Convicted Felon Thomas Chantry Jailed; Indicted on Nine New Felony Counts!

By | September 14, 2018


“Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
― Lysander Spooner

“In all the interviews I have done, I cannot remember one offender who did not admit privately to more victims than those for whom he had been caught. On the contrary, most offenders had been charged with and/or convicted of from one to three victims. In the interviews I have done, they have admitted to roughly 10 to 1,250 victims. What was truly frightening was that all the offenders had been reported before by children, and the reports had been ignored.”
― Anna Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders

“At the defendant’s recent trial, defendant took the stand and boldly claimed that every single one of the 20 individuals who testified at the trial had lied about something. He literally denied every single thing of significance that every single witness testified to during the trial. Undersigned  counsel and Mr. Sears met with four of the jurors after trial, all of whom unanimously agreed that they did not believe anything that the Defendant said under oath during his testimony.”
Susan Eazer, Deputy County Attorney, “Verified Motion Pursuant to A.R.S. 13-3961(D) To Hold Defendant Without Bond and Request for Hearing.”  

Below is an email Karen Chantry sent out to her dwindling number of supporters. It is a futile attempt to keep the “true believers” convinced of Tom’s innocence and the Chantry’s great struggles to overcome hardships and the attacks of Satan.

Left unexpressed, of course, is any mention of the victims whom Tom beat the living daylights out of. Young, innocent, helpless children were abused sexually to satisfy Tom’s sick, twisted sexual cravings. Chantry’s  actions not only wreaked long-term havoc in the lives of his victims, it also has caused untold grief in their families.

Do you want to know who experienced attacks from Satan? It was the young children Tom assaulted. Chantry is, in my opinion, demonized. There is no other explanation for this wolf in sheep’s clothing. The man is deeply disturbing.

You want to know what else I found deeply disturbing? After one of the victims gave a gut-wrenching account on the witness stand of the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of Chantry I walked out into the hall in a state of stunned silence. I was near tears as I pondered how a human could do such cruel things to another human. I would compare it to the same feeling I had as I walked out of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. or the Yad Veshem Memorial in Jerusalem. As I stood in silence in the hallway outside the courtroom Karen Chantry and Judy Rogers (Tom’s sister) walked out of the courtroom and headed down the hall yukking it up and laughing!

But of course the Chantry clan continue to profess Tom is an innocent victim of persecution! These people and those who continue to support them and perpetuate their lies make me sick. Miller Valley Baptist Church elder Eric Owens stated from the witness stand that he did not believe Tom Chantry was a Christian. I agree with his assessment and I will take it a step further – I do not see how a God-fearing person can continue in a church pastored by a man who continues to support ARBCA.

Chantry Update by Karen Chantry 9-11-2018 by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Below is a photo of Thomas Chantry’s new accomodations. He gets to stay for free, courtesy of the Arizona taxpayers. His last minute airfare for he and the Mrs. from Illinois to Arizona was undoubtedly pricey, but I would imagine that, like everything else the last few years, father-in-law Al Huber footed the bill for the innocent, persecuted servant of the Lord. The poor guy probably isn’t living in as much comfort as when he was in John Sears’ guest house, and the fine dining has come to a screeching halt, but look on the bright side Tom, think of it as an enforced weight loss program!


Below is a letter by Bob Selph. I do not know the man. I have never met him. All I know is the good people of Miller Valley Baptist Church dearly loved the man who pastored their church for seventeen years. Elder Rich Howe’s daughter is married to Bob Selph’s son. I have two burning questions for Bob, and then I will let Brent Detwiler’s response to Selph speak further for me. First, how could Bob Selph not report the abuse that he was fully aware of to Prescott Law Enforcement? Second, when the Tom Chantry scandal had devastated the small body of believers at Miller Valley, and they were really left without any leader, how could Bob Selph not return for a week, or a month to offer some comfort and guidance?

Bob Selph’s Explanation… by on Scribd


All the ARBCA boys now seem to be running for cover. Brent Detwiler does a good job of confronting a few of them(i.e. Bob Selph, Tedd Tripp, Mike McKnight and Richard Jensen) with his letter below.

Brent Detwiler Letter to Selph, Tedd Tripp, McKnight and Jensen by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd


Below are the nine new criminal counts convicted felon Tom Chantry is charged with. I believe he is guilty on all counts. Were I in the jury pool I would have to disqualify myself from serving because there is no way I could be impartial. Since Charlie Daniel’s method of justice cannot be imposed I can only pray Chantry spends the rest of his life in free accomodation, courtesy of the Arizona taxpayers and the Corrections Department.

Thomas Chantry Arrest Warra… by on Scribd

I will warn you the document below is quite descriptive. Proceed at your own risk.

All I will say is the District Attorney’s office of Yavapai County, AZ made a strong case why convicted felon Thomas Chantry should not be freed on bail as he awaits trial, nor, in my opinion should he ever be a free man again.

Motion to Hold Chantry With… by on Scribd


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Brent Detwiler

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

There has been a massive cover up by top officials in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of América (ARBCA) since December 2000 when they misrepresented Tom Chantry’s physical assaults upon children as “inappropriate discipline” knowing full-well he was guilty of child abuse. They also told ARBCA churches “the differences between the Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church and Thomas Chantry have been resolved.” There were many unresolved issues including the need to ask forgiveness for the vicious assaults upon four children.

These same ARBCA officials, which included Tedd Tripp, refused to obey the mandatory reporting laws in Arizona for clergy. Current ARBCA officials continue the cover up in a multitude of ways including the false narrative they put out to ARBCA churches in a letter on April 25, 2017 that claimed all laws were followed in the past. They were not followed.

ARBCA officials have also argued that Tom Chantry is innocent of all charges against him despite overwhelming evidence from six victims, four families, two Miller Valley Baptist Church elders, an investigation by a three-man Council, 14 police reports, and hundreds of court documents containing thousands of pages of evidence.

In addition, Chantry has been arrested twice and incarcerated three times with a $100,000 bond, a $250,000 bond, and then a $1,000,000 bond. He was recently convicted on two counts of aggravated assault and faces 13 more counts of sexual molestation, aggravated assault with a sexual motivation, and child abuse in the future.

Nevertheless, top ARBCA officials have privately and publicly claimed he is being persecuted for righteousness sake. In fact, a defense fund was set up for him and people were encouraged to contribute based on the premise he was entirely innocent.

This cover up of Tom Chantry’s crimes was also carried out by his father, Walt Chantry; his sister, Judy Rogers; his father in-law, Al Huber; and his wife, Karen. They still protest his innocence.

For instance, Karen Chantry wrote a letter to family and friends on September 11, 2018 about God’s righteous servant (her convicted husband) being so wrongly disgraced in jail.



Is the sentencing still today (10/19) for the two counts he has already been found guilty of?

And Brent Detwiler posted an annotated list of witness statements last week. Do you know which of the victims reached out to Tom C and spoke with Tom C and Don L? Was it the victim who is waiting retrial on four counts or the one whose charges were added in September?

I don’t know the answer to your other questions, but the sentencing is today.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Todd is at the courthouse waiting for the sentencing. I will post it here as soon as possible. Thanks.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Tom Chantry was sentenced to 5 years of probation. It appears that he will not serve time in jail.

Edited at 4:40 MST on Oct. 20, 2018

I apologize but the above statement is incorrect. Tom Chantry was sentenced to two concurrent 3-year probation terms. That appears to mean that he will only be on probation for at most 3 years.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


Any idea how long it might be before Chantry is tried on these new charges (as well as retried on the four charges that resulted in a hung jury)? Will Susan Eazer continue to be the prosecuting attorney? Will Chantry continue to be defended by John Sears?

Douglas R Belardi

Sadly, we live in a culture, both in the church and in the secular world, where it is incumbent upon all institutions, parents, churches, schools, etc, to teach children at an early age that ANY inapproppiate physical contact is to be reported immediately to one of the aforementioned parties until a responsible adult reports such activity to an appropriate law enforcement agency

Mitch Axsom

Dear Todd,

My name is Mitch Axsom and I am a lay elder in Clinton LA with Tom Hicks and Fred Malone. A member of our church sent me a post from your blog which indicated that I was at the trial. I was in New Mexico the first week of the trial and teaching math in Slaughter, LA the next two weeks. Maybe someone was there who looks like me. I would appreciate a retraction of the comment. Thank you for you kind help in this.

I do not know how to get in touch with Brent Detwiler. He has two posts on his blog stating similar.

Mitch Axsom

Todd will get back to you as soon as he’s able. I’ve removed your contact info from the blog, so that others won’t bother you. I will see that Brent Detwiler gets your message.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)


Only the elect repent.

Van Helsing

Hi Darrel,
God bless you brother because your insightful comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, “only the elect repent” or can glimpse their sinful pride and lack of humility to understand the necessity of repentance and of being restored. What does this say about TC, or Walter (the apex of all this) and ARBCA? They are simply worshiping themselves in the guise of worshiping the Lord – like papists who worship their CHURCH instead of almighty God.

Douglas R Belardi

Douglas R. Belardi

In light of the following Scripture, and the failure of the Elders and Deacons of Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, the leadership of ARBCA (past and present) and IRBS to live lives “above reproach” I call upon all of them to resign their positions of Christian authority over their respective flocks since they have proven themselves to be mere “hirelings” and not shepherds at all

1 Timothy 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Overseers and Deacons
3 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine]or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

Titus 1:5-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Qualifications of Elders
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.


Well said, Douglas. I have thought the same for weeks, now, as well.

Ole Ganny

Could someone please answer this question? Have any of the pastors of HBC in Mansfield, Texas or any professors of the new seminary at HBC been involved with the coverup or possibly a big TC supporter? Also, are the pastors of HBC, Shreveport and the pastors of 1st Baptist Church, Clinton, Louisiana now staying quiet on this matter? Thank you

Douglas R Belardi

Larry Vincent (HBC) and Steve Martin (IRBS) fingerprints are all over the cover-up from 2000 forward as members of the AC and Walt Chantry’s friends

Douglas R Belardi

Steve Martin led his church into RBMS in 1990 and served on the Administrative Council, the Coordinator and Personnel Oversight Committee and the General Assembly Planning Committee. In November of 1996, he was instrumental in the formation of ARBCA and served on the Administrative Council for a decade, the GA Planning Committee, the RBMS/Foreign Missions Committee for a decade and was a Trustee of IRBS for a decade.
Steve was also active in the formation of the Georgia Association of Confessional Baptist Churches which he led as Chairman of the Administration Council for several years. He began and headed up for thirteen years THE LOG COLLEGE, a training school for men preparing for the gospel ministry in Reformed and Baptist churches who could not afford to relocate to more established seminaries in other parts of the country.

Douglas R Belardi

Steve Martin is currently a member of Heritage Mansfield
ARBCA’s Coordinator and IRBS Dean of Students

Douglas R Belardi

Today’s update is a reminder of what is involved in holding to and standing for the truth. At this time issues such as “fake news” and internet gossip (attack blogs) and plagiarism (stolen information passed off as one’s own) infect our culture. For decades, people checking out at grocery stores have been exposed to lurid magazines with lascivious gossip about all manner of people. How then can a Christian keep himself pure and unspotted from the world in such a corrosive environment? As always, God’s Word directs us to the right and narrow and true way. The Westminster Larger Catechism displays what it means to properly honor and obey the 9th Commandment–“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” It is included for your meditation and practice.

Steve Martin
ARBCA Coordinator

Douglas R Belardi

Larry Vincent and Jarrett Downs are also at the heart of this scandal

Paul Schmidt

ARBCA, like all other organizations formal or informal where a degree of power (to whatever magnitude) can be exerted over people and policies, is at its heart a bureaucracy. A maxim I coined in my previous career as a newspaper reporter and editor states, “Rule One of any bureaucracy is, ‘At all costs protect the bureaucracy.’ ”

Exhibit A demonstrating this is the Catholic Church’s cover-up of its sexual abuse scandals. And of course Exhibit B for the purpose of my post is ARBCA. I’m not plowing new ground here; this blog and others have already made the startling parallels vividly clear.

I would like to add, however, that one of Pastor Tom Lyon’s oft-repeated observations is, “All roads lead to Rome.” The irony is almost palpable when one considers that he and other men in ARBCA passed Tom Chantry around from one place to another, akin to a spare jack in a deck of cards. Hmm, where have we’ve seen that kind of activity before? That’s right, when predator Catholic priests were shuffled from one parish to another, while their crimes against children were covered up by the Roman Catholic bureaucracy.

‘Tis a dark subject for the Lord’s Day. So I will conclude with this: Rome has recently discovered a book is missing from The Vatican’s library. Would whomever at ARBCA please return Rome’s copy of “Coverups for Dummies”?


“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.”

As a former member of a former ARBCA church whose former pastor is ON the Administrative Council, I would be VERY interested in reading this letter.
My husband was a deacon and our good friend was an elder at our former church when this whole sordid affair came to light in early 2017. This came to our attention because a member of our church posted an article on Facebook, therefore prompting our pastor to become angry and try and shame him into removing it (he told him he would unfriend him if he didn’t take it down). We started researching all that we could and confronted the pastor ourselves. After multiple conversations and “meetings” with the elders and deacons, it was evident that he was into ARBCA and all its explanations hook line and sinker, and we’d get nowhere. We, both our families, felt we had no choice but to resign, and did so at the next adult Sunday school. We made sure to state facts first and foremost but did appeal to the heart of the matter as well, in that we all should want to do what was right for the sake of the children involved.
As background for our strong stances for children, our daughter was sexually molested by a former babysitter’s son when she was 6 years old. When I was told by the babysitter that it had happened, and that she herself believed my daughter, I was of course heartbroken, but she understood and agreed that I should have no compunctions whatsoever about calling the police. I recall quite clearly sitting at my kitchen table with the State Policeman as he told me that approximately 5% of cases were proven to be false claims. He said our daughter did a very good thing in speaking up and that he believed her.
Even with this background situation given as a reason to do what we could to stand up for these children in the multiple charges against TC, the firmness of the pastor to keep quiet, not say anything, believe him because he went to Dykstra and was assured that it was all false and nothing would come of it, was overwhelming. He, the pastor, even offered to fly Don Lindblad out to talk to us. Even then, not knowing the full extent of the involvement of Mr. Lindblad, we could tell that we weren’t going to hear anything to change our mind. We left in March of 2017. The church voted to leave ARBCA around the same time. The church voted and asked the pastor to step down, though he did ask that they not withdraw from ARBCA until after the GA that year so that he could still attend, even though he would now be attending another ARBCA church in the state. A few families left the church because of this vote. We are only still in contact and fellowship with less than a handful of families.
I have been following this trial and cannot say thank you enough for all the hard work that this blog and others have put into gathering and sharing information. God Bless you all.

Paul Schmidt

Chicmumma, I am so sorry to hear of what happened to your daughter. I can empathize; a child from my first marriage was molested by a relative on my former wife’s side of the family after we’d divorced.

What continually astounds me is how the men of ARBCA and their supporters cannot see and accept that Tom Chantry is a child abuser and that ARBCA attempted to shield him. The evidence makes this so blatantly apparent. To underscore what a reasonable person would have concluded by looking at the evidence, a fair trial has proven the matter beyond a reasonable doubt.

Something we heard from the pulpit at PRBC is that men will not believe the evidence of the gospel unless God changes their hearts. Apparently, the same holds true for the men ARBCA concerning Tom Chantry and their culpability in protecting him.


Mr. Schmidt,
While you were at PRBC, was it common knowledge that Arden Hodgins had “resigned” as pastor at a member’s only meeting of TRBC in La Mirada, CA in March of 2017? If yes, was it known that those members were told not to speak about it?

Paul Schmidt

Hello RJ,

As to “common knowledge,” I will say only that some of us at PRBC learned early this year that Arden was no longer a pastor. The how’s and why’s were left unasked and unexplained, although a few people close to the Hodgins of course had more details. While I was tempted to ask Arden, I refrained; it would not have been helpful to either of us.

Arden may have seriously erred as a pastor and as a man. There will always be sinners standing in the pulpits as well as sitting in the pews. But until I see hard facts persuading me to the contrary, I will continue to hold Arden Hodgins in high esteem.


Thank you for your reply Mr. Schmidt. I’d like to clarify that it was not my goal to lower Mr.. Hodgins in anyone’s esteem. The body of Christ ought to love and embrace repentant brethren, which I hope and presume him to be. My concern is that the secrecy and the hypocrisy of his situation has some similarities to Chantry’s. That’s not to say that Mr. Hodgin’s sin is the same as Chantry’s, however.

When Chantry arrived at PRBC did you refrain from asking him questions? Would you say you at some point came to hold him in high esteem? I don’t mean to come across as if I’m personally attacking you. I only notice the potential of a repeat situation: a pastor disqualifies himself from the office of elder, the ARBCA and friends keep it rather hush hush, he moves cross country (yes, I know he’s from the area) to a mostly unknowing congregation, no details are shared and no one asks questions and, God-forbid, as Chantry did and SHOULD NOT HAVE, later sneaks back into the ministry when the few people who know about his removal are either supportive or ignorant of his intentions. I do not know that these are his intentions, BUT the way his situation has been handled would make it easier for him if these were his intentions.

1 Timothy 5:19-21 reads,

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”

When the rest of the congregation are subjected to church discipline matters including censuring and excommunication before both members and visitors at TRBC and Mr. Hodgins is allowed a members-only meeting, how is this biblical? This is partiality and hypocrisy.

When Mr. Hodgins is a pastor who is known not only to his congregation but also throughout ARBCA churches and beyond, and formerly on the AC, yet “resigns” in a private, members-only meeting and all in attendance are told not to speak of it, how is this biblical? How is this a “rebuke before all”? It isn’t. So God’s word is not accomplishing His will, which is that all the “others also may fear”. (I’d also assert here that elders are not presidents of a company that they may resign from. They are supposed to be called and qualified overseers of the Bride of Christ. They disqualify themselves, they don’t resign.)

Please consider this explanation of biblical discipline of elders:

Mr. Hodgins did seriously err, else he would not have been disqualified and removed as a pastor. While those in the pulpit are as much sinners as those in the pews, elders are specifically required to be blameless and above reproach. Something pastors seem to be taking less and less seriously anymore.

I thank you again for your reply, Mr. Schmidt. It’s helpful to have these things in the open. Especially when there is such effort to keep things concealed and hidden against the Lord’s will. My hope is that Mr. Hodgins (and the elders at TRBC, as well as Mr. Lyon, who seems to have his hand in a lot of these things, and those of the ARBCA who are aware) will comply with God’s word for His glory’s sake and for the sake of the brethren. That means he should confess before ALL and remove his public sermons from the internet (as should Chantry, by the way!), as this makes him appear to be qualified when he is not. I also hope that, as you said, “the blinders worn by the complacent in the pews will fall away”, and will humbly pursue information that may be pertinent and possibly detrimental to the flock of God, that leadership would have the accountability that they seem to be sidestepping these days. Perhaps then, we will see a purer church that doesn’t bring such shame on the name of our precious Savior.

May your day be blessed.


Brent Detwiler

Regarding the Council & Reporting to Law Enforcement – Part 2 Nine months after the investigation, Chantry was regularly preaching at Tom Lyon’s church in Tacoma, WA. Twelve months later, he was declared fit for a return to pastoral ministry by Lyon, Mark McCormick and Devon Berry, the CCEF counselor. Twenty months later, he was an elementary school teacher. And soon after he arrived, he started “spanking” children again. That was altogether predictable! This information comes from the Arlington Heights Police Department in Illinois where he taught school. They investigated Chantry for battery in 2004. “[The father] called 911 on 07-16-04 to report the following incident. His son, a student at Christian Liberty Academy, was the victim of a battery on 07-14-04. His teacher Chantry spanked [his son] with a wooden paddle, due to his behavior. [The father] indicated that he is aware of the school’s policy on punishment but was alarmed at the marks left on his son’s buttocks [two days later]. … His concern is that Chantry, a fifth and sixth grade teacher, disciplined his five-year old son. [The father] felt that [his son] was “paddled” too hard by Chantry.” “I [Detective Hamrick] asked Chantry how long he has been employed by the school and how often he “paddles” students. Chantry advised that he has been employed by the school for approximately two years. He has “paddled” students less than twelve times.” “Chantry then spanked him with a wooden paddle that was kept in his office. … The paddle is made of pine and is tan in color. The paddle is approximately 18” in length and approximately an inch thick.” Chantry “paddled” a five-year-old who was NOT one of his students. He was teaching 10-12-year olds. It appears he was the go to guy for paddling at Christian Liberty Academy. Just like he was at Miller Valley Baptist Church in a couple of cases. And of course, he had a ready-made paddle in his office that he used “less than twelve times.” Less than twelve times! How many children did that involve? And remember, nothing Chantry says can be accepted as true. The number could be higher. Susan Eazer, the attorney prosecuting Chantry today, noted the following from the witness who brought this information to the attention of Mr. Wilhelm. “He [the witness] indicated there should be reports from both agencies [Arlington Heights PD & the Depart. of Child Safety] regarding the incident and that Chantry was fired from the school as a result of the same. The individual also indicated that if one followed the “rabbit trail” similar instances and victims would be discovered at the churches that Chantry worked for following his stint in Arlington Heights.” Chantry was a member of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL while teaching at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL. Dale Smith and Al Huber (his father in law) were/are the pastors. They had to know Chantry was investigated and fired from the school. During the years he was teaching at Christian Liberty Academy, he was also helping with church plants and missions in ARBCA at the encouragement of Smith and Huber. In particular, he regularly traveled to Iowa and did “a lot of work” helping to start a new church. After he was fired from Christian Liberty Academy, Smith and Huber sent Chantry to regularly preach at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corner, WI about an hour and 20 minutes away. This timeline comes from Chantry’s biography. I’ve added notes in brackets [ ]. “Upon concluding his studies [1995], Tom moved to [Prescott] Arizona and worked in full-time ministry [at Miller Valley Baptist Church] for five years [1995-2000]. Subsequently he has been a member of Reformed Baptist churches in [Tacoma] Washington [Providence Reformed Baptist Church, 2000-2001] and Illinois [Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Rockford, IL, 2001-2006] and has spent four years [2001-2005] teaching at a Christian school [Christian Liberty Academy] in the Chicago area [Arlington Heights, IL]. Tom began preaching regularly at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in the summer of 2005. One year later [2006] he moved to the Milwaukee area [Hales Corner, WI] to begin preaching full time [at CRBC].” To summate. Nine months after the Council investigation in 2000, Chantry was back in ministry preaching thanks to Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick. That continued non-stop until the end of 2016 thanks to Dale Smith and Al Huber. Even after he was arrested in July 2016, he continued to preach at Christ Reformed Baptist Church until December 2016. There are reports Dale Smith now sees through Tom Chantry. He was at the July-August trial but did not sit on the Chantry side of the court. Nor did he interact with Chantry, his wife Karen; his sister, Judy; his fellow pastor, Al Huber; or Don Lindblad, David Dykstra and Mitch Axsom. I did not have the chance to introduce myself to him. He would arrive a little late and leave a little early. He did not interact with anyone. During the trial he sent this message to his church. Dear Church Family, We know that the internet bloggers are in high gear right now, and they are making many accusations against us, other pastors and our Association. If you have been reading their blogs (which we are not encouraging), we know that it must be raising questions and concerns with you. If they have indeed caused you any trouble or angst, please write down any concerns that have been raised in your minds. When we get back from Arizona we will be meeting with all of you very soon to try to answer every question you may have, and we will do so with openness, transparency and honesty. We are so sorry that you have to go through this. We ask that you please bear with us during this difficult time. Despite what is being said about us, we do not want to keep you in the dark, and we will not. Yours in Christ, Pastor Smith… Read more »

Roberto G

Any updates on Dale Smith’s support or non-support of sicko Tom Chantry? Smith’s relationship to Al Huber? I wonder if Dale Smith’s health struggles over the years mitigates any of his past support/involvement with Chantry being used by Grace Ref Bapt Church to help other churches. Perhaps he was not always present or maybe he delegated a lot to Al Huber?


I have heard 2nd or 3rd hand that he has reported back to his church in a way that readers here will be pleased. But because it is 2nd or 3rd hand, I’d rather not give details of the “hearsay” and hope someone closer (such as from the church in attendance at the meeting) would come forward with the information.

Douglas R Belardi

Why did Illinois not ptosecute Chantry?



Can you remember where you found the information about Tom Chantry being fired from the school? Do you have information about why?

As I understand it, TC taught at the school for 4 years: 2002-2006. The police report for the hard spanking was the dated 7/16/2004.

Brent Detwiler

Above I said, “Even after he was arrested in July 2016, he continued to preach at Christ Reformed Baptist Church until December 2016.” I was mistaken. He continued to be the pastor until December 2016 when he took a “leave of absence.

After his arrest, Chantry continued to paid his full salary and benefits of $8,000 per month. That continued after the leave of absence through April of 2017 unbeknownst to church members.

Brent Detwiler

Regarding the Council & Reporting to Law Enforcement

There were three sets of written recommendations by Tedd Tripp, 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. 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 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 agsint 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.


“Plagiarism charges are indeed true and lost Bob Selph his pastoral position in SC. Was caught using material easily found on the internet. It’s why he isn’t there any more. They get sorry for him this sponsor him.”

Intended to say they felt sorry for him and thus sponsor him.

All true.

Brent Detwiler

Thanks Anon.


I’ve just read the letter from the victim himself detailing the abuse. I feel so terrible that he had to endure that and that you can read the angst in his words that he trusted his parents to care for him and he doesn’t fell like they did by putting him a position to be abused. Doesn’t it raise any questions that they would call Chantry to come and spank the boys while they are at work? I know the parents would do it differently if they had the chance and report that to the police at the time but this is starting to create some confusion about their responsibility. Why on earth would they allow this man to spank their children, let the child spend the night with him after they know he spanks them, let them continue to be tutored and schooled by him with permission to spank them at school, and not listen to the child when he tried to tell them he was being abused? Abuse is never okay and this doesn’t excuse that for even one second but something is wrong here. This doesn’t sound like simply trusting in “authority” or letting your pastor do what he thinks is best, there is something more here to the story. Why wouldn’t they believe their child after seeing marks and bruises? Even the child just saying it’s happening should have made them listen.


Where did you access this letter? I do not recall seeing it posted here.

Deana Holmes

Todd, thanks so much for getting the documents and pursuing this. I also thank the people who have posted here and provided background for understanding.

Don’t Tom and Karen Chantry have children? Is there any concern these children were abused by their father?

As a former lawyer, yes, a lawyer or prosecutor would look at the statute as it was written in 2000 AND the case law regarding the statute, if any. You need both.

Ole Ganny

“Woe to my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm be wholly withered, his right eye utterly blinded!”


Blaming Satan is everywhere! It is absolutely the most damaging belief to Christianity, IMO, as a vapid excuse for evil and not taking personal responsibility. Never mind the innocent kids! It’s vile.

Headless Unicorn Guy

It’s commonly called “The Geraldine Defense”, after a Flip Wilson tag line.


Have not heard Gordon Taylor mentioned in your articles. He was the ARBCA coordinator after Bob Selph and is now the coordinator for Reformed Baptist Network which was started with Bob Selph as a leader. It seems that these men knew about the possible blow up over Tom Chantry and used the impassability controversy to pull out of ARBCA. Is RBNetwork just another association made up of new generation of ARBCA runaways? They condone spanking.

Van Helsing

The danger with some blogs is that people reading them become too emotionally invested and irrational and then often want to go to extremes. America is the land of EXTREMES as de Tocqueville postulated in his observations about the US in the 1800s. He was correct! Now I read, do away with all spanking or something as ludicrous as abolishing all church authority due to the sins of some men entrenched in a bureaucratic cocoon. No, promote rational and responsible spanking and insist upon responsible leadership. Those are the true solutions.

I repeat! There is absolutely nothing wrong, immoral, or un-biblical about spanking so get over this please! Please? Spanking that is done over the pants (without bruising, blistering or fondling) and done judiciously and only by the parent without anger as a last resort is EFFECTIVE at redirecting rebellious or offensive behaviors and not just short-term either. Please burn all of your out of print Dr. Benjamin Spock books. Please!

Spankings tells the child that the parent is SERIOUS about the infraction when the foolishness in the child holds sway. It’s a wake-up call. It is sobering! Does not a loving God do the same to us when we disobey? I have heard the argument that lack of spanking on the part of the parent means INDIFFERENCE and apathy. I suspect that may be true in many cases. There is a big difference between spankings and beatings by the way. Beatings produce the violent children and people now killing each other in America’s inner cities because that is how these abused children learn to solve their problems.

One school district recently just returned to a “paddling policy” that was jettisoned as liberals overran the government educational system in the late 50s, 60s and 70s. Remember, the liberal agenda is PERMISSIVENESS that always leads to rebellion. I believe that is where Ted Tripp is coming from as far as addressing the corporal punishment angle. If the permissiveness can be curbed in the family then its negative effects will be lessened in the community.

Permissiveness’s negative ripple effects are numerous as criminal after criminal avoids serious jail time or imprisonment because the courts have become SOFT, lenient, and permissive. Why do police go overboard with arrest beatings? The adrenalin is flowing and they know that the “criminals” being re-arrested will only be released and back on the streets in a few days to re-offend. They figure that some “punishment” is better than none. Can you really blame them when they see the same perpetrators over and over again? Even death row inmates remain incarcerated for up to 13 years due to this liberalization of the law.

I applaud the “paddling policy” with a reservation since it was implemented with strict guidelines and was to be used with parental permission and only when necessary as specified by the district. My one reservation is that the government schools cannot completely take on the responsibilities of the parent(s) or effectively do their job of disciplining their disobedient and unruly children. But then again, the government schools do just about everything else (providing food, clothing, shelter and nurturance) for irresponsible parent(s) so why not try to discipline?

I suspect that it will be short-lived since the kids getting paddled will claim victim status like TC, emotionally manipulate their parent(s) with their supposed trauma (while laughing at their gullible mothers) and the parent(s) will back down and will rescind their permission.

Finally, TC’s abusive behaviors (beatings) toward innocent children were totally aberrant and abominable especially since he invoked God in the process. Like pedophile priests this became “spiritual rape” with untold damage to innocent children and their families. After he faces the human justice system he will have to give account to Christ for these grave sins. I would wish to be him at that time since I believe in God.

Deana Holmes

I am opposed to spanking. I was hit numerous times as a child. My mother used a metal mesh flyswatter after she broke a blood vessel in her hand from whaling on one of us. All spanking did was turn me into a better liar. It also stopped working when I became taller than mom (about age 14 or so).

I’d also note that if one were to hit adults the way these people advocate hitting children, it would be considered the crimes of assault and battery. But we cut out an exception so people can beat their kids and give the impression that problems can be solved with pain and force. Also, if one reads the books about how to administer spankings, and then think about doing the same ritualized actions to adults, the bizarre nature of the whole thing comes out.

We know that hitting a dumb animal is bad for the animal; why do we insist on hitting our kids?

Matt Foreman

PD, You suggest that men in RBNet “knew about the possible blow up over Tom Chantry and used the impassability (sic) controversy to pull out of ARBCA.” You have that backwards. No one knew before 2015 that new victims had come forward and an investigation was being opened. The only thing most people in ARBCA knew about Tom Chantry was that he had inappropriately spanked children and been removed from the pastorate in 2000, and that there were divisions in the Association on the merits of the case and whether he should have been restored to the ministry. Some people knew that Tom wouldn’t join ARBCA while Bob Selph was a part.

You also suggest that RBNet “was started with Bob Selph as a leader,” which shows you don’t know what you’re talking about. But you’re working very hard to create guilt by association (pun intended). I wonder why? Many of us have a good relationship with Bob, but he didn’t lead any of the planning committees and has held no leadership position in the Network. He was transitioning to urban ministry when the Network was being formed.

Brent Detwiler


You say, “Some legal experts have looked into it: Arizona reporting laws were changed in 2003. In 2000, unfortunately, the mandated reporting laws were not clear.”

A few questions for you ML.

How many are “some legal experts”? That sounds like an overstatement. What are their names? Do you include Mike McKnight? If so, I would not consider him a legal scholar. Nor is he an impartial researcher.

Given your assertions, would you please provide the reading of the law in 2000 versus 2003 by way of comparison? That should be easy for you to do. Mr. Wilhelm has asked you to do the same.

Of course, you must know John Sears, Tom Chantry’s lawyer, and Susan Eazer, the prosecutor and Deputy Attorney for Yavapai County, disagree with you. They have both argued in court documents that Tedd Tripp, Mike McKnight and Rich Jensen were mandatory reporters in 2000.

Furthermore, presiding Judge Bradley Astrowsky, made the same point at the Chantry trial. He stated the Informal Council and ARBCA would be convicted of a cover-up if put on trial.

Lastly, you say, “It is doubtful that they [Tripp, McKnight, & Jensen] were legally mandated reporters for the level of allegations known in 2000.” That is an absolutely absurd statement! In fact, it is offensive.

Have you not read the letters from the victims and the families that were presented to Tripp, McKnight and Jensen in 2000? Have you not read their own confidential reports from 2000? “The level of allegations in 2000” clearly required Chantry be reported. That is plain and evident!

ML, I can’t believe you are making excuses for them. The question is why? You appear to be covering up for them. There is NO DOUBT the allegations far exceeded the requirements of the law to report. This statement by you undermines all your credibility.

I am working on a post that will address this and much more. Selph (a pastor in AZ for 17 yrs.), Tripp (a child expert & counselor), McKnight (a lawyer), and Jensen (a former homicide detective) all knew Chantry must be reported to law enforcement but did not do so.

Nor did they tell the parents or the Miller Valley elders they were obligated to report. In fact, Selph, Tripp, McKnight and Jensen didn’t even recommend they report to law enforcement.

The victims and their families have all said they would have reported Chantry if informed about the full extent and nature of his crimes. The Miller Valley elders have stated they would have reported Chantry if simply told they were mandatory reporters.

I was a pastor for 30 years. There was no question about what to do in situations like the one surrounding Thomas Chantry. You help the victims and parents to report. If that does not happen, as a pastor, I am legally, ethically, and biblically responsible to report. You do not allow a known child abuser and sociopathic liar like Chantry to continue. The two always go hand in hand.

Selph, Tripp, McKnight, and Jensen have yet to acknowledge any wrong doing. But plenty of people are covering up for them and making excuses for them. I know Chantry and those in ARBCA who continue to cover up his crimes and lie to the anyone who will listen, are the ready bad apples, but the Informal Council and Bob Selph must still acknowledge their fault.

I also realize there are godly people, and godly pastors in ARBCA, who are calling the old and new power brokers to account. That includes the current Administrative Council. They should be forced to resign given their deceitful and libelous AC Report – Part 1 on September 5. Chris Marley did an excellent job exposing them in his nine-point response on September 11. The old guard and new AC is comprised of consummate hypocrites who cite the command not to bear false witness while they repeatedly do so. I remember citing evidence from police reports to all the ARBCA pastors in 2016 only to be rebuked by Douglas VanderMeulan for violating the Ninth Commandment.

In reality, the ones who have broken the Ninth Commandment are those who have asserted Chantry is innocent. Men like Al Huber, Tom Lyon, Larry Vincent, Steve Martin and Don Lindblad who all showed up at Tom’s church, Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corner, WI to set the members straight! What a massive lie and they have been telling it for the last three years. And by telling the world Chantry is innocent like Jesus Christ, they are also telling the world the victims and their corroborating families are lying devils.

Marley concluded with this paragraph.

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

The ad hoc committee who worked on the report for the Administrative Council was comprised of ARBCA insiders Dale Crawford, Steve Marquedant, Jeff Massey, and Bob Curley. They are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. The swamp needs to be drained. Otherwise, people, pastors and churches should leave ARBCA.


As I said, they all should have reported to the police. I am told that a legal response may be coming, so I will let the legal experts make the case. Maybe what I was told was wrong. I am also among those hoping that the Informal Council makes a transparent statement.

You say, “Selph, Tripp, McKnight and Jensen didn’t even recommend they report to law enforcement.” Have all the families specifically said that? To you personally? Or someone else?

I’m in agreement with you on the “really bad apples”.


Why didn’t the parents report this even knowing what Tom did but maybe not the full extent of it all. According to the law, they would have been obligated to report as well. I’m honestly confused at this. I would certainly report someone if it was my own child. Has anyone been in contact with them or gotten any perspective from them on this? I’m genuinely trying to understand all the information and not be quick to blame anyone so please don’t misunderstand this as an attack on them or anyone else, just honest questions.


My guess, from similar experiences, is that they were admonished to trust their ‘God-given authorities’ to handle things. To doubt them, or attempt to take things into your own hands, is sin and rebellion, and worthy of discipline.

I cannot pretend to know the hearts and thoughts of these parents, but it appears that they were assured that everything was being ‘handled properly’ and that Chantry would never pastor or be around children again. No doubt the situation was perceived as a well-meaning, godly man ‘falling’ into regrettable sin, rather than a predator grooming and harming multiple victims. If such was the case, it would be fairly easy to persuade godly people to forgive a fallen man’s sin and move forward. These parents were later stunned and appalled to find out, first, that the abuse was not simply over-aggressive spanking but sexual in nature, and, secondly, that the ‘authorities’ had not fulfilled their pledge to protect others from potential harm by the abuser.

I do not have the inside information to state that this is for sure the way things played out, but I can tell you that it has been replicated in many churches as naive congregants are abused by devious wolves in shepherd’s clothing and have no idea how to respond. Ignorant and trusting, they simply do as they are ‘told’ in the midst of life-shattering stress and pain.


A point that’s always touched on here is the danger of authoritarianism that’s leads parents to consider corporeal punishment by a single man with a penchant for rage to be “simply over-agressive spanking” and not something to run the f**k away from.

For all the horrer that these children sexually abused by Chantry went through, there will be five times as many spiritually abused victims who might very well be having flashbacks and meltdowns of their own, that stem from the rapes of their souls.

And this same authoritarianism continues to persist in ARBCA and in Founders and in other denominations of their ilk (hell, throughout Christendom for all I know). These scores of silent victims are the truly untold tragedies of the whole sordid mess.


Sadly, you are right. As a victim of this ‘rape of the soul’, you question what happened, and doubt that you are a ‘victim’ compared to the ‘real’ abuse of others. Yet the trauma is debilitating, as you lose church, community, family and sometimes faith. Few initially realize that what they experienced was abuse, and I am guessing a similar process occurs with sexual abuse victims. What seems simply a relationship gone bad, is only later discovered to have happened to others. After years of guilt and regrets, you realize you were manipulated and abused.

Authoritarian spiritual abuse is rife across the evangelical and particularly Reformed landscape, and victims are only beginning to understand what happened to them.

Note that perps like Chantry also tend to be authoritarian egomaniacs, which leads me to suspect that authoritarian spiritual abuse easily leads into other forms of abuse. When a person acquires illegitimate authority over others, it is very simple to abuse it to meet whatever perverse desires he has.


JHenry, spot on.

“As a victim of this ‘rape of the soul’, you question what happened, and doubt that you are a ‘victim’ compared to the ‘real’ abuse of others. Yet the trauma is debilitating, as you lose church, community, family and sometimes faith.”

I agree wholeheartedly. And if you didn’t have some prior context that you can point to or rely upon, you’re left feeling like your soul is all dead space. What should have been the safest place in the world becomes the deadliest and the Big Thing, the Ultimate Thing, God Himself has become that which hurts you the most.

(I recognize that the Church does not equate to God, but its very hard for a child to differentiate between the two. And when that’s done during one’s formative years, then even when she’s an adult with kids of her own, its still hard to tell them apart.)

a former ARBCA church attendee

Great observation! Since this blog seems to have a broad range of readers, I have a follow-up question that I am very interested in although it is slightly off the TC topic. Doesn’t organized religion by its very nature tend to be authoritarian? Whether it’s evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, etc., organized religion seems to be all about conformity and obedience to whatever code the group subscribes to as interpreted by some sort of guru, whether local or not. Religion becomes a tool to control people or at least some aspects of people’s lives.
I’m not suggesting there’s no place for the church so please don’t get too defensive. I’ve seen churches quickly degenerate into authoritarian situations whenever there’s disagreement. The educated tend to prevail over those lacking education (but who may have a good heart) who then fall by the wayside, and the church becomes a sort of debating society. (I’m not against education, I just think some humility makes a good education that much better.) This tendency seems particularly common amongst reformed churches. (Aren’t there more important things for the church to put energy into than impassibility for instance?)


I would generally concur. On the one hand, the Church proper, the Institution, the religion – is i think somewhat inevitable. On the other hand, Christianity as a Faith, as a Way, tends to lose it’s way when institutionalism runs rampant. I don’t know what the answer is. I suppose the best we can hope to do it love God and love others and follow Jesus as best we can.


Wolves groom parents as much as children. How do you think they get by with it for so long? Add in the authoritarian “great man of God” church model practiced by those groups and it’s a perfect recipe because if you can’t trust the God Guy in the pulpit, who can you trust. After all, other great men of God recommended him. See the problem?

I suggest studying grooming techniques of predators, cults and watch Spotlight for look at how corrupt institutions operate. They kept moving Tom around, too. And priests and pastors are like gods in those groups. People don’t question. Best to run!


History of A.R.S. 13-3620 Mandatory Reporting statute going back to its origin in 1964 and all revisions since, beginning on p. 4 of this link: