendations to the parties involved, and (3) Summarize your findings and recommendations [for the AC and MC] in a written document you all can sign [making it binding]. 

Yours in Christ, 

David Dykstra 

Bear in mind, Dykstra was the MC Chairman and an AC Member in 2000-2001.  He was working under the oversight of Earl Blackburn who was the AC Chairman in 2000-2001.  This directive was recorded in official minutes on January 4, 2001.  The IC was instructed to send their reports and recommendations to the AC.  Period! 

The significant conclusion, therefore, is that neither the ARBCA Coordinator, the Membership Committee, nor the Administrative Council concealed any information about the allegations against Mr. Chantry in 2000 or any information contained in the informal council’s report, because they did not have access to that information.

If this goes to court, I think they will lose.  They did “have access to that information” and they concealed the information. 

The fact that Mr. Marley violated the distribution restrictions by giving Mr. Giarrizzo access to that report, in January 2016, did not relieve Mr. Giarrizzo of responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of the report proscribed by the restrictions imposed by the MVBC elders and Mr. Chantry in 2000.  Communicating the information in the report to anyone would have usurped the authority of MVBC, as a local church, and subjected Mr. Giarrizzo to liability.  Additionally, Mr. Giarrizzo was under no obligation to report the allegations contained in the informal council’s report to law enforcement, because Mr. Marley had already provided the report to the Prescott Police Department, and Mr. Giarrizzo had been notified that an investigation of Mr. Chantry was underway. 

This is pure nonsense.  The MVBC church had no authority over the distribution of the reports written by Informal Council for ARBCA.  It would have resulted in no legal liability for Giarrizzo to make their contents known.  

And something else needs to be made clear.  Everything in the red binder, and MORE, was in the ARBCA archives in the ARBCA office!  For instance, the archives contained the Level 1 report AND the counselor’s report from Devon Berry.  Berry was to assess whether or not Chantry was guilty of “punishment for his own pleasure.”  Both of these documents contained vital evidence.  Both of these documents were kept from law enforcement by ARBCA.  Read this part again.    

“Additionally, Mr. Giarrizzo was under no obligation to report the allegations contained in the informal council’s report to law enforcement, because Mr. Marley had already provided the report to the Prescott Police Department, and Mr. Giarrizzo had been notified that an investigation of Mr. Chantry was underway.” 

This is SO deceptive.  I agree, Giarrizzo was not under obligation to “report the allegations in the informal council’s report to law enforcement” because Marley had already done so; but this in reference to the Level 2, “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations.”  Marley did not have the Level 1, “Confidential Report and Recommendations.”  It was not in the red binder because the MVBC elders were never given a copy.  In fact, Marley and the elders didn’t even know it existed until this year.  

That is not true of ARBCA!  The Level 1 report was in the ARBCA archives since 2000 and the current AC and ad hoc committee writing this report know it.  For example, Steve Marquedant.  In June 2015, Don Lindblad informed him that the Level 1 report and the Counselor’s report were in the ARBCA archives.  That was seven months BEFORE Marley even talked to Giarrizzo about the new allegation of multiple counts of sexual molestation.  Yet, Marquedant never turned this evidence over to law enforcement even though he knew he was obligated like GiarrizzoLindblad also covered up the evidence.  So did Earl Blackburn.  Lindblad gave him copies of all the evidence in December 2000!  Neither Lindblad nor Blackburn were on the distribution list.  This too has been covered up.  My Part 4 article is in the works.  It should be out in December. 

The current AC, ad hoc committee, and Marquedant are covering up.  They don’t want ARBCA churches to know they’ve had ALL the evidence of Chantry’s criminal behavior in their official files for the last 18 years!  That includes the Level 1, “Confidential Report and Recommendations” which raises serious questions about Chantry beating children bare bottom for his sadistic and sexual pleasure.  

It’s remarkable Steve Marquedant, Jeff Massey, Bob Curley and Dale Crawford condemn Chris Marley for giving the red binder with the Level 2 report to John Giarrizzo even though he was the ARBCA Coordinator and needed to know the truth about Chantry.  Unbelievable. 

Here is Marley’s response. 

“Sixth, the report states: 

“The fact that Mr. Marley violated the distribution restrictions by giving Mr. Giarrizzo access to that report, in January 2016…” 

“This is far from a “fact” and is again an egregious accusation.  If the report is at the discretion of the church, then MVBC was well within its rights to share this information.  This is further proven by the fact that Mr. Chantry was evidenced to be in violation of that contract which he himself signed.  In addition, these documents were already part of the investigation, and could no longer be considered as restricted only to those initial parties.” 

Chantry “was evidenced to be in violation” of the commitments he made in the Level 2 report.  Therefore, it was right and proper for Marley to bring these violations to the attention of Giarrizzo, the MC, and the AC.  This report effectively argues they should not have been made aware of these violations. 

The same was true with the other documents in the MVBC binder about child abuse even though Chantry was under investigation.  It is absurd, ARBCA officials would not read the evidence they knew was in their archives concerning the suspected sadistic and sexual abuse of children by Tom Chantry. 

These restrictions on distribution of the informal council’s report have important, broader implications, which will be addressed in Part II of the Administrative Council’s report concerning the case of Mr. Chantry in December 2000, and the subsequent ARBCA actions related to the results of the informal council’s assistance to MVBC.

The operational purview of ARBCA is also applicable to the analysis of the Membership Committee’s setting aside of MVBC’s protest of CRBC’s application for membership and will be discussed in the section below titled, “The Handling of MVBC’s Protest.”

The Handling of Information About the Allegation and Pending Investigation

As stated in the Chronology section above, in July 2015, Mr. Marley notified Messrs. Giarrizzo, VanderMeulen, Marquedant, and Cosby of the new allegation against Mr. Chantry and the investigation.  He later revealed this information to Mr. Walter, in late January or early February 2016.  According to Mr. Marley, the police investigator imposed a gag order on the dissemination of this information by admonishing him to keep the information confidential and giving him permission to share the information with only those few officers in ARBCA with a need to know.  Mr. Marley informed the men named above that the information was very confidential and could not be shared, by instructions of the investigating officer.  This constituted a gag order for all those who received the information.  Consequently, that information could not be used as a reason for denying CRBC’s application for membership.  The only possible result of sharing this information with these ARBCA officers would be the possibility of influencing their handling of CRBC’s application for membership in such a way that the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council would find some other reason for disapproving CRBC’s application.  Such action on the parts of the Committee and the Council would have been both dishonest and unethical.  Also, the gag order prevented any possibility of doing anything to lessen the impact of the arrest and trial of Mr. Chantry, on the Association.  The only way to avoid such impact was to refuse to accept CRBC’s application or disapprove the application for some other reason. Therefore, since the Committee and the Council could not use this information in processing or evaluating CRBC’s application or in the performance of any other official ARBCA duties, none of the officers who received the information met the requirement of possessing “a need to know.”

Detective Barnard-Belling told Marley to limit the knowledge of Chantry’s investigation in July 2015 so Chantry didn’t discover it.  In February 2016, the police contacted Chantry to interview him as part of the investigation.  From then on he knew, and it was fine for the AC and MC to know, about the investigation.  So too the delegates (i.e. pastors) at the General Assembly in April 2016.  There never was a “gag order” handed down by a Judge.  

“That information could not be used as a reason for denying CRBC’s application for membership.”  This is irrational.  So it is fine to accept a church into ARBCA with a senior pastor who has defied ARBCA and is at odds with people and pastors in ARBCA including victims of child abuse.  And add to that he is under investigation for aggravated assault and sexual molestation and about to be arrested.  That makes perfect sense.  

The IC of ARBCA laid down “recommendations” in 2000 that were not followed.  I know ARBCA’s argues against this in their Part II report but they are wrong.  Chantry was out of compliance.   Here is what Chris Marley says in his response. 

 “Seventh, the report states: 

“Therefore, since the Committee and the Council could not use this information in processing or evaluating CRBC’s application or in the performance of any other official ARBCA duties, none of the officers who received the information met the requirement of possessing “a need to know.”” 

“This is simply ridiculous and an attempt to divert the weight of the decision away from the MC and AC.  The elders of MVBC had provided a legitimate reason to reject the application with evidence which could have been shared with the General Assembly, and the police investigation gave further weight to the claim that Mr. Chantry was unrepentant and had not confessed all the sin of which he was guilty, let alone sought reconciliation.”

The “need to know” standard is that a person must have a demonstrated need for the information, because the information is required in order to perform his official duties.  Inherent in this standard is the existence of a tangible consequence of failure to obtain the information.  In the case of the allegation against Mr. Chantry and the investigation, this information could not be shared with anyone, could not be used as a reason to disapprove CRBC’s application, and could not be used for any other official purpose; it was useless and the lack of it would not have interfered with the performance of any official duties.  Accordingly, this information should not have been communicated to any ARBCA officials.  The handling of the allegation and investigation, along with any necessary attendant results or actions, should have been left entirely to the law enforcement officials possessing appropriate jurisdiction over the investigation.

The “need to know” standard “official duties” of Membership Committee

The men who received this information kept it strictly confidential until late February 2016, at which time both the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council received notification of the allegation and pending investigation, during separate, telephonic, special sessions.  By this date, several members of the Committee and the Council had been notified of the information by Mr. Marley.  Additionally, Mr. Massey had been notified of the information by Mr. Marquedant, because Mr. Massey had become Chairman of the Membership Committee.  Thus, the Chairmen of the Committee and the Council decided it was necessary for the members of both groups to be notified of the information and to determine the proper manner of handling the information.  Both the Committee and the Council deemed it essential to keep the information strictly confidential, in order not to interfere with the police investigation.  Again, neither the Committee nor the Council met the “need to know” standard, since the information could not be used and it did not interfere with or prevent the performance of any official duties.

At this point, everyone on the AC and MC knows Chantry is under investigation for multiple counts of sexual molestation.  Big deal.  So did Chantry.  Telling the pastors at the upcoming General Assembly in April would NOT have interfered with the police investigation in the least bit!  The only thing that interfered with the investigation was the lack of cooperation by top officials in ARBCA who knowingly did not turn evidence over to law enforcement in the ARBCA archives and in their personal possession.   

As stated in the Chronology above, Mr. Marley also notified Mr. Marquedant, in March 2016, that Mr. Chantry had been contacted by an investigator [on Feb. 10, 2016] and was aware of the allegation and investigation; therefore, Mr. Marley asserted that the information was no longer under a gag order of confidentiality.  In March 2016, Mr. Marquedant contacted Mr. Donald Lindblad to see if Mr. Chantry had discussed this matter with him, in order to verify Mr. Marley’s report that the gag order had been lifted.  He discovered that Mr. Chantry had not been notified of the allegation or of the fact of an investigation.  An officer from the Hales Corners Police Department had contacted Mr. Chantry and asked to speak with him about events that occurred in Prescott, Arizona, in 1995-2000.  According to Mr. Lindblad, Mr. Chantry declined to talk with the investigator without an attorney.  Based on this information, the Membership Committee, the Administrative Council, and the ARBCA Coordinator remained under a gag order and could not release the information, without the possibility of interfering with the investigation.  The subsequent availability of the police report confirmed the fact that, while the investigator had contacted Mr. Chantry, he was not informed of the allegation or that he was the subject of a formal investigation.[23]

Marquedant is getting his information from Donald Lindblad who is apparently getting his information from Chantry.  Marley is getting his information from law enforcement.  Let’ see – who is the more reliable source?

But more importantly, why didn’t Marquedant call law enforcement?  I’ve already answered that question.  He and ARBCA were avoiding the Prescott Police Department like the plague.  Marquedant knew about evidence in the ARBCA files he never turned over to police.  That is, the Level 1 report and the Counselor’s report by Devon Berry. 

The paragraph above also refers to “the police report” but does not quote it. 

“The subsequent availability of the police report confirmed the fact that, while the investigator had contacted Mr. Chantry, he was not informed of the allegation or that he was the subject of a formal investigation.” 

The police report does NOT confirm “the fact” that Chantry did not know he was the subject of a formal investigation.  I cited this earlier but here is the relevant quote from the report.  It disproves their point. 

“On 02/10/2016, Detective Justin Landry of Hales Corner Police Department assisted me [Det. Barnard-Belling] with this investigation per request of the County Attorney’s Office.  It was advised to contact (S) Thomas Chantry to see if he was willing to provide a statement as to the allegations in the case 

Det. Landry documents in a report that he arrived at Chantry’s residence and asked to speak with him about events that occurred in Prescott between 1995 and 2000.  Landry advised him that he could chose [choose] what he wanted to do.  Chantry reportedly declined to speak with the detective about the allegations in this case.” 

Detective Landry may not have told Chantry about the sexual molestation allegations on February 10, 2016, but he certainty made clear a criminal case was in the works.  He was there to talk about it.  

The following month, Marley notified Marquedant to tell him three things.  First, Chanty had been contacted by an investigator.  Two, Chanty was aware of the allegation of sexual molestation.  Three, Chantry was aware of the investigation.  By March, there is no question Chantry was aware of all three elements.  He immediately hired a lawyer after the visit by Detective Landry on February 10, 2016.

ARBCA officers were restricted from communicating the information about the allegation and the investigation to anyone.  In fact, these ARBCA officers should not have been notified of the information.  This means that, if an obligation existed to notify the officers or congregation of CRBC of the allegation and information, that obligation rested solely with the investigators of the Prescott Police Department.  The obligation of the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council was to comply with the admonition of confidentiality imposed by the law enforcement authorities by the gag order. 

No one in law enforcement restricted “ARBCA officers” “from communicating the information about the allegation and the investigation to anyone.”  That is why they don’t cite a source! 

And 19 times in this report the Administrative Council refers to a “gap order” but they never produce it because it does not exist!  A gag order is an official court order.  This constant reiteration by the AC is the main scheme by which they justify their irresponsible behavior to the ARBCA churches they are writing.  They are deceiving people.  Furthermore, Marley was never guilty of breaking a gag order or even the request to keep the matter confidential on a need to know basis.    

Lastly, the MC and AC should have asked Chantry to tell Christ Reformed Baptist Church about allegations and the investigation.  If he refused to be open and honest with them, that is another reason to refuse his application for church membership.  How can you accept into membership a church with a senior pastor who won’t be transparent with his congregation.  CRBC first learned about the “allegations” when Chantry was arrested in July 2016. 

The Handling of MVBC’s Protest

MVBC’s protest did not object to CRBC, as a church, coming into membership in ARBCA.  MVBC did not present any allegation that the church did not meet the constitutional and policy requirements for membership.  MVBC’s protest objected to Mr. Chantry, as pastor of CRBC.  In other words, the reason the MVBC elders protested CRBC’s application was because they asserted that Mr. Chantry had failed to seek “full repentance and forgiveness.”  In their letter of protest, the MVBC elders further stated, “We will rejoice if these events catalyze genuine repentance and reconciliation within Christ’s church, but even upon such an occasion we could only recognize Mr. Chantry’s salvation and not his ordination, given the events that have taken place[24] (italics inserted).  Clearly, in order to accept MVBC’s protest, the Membership Committee would have to somehow bring Mr. Chantry to seek “full repentance and forgiveness” or persuade CRBC that Mr. Chantry was unqualified for the eldership.  Either action was prohibited by ARBCA’s Constitution,[25] since ARBCA does not possess such authority. 

Another ridiculous comment.  The elders from MVBC were simply asking the AC and MC to hold Chantry accountable to the binding “recommendations” laid down by the IC of ARBCA in 2000.  That is not “prohibited by ARBCA’s Constitution.”   Furthermore, in accepting the church, they were accepting Chantry its alleged sexual sadist senior pastor.  The MC should have been trying to “persuade CRBC that Mr. Chantry was unqualified for the eldership.”  Of course, ARBCA did not exact opposite.  Even after his arrest they defended his innocence.

As previously discussed, the information about the allegation and the investigation was under a gag order imposed by the Prescott Police Department. Therefore, that information could not be used, in any way, in evaluating MVBC’s protest.  Likewise, the Membership Committee did not have access to the informal council’s report and could not have used any of the information in that report, unless the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry officially lifted the restriction on the distribution of the report.

The Level 2 “informal council’s report” (not the MVBC report or the Tom Chantry report) was the property of ARBCA.  The elders and Chantry had no authority to restrict its distribution.  So too, the Level 1 report which the MVBC elders never received. 

Accordingly, the Membership Committee dismissed MVBC’s protest, as explained in the “Discussion of Decisions” section, “Dismissal of MVBC’s Protest” subsection, above. 

The Propriety of Decisions Recommending Approval of CRBC’s Application 

As detailed in the above subsections titled, “Membership Committee’s Approval of CRBC’s Application” and “Administrative Council’s Approval of CRBC’s Application” under the section titled, “Discussion of Decisions,” CRBC met all the criteria for membership.  The recommendations for approval of CRBC’s application complied fully with ARBCA’s policy and practice governing the acceptance of churches into membership.

Who would want to be part of an association if they allow churches to be members whose pastors are about to be arrested for aggravated assault and sexual molestation.

In order for the Committee and the Council to use the information about the allegation and the investigation to postpone or disapprove CRBC’s application, two conditions would have been necessary.  First, the gag order on the allegation would have to have been lifted.  Second, ARBCA would have needed to amend its constitution to allow an application for membership to be postponed or disapproved based on any allegation against a pastor or specific allegations against a pastor.  Neither of these conditions existed.

There was no gag order and the request for “need to know” confidentiality had been lifted.  This is a bogus argument.  So is the argument they would need “to amend its constitution to allow an application for membership to be postponed or disapproved.”  I agree with Earl Blackburn, the most powerful and influential leader in ARBCA over the last 20 years.  He wrote the following to the Informal Council in 2000 just before they arrived in Prescott, AZ to do their investigation. 

“When a church becomes a member in the Association it opens itself to the scrutiny of the member churches who must be able to give or retract their conscientious commendation.  Article III, paragraph B, #2 states: “The Association has authority to determine whether its commendation shall be given to or withheld from an applicant church.  It also has power to withdraw commendation from a member church.” 

I will say more about Blackburn’s letter, which has been covered up, in my next article.

Consequently, the decisions to recommend approval of CRBC’s application for membership were proper.

Nice try.

Biblical Injunctions Regarding Divinely Established Procedures for Handling Allegations 

Any elder or any church member in any church can be accused of anything at any time.  That most certainly does not mean that such accusations are to be made public or to be used in any decision-making process related to an elder or a church member, until such time as the accusations are established by factual evidence gathered and evaluated by competent authority with appropriate jurisdiction.  If it were the case that any accusation against an elder or church member should be made public and/or used to make decisions concerning that elder, church member and/or his church, without such a factual process superintended by competent authority and under appropriate jurisdiction, no elder or church could function; all elders, all church members, and all churches would be subject to any random attack or accusation and the public consequences, and Satan would make devastating use of such a practice.  So, the key issue in such matters is the establishing of factual evidence and the evaluation of that evidence by competent authority with appropriate jurisdiction and responsibility to act based on the outcome of the evidence and its evaluation.

What hypocrisy!  The factual evidence against Thomas J. Chantry was covered up and kept from law enforcement in 2000 and ever since.  If it had been given to “the competent authority and under appropriate jurisdiction,” I’m convinced Chantry would have been convicted in 2001 and sent to prison for a long time, if not for life.  More importantly, the victims and their families would have received help. 

Furthermore, if the accusations against Chantry would have been handled properly by ARBCA, he would have been church disciplined by Miller Valley Baptist Church in 2000 and Providence Reformed Baptist Church in 2001.  The Informal Council talked the MVBC elders out of church discipline.  Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick at PRBC failed follow the recommendations and obey 1 Timothy 5:19-21.  ARBCA has been covering up for Tom Chantry for 18 years.  No question, Satan has made a “devastating use of such a practice.” 

The sole ecclesiastical authority for adjudicating spiritual issues is the local church.  The Lord Jesus detailed the due process for church discipline in Matthew 18:15-17 and, by so doing, designated the local church as the only competent ecclesiastical authority with appropriate jurisdiction over charges or allegations of sin.

“The local church” is not “the only competent ecclesiastical authority” if the Bible, and not The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, is your final authority.  The statement above is contradicted by all the Pauline epistles and take special note of Timothy’s role in discipling elders in Ephesus.  Local and extra local authority work together for the safety and purity of Christ’s church.  In any case, the MVBC elders, the IC, the AC, and the MC failed to obey Scripture in dealing with Thomas Chantry.  They also disobeyed civil law.  

God ordains the secular ruling authorities, the governments of nations and states, as the only competent authority with appropriate jurisdiction over allegations of crimes, as indicated in Titus 3:1 and Romans 13:4.  God also establishes the system of a standard of evidence that is evaluated and judged by competent authority, which is reflected in Deuteronomy 19:15.

More hypocrisy.  ARBCA has not cooperated with these secular authorities in their prosecution of crimes.  They have defended the convicted felon.  In fact, the Chantry’s and his supporters, have repeatedly disparaged the police and the prosecution.

Moreover, God makes specific provisions for handling charges or allegations against an elder in 1 Timothy 5:19, where the Apostle Paul writes, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”  In matters of sin, such an accusation is received by the local church for the purpose of evaluating evidence and executing judgment.  In matters of criminal conduct the appropriate government jurisdiction has authority to investigate, evaluate evidence, and judge.

The ad hoc committee cites 1 Timothy 5:19 but not 1 Timothy 5:20-21.  That is typical of groups sinfully protecting elders. 

1 Timothy 5:20-21 “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.  In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.” 

And let me add two observations.  First, there are not “two or three witnesses” against Chantry.  There are two or three dozen witnesses acquainted with evidence against him in addition to the six known victims.  Second, Timothy was an extra local leader responsible to make sure local leaders obeyed the command to rebuke sinning elders without partiality.  ARBCA has done just the opposite. 

Therefore, in the case of Mr. Chantry, there are two spheres of competent authority with appropriate jurisdiction.  One is the local church and the other is the State of Arizona.  In the history of this matter, MVBC and its elders possessed the competent authority and appropriate jurisdiction to gather and evaluate evidence and act based on their evaluation.  They took action consistent with their authority and their judgment in 2000.  The only local church currently possessing competent spiritual authority with appropriate jurisdiction in this matter is CRBC, where Mr. Chantry is still a member.

Now that is an interesting piece of information.  “Mr. Chantry is still a member” at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corner, Wisconsin.  It is an ARBCA church.  Chantry was convicted for the aggravated assault of two children on August 21, 2108.  In his deceit, he testified at the trial that they were lying.  And yet he remains a member in good standing.  Chantry has not repented of his crimes, he has not even acknowledged his crimes.  That’s fine.  You can still be a member and avoid church discipline.  Bill Halliburton is the lead elder “possessing competent spiritual authority.”  Thank God only 30 adults and children remain in the church.  This report should speak against the elders, deacons and CRBC for their indifference. 

The State of Arizona possessed the competent authority and appropriate jurisdiction to gather and evaluate evidence related to criminal accusations and act based on that evaluation.  The steps in the judicial process of this case were carried out under the jurisdiction and control of the State of Arizona; none of these steps were under the jurisdiction or control of a local church or the Association.  Consequently, any public statements or actions on the part of any entity, other than the State of Arizona, during any part of the ongoing process of this matter would have been not only inappropriate (and, at some stages, illegal) but also unbiblical.

I totally disagree.  It is necessary to “make public statements” and take “actions” based upon the evidence made public by law enforcement in police reports, or the Grand Jury in their indictment, or the State of Arizona in court documents!  People need to be informed and appropriate actions need to be taken.  Like alerting families of criminal charges against an alleged abuser they know.  This paragraph asserts that “any public statement’’ “during any part of the ongoing process of this matter” would be unbiblical.  That means no one in ARBCA should have be told Chantry was arrested in July 2016.  Such teaching is dangerous.  Of course, you alert people to fact your pastor has been arrested for beating and sexually abusing children. 

We must emphasize the importance that the place and priority of competent authority and jurisdiction holds in matters such as this case.  No individual or entity has authority or liberty to take any action related to such matters unless the entity (i.e. church or State) possesses appropriate jurisdiction.  After the exercise of such competent authority by appropriate jurisdiction, other individuals or entities should act based on the facts, the evaluation of those facts, and the actions taken by the appropriate jurisdiction.  Until then, any actions regarding an accusation either violate the authority and jurisdiction of the State or the authority and jurisdiction of the local church and tend toward interference in the judicial processes of the State, or toward gossip, slander, or schism among Christians and churches.  Any investigation of an allegation, evaluation of evidence/information, and determination of guilt or innocence conducted by anyone or any entity other than the due process established by God, in the local church or by the secular government with jurisdiction, violates God’s directions for handling accusations and is itself sin.  While such matters certainly draw the interest and concern of individual church members, as well as local churches, we must exercise restraint, discipline, and patience in responding to such interests and concerns.  That restraint, discipline, and patience must be directed by a robust understanding of God’s provision for competent authority and appropriate jurisdiction in such matters and a submission to such authority and its processes and outcomes.

This is another example of extreme hypocrisy.  ARBCA knew Tom Chantry was a child abuser in November 2000 even before the Informal Council arrived in December 2000.  The Informal Council only confirmed the fact.  What did ARBCA do?  They kept this knowledge from law enforcement and encouraged the parents of victims to address the crimes internally as a church in conjunction with ARBCA.  They violated everything they state above and done the same in recent years.  They have not been forthcoming with law enforcement.  When will ARBCA acknowledge this and repent.  All the theologizing above is nothing but vain and empty words. 

In addition, the Ninth Commandment “forbids whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own, or our neighbor’s good name.”[26]  If the Membership Committee and/or the Administrative Council had delayed the admission of the Hales Corners church or had informed the delegates of the General Assembly of the allegation and investigation, it would have been a violation of the Ninth Commandment.  Delaying, since there was no constitutional or procedural reason to do so, would naturally have raised serious questions and could have impugned Mr. Chantry’s character or the qualifications of the Hales Corners church. Informing the delegates of the General Assembly would obviously have done the same, as well as violated the gag order imposed by the Prescott Police Department, thus breaking God’s injunction to submit to the governmental authorities. The law of God thus forbade delaying or disapproving admission of CRBC’s application for membership, as well as informing the delegates of the General Assembly about the allegation and the investigation.

Countless times in this report, the current Administrative Council is guilty of violating the Ninth Commandment.  I don’t mean to sound harsh but they are blind guides.  They are only concerned about their “good name,” ARBCA’s “good name,” and Chantry’s “good name.”  They are not concerned about the good name of Chris Marley, the MVBC elders, and especially the victims and their parents.  I agree with Marley’s assessment. 

“Eighth, the report states: 

“Delaying, since there was no constitutional or procedural reason to do so, would naturally have raised serious questions and could have impugned Mr. Chantry’s character or the qualifications of the Hales Corners church.”    

“This at least is clear. The AC and MC valued “Mr. Chantry’s character” possibly being impugned over retaining the membership of a church in good standing.”

Here is what he means.  He is saying the AC and MC could have delayed membership into ARBCA until the following year when things would have been much clearer.  The AC and MC were so obsessed about Chantry’s reputation they would not even delay the decision lest it be interpreted as an impugning of “Mr. Chantry’s character.”  Furthermore, the AC and MC could easily have said the postponement was due to developments they were not free to discuss.  Four months later, when Chantry was arrested, all the delegates would have fully understood the reason why.

MVBC was a strong supporter of ARBCA.  Gaining Chantry was more important than losing Marley and friends. 

Summary

Conclusions

1) There is no evidence of any conspiracy or any individual actions or attempts to conceal information from member churches, from law enforcement, or from the delegates to the 2016 General Assembly.  The Membership Committee and the Administrative Council did not have access to the informal council’s report of December 2000.  It was not possible, legal, or ethically permissible to reveal information from the informal council’s report.  Additionally, revealing information about the 2015 allegation and investigation would have violated law enforcement’s gag order, as well as the Ninth Commandment.

This is an altogether untrue statement!  I hope people see through the corruption at work behind it.  This Administrative Council cannot be trusted.

2) The allegation and investigation could not be used as criteria by the Membership Committee, the Administrative Council, or the delegates of the General Assembly for evaluation of CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA, due to the gag order and the absence of constitutional and/or policy provisions specifying the use of accusations as criteria for evaluation of applications for membership in ARBCA.  This means, that even if the gag order had been lifted, the knowledge of the accusation and investigation by the delegates of the General Assembly could not have been legitimately used to disapprove CRBC’s application, because there is no criteria in ARBCA’s Constitution, Policy Manual, or past practice that authorizes the use of an accusation against an elder in considering a church for membership in ARBCA.

Marley responds.

“Ninth, the report states:

“The allegation and investigation could not be used as criteria by the Membership Committee, the Administrative Council, or the delegates of the General Assembly for evaluation of CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA, due to the gag order and the absence of constitutional and/or policy provisions specifying the use of accusations as criteria for evaluation of applications for membership in ARBCA. This means, that even if the gag order had been lifted, the knowledge of the accusation and investigation by the delegates of the General Assembly could not have been legitimately used to disapprove CRBC’s application, because there is no criteria in ARBCA’s Constitution, Policy Manual, or past practice that authorizes the use of an accusation against an elder in considering a church for membership in ARBCA.”

“The MC and AC does have the authority to reject an application of an applying church.  It has done so in the past.  If a pastor is in open, unrepentant sin, then this certainly qualifies as a condition which must be rectified before the church is admitted into membership.  It is further important to note that while the language of the report repeatedly addresses the situation in terms of allowing the process to continue, the MC and AC recommended the church, whose representational head was Mr. Chantry.

“These fallacies are difficult to not perceive as outright lies designed to cast the blame on MVBC.  In fact, the report never levies direct accusations against Mr. Chantry!  We have struggled with the sense that our church was “thrown under the bus” in order to preserve the Chantry name and legacy in 2015-2016.  This report is a clearly biased and outlandish series of accusations against the elders of MVBC, most explicitly its senior pastor, Chris J. Marley.   

“Finally, we must again quote the report which states, “In addition, the Ninth Commandment “forbids whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own, or our neighbor’s good name.””  The ad hoc committee has violated this in propagating what is prejudicial to truth, injurious to the elders of MVBC, and the good name of MVBC.  Therefore, we ask that a letter of redaction and repentance be sent out to all who received the report. 

“From, through, and unto Him,

Pastor Chris J. Marley for the elders of MVBC

The current Administrative Council may send out a letter acknowledging some mistakes in this report but they will not ask forgiveness for sinning against the MVBC elders, the victims or their families, or the ARBCA churches for writing a largely false and misleading report.

3) The handling of accusations, in any circumstance, must adhere to biblical injunctions.  The only spheres of authority for adjudicating allegations of sin and/or crimes against the state are the local church, of which the accused is a member, and the governmental entity possessing secular legal jurisdiction. Individuals, or churches other than the local church with jurisdiction, or governmental entities without appropriate jurisdiction – or even denominations or associations of churches – are prohibited from pronouncing authoritative judgment.  God has established spheres of authority and jurisdiction, as well as systems of due process, for the purposes of administering justice.  The usurpation of such authority and jurisdiction by individuals or churches or associations rejects divinely ordained systems of justice.

I strongly disagree with their understanding of church polity as taught and practiced in the New Testament.  Local churches were not autonomous.  They were connected by men who provided oversight and worked with the local elders.  That aside, Miller Valley Baptist Church (Prescott, AZ), Providence Reformed Baptist Church (Tacoma, WA), Grace Reformed Baptist Church (Rockford, IL) and Christ Reformed Baptist Church (Hales Corner, WI) failed to obey Scripture in regard to Tom Chantry.  So did ARBCA.  At no time, did he meet the requirements of pastoral ministry found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.      

Recommendations

None of the recommendations address issues of the heart or call anyone to repentance.  Nor are there any recommendations about getting back to the MVBC elders and especially the victims and their families.

1) The General Assembly Planning Committee should consider including a session that addresses the practical and biblical applications of the concept of “need to know”, in relation to sensitive or confidential information.

2) The General Assembly Planning Committee should consider including a session that addresses the biblical spheres of authority and principles of due process for handling accusations of sin and of criminal conduct.  The session should include the responsibility of individuals for relying on the due processes of the church and/or the state to handle accusations of sin and/or criminal conduct.

3) The Theology Committee should be requested to consider the subject of associationalism in the context of Baptist ecclesiology and polity for the circular letter for the 2020 General Assembly.

4) The Membership Committee and Policy and Constitution Committee should consider drafting a policy provision to provide the Membership Committee the discretion to delay processing of an application for membership.


[1] Distribution of the Complete Report, December 16, 2000. A copy of this document is included as Attachment 1.

[2] Supplemental Report – Prescott Police Department, D.R. Case # -- Supplement # 15-22665-002, p.2. A copy of this document is included as Attachment 2.

[3] See the Analysis section for a discussion of the distribution restrictions placed on the informal council’s report.

[4] See Attachment 3. [An email from Chris Marley to John Giarrizzo dated Aug. 27, 2018 re: “I actually loaned you the binder with the info.”]

[5] See Attachment 4. See the Discussion of Decisions and Analysis sections for a discussion. [The ARBCA Application for Membership from Tom Chantry dated July 26, 2015]

[6]  See Attachment 5. [MVBC Elders’ Letter to Steve Marquedant re: Membership Application]

[7]  See Attachment 6. [Steve Marquedant’s Letter to MVBC Elders]

[8] See Attachment 7. [“Sanitized,” Level 3 “Report of the Informal Council of the ARBCA”}

[9] See Attachment 8. [Letter from Tom Lyon & Mark McCormick to Tom Chantry, Walt Chantry, Earl Blackburn, Don Lindblad, & Devon Berry (the counselor) re: “no reservation…[for Chantry’s] wider usefulness”]

[10]  See Attachment 9. {AC re: “No impediment to a future wider usefulness.”]

[11]  See Attachment 10. [Letter from MVBC Elders re: “serious concerns”]

[12]  See Attachment 11. [Blackburn to MVBC Elders re: IC “no longer has any function or say”]

[13]  See Attachment 12. [Lindblad to Marquedant re: “Tom has done everything he was asked to do.”  Point 3 in the letter about “The documents are in the ARBCA archives” is conspicuously missing.  I’ll address this deception in my next article.]

[14] See Attachment 13. [Chantry Letter to MC re: “I did all within my power to seek forgiveness and to bring about recollection.”]

[15] See Attachment 14. [Membership Committee Interview, Nov. 12, 2105]

[16] See Attachment 15.  See discussion of the decision to recommend CRBC for membership in the Discussion of Decision and Analysis sections.

[17] See Attachment 16.  See discussion of the decision to recommend CRBC for membership in the Discussion of Decision and Analysis sections.

[18] Constitution of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Paragraph III.B.3.

[19] See Attachment 1.

[20] See AC Meeting Minutes dated January 22, 2002.

[21] See AC Meeting Minutes dated May 7, 2002.

[22] See ARBCA Policy Manual, Appendix II, Paragraph VI.Q.

[23] Supplemental Report – Prescott Police Department, D.R. Case # -- Supplement #15-22665-009. See Attachment 17.

[24] See Attachment 5.

[25] Constitution of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Paragraph III.B.3.

[26] The Baptist Catechism. Ed. James M. Renihan. The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, 2004, p.21.