“The truth we are reluctant to face is that there is no depravity and no cruelty that is beyond the ingenuity of quite ordinary people who are otherwise amiable and even conventional!”
-Martin Lloyd-Jones, “Love So Amazing,” page 169
Mortification of Spin: Sick of the coverups, sick of the self-serving rhetoric at the top.
Tom Chantry was in court on December 16, 2016; four days later he was locked up in the Yavapai County jail located in Camp Verde, Arizona. Chantry has been indicted on five counts of molestation of a child and three counts of aggravated assault with serious injury.
For the record Chantry is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law or pleads guilty to the charges. That said, he is not in an enviable situation. A prosecutor does not seek a Grand Jury indictment unless he believes that the case has a reasonable likelihood of a conviction at a trial. (Link)
There has been speculation as to the reason for Chantry’s arrest. I believe it is a simple matter of Judge Astrowsky complying with Arizona law. Dangerous defendants are not to be allowed bail in Arizona. Chantry meets the requirements for a dangerous defendant, therefore his bail was revoked and he was jailed.
“Our attempts to protect the rule of law throughout the year too often faced determined opposition. Our arguments, however, were sound, and we were heard. We were successful in both passing Proposition 100 in 2006 and forcing proper implementation of the law in 2007. Dangerous defendants are being held without bond under this law, and the community is safer for it.”
-Andrew Thomas, “Defending the Law, Delivering Justice,” Maricopa County Attorney’s Office 2007 Annual Report (Link)
13-3961. Offenses not bailable; purpose; preconviction; exceptions A. A person who is in custody shall not be admitted to bail if the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged and the offense charged is one of the following: 1. A capital offense. 2. Sexual assault. 3. Sexual conduct with a minor who is under fifteen years of age. 4. Molestation of a child who is under fifteen years of age.
13-3961. Offenses not bailable; purpose; preconviction; exceptions
A. A person who is in custody shall not be admitted to bail if the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged and the offense charged is one of the following:
1. A capital offense.
2. Sexual assault.
3. Sexual conduct with a minor who is under fifteen years of age.
4. Molestation of a child who is under fifteen years of age.
Barring a jury returning a “not guilty” verdict, Tom Chantry is facing an extended time behind bars.
Chantry was the pastor at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corners, WI. The church website still shows Chantry on a leave of absence. The church is a member of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA). The ARBCA has scrubbed Chantry’s name from their website.
In researching this article I came across the photo below. In the top frame Tom Chantry is shown with his father-in-law Al Huber. Huber is a pastor at Grace Reformed Baptist Church located in Rockford, IL. (Link)
I believe Chantry attended Grace Reformed Baptist Church while he taught 5th and 6th graders at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Chantry married Huber’s daughter half-way through his four year stint at Christian Liberty Academy. I believe Chantry was sent out from Grace Reformed Baptist Church to plant Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corners, WI.
Al Huber has been frequently filling in for Chantry while Tom is on a “leave of absence.” Just a hunch, but I think Chantry’s leave of absence is going to be for an extended length of time. The church would be well advised to assemble a pastoral search committee.
Pastor Huber was kind enough to pray for Tom’s comfort at the end of his sermon on December 21st. Did anyone notice who pastor Huber didn’t pray for? That would be the multiple victims who reported they were molested and assaulted by Tom. This is all too common of an occurence among the clergy. They are quick to rush to the defense of their colleagues, quick to assail those of us who write so called “discernment blogs” or “watch blogs,” accusing us of slander or of breaking the 9th Commandment, and yet one searches in vain for any words of comfort, concern or care for the very real victims.
There would be no need or demand for truth-telling blogs if our pulpits were filled by principled individuals who had the courage to speak the truth and care for hurting people! Instead our pulpits are filled with corrupt cowards intent on keeping their corporations afloat. Do I need to name names?
“Too much has fallen silent here.”
-Wendell Berry, “Where,” Wendell Berry, New Collected Poems, page 204
Look at the comment below. I received it earlier today. Regretably, the ARBCA appears to have followed the same pattern Sovereign Grace Ministries utilized when facing a sexual abuse scandal, the same pattern the Roman Catholic church utilized!
Of course Chantry’s defenders will be quick to say anyone could fabricate this story. It is more slander, more breaking of the 9th Commandment.
I happen to believe the allegations of a coverup to be true. I also believe the ARBCA has a lot to answer for. And some unsolicitted advice for Tom Chantry – cop a plea! Your goose is cooked.
For ease of reading, here are the words which were not redacted from the screen shot above:
Dear Todd,Thank you for your reply. First let me tell you about how I know about this information. I have been associated with this association of churches since it began in 1985 as the “Reformed Baptist Mission Services”. It became the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)… I remained there until 2009 and was… I continued my association with ARBCA as a… The bio is current to this point. I have been working… 2012 and now live in…I was aware of the investigation through the ARBCA… (who incidentally is…). His name is… a dear friend. When Chantry’s actions were discovered the church contacted the association to settle the conflict between the church and the pastor as is called for in their confession. The Administrative committee assigned a three man sub-committee to conduct the investigation and report back to the them. One of the three men on the committee was Pastor… additionally they assigned a pastor who had formally been an investigator in New York and an Elder from Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, PA, who was a lawyer. The report was only seen by a select group of people. I am not sure what conclusions or recommendations the committee gave, except that the actions of the AC caused a great rift among the men who had any knowledge of its findings. Furthermore, many church members left the church divided over the actions. I am also led to believe that the current pastor, Chris Marley was given a copy of the report to read when he became pastor of the church.As coordinator,… ex-oficio member without a vote, on the Administrative committee at the time, but I am not even sure he ever saw the report although he was aware of the photos of the abuse. Furthermore, I cannot confirm if the sexual abuse was known to the committee. I am sure that the AC has been very sure to keep the findings buried and worked very hard to clean Chantry’s record publicly and to protect him at all costs.There is more but that is the jest of my knowledge… I think there is much more to be discovered and it my hope that Pastor Marley is speaking to the authorities, despite his silence publicly. Additionally, contact with the committee members who did the investigation and… would also shed light. As an aside these men are no longer associated with ARBCA. I doubt you will get anything but silence from ARBCA.Praying for the light of truth to bring justice that pleases God,
Below are a few screenshots from the Miller Valley Baptist Church. Initially, as I was checking into this story it did not make sense to me because I saw that the church was a member of the Reformed Baptist Network. But upon further searching I found that they were members of the ARBCA beginning in 1998. I do not know when they quit the ARBCA; I wrote to pastor Marley and asked him when his church quit the ARBCA, as yet I have not received a response.
(Note from Editor) Brad Sargent, a friend of mine who does great research and contributes to Julie Ann’s Spiritual Sounding Board blog has checked the WayBack Machine for me and found that as recently as August, 2016 Miller Valley Baptist Church of Prescott, AZ was listed as a member of the ARBCA.
Pastor Marley has not yet responded to my email requesting clarification of when his church quit the ARBCA.
Sometime between August, 2016 and December 26, 2016 Miller Valley Baptist Church has been removed from the list of ARBCA member churches. I leave the reader to speculate on what happened.
Update 12/28/2016 – Pastor Marley has emailed me and informed me that his church, Miller Valley Baptist Church, left the ARBCA this past summer and are a founding church in the RBN. He assured me that “we have cooperated with the police throughout the investigation since its inception last year.”