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Thursday
May022019

Part 8: The Illegal Cover-Up of Tom Chantry’s Crimes by Marcus “Mike” McKnight III (Prominent Lawyer), Tedd Tripp (Renowned Child Expert), Richard Jensen (Former Homicide Detective), & Bob Selph (the ARBCA Coordinator)

This is part 8 in my comprehensive coverage.  A lot of people knew pastor Tom Chantry was a child abuser in 2000 and did not report him to law enforcement.  That includes his parents, Walt and Joie Chantry; the victims’ parents, local church elders and top officials like Earl Blackburn and David Dykstra from the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).  But four men in particular, Marcus “Mike” McKnight III, Tedd Tripp, Richard Jensen and Bob Selph, had a primary responsible to do so.  They were the learned experts and the ones most involved.  They were also mandatory reporters under Arizona law.

For months, I kindly reached out to Tedd Tripp and Bob Selph in private.  Unfortunately, they were unresponsive to my appeals to make things right with the victims and their families or address their fault in public.  I also forwarded some of my correspondence to Mike McKnight and Rich Jensen.  I never heard from them either. 

In addition, I have been sending these four men all the articles in my comprehensive series on Tom Chantry and the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).  Nothing has moved them to repent.  Therefore, it is time for a public rebuke.  First, some biographical information on each man. 

Marcus “Mike” McKnight III is the majority shareholder of the law firm of Irwin & McKnight, P.C.  He was a close friend of Tom Chantry’s father, Walt Chantry.  At the time of the child abuse investigation in 2000, he was on the ARBCA Administrative Council and an elder in Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, PA where Walt Chantry was lead pastor.  Tom Chantry wrote Bob Selph “that Mike’s unique background makes him indispensable” to the Informal Council.  Subsequently, he was made Chairman of the Informal Council.  ARBCA is still headquartered in Carlisle, PA. 

MARCUS A. McKNIGHT, III, ESQUIRE 

Mr. McKnight is the majority shareholder of the Carlisle Pennsylvania, law firm of Irwin & McKnight, P.C.  Mr. McKnight grew up in York County, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Dallastown Area High School in 1970.  He received his undergraduate degree in 1974 from Drew University of Madison, New Jersey, cum laude with specialized honors in economics and his Juris Doctor in 1977 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Mr. McKnight is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  His areas of practice are estate planning, family law, litigation, real estate and municipal law.  He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Cumberland County Bar Association, and is active in the Carlisle Rotary Club.  He is a past president of both the Cumberland County Bar Association and the Carlisle Rotary Club.  He currently attends the West Shore Evangelical Free Church.

Tedd Tripp is the former senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazelton, PA and “known around the world” as an expert on child rearing.  After the investigation in 2000, he was added to the ARBCA Administrative Council for the 2001-2002 term.  I’ve never met Tedd but we have mutual friends.  I had his brother, Paul Tripp, in for a weekend of ministry when I was senior pastor of CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, NC in the 2000’s.       

Who is Tedd Tripp? 

Tedd Tripp is the president of Shepherding the Heart Ministries, a non-profit organization, whose mission is connecting the hearts of God’s people to the power and grace of the gospel.  Tedd has developed and teaches materials that encourage the people of God to understand gospel hope for the ways that human beings are pushed and pulled by the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Tedd is known around the world for the best-selling child rearing book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, and as the presenter of Shepherding a Child’s Heart Ministries

Tedd Tripp is Pastor Emeritus of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he served from 1980 until 2012.  Tedd was married to his wife, Margy, in 1968; they are parents of three adult children and nine grandchildren.  Tedd is the author of A Parent’s Handbook for Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Hints for Parents, and with his wife, Margy, Instructing a Child’s Heart.  

Rich Jensen was a retired homicide detective and the lead pastor of Hope Reformed Baptist Church in Farmingville, NY.  He graduated from the FBI National Academy and was assigned to the Homicide Squad for the Suffolk County Police Department in Long Island, New York.  He left ARBCA in February (more later) but remains the lead pastor at Hope Reformed Baptist Church.  

RICHARD A. JENSEN, born in New York City on Sept. 8, 1945.  He graduated with honors from Smithtown High School in 1963.  He attended SUNY at Stonybrook.

     In 1966 he joined the Suffolk County Police Depart [SCPD].  He graduated first in his class in January 1967 and was assigned to the 4th Precinct.  In 1969 he was promoted to detective and worked undercover in the Narcotics Squad.  He was promoted to sergeant in 1972 and then to detective sergeant in 1974.  He worked in the 4th Squad, 1st Squad, and the Rackets Bureau. 

In 1979 he graduated from the 116th Session of the FBINA [FBI National Academy] and was assigned to the Homicide Squad.  He worked many noteworthy cases which gained national attention.  He retired from the police department in 1987 as a detective sergeant.

Besides his FBINA training, Sgt. Jensen attended several other FBI classes including hostage negotiation.  He was a charter member of the SCPD hostage negotiation team and was involved in several hostage crises that were resolved successfully.

After retirement, he was ordained to the Christian ministry and currently pastors Hope Reformed Baptist Church in Farmington, NY.  He also serves as an associate police chaplain for the SCPD.  

Bob Selph was the pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, Arizona from 1978 until 1995.  He was friends with Walt Chantry.  According to Tom Chantry’s testimony at the July-August 2018 trial, he enlisted his father’s help, who then influenced Bob Selph, to get him the job at Miller Valley Baptist Church in 1995.  Three weeks later, Chantry assaulted his first victim. 

Selph was the full-time ARBCA Coordinator in 2000 when the investigation was done.  He continued as the ABRCA Coordinator until 2007 and remained on the Administrative Council until 2010.  He was the lead pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina until 2015 when the church left ARBCA and he stepped down.  He is now an “urban missionary” in Atlanta. 

Mike McKnight, Tedd Tripp and Rich Jensen were selected by the ARBCA Administrative Council and Bob Selph because they were experts in their fields – a prominent lawyer & partner in law firm, a renowned child expert, and an FBI trained homicide detective.  They came to Miller Valley Baptist Church on December 13-16, 2000 to investigate the aggravated assaults of four children and a pattern of serious sin against church members by Tom Chantry. 

They wrote three reports about their investigation.  One was a “sanitized” and misleading report sent to all the ARBCA churches.  The other two were confidential reports not made public. 

I first wrote my first article about Tom Chantry in December 2016.     

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

I posted my fifth article in October 2017.  In it I talked about the men on the Informal Council (“Committee”) by name for the first time.  Here is an excerpt.

More Evidence Against Alleged Sexual Sadist Tom Chantry & the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America
Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Miller Valley Baptist Church (MVBC) in Prescott, AZ is the church Chantry pastored from 1995-2000.  The alleged victims of molestation and aggravated assault were children in the church.  

“The ones from the Committee” [who investigated] were Tedd Tripp, an author and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church of Hazleton, PA; Richard Jensen, a former police officer and pastor of Hope Reformed Baptist Church on Long Island; and Mike McKnight, a lawyer and elder from Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, PA. 

These three men were chosen by coordinator Bob Selph and the Administrative Council for the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.  I am not certain who was on the Administrative Council in 2000 but they “sealed from the eyes of the association” the report written by Tripp, Jensen, and McKnight.  In other words, they refused to release the investigative report to the pastors and churches in ARBCA.  

Four months later on February 15, 2018, Tedd Tripp sent me a friend request on Facebook.  I accepted and he began to follow me on Facebook.  On August 2, 2108, I sent him this private message during the first Chantry trial.  Afterward, he de-friended me and stopped following me but did not block me.  

Facebook
Thursday, August 2, 2018 6:11 PM

Hello Tedd,

Tom Chantry’s trial will soon conclude.  I plan to write an article once the verdict is in.  I will be talking about the cover up of his crimes by ARBCA and others in the past and of recent.  For instance, after his arrest, his wife, his parents, his in-laws, the CRBC [Christ Reformed Baptist Church] elder & deacons, ARBCA officials, and ARBCA pastors, insisted he was absolutely innocent of all wrong doing and claimed he was suffering injustice like Jesus Christ despite all the evidence in multiple police reports.  They even set up a defense fund and asked people from his church to contribute.  

You were a mandatory reporter under the law in 2000 when you did the investigation of Tom Chantry with Mike McKnight and Rich Jensen.  Do you plan to go public and acknowledge your fault for not reporting?  Will you ask forgiveness of all the victims and their families?  Will you publicly expose the conspiracy that existed then and of recent?  I hope so.  

I also hope you can persuade Mike and Rich to join you.  And also Bob Selph, who picked the three of you to do the investigation but did not report your findings to law enforcement even though he was the ARBCA Coordinator.  He too should acknowledge his fault, ask forgiveness, and expose the conspiracy not to report Chantry. 

In this regard, I liked to ask an important question.  Did you, or anyone else, recommend the police be contacted by the Administrative Council?  If so, was that recommendation rejected by the majority of the AC?  

I realize you are no longer part of ARBCA but as you must know ARBCA continues to deny all wrong doing – past or present.  For instance, in the statement put out by the Administrative Council on April 27, 2017, they claimed everyone obeyed the law; when in fact, no one obeyed the law.  Even John Sears, Tom’s lawyer, made this fact clear in official court documents.  All of ARBCA should be mourning in sackcloth and ashes and its officials on the Administrative Council removed. 

Tedd, I’d recommend you contact WORLD [magazine] or CT [Christianity Today] or The Christian Post and tell them the whole truth.  It would accomplish so much good.  I know it won’t be easy but repentant conspirators must expose unrepentant conspirators.  The truth about ARBCA must be told.  You are best suited to do it. 

Therefore, I hope you will be an outspoken and contrite voice against the self-serving and illegal concealment of assaults upon children by you and ARBCA leaders.  You could also exhort pastors to learn from your mistakes and follow the law. 

Chantry’s victims have suffered extraordinary harm the past 18 years because his crimes went unreported.  It should have ended in 2001 and the victims should have received extensive care and been restituted for harms.  Instead, they were forgotten.  Moreover, Chantry should never have been allowed to teach elementary children or return to the pastorate.  But like happens so often, the victims were betrayed, the victimizer protected, and children were put in harm’s way because pastors were looking out for themselves.  

I sincerely pray you will stand with the victims!  Your personal humility, advocacy and involvement could have a dramatic impact upon them for the good.  As it stands, they have been devasted by those who claim to follow Jesus Christ but done great evil. 

Speaking out would also bring much glory to God and set an example for others to follow like C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. who continue to cover up their 30-year history of not reporting.  

I would appreciate knowing how you plan to respond to the Lord, the victims, ARBCA, and the evangelical church.  

For the sake of Christ,

Brent 

Two days later, I wrote Bob Selph. 

From: Brent Detwiler abd278@protonmail.com
Date: Sat, Aug 4, 2018 at 2:24 PM
Subject: Tom Chantry
To: Bob Selph pastorselph@gmail.com

Hello Bob,

I continue to receive evidence that ARBCA covered up Tom Chantry’s crimes.  I hope you will speak out and expose the conspiracy from the past and present.

Below is a letter I sent to Tedd Tripp on Thursday [i.e. the one above].  It also applies to you.  I’d love to see you join arms with him in Christ and publicly address the entire situation for the good of the gospel, the Church, and victims.

I sincerely hope and pray the two of you will speak out together.

In His grace,

Brent 

I did not hear back from Tripp or Selph.  Therefore, I wrote Tripp’s pastor, Chad Bennett asking him to “Appeal to Tedd Tripp.” 

From: Brent Detwiler abd278@protonmail.com
Date: Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 9:12 AM
Subject: Appeal to Tedd Tripp
To: Chad Bennett gfc@gfchazleton.org

Hello Chad,

As you know, Tom Chantry is on trial.  The case could conclude this week.  And as you know, Tedd was on the investigative committee in 2000 that wrote the report documenting his aggravated assaults on children but did not report them to law enforcement.  They have suffered tremendous trauma as a result.

I have appealed to Tedd to come forward and tell the truth about the conspiracy not to report Chantry’s crimes.  See my letter below [i.e., the one above].  He has not responded to me.  That is why I am writing you.  You have worked with Tedd in pastoral ministry and know him well.  Please appeal to him to speak publicly and encourage him to contact me.

Thanks

Brent Detwiler

I received a short note from Bennett justifying and commending Tripp.  It began, “I am speaking, off the record, and not on Tedd’s behalf or with his knowledge. … I can assure that if there was any conspiracy Tedd was not involved in it.”  

First, he says “if there was any conspiracy.”  He claims not to know.  But second, if there was one, “Tedd was not involved in it.”  That is logically impossible.  You can’t say someone was not involved in a conspiracy if you don’t know a conspiracy existed.  Furthermore, Bennett offered no proof or evidence for his defense of Tripp.  I quickly learned Bennett would bring no accountability to Tripp for his actions. 

I wrote Tripp again.

Facebook
August 11, 2018 8:17 PM 

Hello Tedd, 

I wrote you on August 2 and asked for a response which I have not received.  Therefore, the need for this follow up. 

I was at the Tom Chantry’s trial all week. Yesterday, Chantry was on the stand for 4½ hrs.  His testimony will resume on Tuesday.  I anticipate the case will go to the jurors on Wednesday, but you never know for sure. 

On the stand, Chantry categorically denied victim by victim all eight counts against him and thereby everything you, Mike and Rich wrote in the shorter “sealed” report [i.e., the Level 2 - “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations”] for the Administrative Council.  And he did so in a condescending manner.  It was repulsive.  It was evil. 

Tedd, you should be in the courtroom to hear it.  Why aren’t you present?  I don’t understand.  You should be there to assist the prosecution, comfort the victims and families, hear the testimony first hand so you can refute it in public, and then confront the Chantry delegation in person after the trial concludes.  

I was also told by a reliable source [one of the victim’s parents] that Susan Eazer, the prosecutor, sought to make contact with you in preparing her case but you did not return her messages.  Is that true? [I later confirmed with Eazer it was true.] 

In your report to the Administrative Council, you and the other men recommended the alleged crimes be reported to law enforcement.  That recommendation was not followed.  At that point, you had a legal, ethical, and biblical responsibility to report the crimes to law enforcement yourself.  Why didn’t you do so?  This must be acknowledged.  Others can learn from it.  Please take responsibility for this failure.  As a result, it is harder to make the case now, and the children did not receive professional help. 

[Note: At the time, I thought Tripp, McKnight and Jensen had recommended to the Administrative Council that Chantry be reported to law enforcement.  That was not the case.  They never made such a recommendation.] 

You, Mike and Rich, also recommended Chantry not be allowed to work with children.  Yet, Tom Lyon and Don Lindblad, who were supervising him in Washington state, let him go to Christian Liberty School in Arlington Heights, IL to teach elementary children from 2002-2005.  How could you allow that?  Did you do anything to stop it?  That put children at risk. 

And then, ARBCA allowed him to return to pastoral ministry in 2005 at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL with Dale Smith and his father in law, Al Huber.  I know you left ARBCA in 2002, but you still had an obligation to speak out and say these men were acting in opposition to what the three of you recommended based upon your findings.  

You were not on the Administrative Council in 2000 when the investigation was done, but you were in 2001.  You replaced Larry Vincent and were the only new member.  Everyone else carried over from the previous year.   Can you explain how you could work with these men who were covering up crimes and not providing the evidence that you, Mike and Rich gathered to the victims and families?  That is, the information in the “sealed report” that was kept from them.  The families have testified they would have gone to the police if they knew the nature and extent of evidence the three of you collected.  For example, your finding that it was possible “on some level he punished children for his own pleasure.” 

I also realize Walt Chantry was furious with your findings and recommendations in the sealed report in 2000 as evidenced in his letter.  It appears he silenced and intimidated everyone.  He should have been opposed.  It is not too late to address him.  That kind of leadership cannot be tolerated.    

You left ARBCA in 2002 but that doesn’t absolve you.  Once again, I ask that you address the conspiracy not to report.  By conspiracy, I mean the collective decision by the Administrative Council not to report the aggravated assaults on four children with physical implements (three on the bare bottom followed by the rubbing of their buttocks) that you documented.  And in one case, it left considerable marks that included bleeding.  It also came out in court that there was a fifth victim in your sealed report (not found in the indictment) that was spanked by Chantry with a belt without parental permission.    

Here is another example of what needs to be addressed.  The ARBCA Announcement by the Administrative Council on April 25, 2017, says, “Everyone has been open, as far as discretion allows, and everyone with knowledge of these events has operated within the parameters of the laws of the land.”  That is a blatant lie.  No one operated within the parameters of the law.  Everyone knowingly violated the law.  Even John Sears, Chantry’s lawyer, said so in court documents.  

All of you (i.e., Mike, Rich, Bob Selph, Rich Howe, and Eric Owens) were mandatory reporters.  Pure and simple, you broke the law and you, Mike, Rich and Bob did so knowingly.  That grave disservice must be addressed. 

The ARBCA Announcement also says, 

“Those who served in this capacity were men of integrity, elders in their respective churches, trusted in the association, and had considerable experience in the fields of law, counseling, and law enforcement.  These men met with all parties over a period of four days in December 2000 and brought recommendations to all parties.  It is recorded in ARBCA minutes that “The Informal Council was concluded and the differences between the Elders were resolved and recommendations of the Council have been adopted by the parties.” 

This should anger you.  They reference you (counseling), Mike (law) and Rich (law enforcement) as notable experts and men of God but they didn’t follow your recommendations to report the crimes, not allow Chantry back into pastoral ministry, and always be supervised around children.  

But they do more.  They deceitfully make it sound like your recommendations were followed but “the recommendations to all the parties” did not include the recommendations in the “sealed report” to the Administrative Council.  There were two sets of recommendations in two reports as you well know. 

The general one with recommendations adopted by “all the parties” (i.e., the local elders, victims, victim’s families, and some church members).  This general report was referenced in court this week by Susan Eazer as the “vague” and “sanitized version” of your findings. 

What’s the point?  The Administrative Council doesn’t reveal in the announcement that they rejected your most important recommendations in the sealed report!  Report the crimes, Chantry should be banned from ministry for life, and should not work with children.  I find that deceptive.  If people only knew! 

And as you know, it is not true the differences between the elders (i.e. between Tom Chantry and Rich Howe/Eric Owens) were resolved.  Rich and Eric (Shorty) never believed Tom repented, asked forgiveness for his transgressions or was reconciled to the victims or their families.  That was recommendation #8 in the vague, sanitized version.  

But plainly, and most egregiously, you and Bob must confront the diabolical lying of Thomas Chantry.  He is calling all the victims and corroborating witnesses liars.  Of course his lawyer, won’t say that in court.  He will say they have memory problems.  God forbid one person on the 12-person jury has a “reasonable doubt” based on Chantry’s  testimony.  

Furthermore, Don Lindblad testified this week that ARBCA has always taken the official position that the charges against Chantry are false from the time he was arrested in July 2016 until the present.  

You should also know that Karen Chantry, Judy Rogers (Tom’s sister), Al Huber, Dale Smith, and [a fifth unidentified person] are in court every day.  Why?  I believe so they can claim to be eyewitnesses and put out false reports (oral and written) to ARBCA pastors and members after the trial concludes whether Chantry is found guilty or not.  You and Bob Selph should be present to combat this evil stratagem.  

By the way, one victim’s mother asked me if I knew why Bob Selph was not at the trial to help them.  She was dismayed. 

You should also know the Administrative Council and ARBCA pastors have been rebuking people for supposedly breaking the Ninth Commandment [about false witness] when they voice an opinion based upon the reading of police reports, court documents, etc.  These men are extraordinary hypocrites.  They defend Chantry as innocent and damn the victims as false witnesses.  They are the malevolent false witnesses!  And Chantry is a sociopathic liar in my opinion.    

I am forwarded this letter to Bob Selph because it has equal relevance to him.  I hope the two of you are working on a plan to go public with the whole truth about Chantry and ARBCA.  

I would like to hear from you.  

For the sake of Christ,

Brent 

After I wrote Tripp, I wrote Selph and included the letter above. 

From: Brent Detwiler
To: Bob Selph
Date: August 11, 2018 8:46 PM
Subject: An Appeal to Speak Out 

Bob, 

I’ve not heard back from you, so this is a follow up.  I sent the letter below to Tedd Tripp.  It is basically what I would say to you so please accept it as such.  I continue to hope and pray you will speak up with Tedd for the victims, oppose Chantry’s testimony, and expose the conspiracy not to report or inform the victims of the findings.  I think you should also explain why you took the “sealed report” with you when you left in 2015. 

[Note: Selph left ARBCA in 2015 but it turns out he took the “sealed report” from the ARBCA files in November 2007 when he went off staff as the ARBCA Coordinator.] 

Sincerely,

Brent

I did not hear from Selph or Tripp. 

I was writing these men during the first trial of Tom Chantry which took place from July 14 through August 21, 2018 at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Camp Verde, Arizona.  Chantry was found guilty for the aggravated assault of two children.  He is a convicted felon and child abuser. 

Soon after the trial ended, Chantry was again indicted, arrested and put in jail on September 10, 2018 for 13 counts of molestation, aggravated assault, and sexual abuse.  I wrote Selph and Tripp two days later.     

From: Brent Detwiler <abrentdetwiler@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:02 PM
To: Bob Selph pastorselph@gmail.com
Cc: Chad Bennett jcbennett14@gmail.com
Subject: Indictment / Motion to Deny Bond / Letter from Karen Chantry / Appeal to Speak Out
Importance: High 

Bob & Tedd, 

I’m sending you the court documents related to Chantry’s indictment and subsequent arrest on Saturday.  You will find the material heartbreaking.  You should also find it convicting.  None of this should be happening.  The two of you, along with Mike and Rich, were mandatory reporters in 2000.  You broke the law by not alerting law enforcement.  That is a felony in AZ.  It should have been taken care of then. 

Bob, in your recent letter to supporters you do not address this salient fact.  You should have instructed the parents to report, which you did not do.  If they refused, it was your legal, ethical, and biblical responsibility to report Chantry’s assaults and sadistic abuse in order to stop him and protect others from harm.  This would have resulted in the molestations being discovered by professionals which would have resulted in professional help for the victims and the families who have lived in agony for the last 18 years and longer.  

ARBCA, the AC [Administrative Council] and the IC [Informal Council] having no authority over MVBC [Miller Valley Baptist Church] is nothing but an excuse Bob for not doing what you knew was required by law.  You don’t address that in your letter and yet that is the most important issue as it pertains to your actions in 2000 along with Tedd, Mike and Rich.  Furthermore, each of you had a holy responsibility to do everything possible as ordinary believers to make sure Chantry never returned to ministry or worked with children again.  And yet, in 2002, he started teaching at Christian Liberty Academy and continued to “spank” multiple children and was reported to police in one case. 

There was so much more the four of you should have done and not as members of the IC.  Just as faithful followers of Jesus Christ.  Like confronting Tom Lyon for letting Chantry regularly preach at PRBC [Providence Reformed Baptist Church] starting in September 2001 even before he saw the counselor in December.  The Lord doesn’t care if ARBCA churches are independent.  You are your brother’s keeper.  The four of you should also have talked to Devon Berry the counselor.  Again, not necessarily as officials of ARBCA, but as Christians willing to take a stand and make sure things were being addressed righteously.  It is reprehensible that Berry declared Chantry fit for ministry after four sessions over two weeks without interacting with you, the victims, their families or the MVBC elders.  

Tom Chantry is one of the most wicked false shepherds alive today.  His non-stop lying at the trial was thoroughly evil.  It continues.  As does that of his wretched wife, Karen.  She unquestionably knows he has committed the crimes he is charge with, and yet, with her husband and inner circle of corrupt supporters, like those at his trial (Don Lindblad, Mike & Judy Rogers, Al Huber, Dave Dykstra,…), continues to deceive “family and friends” unwilling to hear or study the evidence.  

The evidence surrounding the assaults and molestations of D.L. is rock solid.  He wanted to spare himself the agony of going through a trial and hoped Chantry was found guilty of molestation at the July-August trial.  That didn’t happen because of one juror who acted with prejudice.  So now, D.L. has stepped forward.  And the previous 4-count molestation of M.J. will be retried.  Chantry is looking at a total of 13 counts in two trials if the trials are not combined. 

Karen is a deceiver just like her husband.  This letter is nothing but pretentious deception.  She knows he is guilty!  So do all those around him!  

From: karen.chantry@yahoo.com
Date: September 11, 2018 at 8:31:23 AM CDT
To: Karen Chantry <karen.chantry@yahoo.com>
Subject: Tom Update 9/11/18 

Dear Family and Friends, 

There is a man [D.L.] who has made accusations against Tom during this entire process but has never wanted to file charges.  He was part of the 2000 church council [investigation by the Informal Council], so this is no new thing.  Even though he did not file charges, his name was all over the trial, and Tom might as well have been charged with his accusations.  Arizona has a weird “other acts” law that allowed these accusations to be brought in to the trial even though this person was never even in the courtroom and never took the stand.  The prosecutor has tried for 2 years to get this man to enter into the process, and he has consistently refused. 

Friday afternoon [Sep. 7, 2018] we became aware that the prosecutor’s threat of nearly 2 years was coming true.  Through a series of communications it became apparent that [nine] new charges were imminent, and the assumption, based on things that were said, was that the charges were from this person.  If that was the case, Tom would be arrested in Illinois and face extradition to Arizona.  This would be a lengthy, difficult, and uncomfortable process. 

We know from Tom’s initial arrest in 2015 that we wanted to avoid extradition if we could, so we got on an airplane and flew to Arizona.  We had the weekend together, and then Tom self-surrendered at the Camp Verde jail Monday morning [Sep. 10, 2018]. We did not know until that time if there was even a warrant out for his arrest.  Warrants are not made public until the person has been served.  We went under the assumption that it was most likely there was a warrant, and we were correct. 

Tom is now in custody at the Camp Verde jail, and he is being held on a million dollar bond. The charges are 4 counts of aggravated assault, 4 counts of molestation of a child, and 1 count of child abuse. 

Friends, Tom is not guilty of these accusations, but there he sits.  He has a hearing today in which the judge will confirm the bond amount.  The prosecutor intends to file a motion to hold him non-bondable.  It will take some time to work through these release issues, and in the mean time he has a sentencing hearing on the 28th of September.  There is a real possibility that he will not be coming home, although we are hoping he will. 

These new charges have been filed separately from the original charges, which means a new judge, new litigation of things that have already been litigated, lengthy time, and maybe we go to trial in another 18 months or so on them.  I hope not, but that’s how long it took on the original charges. 

We are struggling to remember that God indeed loves us.  We are children of the Most High, and he does all these things for our good, his glory, and the advancement of his kingdom.  It feels like we have nothing but his displeasure.  I know that is not true though.  We have placed our hope in the work of Christ on the cross.  I don’t know why we are facing the attack of Satan, but Christians in all times have, and God has promised he will not let our foot fall. 

Please pray:
That we will glorify God in all this and not accuse him of wrong-doing.  That is a serious temptation right now.  Tom has not done the things he is accused of.  They are horrible, sickening accusations.  Why has God allowed his servant to be so disgraced?  Why has he allowed our family to suffer so greatly?  I don’t know, but it isn’t because he is a wicked God. 

Please pray, once again, that truth will be known and lies be exposed.  This is a constant theme in my letters.  We want the truth to be known and the enemies of our Lord to be brought to shame.  No matter who they are.  We believe we have truth on our side, obviously.  But God is the knower of all truth.  May he make it known. 

Pray for Walt and Joie [Chantry].  This is a difficult blow.  It seemed we were nearly at the end of this, and now it has been extended a long time. 

Pray for me as I have to work full time and still raise my children.  May I point them to Christ and not be so bowed down with grief that I neglect them. 

Pray Tom will be released on a reasonable bond, and that he will be encouraged in the Lord.  Pray his sentencing goes well and the judge lets him come home on probation. 

Pray that this trial will lead to the salvation of our boys.  May they not be bitter at the Lord but cling to him in hope. 

We have filed a motion with the state, even before these new charges, that is very important to us.  Please pray that it will carry through and be beneficial to Tom’s legal case. 

May our faith not falter.  This has all come just a couple weeks after the ending of the trial.  We are already battle weary.  May the Lord give us further strength for the fight, and may we run the race with endurance!  I’m not just talking about the race with our legal battles, but the race of faith in Christ.  We are being tempted to doubt the Lord, and we need prayer that our faith will endure. 

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

God is with Tom in jail.  He is with me and my family at home.  He will not leave us or forsake us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord! 

In hope,

Karen 

You should be contacting Tom and Karen and appealing for their repentance.  You should also be asking forgiveness of all the victims and their families for neglecting them the past 18 years.  And I still can’t believe neither of you were at the trial to console and help them.  Tedd, you didn’t even return calls to Susan Eazer to answer questions from her.   

Both of you should also be speaking out against the corrupt actions of the current Administrative Council.  I’ve attached an excellent letter to them from Chris Marley, where he confronts their libel and duplicity.  You should likewise confront them. 

Please don’t be passive and diffident.  Address the evil.  Take responsibility for your sins.  For instance, Bob, you acknowledged no wrong doing of any kind in your letter.  It was one continuous “explanation.” 

Lives have been destroyed because you men failed to obey the law in 2000, failed to extend care to the victims and their families the past 18 years, and generally failed to confront known compromise in ARBCA.  Someday, I hope you acknowledge these things for the glory of God and the health of those harmed.  

Sincerely,

Brent 

Chad [Bennett], please forward to Tedd.  Tedd and Bob, please forward to Mike and Rich.

Ten days later, I wrote Bob Selph again.  Remember, he was the pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church from 1978-1995.  He has shown no care or concern for any of the victims or families in this case since 2000 to the present.  I have confirmed that information with all the families.  He is also the one who recommended Tom Chantry as his replacement in 1995. 

From: Brent Detwiler <abrentdetwiler@gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2018 6:31 PM
To: Bob Selph pastorselph@gmail.com
Cc: Tedd Tripp jcbennett14@gmail.com; Rich Jensen rjensen@hopereformedli.net; Mike McKnight mmcknight@irwinmcknight.com
Subject: An Encouragement to Acknowledge “Cover-Up”

Dear Bob, 

It is disappointing to never have heard back from you. 

I’ve carefully read your recent letter to supporters, “An Explanation of the ARBCA Informal Council conducted for the Miller Valley Baptist Church (Prescott, AZ) and Thomas Chantry in December of 2000.”  It raises a number of concerns for me but I am not hopeful you will respond so I will only raise a couple of issues. 

First, you acknowledged no mistakes or wrongdoing.  Two, you covered up Tom’s crimes, though you deny it, because you did not report his crimes of which you were keenly aware.  So did the Council.  I don’t know how else to put it.  Both issues are illustrated in the third  paragraph of your letter. 

“While we look back with clearer vision of how things could have been handled in a better way, I believe that the men on that Council acted in good faith and good will toward both the children and Tom, with no intent to cover-up a crime or in any way to cover for Tom Chantry.” 

If you and the Council didn’t intend to cover up a crime, you would have reported his crimes.  All of you were mandatory reporters as clergy.  Yet, none of you followed the law. 

In addition, none of you informed the Miller Valley elders that they too were mandatory reporters.  Moreover, you never recommended to the victims or their families that they report Chantry’s crimes.  Rather, you encouraged them to handle it as a church matter, not a civil matter.  That was contrary to the law and Scripture.  

Thomas Chantry was a child abuser.  He had physically assaulted children.  You knew that was the case.  Everyone knew it was the case.  Even before the Council did its investigation on December 13-15, 2000. 

For example, Rich Howe and Eric Owens wrote Walt Chantry on November 21, 2000 and asserted, “Legally, what Tom did would be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.”  

Their letter was copied to you Bob.  Furthermore, you talked about these matters with Rich, Eric, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin and Don Lindblad when you met a week earlier in Escondido, CA.  

And then Rich and Eric received five letters dated November 14, 19, 20 and December 3, 7 that documented his crimes.  They were forwarded to you Bob.  On the basis of the letters alone, you were required to report Chantry. 

In your letter, “An Explanation of the ARBCA Informal Council…”, you conclude with this paragraph. 

“We have all had to do soul-searching as to what should or could have been done differently.  We are all men of clay and so able to make mistakes, but given what the Council knew, and the parameters of their commission, the three acted in good faith. … It is my prayer that any mistakes of the past will not be repeated, and that much has been learned to better protect the vulnerable as the Lord requires of us in the Scriptures.  For that reason, I thought this account of the matter would give an accurate description of what took place in December of 2000.  May the Lord give us all wisdom and make his judgment known.” 

This is meaningless because at no point in your letter do you state what should have been “done differently,” nor do you acknowledge “any mistakes.”  All you do is explain, justify, and commend yourself along with Tedd, Mike McKnight and Rich Jensen.   You don’t even tell us the “much [that] has been learned.”  For instance, reporting known child abusers like Thomas Chantry to law enforcement!   

I wrote the following comment on the blog, Thou Art the Man by Todd Wilhelm.  I hope you will consider it contents and together with Tedd, Mike and Rich, address the ways you sinned and broke the law in a letter of public confession.  I have copied Tedd, Mike and Rich on this correspondence.  I would be glad to hear from any of you men. 

Brent Detwiler
September 16, 2018 

Regarding the Council & Reporting to Law Enforcement 

There were three sets of written recommendations by Tedd Tripp, Marcus “Mike” McKnight and Rich Jensen in 2000.  There is not a hint of a suggestion anyone should report Chantry’s crimes to law enforcement. 

Did they orally recommend to the families that they report?  No.  Here is the question I asked two of the three families that were at the heart of Council’s investigation in 2000. 

“Could you answer a question for me?  Did Tripp, McKnight or Jensen ever suggest or encourage you to consider reporting Chantry to law enforcement back in 2000?” 

Here are their answers. 

“No they never suggested or even mentioned to us we should report to the authorities.” 

“I truthfully don’t remember them advising us on reporting.  I have no recollection of that at all.  I know it’s been a long time, but I’m sure I’d remember if they suggested that.” 

My notes and recollections from the trial are the same as Mr. Wilhelm.  He said, 

“Two of the parents I talked with said the ARBCA men never mentioned anything about going to the police.  In checking my notes, one father said, from the witness stand, that ARBCA assured him Chantry wouldn’t be working with children or be a pastor anymore.  They went on to say that ARBCA would like to handle it as a church matter, but if they felt like they needed to go to police they could.” 

The three families were assured by the Council that Chantry would not be a pastor again, would not spank children again, and would not be around children alone again.  

Moreover, they were assured Chantry would fully repent and seek their forgiveness.  Chantry agreed to Recommendation Eight in “Report, Conclusions and Recommendations.”   

“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 [Tom Lyon, Mark McCormick] who assume the oversight of Thomas Chantry assist him with this process.” 

Lyon and McCormick did not assist him in the process, and Chantry never endeavored to seek full repentance and forgiveness despite his agreement to do so as evidenced by his signature after this closing paragraph.   

“We the undersigned hereby agree to abide by and implement the above recommendations made by the Informal Council of the Associations of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.”  

This is another reason the parents did not report.  They believed he would fully repent, be transformed, and return in contrition.  None of that ever happened.  

The families have also said the Council strongly encouraged them not to report [correction: not the case for all the families].  They were advised to handle the charges against Chantry as a church matter, not a law enforcement matter.  That is terrible counsel.  By biblical command, it is both a church matter and a civil matter!  

That alone is a tremendous deterrent to reporting for people who have been indoctrinated to obey and follow their pastors with little or no questioning lest they be labeled proud and rebellious.  

The families also didn’t want to bring reproach to Christ or Miller Valley Baptist Church.  One father was an elder, the other a deacon.  That is a wrong way of thinking but they were trying to do what they thought was right.  

Finally, the Council met with the children in private.  Some of the parents were never told all they discovered.  And Tripp, McKnight and Jensen did not tell any of them they strongly suspected Chantry had punished their children for his wicked pleasure.  Members from all three families told me at the July-August [2018] trial, they would have reported Chanty in 2000 had they been fully informed and told about the concern for sadistic beatings.  

In retrospect, all the parents profoundly regret the ways they did not believe their children and protect their children.  They also deeply regret not reporting Chantry to law enforcement or Child Protective Services where they could have gotten help for their children.  They realize they grievously sinned against their children.  They still battle the condemnation of guilt.  

In contrast, no one on the Council or in ARBCA has ever acknowledged any mistakes, confessed any sin, or expressed any regret for the harm they caused the victims and their parents.  That includes Tedd Tripp, Mike McKnight, Rich Jensen and Bob Selph.  

Moreover, the parents were instructed on “forgiving those who have not sought forgiveness” and made to feel terribly guilty by the Council.  They were directed to focus on forgiving Chantry.  That kind of unbiblical counsel often results in victims not reporting or prosecuting their abusers because they think it is an evidence of unforgiveness.  

I have seen this ungodly approach used by pastors time after time to prevent reporting and to silence victims.  They think it is wrong to prosecute, or if they do, it is because of bitterness or resentment.  The Council should have been focused on helping them prosecute Chantry and stayed personally involved in their lives.  Instead, they disappeared after writing their reports on December 16, 2000. 

The families and the Miller Valley lay elders were trusting the experts – Tripp, McKnight, Jensen, Selph, and the Administrative Council – to do what was right and make certain Chantry never repeated his horrendous assaults upon children.  The families viewed them as the professionals.  One parent told me they were educated, we were not.  They revered these men.  Tragically, their trust was betrayed. 

Fast forward seven months to the present.  The second trial of Thomas Chantry is going on right now.  It began last Tuesday, April 23.  It will conclude sometime next week.  Todd Wilhelm at Thou Art the Man is attending the trial and providing coverage on his blog.  

Guess who isn’t in attendance to support the victims and their families?  That’s right.  Bob Selph, Tedd Tripp, Marcus “Mike” McKnight and Rich Jensen.  They are nowhere to be found just like the first trial.  What’s worse.  None of these men have EVER contacted the victims or their families since the internal investigation in December 2000 that was arranged by Selph and done by Tripp, McKnight, and Jensen.  

Moreover, none of these men have ever spoken out against Tom Chantry or a score of ARBCA officials for their cover up of his crimes, defense of his innocence, deceitful reports to ARBCA churches, and condemnation of individuals publishing the truth.  I have no respect for them.  They are cowards and compromisers in the matter.    

For instance, the FBI trained, former homicide detective, and lead pastor Rich Jensen, recently informed ARBCA his church was leaving.  Why?  “Events that have transpired over the last few years have caused us to reevaluate our membership in the association.”  How pathetic!  He should have taken the opportunity to make the case against them which he is uniquely positioned to do.  Of course, that would require humility.  He would need to confess his fault for the “events that have transpired” over the last 19 years (not few years)! 

Here is his insipid letter to the ARBCA Administrative Council. 

ARBCA
Administrative Council

February 1, 2019 

Gentlemen: 

It is with sadness that I submit this letter of resignation on behalf of Hope Reformed Baptist Church of Suffolk County.  The Congregation voted unanimously at our annual meeting, Tuesday, January 29, 2019 to resign from the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.  Events that have transpired over the last few years have caused us to reevaluate our membership in the association.  That process led to the vote to resign at our meeting Tuesday. 

Our church received many benefits from our membership over the years and for that we are extremely grateful and thankful.  We will continue to pray for you in the months and years to come.  We have made several financial commitments to missionaries and we will work out the details to fulfill those commitments. But please remove us from your membership list and the association’s website. 

Sincerely yours, 

Richard A. Jensen, Pastor
on behalf of the elders, deacons and congregation of Hope Reformed Baptist Church of Suffolk 

Their hypocrisy is also galling.  For example, if I ever attend a Shepherding the Heart conference by Tedd Tripp, it will be to confront him for not shepherding the hearts of the victims and their families.  He has never shown the least bit of concern for the sheep he abandoned to be devoured by their trauma and the cover up by ARBCA.  And I have no respect for his pastor, Chad Bennett, who has refused to hold Tripp accountable.  That is another story!  

Tedd Tripp knows he broke the law.  He knows he betrayed the victims.  He knows he covered up for Tom Chantry.  He knows he covered up for ARBCA.  And he knows why – his own self interests.  

The same is true for Bob Selph and Marcus “Mike” McKnight.  The only thing these men really care about is not being sued for damages or prosecuted for breaking the law in Arizona because they did not report Chantry as mandated. 

Below are excerpts from Victim Impact Statements supplied to Judge Astrowsky before he sentenced Tom Chanty on October 19, 2018 for the aggravated assault of Jane Walsh and Wayne Walsh.  They are written by Jane and Wayne (all names in italics are pseudonyms) and give you a feel for their abandonment.  No one has ever contacted them to ask their forgiveness or express care.  The other victims and families from Miller Valley Baptist Church feel the same way. 

Impact Statement of Jane Walsh
October 2018

As a child growing up in a church, these “concerns” [the aggravated assaults by Chantry] were brought to the counsel [McKnight, Tripp, Jensen], and the cries for help and guidance fell on deaf ears.  The promises made to us for the pain we went through were eventually broken, and so today I am presenting my personal experience on this matter.

We were much like weak sheep sought after and preyed upon by a wolf [Tom Chantry] in sheep’s clothing. …  I mourn over each victim in this sordid story.  We didn’t have a choice.  Our voices were not heard, our pain was covered over years of shame, guilt and fear. …

For years my brother and I suffered in silence together, wondering why there wasn’t a threshold of counsel or support for what we, or the others, had gone through.  We, along with the other victims, were never helped.  We were never given any support from the men in ARBCA, and yet Tom was untouchable, given more paths to churches and preaching, teaching in schools, and received nothing more than a slap on the wrist for what he had done.  He was a heartless coward who hid behind his reckless, arrogant and a defensive father [Walt Chantry] who threatened the elders at Miller Valley to back off and shut up about his behavior.  Nothing was ever resolved.  There was no closure.  My parents, as well as the other parents, were given lousy and unsupported options for Tom’s menacing actions towards their children.  They were made to be treated like fools if they chose to report it to law enforcement.  They were bullied, chastised and shushed, and by the time the damage was done, we all felt defeated and hopeless while Tom was essentially let off the hook.  The other victims and I have all carried the weight and burden of his actions towards us for years.  Again, counseling, therapy or anything of the sort was never extended as a viable option to cope with what we had suffered through, but instead made to feel like what the torture we had been through, was an inconvenience and would tarnish the image of ARBCA, and our church.

##

Victim Impact Letter of Wayne Walsh
October 2018 

When Tom was appointed to replace Bob Selph and be our lead pastor, the church accepted him like anyone else, with open arms and trusted the leaders of ARBCA by allowing him to shepherd the flock.  I don’t remember much of why Bob had to leave but I remember being sad as Bob was almost like a father figure for our church and I truly loved him and his family.  But like I had been taught, I was excited to meet Tom and knew that if Bob and the leaders trusted him, I should trust him as well. … 

My parents and the other victimized families were soon bullied and berated by the leaders of ARBCA into not telling authorities once he escaped.  They were made to be idiots and that we, the victims, had fabricated a story because we “didn’t like Tom”.  Why would children create such a lie about someone in authority?  If we created a lie as big as this, why would Tom run away?  We were the ones who had been lied to.  I remember being told everything would be “taken care of”.  Nothing was to fear because he wouldn’t be around kids or wouldn’t be pastoring again.  We were led to believe that he would be held accountable of his actions by the very organization that had appointed him to the position he held.  No offer of counseling to the victims, no sympathy or love in return to those who were left broken. Our church family, emotionally wrecked, was given no help to heal or mend the pieces back together.  We were left in an emotional prison while Tom got away and to what surprise, was teaching and Pastoring once again. … 

But like any other victim of abuse, I pushed the thoughts to the back of my mind so I could somehow move on.  I tried to live a normal life, despite not having any counseling or guidance after those events…. 

I suffered from depression and sudden mood swings when I think of him and had no resources for therapy.  I began to run away from situations when the thought of confronting him crossed my mind.  I spent the last 3 years causing self-inflicting damage by turning to drugs and alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism.  I thought it was the only to escape my pain and suffering. … 

He has proven that he will lie, berate, belittle and manipulate the truth until he is let go.  And as a pastor, a leader of God’s word, someone who is supposed to speak truth, Tom has failed to do just that. 

He failed his church.  He failed his congregation.  He failed his family.  He failed himself.  He failed God.  He failed.  No apologies to the victims; Daniel, Mark, Joseph, Jane, Mitch and I [six victims from four families].  He had no intention of apologizing. 

I’d encourage people to read this article to appreciate the full measure of what they experienced.  The selected quotes above don’t do them justice. 

Part 5: Victim Impact Statements for Judge Astrowsky in Tom Chantry Case - “We Gave Our Children, Unknowingly, Over to a Pedophile”
Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:19PM

I also find objectionable the cookie cutter written recommendations by McKnight, Tripp and Jensen sent in the mail to the five parents of the four victims known at the time.  They are practically identical.  There is no offer to talk with the parents about their recommendations.  Furthermore, they express NO care or compassion for what the parents had been through as a result of Tom Chantry’s sociopathic lying and horrendous abuse of their children. 

All the parents were guilt ridden in 2000 but this is not acknowledged and no help or understanding is offered to them.  Instead McKnight, Tripp and Jensen drive home their guilt because, “You placed him under the care of Thomas Chantry.”  But the parents should not have been made to feel guilty for allowing Chantry to tutor their children.  They were seeking the good of their children and trusted Chantry as their pastor.

Here is what McKnight, Tripp and Jensen wrote three of the parents of two victims.

“We recommend that you continue to express to [your child] your grief and sorrow over placing him in a situation in which he has been subjected to inappropriate physical discipline.  While we would never presume to script your seeking forgiveness, it should include your taking full responsibility for placing him in and leaving him in the care of Thomas Chantry.  It should be absent the reasons for your placing him under Thomas Chantry’s care and leaving him there even after he told you of the inappropriate spankings.  It should include asking for his forgiveness.”

The Informal Council forbids the parents from saying anything about “the reasons for your placing him under Thomas Chantry’s care [i.e. tutoring] and leaving him there even after [your child] told you of the inappropriate spankings.” In one case, the parents believed Chantry’s denials when confronted.  They should have believed their child.  In the other case, the parent allowed the tutoring to continue after wounds were discovered.  That was a grievous sin against the child.  These three parents deeply regret their actions and have repeatedly sought forgiveness. 

In the third case, the parents believed their children and immediately ended the isolated tutoring with Chantry.  Even so, McKnight, Tripp and Jensen put a guilt trip on them. 

“We recommend that you continue to express to Wayne and Jane your grief and sorrow over placing them in a situation in which they have been subjected to inappropriate physical discipline.  While we would never presume to script your seeking forgiveness, it should include your taking full responsibility for placing them in and leaving them in the care and oversight of Thomas Chantry.  It should include asking [their] forgiveness.” 

In this latter case, the mother wrote me the following note after the July-August 2018 trial.  She points out there was no recommendation in the recommendations from McKnight, Tripp or Jensen to report, or consider reporting, Chantry to law enforcement.  She and her husband were guilty of no wrong-doing “for placing them in a situation” where Chantry tutored their children.  These three men wrought havoc in their lives by imposing a false and destructive guilt upon them. 

Facebook
Mon., Sep. 10, 2018 5:40PM

Hi Brent, 

I was just re-reading the recommendation letter from the 3-man team, and there is NO mention of ANYTHING regarding M.R. [mandatory reporting] in our letter.  I can send a copy for you to see if you’d like.  The only thing I keep going over in that letter, is saying WE are to take FULL responsibility for what happened, and nothing about Tom.  I really find it disturbing each time I read it.  

Our souls have long been grieved over this whole thing.  I can’t express how much this has taken its toll on all of us.  I didn’t realize the amount of guilt and shame that has led us to depression and has sometimes rendered us completely ineffective in our daily lives.   

I truly pray that Tom will be tried again.  Thank you for being there the entire time.  Your presence was truly heartfelt by all of us.  Praying that you are doing well and appreciate you and Todd for bringing so much to light and all you did.  It truly blessed us. 

McKnight, Tripp and Jensen also made this unsound and harmful recommendation to all the parents. 

“We recommend that you and/or a counselor work through the material in Jay E. Adams’ book, From Forgiven to Forgiving.  You will find the sections on helping children experience forgiveness and on forgiving those who have not sought forgiveness particularly helpful.” 

In other words, the children who were abused by Chantry needed to forgive Chantry even though he was utterly unrepentant and emphatically lying that he never beat any of them. 

First, this is not what the Bible teaches.  Forgiveness is conditional.  It is based upon repentance both in our relationship with God (e.g. Luke 24:27) and in our relationships with others (e.g. Luke 17:3).  You can’t forgive someone who has not asked forgiveness.  That doesn’t mean you hate them or despise them or will never forgive them.  It means you hold them accountable and pray they come to repentance so you can forgive them.    

Second, this is the last thing a child who has been assaulted and molested needs to hear.  So too, talk about them being bitter, angry or unforgiving.  Rather, they need to be assured their anger is fitting and appropriate.  They should feel righteous indignation and be encouraged to pursue civil justice.  There should no coercion to “forgive” the abuser.  Rather, there should be help to report and prosecute the abuser.  That is not “vengeance.”  That is righteous.  If that had been done in keeping with the law, the last 20 years of destruction could have been avoided. 

We must remember a long list of elders, pastors, and ARBCA officials knew Chantry was a child abuser and could be prosecuted even before the December 2000 internal investigation.  That list includes Walt Chantry, Rich Howe, Eric “Shorty” Owens, Marcus “Mike” McKnight, Tedd Tripp, Rich Jensen, Bob Selph, Don Lindblad, Earl Blackburn, David Dykstra, and Steve Martin.  All of these men were mandatory reporters.  They all broke the law.  I wrote about it in this article. 

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 

Furthermore, Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick (Chantry’s pastors after leaving Miller Valley Baptist Church) and Devon Berry (Chantry’s counselor) learned about his crimes in 2001 but did not report him to law enforcement. 

In retrospect, all the parents wish they had reported Chantry to law enforcement but they were at a disadvantage.  Here’s how. 

1. McKnight, Tripp and Jensen did not give them all the evidence they collected against Chantry.  

2. They did not tell the parents they strongly suspected Chantry assaulted their children for his sadistic pleasure. 

3. They did not encourage the parents to report Chantry to law enforcement.  Rather, they counseled the parents to forgive and trust them (and ARBCA) to handle the matter internally. 

4. Selph, McKnight, Tripp, and Jensen never told the parents the four of them were mandatory reporters as clergy under Arizona law.  They withheld that information from them.     

5. The parents were assured by McKnight, Tripp, and Jensen that Chantry would receive counseling that addressed his child abuse and his sins against them.  Further, that he would return to ask forgiveness.  It never happened.     

6. The parents were also assured Chantry would never work with children again and never pastor again.  In 2002, he became an elementary teacher and starting “spanking” children again.  He was investigated by police for battery but the parents decided not to press charges.  In 2005, he became a pastor.  In 2016, he was arrested on “five counts of molestation of a child, related to two minors, and three counts of aggravated assault on three separate minors as well.”

Well, I’ve got a few recommendations for Bob Selph, Marcus “Mike” McKnight, Tedd Tripp and Rich Jensen. 

1. Ask forgiveness of the victims and their families in person. 
 
2. Help them financially and in any other way possible.
 
3. Acknowledge your sins in public.
 
4. Turn yourselves in to Deputy County Attorney, Susan Eazer at the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office for the felony you committed. [In 2000, not reporting child abuse to law enforcement was a misdemeanor.  It was later changed to a felony.]  
 
5. Speak out against Tom Chantry as a sociopathic liar and sadistic abuser.
 
6. Expose ARBCA for its wretched cover up.

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