More Child Abuse Perpetrated By Members of an ARBCA Church

By | August 14, 2018

Mary and Caleb Beery

Source: Presentence Investigation, of Mary Beery


Caleb and Mary Beery, currently members of San Tan Reformed Baptist Church (an ARBCA church) have both been charged with three felony criminal counts of child/vulnerable adult abuse. The alleged abuse occurred between January 23, 2016, and February 20, 2017. The victim of the abuse was their foster daughter. According to the criminal charges the baby girl would have been between one and fifteen months old at the time of the abuse. The baby was removed from their home in March of 2017. She was then sixteen months old.




My source for this story told me that the baby was “disciplined” by “beating severely on the bottom to the point of deep bruises and blisters (much in the manner of Chantry, it seems).

(Editor’s note: I had originally reported parents of the Beery’s reported the abuse to authorities.  I later was told that a church nursery worker was the one who first noticed the abuse and reported it.)

(Editor’s note 11-23-2018: According to official court records, specifically the Presentence Investigation, Pastor Frank Urquidez of the former San Tan Reformed Baptist Church (now defunct), was the individual who initially reported the abuse to DCS.

This from the Presentence Investigation: “Detective Avilez was assigned to conduct follow up investigation, and made contact with Frank Urquidez, who was the reporting party for the case. Frank stated that he had been contacted by Caleb’s parents, who live in Indiana. Frank stated he received an email from them expressing their concern that Caleb and Mary had been excessively physically disciplining L.O. After receiving the information, Frank spoke with Caleb and Mary about the information he received, and they admitted to him that they spanked L.O. and knew it was against their foster agreement. Along with other members of the church, they observed L.O.’s buttocks area, and saw that she had clear injuries to her buttocks and upper thigh areas. Frank then contacted DCS to report abuse.”)

I commend former ARBCA pastor, Frank Urquidez for handling this case as in a manner which complies with Arizona law. I also commend the parents of Caleb Beery for doing the right thing, even though it must have been incredibly difficult for them to inform Frank Urquidez of the abuse their son and daughter-in-law had committed against the young foster child in their care.

Among the court documents were several letters from family members who testified to what fine, upstanding individuals Caleb and Mary Beery are. Below is a copy of a letter written by Dan Wesner, Mary’s brother. I don’t know who the genius was that recommended this letter be included in the submission to the Court, but I believe it likely had the opposite of its intended effect.

Take note of these sentences:

“This love compelled them to seek to do the most good for [her] in every way possible.”

Tell me how “excessively physically disciplining” (Caleb Beery’s parent’s words) or scalding (in the words of the professional medical staff of Banner Ironwood Hospital) in any way seek to do the most good for the baby? (Reference – Presentence Investigation)

“I observed a zeal and passion from Caleb and Mary to do the very best for [her], which prompted them to seek compliance in areas where they felt [she] was disobedient.”

I can’t even… I guess that little fourteen-month-old girl just wasn’t being compliant when she didn’t come when called. But not to worry, the Beery knew how to ensure compliance. They would use excessive physical discipline according to Caleb’s parents; discipline that Caleb admitted “had gone too far the last time;” discipline that the professional medical staff at Banner Ironwood Hospital classified as “injuries[which] were more consistent with the child being dipped in scalding hot water, rather than being spanked with a spatula.” (Reference – Presentence Investigation)


Prior to getting to legal considerations let me say that my wife and I served as foster parents many years ago in Missouri. We had to sign a legal document stating that we would not use corporal punishment on any foster child. I have heard that Arizona has similar documents. Therefore, regardless of your opinions on corporal punishment, you have given your word that you will not spank a child left in your care by the State. End of story.


The goal of discipline is to teach the child self-control, self-reliance, self-esteem and orderly conduct through approved and prescribed interventions. Use of unacceptable methods of discipline upon children in state custody will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Resource parent will not punish or maltreat a child and will not allow any other person to do so. Family Foster Parent Licensing Requirements, AZ R6-5-5833, specifies that punishment or maltreatment of a child or youth in care includes but is not limited to the following actions:

  • any type or threat of physical hitting or striking inflicted in any manner upon the body;

Note to all those whose critical thinking skills are negligible, if you hold to the belief that corporal punishment is mandated by the Bible don’t become a foster parent!

May I also add that if you think the Bible mandates that you beat a baby please refrain from having any children.

Additionally, if you are attending a church that encourages you to spank a one-year-old child I would suggest finding a new church.



“At most, they used slightly too much or the wrong type of force, accidentally crossing the line and creating the markings seen in the relevant discovery photographs.”

Slightly too much or the wrong type of force?” Is that why Bruce Feder, defense attorney for Mary Beery, was attempting to keep the case from a jury trial?

No, in my opinion, Bruce Feder knew that if a jury saw the photographic evidence of the injuries inflicted upon the fourteen-month-old infant in the care of the Beerys, there was very little chance of an acquittal. The Beerys have claimed, and continue to claim that they spanked the infant with a spatula. Caleb Beery has denied under oath that they scalded the child. The professional medical staff at Banner Ironwood Hospital as well as the adoptive parents of the infant child have accounts which contradict the Berry’s account. It is left to the reader to decide who is being truthful.


Now we get down to some really good lawyering. Bruce Feder, Mary Beery’s defense attorney,  apparently argues that under the First Amendment the Beerys have a religious right to punish the foster baby in their care in the manner they did! Therefore, he argues the felonies should be reduced down to misdemeanors and the defendant given supervised probation!

It appears the State didn’t agree with the Defense. They apparently had a meeting scheduled for June 25 where the Defense hoped they could wrap everything up. I think the State must have balked at dropping the felonies to misdemeanors, instead likely insisting on some prison time. The result was the Defense pulled out of the negotiations and as it stands a trial will be held in October.

Religious Influences on the Beerys


“The child’s problem is not an information deficit. His problem is that he is a sinner. There are things within the heart of the sweetest little baby that, allowed to blossom and grow to fruition, will bring about eventual destruction.”
― Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart

“Respectful teenagers are developed when they are 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, not at 13, 14, 15, or 16.”
― Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart

“Tedd Tripp is Pastor Emeritus of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he served from 1980 until 2012.  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.”

(Editors note: I had previously stated Tedd Tripp’s church was a member of ARBCA but was told they left ARBCA in 2002. My apologies to Grace Fellowship Church and Tedd Tripp.)

Though Tripp was no longer connected with ARBCA, it seems his teachings may still have been influential in some ARBCA churches. Obviously, Tripp would never advocate the abuse which occurred in the Beerys case, but it’s concerning how some “zealous” individuals have carried the discipline of children to dangerous extremes. Additionally, it appears Tedd Tripp and pastor Jon Hueni are friends. Tripp thanked Hueni and his wife, Joann for their help while he was writing his book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” He mentioned them in the books Preface. It would be reasonable to think that Hueni agrees with the principles in Tripp’s book and may even use material from the book as he teaches his congregation about raising children. Why is this significant? Because Hueni is an ARBCA pastor in Bremen, Indiana and Mary Beery was raised in his church. Caleb Beery also attended his church for several years.

Here is a condensed video of a Tedd Tripp interview. It seems to me to be a very short leap from what he is advocating to what the Beery’s stance on discipline seems to be. (To view the complete video, see here.)

Tedd Tripp teaches 1) employ the rod at the first sign of defiance; 2) apply the rod with the diaper or drawers down so the child feels the sting on their bottom or thigh 3) best to apply the rod with the child over your lap so there is a physical connection between you and the child and 4) hug the child afterwards – if they are not accepting of the hug or their heart is not yet sweet, continue to use the rod until it is!

Additionally, here is a short segment from a sermon preached by Frank Urquidez which, I believe,  may shed some light into the Beery’s treatment of the foster baby that was in their care.



(Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 11-23-2018.)

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Level Headed

Why do you feel the need to shame these people? I don’t know them…I’ve never met them, nor do I know anyone from their church. But when did your blog become about shaming sinners? I have been reading your Chantry files because it involves church cover-up and affects the Reformed Baptist movement as a whole. It is relevant to ARBCA and non-ARBCA churches alike. But what motivated you to make the leap from church abuse and a cover-up scandal to reporting on the sins of individual church members? Are we all condemned in your eyes now if we are in ARBCA?! Or simply reformed Baptist?! This story involved no cover-up. No scandal. No abuse of power. Not even a delay in reporting! It’s nothing more than a story of two shamed sinners who made an awful, awful mistake.

Let me pause here and say my wife and I have foster-parented multiple children. It was–and continues to be–the hardest, most challenging, most patience-wearing thing we have ever done. But it is our calling. It is every Christian’s mission (whether directly or indirectly)–see James 1:27.
So we have an idea what the Beerys experienced. We understand what may have pushed them to overreact. Hear this: I am not excusing what was clearly sin! However, I would hate for anyone to take my worst parenting moment, publicize it for the world to see, and hold it up as a representation of myself, my family, my church, my association, my denomination, or my God! These people sinned. Period.
Haven’t you?

I believe your cause as it relates to Chantry is just–even righteous. But why are you taking pleasure in bringing shame to Christians who failed? Now instead of simply bringing sin to light, you are taking delight in another Christian’s downfall. You are scoffing. This case is NOTHING like the Chantry debacle. Why do you think you have a responsibility to do what you are doing? Your shift to throwing the “first stone” at simple church members seriously diminishes your credibility.

Hello Level Headed:

I have a bias in this matter. The people whom you are called Christians, filed injunctions against harrassment against me and Todd based on primarly factually false, in my case, allegations of slander.

It cost me more than $1000 and a week of my life to fight their perjury by traveling to Arizona, a state in which I do not reside. They showed up for the hearing against Todd. They didn’t even bother to show for mine. Neither did the judge, and I’m filing a judicial misconduct complaint against him, so am hesitant to comment about his conduct until that complaint is fully processed.

The Beerys intent in filing injuctions against harrassment against me and Todd appears to have been solely to intimidate us into taking down factual information about their crimes.

I don’t believe that the Beery are repentant Christians. I think that they’re just criminals who are only sorry they got caught.

I realize that you may not have been familiar with the conduct of the Berrys subsequent to their claims that they are willing to repay their debt to society. They have also done everything in their power to avoid serving their prison sentence in a timely manner, in my view.

I hope that the information above explains the perspective of this blog, regarding the Berrys being repentant Christias, a little better.

But why are you taking pleasure in bringing shame to Christians who failed?

I take pleasure in seeing people who are using their religious beliefs as cover for brutally abusing a foster baby receive justice. Also, I would have every right to sue these so-called repentant Christians for the damages I have incurred as a result of their perjury. I hope stating that I am unlikely to do so, unless they continue to illegally harrass me, indicates that I am trying to give them a chance to repent without being distracted by a lawsuit.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Level Headed:

The tone and content of your comment implies that Christians who have brutally physically abused a foster baby in their care should be treated differently than non-Christians who have committed the same crime.

You’re not the only person to express those sentiments, and, respectfully, I find them anything but Level Headed. What the Beerys have done should be considered an embarrassment to Christianity, in my view. Their status as people who claim to be Christians should not be bringing them sympathy, in my opinion.

As for “throwing the first stone,” there is evidence, from the relevant professionals, that the Beerys burned this foster child so badly that she will be scarred for life. I there any possibility that you are trivializing the magnitude of their sins? Most people don’t deliberately burn babies.

Why do you think you have a responsibility to do what you are doing? Your shift to throwing the “first stone” at simple church members seriously diminishes your credibility.

I think that this blog’s coverage of the Berrys discourages them from filing slanderous injuctions against harrassment against others whom they don’t like. Does suggesting that criminals who are “simple Church members” should be treated differently than non Christians affect your credibility?

Just a thought.

If the Beerys want to be treated like repentant Christians, then perhaps they should act in ways that demonstrate that they’re not just sorry they got caught committing heinous crimes.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Level Headed:

I don’t want to be real hard on you, because I think the more disturbing aspects of your comment are based on emotion not genuine belief. For example, I doubt that your worst moments as a parent consisted of repeatedly, deliberately burning a child. Just an FYI that foster parents sign an agreement not to practice corporal punishment at all. So, if anyone feels that they may “overreact” to the point that they might physically discipline a child in any way, it’s probably best not to become a foster parent.

Respecting credibility, I will say the following: You’ve been very judgmental about the people who run this blog, yet we accept responsibility for our actions and words under our real names. You are using a pseudonym, by contrast, meaning that you won’t be held accountable for what you say.

So between all of us, who really has more credibility?


Thanks again for your perspective. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

[…] commenter named “SavedByGrace”  a member of the San Tan church, who in the comment section to this article patiently insisted that church leadership handled the case properly. He was right, I was […]


Just a thought. I have no issues with what you are saying, but you may be opening yourselves up to liability by posting the image of the victim’s face as well as the other minors in the photos. My two cents…

Thanks, I’m not sure what you’re referencing. The victim is not pictured in this post, to my knowledge, and I just reviewed it.

The other pictures were publicly posted by others, I believe. There’s nothing wrong with posting group pictures that include people who may be under 18. If there was, Facebook would face some big liability issues. So would most church directories. ?

Thanks. Janna L. Chan

PS – the very nature of the advocacy work we do opens us up to liability and even the threat of physical harm. Pedophiles and the churches that protect them often have deep pockets and are quite ruthlees.

Todd and I put our faith in God.


You have an arrow pointing directly to the foster daughter with the Beerys. I also went to the church’s website and couldn’t find those pictures, hence my question. Thanks for the reply.

Thanks so much for your feedback. You make a good point. I’ll run this by Todd.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


I was there when the offense was brought before the church, the church leadership and when the members at large were addressed, they were severely broken-hearted about what took place and it was communicated that the offense required that the authorities were notified.

Knowing the leadership of San Tan church, they are of the highest caliber of individuals any Christian would be proud to know, and they would never condone beating children…the pastor vas visibly grieved at what took place, and was adamant about professing Christians being accountable for their actions.

To suggest or infer that there is some type of cultic desire to abuse children is really ridiculous, and only serves to drag good people through the mud of conjecture and speculation without the facts…. the people on staff that handled it with accountability in mind and within what the law and common decency prescribes, have now gotten their names and faces brought into suspicion and questions of their character…. while they can and do work daytime secular jobs, where a search of their name now questions that character.

Professing Christians should not be so quick to head with a rope to the internet until the facts are fleshed out.

Professing Christians should not be so quick to head with a rope to the internet until the facts are fleshed out.

Todd has gone to great trouble and personal expense to attend Tom Chantry’s trial and obtain many primary source documents from the court house. What’s the basis for your facts? Is he the one making snap judgments or are you?

Perhaps you should read more of the comments and posts on this blog before being so quick to make judgments yourself. The facts indicate that many members of ARBCA churches were told that Tom Chantry was innocent and that they should pray for those persecuting him. They were also told not to read anything on the internet about the case. Does that sound cultic to you? It sure does to me.

To suggest or infer that there is some type of cultic desire to abuse children is really ridiculous, and only serves to drag good people through the mud of conjecture and speculation without the facts….

The irony is that, in my opinion, your whole comment reads like it was written by someone in a cult. You demonstrate no critical thinking or genuine interest in any facts surrounding how ARBCA has handled the Chantry case.

Lastly, not everyone on this blog is a professing Christian. The comments section is open to people of all faiths. Since most people understandably want to be anonymous, there’s no way to tell what their true faith is. Nor does this blog impose a religious test on anyone.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


I spoke nothing of the Tom Chantry trial, I spoke only about a totally different blog post.

My apologies about not knowing which post you were referencing.

The generic talking points you wrote could apply to almost any post on this blog. Pastors=good. Bloggers=bad.

Namely, you’ve gone on the internet to tell other Christians that it’s wrong to use the internet. You can speculate without facts, but other cannot.

Do you not see the hypocrisy and irony in the way you’re behaving?

Since you don’t seem interested in discussing facts of any kind, there probably is little left to say.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Dee Parsons

You said: “they would never condone beating children” Please define the word *beating.*

Yes, and please explain whom you are referring to when you say “they.”

Is there factual evidence proving that your pastors and leaders are sinless and above repute?

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi, savedbygrace. Most of Todd’s research came from publicly available material pertaining to the criminal aspects of this case. He did not mindlessly speculate about anything, as you have suggested. Instead, he took the time to research some facts about this case.

A secular daycare could and probably would face the same scrutiny as the church in question. I’m not sure why you think otherwise. If a major crime happens at a church or business, some one will probably write about it.

As for people’s reputations, those who reported the abuse should be commended. Todd has said so. The same situation regarding a day care worker could also happen. In that case, the day care worker should also be commended.

I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say, unless it’s that Christians shouldn’t criticize other Christians.

Have a nice day. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


To all future parents who want to spank. There is an age where spanking is the effective tool of discipline, however too young is just abusive, and too old only provokes worse behavior. I remember (thanks to my churches influence on my parents, and Tedd Tripp’s influence on the church) getting spanked in my teens. At this age I remember my parents breathing heavy after I received a spanking. Even occurrences where they were whaling so hard the weapon of choice broke and they were forced to select another to satisfy the 10-20 whacks. It took more energy out of them to the administer the beating than it did for me to receive it. My point is not that discipline is bad, but that discipline administered from a brainwashed parent that quite honestly needs discipline themselves is 100% useless, abusive, and only serves the purpose of a frustrated parent trying to satisfy their anger. I believe this behavior is a result of demonic teaching, and parents that are too immature and impatient to invest and love a child. Remember your children are just that, children. Of course they’re going to do wrong, help instruct them tenderly and lovingly, not beat them.

Jon Wilson

I also grew up in an RBC, and it’s also my experience that corporal punishment is not only practiced, but strongly emphasized and encouraged. In fact, I’ve heard it preached more than once that parents who don’t spank their children hate their children. I wonder if the emphasis was so strong precisely because it goes against the natural instinct of parents (in just about any species) to protect and nurture their babies–in other words, hitting a child feels so unnatural that nobody would accept it if it weren’t repeated frequently and urgently by authority figures.

In retrospect, two other things really stand out to me about their teaching.

1) They teach that the responsibilities between parents and children go mainly from the child to the adult. This is based on the fifth commandment. Unconditional honor, love and respect should be directed from the child to the parent, in all cases. There are almost no sermons about the duties of parents, because even though there is a verse in the New Testament that mentions fathers not provoking children, it’s treated as an aside. The idea of parents trying to learn about children’s emotional or psychological needs was not only completely ignored, but discouraged (due to its secular, extra-biblical nature).

2) The doctrine of “total depravity” is so foundational that it becomes normal to think of babies as wicked. I remember a woman telling me, “You can hear the sinfulness in the cries of an infant.” And I believed that, until one day I noticed that my cat sounded just as insistent and just as upset as a crying baby, and my cat was just trying to communicate its needs. And it also struck me that I should never intentionally cause pain to my cat, even though my cat has less value than a person.



spot on.

In particular, your second point: that is where doctrine ends up coming to roost. I remember the stories growing up of folks who’d come into “reformed” theology out of something else (Catholic, evangelical, charismatic, take your pick) and for many of them the doctrines of Grace became something of a great comfort. Especially for those raises in the “60s”, they had a perspective (right, wrong, or indifferent) that they had grown up in an overly permissive time and they wanted something different for themselves and their children. So, when they come across a doctrine like Total Depravity, it was right up their alley. Finally, a teaching that treated evil seriously!

But, what I think many don’t seem to realize is how damaging that teaching can be to impressionable children (ESPECIALLY the more sensitive types) who hear someone say “You can hear the sinfulness in the cries of an infant” and they internalize is in such a way that they end up hating themselves with a deep hatred because they have been led to believe that GOD hates them with a deep hatred (because of their dirty hearts). And if someone were to explain to them that God’s sovereign, electing Grace is powerful enough to save such a one of them, all they’ll be able to think about is that “the elect” are supposed to demonstrate fruit and all they see in themselves is sin and darkness and evil and they’ll conclude that they aren’t elect after all. Or, if they were “saved” as a child, they’ll mature and instead of seeing something along the lines of “progressive” sanctification, they’ll just see sin, sin, SIN and conclude that they’re not being sanctified and therefore cannot have been justified and therefore have never been elect after all, so perhaps they’ve been elected unto damnation and they’ll conclude: “what’s the point”?

As for the issue with discipline, I remember being told that if my children weren’t “submissive” and “obedient” by age 3 then it was a lost cause. How’s that for advice for a young dad?


I am very sorry. If I never said, it, I certainly believed it. We were deceived into believing that fear-driven compliance was righteous submission to divinely instituted authority. See the parallel, and how we end up with spiritually abusive pastors?


San Tan Reformed Baptist is a wonderful, gospel centered, Bible preaching church. To assume and imply that the preacher condones such extreme “discipline” is irresponsible. If you had your facts straight, you would know that the preacher of this congregation was the one that reported the abuse and brought it to the attention of the authorities. If there are churches out there that condone extreme discipline… this is not one of those churches. To paint an entire church as one that supports this kind of behavior, is sad and wrong. Don’t punish a loving faithful church because of the actions of two people.


Agreed. I found it telling of the nature of the blog. Had the information that the Pastor is the one who notified authorities been disclosed, this blog would have been much shorter or non existant.

Dee Parsons

This blog and Todd Wilhelm have been around for quite awhile. The only thing telling in this situation is the fact that ARBCA and Tom Chantry should be ashamed of themselves .

LOL, Anonymous. If you had taken the time to look at this blog, you would see that the Chantry articles comprise about one percent of its content.

Have a nice day. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


All of this back and forth about spanking – pro spanking, against spanking – is making my head spin. I’m not pointing fingers, I just feel like people are getting all caught up in religious doctrine and, in my humble opinion, that is NOT at the root of what Tom Chantry did!

Please go back and read the criminal complaints, read about the victims’ testimonies, and consider this for a moment – most, if not all of the time, Chantry “spanked” the children for giving “wrong” answers to religious questions when he was supposedly “tutoring” them – ALONE! Don’t you see? This was all set up by him to “create” a situation where he had an excuse to “discipline” a child and molest him! How easy is it for an adult to ask a child questions that he doesn’t know the answers to? Exceptionally easy.

As I recall, the only time Chantry “disciplined” a child that wasn’t pre-planned was when he slugged the kid for squirting him with a water gun. Even then, you see his true self exposed. According to the testimony, he even taunted some of the children by showing them AHEAD OF TIME the weapon he had fashioned for them. Did he know ahead of time that they would give the “wrong” answers? Of course he did, because he knew they would never be able to give the “right” answers. And then he took it to a whole new level by telling children that God would not be pleased with them. Sick, sick sick!!! Please, please, try to reason this out in your head – does this make any sense at all that these were legitimate “spankings” for the purpose of training or discipline? NO! NO! NO!

It’s obvious that Chantry planned these “teaching” sessions ahead of time, probably fantasized about them, and executed them for his own sick pleasure. Please stop getting all caught up in parents vs. non-parents spanking, to spank or not to spank, etc. He’s a PEDOPHILE and what he did had NOTHING to do with spanking!! He simply used “spanking” as an excuse and cover for his aberrant behavior. Did he exploit people’s faith and religious beliefs to satisfy his own perverse pleasures? Absolutely! And that’a tragedy that needs to be addressed, and hopefully, not repeated. But please don’t confuse “discipline” with “assault.” Very different.

Van Helsing

I understand your frustration but there needs to be clarification on this topic. When was the last time you heard any minister preach about how to properly discipline children in a Godly manner? I never have. It is too hot of a topic for most so they avoid it. If we do not get some clarification and formulate some guidelines in our specific denominations then this issue will automatically become wide open for non-Christians to dictate by legal means what should or should not transpire in our churches. Do you get the point? What if some other politically incorrect practice offends them? What then? Many pastors and churches are already on the ropes for their failures to preach the Gospel in season and out of season.

Hi Van Helsing:

Thanks for your comments. Just a couple things.

If we do not get some clarification and formulate some guidelines in our specific denominations then this issue will automatically become wide open for non-Christians to dictate by legal means what should or should not transpire in our churches.

One, people do need to follow the laws of our land regarding the treatment of children and other issues. Todd and I are both big on encouraging people to follow the law even if their pastors or leaders don’t have much respect for the secular legal system.

Do you get the point? What if some other politically incorrect practice offends them?

Two, you seem very focused on politics and bashing people who don’t agree with your political views/general world outlook. This blog is open to everyone irrespective of their political views. So I’ll ask that you not frame your arguments around “liberals” or “political correctness” so much. Certainly it’s okay to use those terms occasionally, yet they shouldn’t be featured so prominently in every comment as that alienates other readers and commenters. I hope that makes sense. Thanks!

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


Yes, yes, and again I say ‘Yes’! I do think we are discussing two topics: 1) Is corporeal punishment ever permissible by anyone and 2) Is assault ever permissible by anyone. The former may allow for differences of opinion; the latter should soundly, universally be denounced and not tolerated!

That said, there are those who would assert that the first practice opens the door to the second, and to some degree, they are undeniably correct. I would rather remove all possibility of granting people the supposed right to abuse their children, by asserting other disciplinary measures that do not involve physical, emotional or any other type of ‘assault’. Keep in mind, an abuser will always find ways, means and excuses for abusing; but the church does not need to grant them helpful tools, and, worse, cover for their crimes.

Van Helsing

Hi Deanna,
I can completely understand where you are coming from – your point of view – and I respect and honor that. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

Deana Holmes

Thank you-I appreciate it.

Mr. Jesperson

My best friend lives in San Tan Valley. Odd that this is the second time in less than a year this place has popped up for me. The town is very small. I will be interested in seeing how this case develops.
Am I seeing a pattern here? I have noticed from other cultic churches and the people who get conned into joining them that the “pastors” frequently feed the pride of their congregants. This is one way that they get hooked in. They are told that they are superior to other Christians. This feels good so they bite. An arrogant attitude like ARBCA people are above the law of the land keeps popping up. Is this true of the whole organization or just part? I will let those who have been personally involved make that call. I am just an outsider.
Jesus is the most humble being in the universe and we are supposed to be like Him, not the Devil who wants to be God. Humility is what true Christianity looks like. I am not better than you. I may very well be worse because I know what right and wrong is and sometimes I still choose the wrong. The humble man points out what is wrong to others, not because he is superior to them, but because it is true and it is what God wants. Motives matter a lot in God’s real Kingdom.


Hi. I attend an ARBCA church and my church is nothing like what I have been reading on here.
My wife and I have 4 children and we are actually opposed to spanking. We do not admire Tedd Tripp, like most of the Reformed world.
But, of course, we are a minority at our church, most do spank, but even our pastor said you shouldn’t spank a baby, younger than 2 years of age. And, that spanking should be a last resort.
And our pastor has held several leadership positions within ARBCA.
So, like I said, this is all bizarre to me to hear this about ARBCA. In our experience, ARBCA is an organization that is just there, but does not have much control over each church. It’s not like SGM. It’s just a group of like-minded churches.
Well, that’s my experience.

Thanks for your feedback. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Jane Doe

Tedd Tripp does not advocate in ANY way the kind of abuse that these foster parents, nor the abuses that Tom Chantry has (allegedly) committed.

I realize the purpose of this blog is to expose abuses in the church, but I think it would be wise to caution against seeing everyone as a potential abuser. Might it not also be easy to conclude the possibility that Tedd Tripp’s church left ARBCA in 2002 at least in part because of the organization’s mishandling of the Chantry issue?

I know that Tedd Tripp DOES advocate spanking in his book, but it might be worth actually reading the book before continually implying the guy is advocating abuse. He’s not. It’s a fairly quick read and there is information for young parents to glean even if you don’t agree with spanking children.

I really like the work you are doing in covering the Chantry trial, and I am not trying to disparage your reporting, but there might not be a need to bring the pitchforks out at every corner unless there is more substantiated evidence.

Thanks for your perspective. You make some good points.

However, I do think that Tedd Tripp has opened himself up to legitimate criticism by illegally covering up multiple allegations of child abuse directed at Tom Chantry. That has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt per the legal document in this post.

What are your thoughts about Ted Tripp illegally covering up credible allegations of child abuse?

I would not be inclined to buy or read a book written by such a person.


Janna L. Chan,(blog team member)

Jane Doe

HI Janna,

I’m sorry, but as I read that post, I don’t really see it implying that Tedd Tripp specifically covered up the allegations. I interpreted it as ARBCA leadership, as a whole, did not act on the recommendations of Tedd Tripp and the informal council (3 man team) and instead chose to seal up this letter that the 3 man team submitted to them. They made the document and put it into the laps of the ARBCA AC so I would say the responsibility lies on ARBCA leadership at that point, which looks to have failed.

However, it does seem that there was a mandatory reporter law, and in that case, yes, I would say that Tedd Tripp would ultimately be guilty along with his other investigative teammates for not reporting to the state. Yes, that is the a criminal act, but still imo not as heinous as that team’s leadership covering up a report they didn’t like, probably because Chantry’s daddy was unhappy.

Again, it’s entirely possible I read that above linked document wrong, so I’ll apologize if my analysis is way off, but that’s my 2 cents.

I DO think that such a scandal has the potential to put a black mark on the works of all who are involved. But I wonder – where do we stop learning or reading from failed men? I think Tedd Tripp has done a great bit of good ministry over time, and I am certain there are those who would argue the same of the writings of Walt Chantry – and yet it seems from your reporting that Walt was pretty vocally upset with these accusations too. Is this just a father who can’t come to terms that his son is a criminal, or worse?

It a crazy and really disappointing scenario from almost all directions.

Thanks, Jane. There’s more to the story than what’s in that specific post, yet there’s a limit to how long a comment can be before people get irritated with me. ?

So, I’ll just say the following.

I disagree with the idea that an experienced adult such as Ted Tripp is or ever was a victim of ARBCA, an organization that appears to have greatly admired him at one time.

BTW, it’s been suggested that ARBCA got rid of him in 2002, not vice versa.

I and others believe that Ted Tripp engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by not reporting the allegations of child abuse against Tom Chantry to the police. In other words, he didn’t just ignore mandatory reporting requirements; Tripp lied to the parents of victims so that they wouldn’t feel compelled to call the police.

Obstruction of justice is a big crime. Tripp’s behavior certainly constitutes enabling pedophilia, in my view, irrespective of any its legal implications.

Ted Tripp could have talked to the parents of victims separately. He did not have to do anything ARBCA asked him to do. Why would you suggest otherwise?

In my opinion, Tripp also had no business participating in an underground theocratic “trial” in the first place. He should have immediately reported suspected child abuse to the police.

And, again, why isn’t Ted Tripp defending himself if he thinks that he behaved in a legal, ethical, and Godly manner regarding his handling of the cover-up of allegations of child physical and sexual abuse?

Is it possible that he’s afraid of being charged with a crime because he committed some big ones?

I can see why Tedd Tripp doesn’t want to comment on blogs that have revealed his role in covering up heinous crimes. However, surely there are many outlets through which he could express himself.

Thanks for your thoughts. Janna L. Chan (blog team member?


I agree with Jane Doe.
The article posted today is a frustrating, irrelevant diversion. Chantry’s case is not about spanking, over spanking or exaggerated spanking.

From Victim 2’s letter to the ARBCA three-man committee:

“The routine spankings he received from Chantry also involved Chantry fondling his genitals for approximately ten minutes.”

“When Victim 2 spent the night at Chantry’s home, Chantry revealed two new paddles which would be used that night.”

“Chantry took down his pants because he ‘wanted to see my buttocks turn red’ when he spanked me.’

Here’s Chantry’s own words in a blog about the music video for the Christmas song, “Baby it’s Cold Outside” that show where his mind is:

“what bugs me is, as I watch this as a man, I have the impression that they are trying to get me to contemplate whether the little girl is, in fact, kissable. Or perhaps they are trying to get a man of another ‘orientation’ to wish that the little boy would say that to him.’

For the entire context and more of Chantry’s creepy blogging, read this article,

Remember, it was the three man ARBCA committee (which included Tedd Tripp) that determined that Chantry,

“might be administering spankings for his own pleasure”
and it was this committee also that concluded that Chantry should never be a pastor again nor be around children. And knowing at least this much, other ARBCA authorities went against these recommendations, covered the information, got Chantry out of the state, continued to let him preach, got him married, put him in an elementary school, made him pastor of a church and hoped that none of this would ever surface again! Also, none of this incriminating information was given to, the churches where he preached, the wife they married him off to, the school where he taught. That’s what this case is about!

Hi CW:

You’re welcome to your opinion, of course. Just a reminder that this blog is not solely about the Chantry trial. It’s primarily about abuse in many churches. The Chantry trial just happens to be getting lots of attention now. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

I’m actually a little confused, Jane. You claim that Tedd Tripp does not condone physically and sexually abusing children.

In that case, why did he illegally go out of his way to cover up credible allegations of child physical and sexual abuse against Tom Chantry?

Perhaps what Mr. Tripp said in his book isn’t what he actually believes. The facts we have about the Chantry case indicate that this is a distinct possibility.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Sorry for all the responses, Jane, yet you are seriously mis-informed. Mr. Tripp was part of the 3-man ARBCA team that illegally “mishandled” the Chantry case. Tom Chantry’s own defense lawyer has argued that Ted Tripp and the other two men who colluded with him were legally required to report allegations of child abuse against Tom Chantry to the police. They did not.

I would link to posts proving my points, yet a comment with multiple links often ends up in spam folders. The info I’m referring to is in other posts about the Chantry trial and should be easy to find.

We’re not carrying pitchforks in this case. ?There is indisputable evidence that Mr. Tripp believes in illegally covering up allegations of child abuse, no matter what he’s written in a book.

Also, what is preventing Mr. Tripp from speaking up for himself if he believes he is being unfairly maligned?

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


Forgive me, I haven’t read every post on the Chantry case.

Were the 3 members of the ARBCA team called as witnesses?


They were not. It appears to have been determined that their written reports for ARBCA and even potential testimony likely constituted “hearsay.” Hearsay is inadmissible in court. Several people in previous posts weighed in on the legal aspects of this decision.

Most of that discussion went over my head. ?

Also, please don’t think that I expect everyone to be an expert on the Chantry posts in this blog.

I just had to point out that Ted Tripp is not the victim of a witch hunt, in my view.

The content of his book may legitimately seem more sinister now that we know he believes in covering up allegations of horrific child abuse.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Dee Parsons

I believe that the judge did not want to make this a trial of ARBCA. However, Todd just tweeted :

“Tom Chantry’s co-author and friend, Dave Dykstra is in court today. He heard judge say if ARBCA were being tried for a cover-up they would be convicted.”

ARBCA: if there are truly any good folks left in this group, you need to clean house and drain the swamp. I am sickened by what ARBCA allegedly concealed. The lives of our children are at stake.

I agree. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


I agree that Tedd Tripp should have gone to the police even though he was told to do otherwise rather than leaving that decision to the ARBCA elite who sent him.

I would guess he regrets that now, but at least he gave the right recommendation which cannot be said for the rest of ARBCA who knew about this. So I would say guilty yes, but far less guilty.

Also, no matter how he feels, and that we do not know, it would not be in his best interest to defend himself online right now because all of this business will be going to civil court. He probably has a smart lawyer saying be patient and sit tight right now.

Deana Holmes

OMG Todd. I didn’t realize this was happening in my neck of the woods.

I’d note that all of these letters try to explain away the hitting as permissible under the law (even if not permitted by their foster care contract with the state of Arizona). But, you will note, they don’t even talk about the scalding or burning, or the actual wounds. Also, it’s obvious these people had help with their letters.

These two are not your average conservative run-of-the-mill parents who have been influenced by the teaching of so-called “child training” at the end of a wooden spoon, a strip of glue stick or a length of plumbing line (yes, I’ve seen all these recommended by so-called “child training experts”). The fact that the beatings led to *wounds*, that the baby was burned and scalded, those indicate to me that these two are child abusers.

I am personally against hitting children, because it (a) encourages violence to solve issues and (b) it would be the crime of assault and battery if you hit an adult the way some of these parents hit their kids. I was hit with a metal mesh flyswatter by my mother, who resorted to that after she broke a blood vessel in her hand whaling on one of us kids. All that did was turn me into a better liar. *sigh*

I feel terrible for the baby, who started out life having to be removed from one bad situation, only to end up in another bad situation where she was hurt body and soul by her foster parents, the people who wanted to adopt her. I hope she’s in a better situation now.

If there’s a trial, will you be attending? Child abuse trials are just soul-crushing.

Van Helsing

There is nothing wrong with “reasoned” corporal punishment done by mature parents, not out of frustration or from anger but with loving intent after other methods have been tried such as: time-out, corrective scolding not yelling/screaming in anger, isolation in a room for a reasonable period of time, and removal of privileges.

Of course the punishment must be commensurate with the child’s age and maturity (developmental) level for it to be effective. You should not attempt to spank a 14 year old child for instance. Spanking should only be used a last resort to get the attention of child since folly often reigns in their hearts. Spankings, done judiciously and NOT bare-bottomed, often sobers them up and lets them know that mom and/or dad are serious. How do I know these things? I am a parent myself and I am a retired Christian School Psychologist.

There is no credible evidence to suggest that corporal punishment encourages the use of violence to solve issues. Whatever “studies” done in this area are seriously flawed and biased. Remember, that is how liberals think and work – they already have FLAWED preconceived notions (hypotheses) in their non-functional brains and set out to prove them by “research.” The truth about corporal punishment lies somewhere between Ted Tripp’s stuff and the bogus studies done by liberal researchers.

It appears that some individuals in ARBCA and within some ARBCA churches are very frustrated people coming out of the permissive 60s, 70s, and 80s. They, like myself. see society winding down quickly and may attribute that to a lack of discipline (corporal punishment) from the home. To an extent that is true so I can understand that. I, too, want to smash heads together whenever I see reprobates doing their thing. However, a child must always know that their parents love them and respect them. The child must feel validated by his/her caregivers. If this is sensed by the child then corporal punishment will rarely, if ever, need to be used.

Dee Parsons

I would appreciate it if you would actually refer to the studies that you claim are seriously flawed. That is what we do on our blog. Also, what do you mean by the word *liberals?™ Is that people who are Democrats or those who support not hitting children or those who don’t go to an ARBCA church?

It took me all of 10 seconds to find a study by Scientific American-an excellent resource that discusses what science does and does not say about spanking. Spend some time, do some reading, and next time show you actually understand the science.

I agree with Dee. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Van, no one expects everyone to back up everything they say in a comment with credible sources. However, the “spanking issue” seems important to you. So, if you want to continue talking about it, I suggest citing some sources as well. Otherwise, the debate will probably just continue going around in circles. 😉 Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Van Helsing

Hi Dee,
You called me on and now the response. The following is a little outdated but relevant to the discussion. It is an APA (American Psychological Association) meta-analysis of I believe 62 different studies on corporal punishment. The results are mixed at best. I could not find an indexed reference but if you google the title you will be able to read the study.

“Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline?”
Corporal punishment leads to more immediate compliant behavior in children, but is also associated with physical abuse. Should parents be counseled for or against spanking? June 26, 2002

Now, if you go back and re-read what I wrote you may better understand where I am coming from. It helps if you worked in the field and possess critical thinking skills – not implying that you do not. It also helps if you have been taught how to analyze research and have some idea of how much of it skews leftward to satisfy some hidden agenda and pose as the truth. Much of that depends on the worldviews of the researchers and the funding source(s). I was a member of the APA for years until I wanted to publish research on religious and spiritual well-being related to my doctorate. I was blocked or ignored at every opportunity since they only wanted “empirical” research and not “metaphysical speculation.” BTW, my doctoral research was an “empirical study” where eight out my 10 hypotheses (stated in the NULL) were statistically significant – but they wanted nothing to do with it since it contradicted their liberal bias.

BTW, I once mentioned my opinion on corporal punishment to a Social Worker and I thought that she would turn me in the district’s “thought police” for re-education.

Here’s the long and short of it. If a parent – and I only believe that parents should spank their own kids under very specific circumstances – is out of control, angry, violent, frustrated, an alcoholic/drug abuser, mentally unstable, etc., etc. then there is a greater likelihood that they will physically abuse (BEAT) their kids in anger and the consequences will be detrimental and long-standing. Yes, they will observe that short-term compliance will improve but the child will often mirror that same behavior as adults in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Ever ask yourself why there is so much violence in Chicago? Many of the kids have been victims of extreme family violence and that becomes their major mode of solving problems.

I do not think that I have to explain the other Christian approach done by loving and VALIDATING parents who want their children to grow up as God-fearing and respectful individuals. Sometimes a “putsch” on the behind (without pants down) will redirect their attention back to doing what is right and good provided that is not done in anger and other measures of discipline are used first. You, most likely, practice this yourself otherwise you would not be on this blog.

Thanks for the great comment. Janna L.Chan (blog team member)

Dee Parsons

You said . “You, most likely, practice this yourself otherwise you would not be on this blog.” I once believed in this approach. However, as I had children I found that I could discipline them without hitting them. I did not see any difference between children who were lovingly spanked and those who were not spanked but disciplined by other methods. I no longer believe that spanking is essential in raising a child.

Deana Holmes

I am not going to argue with you. I am just going to strongly disagree and point out that if you hit an adult the way some parents hit their children, it would be assault and battery, which is a crime. However, because some practitioners of the dominant religion believe in “spare the rod and spoil the child,:” there is essentially a religious exemption in the law that allows parents to hit children as long as they’re not badly bruised.

IMHO, if a person hit their kid, they’re committing a crime. Because it IS a crime if you hit an adult. But this is one of those things I could argue about forever and not get to any resolution because for some people (not saying you) being able to hit their kid as part of “child training” is a religious tenet. And when it’s at the level of a religious belief, there’s virtually no chance for a fruitful discussion. Just My Personal Opinion.


I would suggest you not assume you know what the bible says on the “spanking” issue. There are scholars who have studied the Jewish culture and scriptures that have some interesting perspectives. It just might be that the evangelical community is pretty off base about spanking.

Samuel Conner

Could there be a “culture” of severe beating of children in the ARBCA? Perhaps this is “handed down” generation to generation? I’ve been wondering whether TC might have experienced this as a child — not to excuse later crimes, but to try to understand what influences might have shaped his thinking. The problem might not just be individual bad actors but also something more systemic.


Unfortunately, there is a sincere belief in corporeal punishment in conservative fundamental churches. I succumbed to this teaching myself, as well as having ‘spankings’ as a part of my own upbringing. Ted Trip, with his book, is one of the chief defenders and pushers of this practice in christian circles, along with Michael and Debbie Pearl.

We used spankings sparingly, and they were literally a few quick swats; nothing that would leave real marks and never without clothing, which must be extremely humiliating to a child. I don’t recall many spankings, (Most of my children had none) and they were reserved for blatant, intentional defiance, not simply ‘bad’ behavior. All in all, they just seemed too unpleasant, and we looked for other ways to encourage appropriate behavior. I would never have considered spanking an infant. I do believe one can begin to encourage good behavior at a young age. For instance, I would stop the stroller when a younger child would start hollering for no apparent reason, then proceed when they stopped fussing. I would encourage my children to ask politely for things, rather than scream until they got what they wanted. These seemed much more appropriate and effective, and I am not so sure I could still support spanking now that I am older and wiser.

One of the oddest things I recall, many years ago, was when our pastor’s child fell down the stair and had to be airlifted to the hospital. A neighboring pastor warned them not to volunteer that they were pastors, as they would more likely be suspected of child abuse. Now that is disturbing! Should it not be the exact opposite? I think this dangerous teaching has been around at least since the 80’s.

Yes, I also wonder about the true relationship between popular Christian books encouraging corporal punishment and people engaging in abusive behavior under the guise of “just disciplining a child.”

No Christian pastor will flatly state, in a published book, that parents should excessively beat their children. However, I wonder if this idea is privately suggested and widely tolerated in some circles.

In other words, if many of a pastor’s fans and church members end up using spanking as a means of inflicting grievious harm, does the pastor bear some responsibility for their behavior? Did he fail them as a leader in some way even if his book does not directly encourage illegal behavior?

That’s a real question. I’m not sure what to think myself.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)