ARBCA Insider John Giarrizzo is Caught Lying, Admits ARBCA Cover-up Yet Manages to Keep Job

By | October 4, 2018

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”
Winston  Churchill

“This report is focused on the deception and coverup of facts by ARBCA Pastor John Giarrizzo.” -Grace Covenant Church Elders

The Elders of Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, AZ have done an incredible job in their report titled “Pastor John’s Involvement in ARBCA’s Coverup of the Tom Chantry Scandal,” They have uncovered new information, got John Giarrizzo (a man who I have long suspected to be one of the primary players in the corrupt inner circle of ARBCA leaders) to admit there was an ARBCA cover-up as it related to the Thomas Chantry sexual molestation and assault of children (though he denies he was involved in it) and confronted him with evidence that proved his initial story of not being a part of the ARBCA Administrative Council in 2000 was a lie. (After confronted with irrefutable evidence Giarrizzo claimed memory loss!) I urge everyone to read the complete report, which can be found further down in this article. But knowing that many of you may not read the whole report I have included a few bullet point quotes of interest below. 

I will also let you know up front that, incredibly, Giarrizzo has managed to hold onto his job, albeit at a great price. He has suffered the loss of many, if not most of the people of integrity, including all the elders, most of the deacons, many staff employees and many godly members. I am told most of those remaining are the younger people in their 20’s, not the prime demographic for people who donate lots of money. I would guess that many of the big givers are in their 40’s and 50’s and therefore the loss of about 50% of their membership may actually comprise 75% of GCC’s income. Perhaps the biggest loss and one that is not easily recovered is the damage to Giarrizzo’s reputation.

To cut costs the church plant in San Tan has been shut down. Plans for a $200,000 office expansion will likely be shelved, and perhaps Giarrizzo will even forego the recent pay raise that he worked so hard to obtain. Below are the brief points of interest from the report:

  • ND informed JG (John Giarrizzo) that Darrell said that he and Rich Howe (one of the MVBC elders in 2000/2001) talked by phone one day and Darrell inquired about what was going on at MVBC. Howe explained some pornography was found hidden in the parsonage after Tom Chantry left and that Tom left due to an incident involving over-spanking or some type of wrong spanking of some of the children. Darrell did not know more than that.
  • ND continued by explaining that JG had been on the AC from the start of ARBCA in 1997 and never left the board, but JG told the Weinland’s that he just didn’t remember being on the AC at that time. ND asked how JG could account for such a memory loss.
  • Pastor John was asked, “Is it your opinion now that there was a cover up at some level by AC members?” Pastor John responded, “Yes.”
  • Pastor John informed the elders that Earl Blackburn’s stated, “This might come back to bite us.” Blackburn made this comment in regard to Bob Selph’s refusal to turn over the sealed report. A follow up question was asked as to whether or not Blackburn’s statement demonstrated an awareness of the situation by Pastor John. Pastor John stated, “Yeah, they have something to hide.”
  • Pastor John explained his memory loss as it related to his participation on the 2000 AC and being the product of not remembering.

GCC Elder Investigation – J… by on Scribd

Here are before and after screenshots showing how decimated the leadership of GCC is. It should be noted that Frank Urquidez and Rob Holmes were elders at the San Tan Reformed Baptist Church. Holmes is loyal to Giarizzo and has returned to GCC. I am unsure of the status of Urquidez.

 

Before

AFTER

(10/11/2018 Note from editor: Below is the updated web page showing the one remaining elder and two remaining deacons at Grace Covenant Church.)

 

 

According to the Grace Covenant Chuch Elder’s  report titled “Pastor John’s Involvement in ARBCA’s Coverup of the Tom Chantry Scandal,” on the last day of December 2017 Grace Covenant Church members, John and Pam Weinland met with their pastor, John Giarrizzo “to express their concerns over ARBCA’s handling of the Tom Chantry matter at Miller Valley Baptist Church (MVBC) in 2000.”

While it doesn’t appear the Weinlands were members of MVBC while living in Prescott in 2001, they had friends who were. When Thomas Chantry was arrested in December 2015 the Weinlands undoubtedly talked to some of their friends and realized Thomas Chantry was not being unfairly persecuted because he was a Christian, nor was it an attack of Satan, rather he was facing serious consequences for his reprehensible crimes against children.

Kind, thoughtful, compassionate and tenacious seekers of truth with a strong moral compass,  it seems Providence had placed the Weinlands in GCC “for such a time as this.” Because of the Weinland’s resolute determination to expose ARBCA’s cover-up  of the sordid Chantry matter, the other Elders at GCC took notice and also started asking questions of senior pastor John Giarrizzo. Again, I quote from their report:

GCC elders took an increased interest in the issue when GCC members Scott and Pam Weinland first met with Pastor John on December 31, 2017 to express concern over ARBCA’s handling of the Tom Chantry matter at Miller Valley Baptist Church (MVBC) in 2000. Pastor John, as a founding pastor of ARBCA, served as the bridge for GCC elders between past and present ARBCA personnel. This appeared to be an advantage to the elders because Pastor John was knowledgeable of the ARBCA Administrative Council’s (AC) protocols, the association’s culture, his significant institutional knowledge, etc. Pastor John had a good rapport with all of the ARBCA pastors and the elders believed Pastor John’s esteemed standing within ARBCA would provide the influence necessary to get the answers to questions posed by the Weinland’s. Since that time (nine months) GCC elders were exposed to increasing amounts of information by way of public record, through shared documents and personal conversations and interviews. On August 14, 2018 all GCC elders came to the unanimous conclusion that the ARBCA Administrative Council (AC) withheld vital information from member churches in 2000 and 2016. It was, and is, clear to the GCC elders that the ARBCA leadership connected with the 2000 and 2016 ARBCA ACs, had varying degrees of culpability that ranged from negligence for not taking proper action to the willful attempt to coverup the facts. This range of culpability also extends to members of the ARBCA 2016 Membership Committee (MC) that had knowledge of the criminal investigation, which was initiated in 2015 by the Prescott Police Depart. It is not the intent of this report to determine the level of involvement of individual leaders within ARBCA. It should be noted that many of the pastors/elders in ARBCA, past and present, have no connection and insufficient knowledge of the 2000 and 2016 Chantry investigations and the ARBCA officers’ subsequent coverup. This report is focused on the deception and coverup of facts by ARBCA Pastor John Giarrizzo. It should be noted that Pastor John was an active member of the AC since the inception of the association in 1997 through 2002. Pastor John withheld this information from GCC elders until it was discovered by the Weinland’s and reported to the elders on August 4, 2018. For eight months GCC elders had been working off of the false premise, as communicated by Pastor John, that he was not on the ARBCA AC in 2000, an administrative council that he, himself, condemned.

In February 2018 the Weinlands, frustrated with their perceived inaction of the GCC elders and the obvious lack of integrity among ARBCA leadership, informed the elders of their intention to resign their membership. The elders prevailed upon the Weinlands to hold off on their resignation because this was the first they had heard of their concerns! (Personal note: I believe the elders because I experienced the exact thing at the United Christian Church of Dubai. I had shared my concerns with the promotion, at times from the pulpit, and sale of C.J. Mahaney’s books with senior pastor John Folmar. He dismissed my concerns and I eventually resigned from the church. After I resigned the Chairman of the Elder Board called me, desiring to know why I had done so. I was shocked when he told me this was the first he had heard of my concerns! The moral of the story is when you have issues with the senior pastor you would be wise to  CC your email to at least one of the non-salaried elders.)

Also in the Providence of God GCC had been blessed with four good men who were elders – Pete Smith, Mark Flin, Joe Godal, and Josh Rusev. Additionally, Nick DeBenedetto, an intern pastor, served a vital role in the investigation of John Giarrizzo. Pete Smith is a retired Police Officer from Gilbert and Nick DeBenedetto is a retired Police Officer from the Phoenix Police Department where he served as an internal affairs investigator. These men all seemed to possess the wisdom and courage necessary to do a proper investigation.  Too many times I have seen elders who, when faced with the need to confront the senior pastor, prove to be cowards.

Prior to even finishing their investigation, the elders concluded that Giarrizzo had serious issues that needed to be addressed. Here are the actions they proposed:

On August 16 the statement to the GCC congregation and ARBCA resignation letter was read to Pastor John by Mark Flin in the presence of Joe Godal. He was also advised at that time that he would be suspended with pay of all pastoral duties until the investigation was complete. He offered no objections to the elders.

Unfortunately for John Giarrizzo, his hard-heartedness has now driven these men of integrity out of his church, as well as any member with a lick of discernment, which appears to be about 50% of the congregation.

On August 2, 2018, the Weinlands resigned their membership at GCC. The final piece of evidence that tipped the scale for them was when they discovered the photo of the 2000 ARBCA Administrative Council. (See below.) This photo showed John Giarrizzo to be a dissembler. Giarrizzo had claimed all along that he was not a member of the 2000 AC,  but once confronted with evidence to the contrary he had two options – he could man up and admit he had lied, or he could claim a memory loss. Any guesses as to what choice Giarrizzo made?

Here is Giarrizzo’s response:

I must say that I was both shocked and embarrassed to discover that I was indeed still on the AC – not only in 2000 but also 2001 (perhaps 2002 also)! I was honored to be on the first AC in 1997. We ran for two-year terms. I can remember how demanding the AC work was becoming and how I was getting so busy at GCC that I had to resign before finishing out my term of office. For some reason I thought I was off the AC by that time. I should have checked the dates before telling them that. But being on the AC at that time I just don’t have any recollection of “many serious discussions” on any of the AC conference calls. I don’t recall there ever being a single discussion over what to do about the serious sins of Tom Chantry? I have a bad memory to begin with – but something this serious would definitely have stuck out in my mind. I’m sorry to draw a big blank on that.

 

Below is the photo of the ARBCA Administrative Council for the year 2000. John Giarrizzo denied for months that he was a member of this Council, but due to the Weinland’s persistence in digging up factual evidence, they unearthed this photo which proved Giarrizzo to be lying.

 

Below is a portion of the letter the Weinlands submitted to the GCC elder board, advising them they were resigning from the church.

It has now been over 8 months since we first brought the concerns to the elders attention. It has been over 5 months since the elders asked us to give them an opportunity to confront ARBCA. We believe this has gone on far too long and ARBCA continues to make excuses. Over the long history of this scandal they have been given one opportunity after another to respond honorably and each time have only dug themselves in deeper. • ARBCA had the opportunity to report the child abuse by Tom Chantry to the police in 2000, but didn’t do the right thing. Instead, they broke the law and handled it on their own. To Chantry went on to teach in an Christian elementary school and pastor another church. • ARBCA had the opportunity to deny or at least delay Tom Chantry’s church admission into ARBCA membership in 2016, but didn’t do the right thing. Instead, ARBCA’s Membership Committee and Administrative Council recommended Tom Chantry and his church for membership in ARBCA despite the fact that he was under a criminal investigation for child molestation. ARBCA knew of this investigation but concealed the information from the ARBCA member churches. • ARBCA had the opportunity to give accurate and truthful information in their statement to the 2017 General Assembly, but didn’t do the right thing. Instead, they whitewashed the charges against Tom Chantry, referring to them as “incidents” or “difficulties”. They also lied when they reported “a process was followed that conformed to biblical, confessional, and constitutional parameters,” and that there was no conspiracy to “conceal.” • ARBCA had the opportunity to respond in a God honoring way to the GCC Elders’ appeals, but didn’t do the right thing. Instead they continue their refusal to address the allegations, telling the Elders that they don’t have the facts.  It appears ARBCA wants to continue to make the excuse that they can’t talk while there’s a criminal trial in progress. This refusal to act is unnecessary as we discussed at the April 24th meeting. It simply reflects a continued obstinance to do the right thing when there’s a potential high price to pay. It may be that they think they can minimize their liability for future civil actions, but it has been at the expense of their integrity. To our knowledge, no remorse or repentance has been expressed, no accountability has been taken, and a lack of humility has been keenly evident in ARBCA’s handling of this situation. There has been no concern expressed publicly for the victims which is appalling. At this point, we have lost all respect and trust for ARBCA and are unable to be associated with them in any way. This is due to their own repeated unwillingness to handle a very severe grievance in a godly manner.

I am of the opinion that Giarrizzo is another narcissist who has found his way to a pulpit, below is an interesting quote I found which seems to describe him:

Sadly, my clinical experience also includes too many people who have been victimized by narcissistic pastors and the systemic dynamics that enabled them. In this much-needed book, Ball and Puls offer an important prophetic service by exposing the destructive behaviors of severely narcissistic pastors, as well as the congregational dynamics that leave religious communities vulnerable to the same.

Christians are often eager to assume the best of others, to trust leaders, and to quickly seek reconciliation when there have been conflicts and problems. These commitments are often spiritual strengths, but narcissistic leaders can find a “longer leash” in some religious settings than they would find in other contexts. Narcissists are unlikely to change unless they have gotten into trouble, have received significant consequences, and are facing robust accountability that leads to a rigorous multi-year treatment plan. There is often a small window of time when initial interventions can have any chance of efficacy, namely when the narcissist is in a vulnerable position and their supporting cast had agreed changes are needed. But many narcissistic pastors are resourceful, charismatic, and talented enough to find ways of temporarily glossing tensions in their own congregations or, if the problems are serious enough, able to locate a new congregation that will give them a fresh start with few probing questions about their prior difficulties.

Ball, R. Glenn. “Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do About It”

Below are two comments made on previous posts. I thought they were good and it seemed they were relevant to this post as well so I included them.

All Died in the Wool ARBCA Leaders,

I find your blind loyalty to Thomas Chantry incredibly foolish and wicked. You care about your own desires more than God’s. I was a member of Miller Valley Baptist Church at the time of most of the abuse/molestation and you were not even present during the abuse but yet you have believed in a “Man” blindly and you weren’t even there at the time. I was a personal witness to Thomas Chantry’s behavior (Selfishness & Abusive Speech), and you were what….a thousand plus miles away at a minimum, except for John Giarrizzo(100 miles) and yet you blindly accept Tom’s word. Wow, you also believe Tom is a great preacher; I did too. I used to listen to his sermons on the road…..then I became a member of MVBC and found out who he really was when he wasn’t behind the pulpit.

Demons have more knowledge of scripture than a single man will ever possess but all of you would rather put children at risk in at least 3 different states than be the whistleblower. Whistleblowers usually are the ones who get crucified by the empire that is threatened by the truth coming out. The truth is called slander and gossip by the empire because it will expose the wicked leaders. You, ARBCA, chose to cover up Tom’s wickedness to save the empire for your own glory. John Giarrizzo told me directly, in person, that he took Tom Chantry in when he fled MVBC in the dead of night….like a coward(Exposed). The innocent do not run; the guilty do. John Giarizzo, ARBCA pastor, ARBCA Council Member, aided and abetted a criminal in his home so Tom could flee his crimes against children. I was there…I sat in one of the meetings with the investigative team to protect one of the victims during the secret ARBCA investigation(Not all of the truth came out that night). I was a representative for the victim. I have first-hand knowledge of the crimes Tom committed against these children. I knew who some of the children were before the abuse and who they have become after the abuse. Tom’s abuse destroyed their lives, my grief for these children is an abyss because I have the knowledge. ARBCA thinks they have got it all figured out…but they have no clue. I taught the same children as Tom; sweet children, innocent of the ways of a pedophile before the abuse….but you refuse to believe the truth and have exchanged it for your own narrative. Why, because just like so many before you, protect the empire, protect your legacy, protect ARBCA, protect Walter Chantry, protect the church, protect Tom but not the children. What the HELL is wrong with you guys. You are not men. You are cowards. You are no better than the Roman Catholic Church who protected the priests rather than the children. You can’t hide from this one boys. The truth is coming and it with find you. The hidden crimes of Thomas Chantry and the ARBCA cover-up is festering like a boil and the putrefaction will rise to the surface and you will not be able to keep control no matter what you do. I have either been a member or attended at least 4 ARBCA Churches and I have seen the ELDER OVERREACH destroy the unity of the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. The control the elders have in the typical ARBCA church is evil…it is not like a gentle, kind shepherd. I do not have any power over you but the Almighty Sovereign God of the Universe does and He will defend his people…I have no doubt. Repent ARBCA Leaders, you have aided and Abetted an abuser, violator, and molester of children. If you can’t see that now, you are as blind as the Pharisees.

Finally, for all of the families and victims, I love you and commend you. I pray for you all daily. You are brave and courageous.
-The Surveyor,  Comment on “Day Fourteen of the Thomas Chantry Trial” 8/23/2018

 

I strongly believe ARBCA is bankrolling some or most of Chantry’s defense. It’s one of only a few reasonable scenarios. Of course that money comes indirectly, but regularly via the offerings and tithes given to local ARBCA-loyal churches whose members and attendees assumed the money would be used for the service of God. Silly them.

So not only has ARBCA possibly violated IRS code, church members have unwittingly contributed to the legal defense of a child abuser. That includes me, and that makes me ashamed.

Meanwhile, ARBCA-loyal elders and deacons keep quiet. If they have been asked, they have likely sidestepped the question, perhaps hiding behind sophistry: “Those kinds of questions don’t further the gospel.” But were it demanded of them to provide a full accounting of a local church’s contribution to ARBCA and what proportion went to Chantry’s defense, could they? Would ARBCA provide that information? In truth? Or would doing so unearth an corpse leading to an IRS investigation? I’ll go long on the latter.

One wonders when the blinders worn by the complacent in the pews will fall away, when demands for emergency congregational meetings will escalate, and when some elders and deacons will be asked to step down simply on the basis that they too, like Chantry, are no longer beyond reproach.

It’s an outrage that these things are happening in churches claiming to have the closest acquaintance with the truth of God’s word.
-Paul Schmidt, Comment on “Are ARBCA Funds Being Utilized For Chantry Defense Fund?” 9/27/2018  

Giarrizzo, emboldened after holding onto his job had the nerve to write this email to the elders who had done such a thorough job of investigating him>

John Giarrizzo Letter Calli… by on Scribd

Below is a screenshot from the Spring 2017 ARBCA Update. Slightly more than one year after proclaiming how blessed they were the San Tan Reformed Baptist Church has closed their doors.

 

Two days ago I took a screen shot of the money five ARBCA  church plants have received. You will notice San Tan Reformed Baptist had raised only $3,200. (San Tan Reformed Baptist Church was a church plant of Grace Covenant Church.)

 

 

 

One day after I had visited the ARBCA website it appears the ARBCA “sweepers” were there trying to remove any trace of a failed church plant. You will notice they didn’t do a very thorough job, but then they are running ragged these days.

 

Finally, in a related issue that drew my attention I noticed that my former church, Sovereign Grace Church, also in Gilbert had sent one of their pastors, Trey Richardson, to teach a Sunday School class at Grace Covenant Church a few years ago. I called the church four times between 9/11 and 9/27. The first time I talked with a receptionist because Trey was out of town. I explained I was a former member who writes a blog and I was interested in knowing what type of relationship Sovereign Grace Church had with Grace Covenant Church. I left my number and asked her to have Trey call me back.  I then called Trey directly 0n three occassions. My calls went straight to his voice mail. I left a message with my phone number each time but Trey never returned my call. Finally, I emailed Trey yesterday again explaining what I wanted to talk about.  Again I have not heard back. As you may know, Sovereign Grace Churches under the leadership of C.J. Mahaney have been credibly shown to have conspired to cover-up the sexual abuse of children in their denomination. Nate Morales, a youth worker at Covenant Life molested at least 5 children while working there. The leaders of Sovereign Grace said nothing. Morales moved to Las Vegas and married a woman who had 5 children. Morales molested two of his step-sons! Morales was eventually prosecuted for molesting three of the boys from CLC and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The Sovereign Grace pastors in Gilbert all continue to strongly support C.J. Mahaney.

Brent Detwiler has written an article about an illegal slush fund for a family that was sent out from Sovereign Grace Gilbert to plant a church. Their son was raped by the son of another Sovereign Grace pastor. To keep the family from joining the class action lawsuit against  Sovereign Grace Ministries they paid the family $35,000. You can read the article here.

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Chicmumma

“It seems to me that all these groups (Sovereign Grace, Reformed Baptists, Bob Jones University types, et al) are very cozy with one another.”

As someone who not only worked at Bob Jones University for over a decade, had my children attend the schools there from 3rd grade thru college, and who now has lived thru a minor church split over this whole Chantry/ARBCA fiasco, I would have to respectfully disagree. I was very wary of joining the church we left due to it being a part of ARBCA, not because we knew very little about it when we joined after visiting for 6 months, but because we’d had a bad experience with an American Baptist church back in our mid to late twenties. We were concerned that any kind of association that a church belonged to could possible infringe on the church being autonomous, as we felt scripture called for. We’re all for folks getting together and having fellowship, but there’s just something about an association that gives me the willies. I was a baby Christian when I started at BJU, and I met all kinds of folks, from all kinds of denominations, and I learned a whole lot from those folks. I had best friends that were Presbyterian, Methodist, and former Brethren. About the only thing that I found folks had in common in regards to belief was that primarily they were what is commonly referred to as fundamentalist (small “f”). If you take a look at the BJU creed, that sums it up very succinctly. As with any organization, there are always going to be folks that don’t fit the general populations mold, and that’s ok. The students and staff are not asked to check their brains at the front gate, they are taught to use the minds that God gave them.

As far as I’m concerned, not taking on the responsibility to research and/or stay informed about any situation, and therefore being lackadaisical, happens in more churches than anyone should be ok with. It’s easier to put on blinders and be comfortable than to take them off and have to think and answer for yourself.

Ben

It strikes me as odd that the Miller Valley Baptist elders never called the cops on TC. Why? Knowing what we now know, why in 5 years (1995-2000) did the elders never pick up the phone and make a call. Why did they never stop it?

Maybe things would have been very different.

Thoughts anyone?

Van Helsing

The only plausible answer is that one or more of their elders at MVBC were ARBCA operatives and were ordered not to do so or to convince the parents of the victims not to do so. A semi-plausible answer is that they were so “hard-up” for any pastor that they sacrificed their own kids just to have a hugely defective one.

Ben

Van Helsing,

The primary problem with your “only plausible” theory is that ARBCA didn’t exist in 1995-1996. Therefore, there couldn’t be any “ARBCA operatives.

Your “semi-plausible” answer” – Wow, you just threw the MV elders under the bus. Do you really believe the MV elders would sacrifice their own children just to have Tom Chantry be their pastor? Really? Wow that’s harsh.

anonymous

Ben,

Your comment is technically accurate, but obviously misleading.

From http://www.arbca.com/rbms:
“RBMS was founded in 1985 when a small group of Reformed Baptist Churches desired to work together for the spread of the Gospel around the world. RBMS was designed to assist the local church to send and maintain a missionary on the field. It was out of RBMS that the desire arose to cooperate in other gospel endeavors. This desire led to the formation of ARBCA in 1997. RBMS remained a separate organization until 2000 when it became the foreign missions arm of ARBCA. ”

The group of individuals who currently make up ARBCA were formally associated with one another in 1995-1996, although they wouldn’t call themselves ARBCA for another year.

Van Helsing

Hi Ben,
How do you explain the “supposed” fact that TC pastored MVBC for five years without YOUR elders knowing what was going on in the private “tutoring sessions?” That is so incredibly difficult for me to believe. Did they even know that the sessions were taking place?

I was not there so I do not know so I am dependent on your objective observations. Were the church members so gullible and naive in this regard – with misplaced trust? Isn’t one of the major duties of elders to protect the flock and be vigilant of wolves in sheep’s clothing? Even Reformed Baptists talk and gossip.

Then, after going through the three-tiered confusing ARBCA investigation and TC fleeing in the middle of the night, his resignation, devastated kids and families, and all the concomitant drama – MVBC waits 18 years to finally break from ARBCA when they allow TC’s church to join the association. REALLY! How does one explain this? These are simple logical questions that are puzzling to me and I suspect many others on this blog. Do you care to provide some insight?

Ben

Van Helsing,

I have no answers. I wasn’t there. I’m accusing no one of anything. I’m just asking some questions.

As I wrote above, I find it odd that the MV elders had 5 years to call the cops and didn’t. They had repeated opportunities to effectively resolve this situation over 5 years but chose not do. Why? I don’t know. I would like to know did the MV elders discuss during those 5 years. What options/obligations did they consider to stop TC?

I find it odd that with all the vitriol against ARBCA, the MV elders are rarely discussed or questioned? Why? Did the MV elders try to cover up the situation? I don’t know. Just asking? Are they changing their story now to cover their own rear ends? I don’t know. Just asking.

Whatever bad happened started in MV by MV leaders, all of them.

The depth of ARBCA’s coverup will never be fully understood until it is clearly known what the MV elders did before ARBCA got involved in 2000.

5 years is a long time. 5 stinking years and the MV elders did what? Does anyone on the blog know? Anyone willing to say? I’d like to know.

5 years is a long time. 5 stinking years and the MV elders did what?

It seems that you’ve spent a lot of time personally attacking the MV elders without substantiating your accusations with credible sources or substantive information at all, as is the standard for posting comments on this blog. Prior to writing an article, Todd and many other thoughtful bloggers with integrity often try to reach the subjects of that article by phone or e-mail.

5 years is a long time. 5 stinking years and the MV elders did what? Does anyone on the blog know? Anyone willing to say? I’d like to know.

Perhaps you could volunteer to be our source? Try contacting the MV elders directly and then let us know what they have to say about the idea that,

“Whatever bad happened started in MV by MV leaders, all of them.”

If that’s not something you’re willing to do, then I don’t think that Todd or I can continue to approve your comments, as they do not meet the blog’s comment standards.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Ben,

Todd and I haven’t published your last couple comments because you’re just repeating the same talking points ad nauseum, as opposed to contributing to meaningful dialogue on this blog.

You don’t have to agree with our assessment of your comments. However, Todd does have the right to decline to publish comments for any reason.

Thanks for understanding.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Another nobody

Not sure if this is posting under the right comment but just wanted to say thank you to Todd and Jana for restricting the comments of “Ben”. They are adding no real value to this discussion and seem to only be about trolling this blog and its articles. What “Ben” fails to realize is that the people here are real. These are lives that have been affected in a major way and “Ben” thinks it’s a funny thing to comment about nonsense ideas and theories to have a laugh and confuse people.

“Ben”, this article is about John Giarrizzo and the way he has sinfully dealt with his church and the other elders who were with him and yet all you want to do is comment about the elders at MV. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. Why don’t you take Janna’s advice and call them to get their side of the story? Your comments appear on this blog to be very one sided and that’s not what this is about. It’s about making known all sides of the story so people can understand the truth and see what is going with ARBCA and churches that are a part of it. You’re acting like some have already by pushing some sort of agenda that you have or think needs to be pushed. This isn’t about agendas, it’s about truth.

Thanks for the feedback. It’s hard to know when to pull the plug on commenters who seem to have nothing of value to say. I just deleted a one-line comment asking why the moderators of this site weren’t answering Ben’s questions. There seems to be a crude attempt, perpetrated by more than one person, to suggest that ARBCA’s failure to report Tom Chantry to the police is not illegal or sinful, because ARBCA leaders weren’t the only people who failed to protect children from Tom Chantry.

I can’t argue with logic like that. 😉

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Folks, I chose not to publish another comment about the MV elders. For one thing, it’s off topic. For another, Todd and I are both extremely busy and volunteer our time and money to keep this blog going.

Therefore the repeated suggestions, bordering on demands, that we invest time answering vague questions from commenters who appear to be too lazy to do their own research/have a dubious real agenda, are not appreciated.

Thanks for understanding.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Samuel Conner

I think a more plausible hypothesis might be that in the Protestant tradition there is a high premium placed on “skill in teaching the Scriptures.” I’ve noticed in a different reformed-style context that this was the only thing that seemed to be seriously examined in the course of pastoral search efforts. Perhaps there is a simplistic anthropology that assumes that technical skill in teaching the Scriptures implies good character. I have come to believe that “character” and “technical skill” are uncorrelated and need to be assessed independently in every candidate. In Paul’s letters, “apt to teach” is only one of a pretty long list of “specifications” for candidates for ordination.

From what I have read, TJC was regarded to be a skilled teacher. The explanation might be quite simple.

Wordwhistle

TC was brilliant; no question about that. I personally read and appreciated a lot of what he had to say, so this was a very unpalatable finding for me. But I don’t believe I get to pick and choose the truth.

Douglas R Belardi

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Cypher

So why is it that the MVBC elders aren’t guilty of covering up abuse? According to Detwiler’s page, the elders knew before that TC had beaten kids and left black and blue marks 4″ long on their legs. Why do they get a pass? Seems the MVBC elders are more capable than ARBCA in covering up sin.

Anonymous witness

“I am told most of those remaining are the younger people in their 20’s, not the prime demographic for people who donate lots of money. I would guess that many of the big givers are in their 40’s and 50’s and therefore the loss of about 50% of their membership may actually comprise 75% of GCC’s income.”

There are only about 4-5 people left in their 20’s. Mostly 30s and up. There are still about 100 people attending.

Anonymous Witness

Interesting that you commented as “Anonymous witness” with a small “w”. This isn’t the same “Anonymous Witness” with a capital “W” that posted the other comments. The comment here would seemingly contradict what was said earlier by saying that there is around 100 people left. I would like to know how you think/know that it’s 100 people and not 40-50. That’s a big difference.

Anonymous witness #2

Yes, I am a different person than the other. Still an anonymous witness… lol I know the number because I still go there.

Van Helsing

If your figures are accurate and I do not disagree with them but how then could Giarizzo be “suspended with pay” with such a drastic loss of revenue? Maybe JG should have been suspended without pay so that he really learned a Godly lesson. Maybe there were too many in leadership at GCC who really worshiped “Santa Claus Jesus.”

Ben

I’m told that those that stayed, especially among those in their 20’s stayed because they strongly desire a church that upholds the LBC of 1689. Likewise, most that left didn’t so much because of TC but they didn’t like being reformed and confessional. They used the TC situation as cover. They didn’t want do seem weak spiritually. I don’t know but this is what I have been told by some who are still there. Just saying.

Anonymous Witness

So being confessional and reformed means supporting an organization that supports a child abuser, slandering those that disagree with you, lying to people about the truth, and supporting a pastor who calls all of his other elders wrong when he is found in sin? That’s interesting.

Ben, if that’s what you heard from “some who are still there”, then that should speak volumes about the people that stayed and about those who left. That should clear some things up for anyone reading these comments. I would find some new sources of information: People who tell the truth.

Ben

I think your conflating issues.

Vince Wood

I know both Mark Flin and Darrell Gustafson. Mark was the first elder and Darrell is a NANC counselor. Both are solidly reformed and confessional. That excuse is just an effort to discredit those who left. In addition, being upset that the pastor protected a child abuser is not a “cover.” It is a pretty big issue.

Cypher

I know both of these men. When it comes to being reformed and having theological understanding, neither should have ever be an elder. In fact neither should be allowed to teach. One has very little theological understanding. If you quiz him on just about any theological topic his answer is almost always, “I don’t know.” The other has actively taught heresy; the eternal subordination of the Son. He has also repeatedly been guilty of full blown plagiarism. His entire sermons were repeatedly lifted from someone else. He did this often enough, even after being reprimanded, he was required to step down from being an elder.

These men have zero credibility concerning spiritual things.

Interested

The elder who led the rebellion against John Giarrizzo was put on probation by his own police department for illegally discharging a firearm. If he’s so incompetent in his professional career that he doesn’t know if his sidearm is loaded or not, is he really someone you want to trust in spiritual things?

Not Interested

“Interested”, your comment is slander and false; that’s not the truth of what happened to that elder. Unless you have specifically talked to him and have first knowledge of the situation, you should apologize for commenting on this and lying.

I agree 100 percent. No more deragatory comments, of any kind, will be approved, regarding the relevant elder, on this blog.

Based on what has been said, he sounds like a person of great courage and integrity to me.

I will confer with Todd about any additional steps he may wish to take to address what was likely a slanderous statement.

Thanks for the heads up, Not Interested.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

The slandered elder is welcome to contact Todd. We are on his side. Thanks.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

I trust anyone taking you on with my life, Doug.

I don’t think that you should be questioning anyone else’s integrity, yet you can “bring it on” in a cowardly way, under different fake names, of course.

I pray that those accused of crimes get fair hearings. It’s terrible when they come before judges or justices of the peace who may have conflicts of interest, isn’t it?

😉

Anonymous Witness

Interesting comment cypher. It seems you in fact lack theological understanding. For one, where in the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3 for starters) does it say that a man must be “reformed” to be an elder? Second, along with able to teach, a man must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, and more. So according to you the only qualification for a man is that he is able to teach? Tom Chantry must have been a great elder then because he can teach too. So can Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and many other false teachers.

Cypher, you sound like a typical ARBCA supporter: don’t care about love, respect, or grace among many other traits of a Godly leader, only that a man “fully subscribes” to the 1689 confession and can teach through every tiny little nuanced doctrine that you can think of to further divide the body of Christ with. Please, extol us some more on the virtues of a teacher in your eyes so we can all learn what to look for in elders because you sound like you have such good discernment.

Ben

Has anyone explored ARBCA’s possible involvement in Pizzagate? Maybe that’s how they were able to learn how to cover their tracks?

JHenry

A comment best ignored as mere distraction or water-muddying, unless the commenter elaborates with the clear grounds for his question and how it might in some way apply to the subject at hand. Social media is flush with trolls whose purpose is to distract, confuse, mislead or navigate in directions that might provide grounds for discounting that which is, in fact, true, in places where inconvenient truth bubbles forth.

Agreed, although trolls, ironically, often prove the point they’re trying to muddy.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Ken

Don’t dismiss my question about ARBCA and the pizza gate connection too quickly. From FB you can see vandermeulen grew up in the DC area not far from the whole pizza gate controversy took place. If you do a deep enough Google search you can see that he ran for a political office in Santa Cruz and there had close connections to Dr. Stan Montheith, a well known conspiracy advocate. Vandermeulen even had a radio program on Montheith’s underground internet radio known as Radio Liberty. You can still find recordings. Monthieth wrote highly controversial books. Why would an arbca pastor have such connections? Where else would someone get the skills to run a totally stealth financial scam that is sifting $100,000s from the association and there is no record of it?

Hi Ken,

Pizza Gate is a complete fabrication and has nothing to do with any of the subjects discussed on this blog. I can’t approve any other comments about it. Thanks for understanding. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Where else would someone get the skills to run a totally stealth financial scam that is sifting $100,000s from the association and there is no record of it?

It’s not that hard when an organization’s members don’t hold its leaders accountable for anything. 😉

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Ken

Janna,

So you’re actually saying that every pastor and every elder of every church in ARBCA doesn’t care about how the ARBCA funds are spent? That everyone in ARBCA willingly turns a blind eye to all its financial dealings? Wow! That’s a stretch.

I’m confused. ARBCA personnel, who cover for pedophiles, have done a very poor job covering their tracks, in my view. They documented all their illegal actions in writing. Was that wise?

ARBCA doesn’t seem to attract intelligent, high-caliber leaders. Most of their “pastors” probabably wouldn’t meet the educational standards of mainstream denominations, for example.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

JHenry

Agreed. It is my belief that, should far more complex conspiracies than most of us suspect exist in this world, the vast majority of us would never have knowledge of them. After all, anyone bold enough to attempt world-wide conspiracy must be pretty clever, right? Most of us battle daily to avoid being drawn into the ‘traps’ of sin by our own fleshly desires of pleasure, pride, self-protection, desire to be liked/admired, etc. How, exactly, Satan sets these traps varies endlessly, and may or may not involve broad collusion.

In the long run, great or systemic evil requires multiple persons making the individual choice to choose evil over good. Can we be sure that we know the full story of the rise of Hitler, who and what was behind it? Can we be sure that all of the criminals of past wars have been identified and held accountable? I have my doubts.

But even should we never suspect or have proof of any genuine ‘conspiracies’ or hidden hands in this world, we do have the ability, and responsibility, to call out wickedness when it is exposed. That includes addressing the ‘little’ conspiracies of men who fumblingly collude to cover up evildoing in their midst, for whatever reasons, as well as not being shamed out of investigating greater conspiracies should they be exposed.

On a related note, I personally find it amusing that a few short years ago those who alleged ‘conspiracy’ were scornfully called ‘kooks’ by the establishment. Today, ‘kooks’ hold some of the most powerful positions in the world, and accuse one another of new conspiracies almost daily. 🙂

Ken

Janna, I disagree with your assessment of the intellectual caliber of ARBCA pastors. Brent and Cypher claim Vandermeulen orchestrated the impassibility vote as a cover for getting control of ARBCA funds to help pay for Chantry’s defense. If true, how could he do that? The impassibility debate began in 2014. The vote was in 2015 which is a year before Chantry joins ARBCA and over a year before Chantry’s charged. How did Vandermeulen know to do all of this before it happened? Vandermeulen must be on highly intelligent person to be so prescient.

Fair enough. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Van Helsing

It may have been “unwise” by some accounts since anything written or documented can come back to bite the authors. It looks like much of it already did take a huge bite. ARBCA had little choice in the matter to investigate and wanted to appear that they cared and took the situation seriously but hoped that it would simply go away – like the good bureaucrats they are. By other more sinister accounts it was brilliant and cunning. Their feebleness appeared when conspiring to tell lies to spawn the cover-up of TC’s unfitness for the ministry and the criminal deeds done at MVBC.

I always ask myself why others were so BLIND to TC’s unsuitability for ministry especially at Westminster, IRBS, and ARBCA. I know the answer as do all the blog readers.

I believe that some of the ARBCA AC members (ones without Narcissistic Personality Disorder, if any) may have been originally uncomfortable with lying and deception but then got used to it very quickly once they realized that the elders and members of MVBC were so naive and gullible. Their major goal was to protect the legacy of Walter Chantry and avoid the shame that his son’s perverted and aberrant behaviors caused the church in general – never mind the massive destruction to the victims – the ends justified the means.

So Walter, most likely, devises a plan to have three separate investigations conducted – all with their differing findings from lessor to greater culpability – so as to protect Liddle Tommy – and use them to deceive whatever audience they were to be delivered to – a “shell game.” One audience was the members of MVBC with the least amount of damaging information so that they would not come to church looking for Tommy while brandishing clubs, pitchforks and torches, another one with a little more information for the parents designed to prey on their naivete, gullibility, and desire to avoid conflict, and then finally the BIG ONE with the WHOLE unvarnished TRUTH (most damaging) only for the eyes of select members of the AC.

Now, over the length of almost 20 years this is all playing out like a “3 Stooges” short comedy as most likely planned – people have died or moved away, many have forgotten things (JG), who has copies of the investigations, does anyone have the “sealed document,” who were members of the AC from 1995 to 2001, who did what on the AC. All these things worked in favor of covering up sin for almost two decades just like it was planned from the beginning.

You make a good point. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

MLB

I think the reason people get upset and want to say these bloggers who expose this stuff don’t have Christ’s agenda in mind is because they are thought stopping. These are men they believe are impeccable in character and integrity and they believe their ministries are more in tune with Scripture than any other churches. Therefore these allegations can not be true. It’s very much like the Mormons. This is very much a cult and their followers will defend them no matter what evidence you bring to the table. It’s classic thought stopping. The only thing that will make them see the truth is if God removes the blinders from their eyes. That’s why I pray for my former church regularly, that God will open their eyes to see the truth.

Van Helsing

I posted that ARBCA was a “cult” very early on in this blog and some readers had troubles wrapping their heads around that thought. Maybe some progress has been made in this regard. I hope.

It is a cult with interchanging ARBCA AC members as the specific cult leader at any one time. It’s actually a brilliant set up to insure obfuscation, confusion and non-accountability. They actually outdid the papists in this regard so Rome may eventually emulate ARBCA and play “musical chairs” within their godless hierarchy in the future. The real power brokers and actual cult leaders are, most likely, the older and earlier guys in ARBCA. I guess you might call them the “occult cult leaders.”

I read another a post on a blog a while ago in which one respondent called Romanism a cult and I chuckled, as a Protestant, simply due to it’s sheer size. However, the more I thought about it the more I came to agree with the man’s observation and reasoning. Romanism is a cult when examined against Biblical Christianity. It has a visible cult leader called the pope (who enjoys his own cult of personality), worships the CHURCH instead of God, has a rigidity in its command structure to insure secrecy and non-accountability, its very own set of man-made and non-biblical beliefs, operates under the veil of secrecy (mystery), is accountable to nobody including God, and preaches OBEY, PAY, and maybe then PRAY.

I witnessed the same blind obedience to hierarchical authority when I was a papist that I now see going on within ARBCA circles. That is scary.

Ben

Yes, ARBCA acts very cult like . Did you know there are secret rituals that once must go through to be on the AC? They have to sign document every year that no one else has to sign. In fact I’m not sure how many people in ARBCA know about this document. The document requires them to believe only certain things. If the won’t sign the document they can’t be on the AC. How cultic is that?

Paul Schmidt

Would that the other elder and four deacons at Providence Reformed Baptist Church had the same gumption and courage to publicly call out pastor Tom Lyon for 1) exploiting PRBC as a hiding place for Tom Chantry in 2000 and 2) neglecting to tell the Hales Corners church that their pastor (Chantry) was a child abuser.

As an aside, I inferred based on a conversation he and I had last month that Tom Lyon thinks the State of Arizona’s statutes, not Tom Chantry’s actions, are primarily to blame for his friend going to prison.

Chicmumma

…”The fact that the general letter sent to the member churches said nothing about the content or nature of the “certain differences” should have been a red flag to all of the AC members not aware of the facts. Especially when this vague summary report required a 3-man investigative team that would have had expensive costs associated with sending, housing and feeding that team for four days. In light of all this information, the AC members who were not part of the inner group, were satisfied with not learning or even knowing the other side of the issue. ”
And that, my friends, just about sums it up for me. Why in the world would ANYONE not be the slightest bit intrigued enough to question why there would even HAVE to be an investigation if NOTHING had happened, as the level 1 report seems to conclude. Nothing to see here folks, just move along… The lies upon lies make me sick. How someone can say that people like you, Todd, are not furthering the cause of Christ when I don’t see how they can sleep at night or even look at their own children knowing what they are trying to cover up or gloss over, just befuddles me to no end. Please know that I personally am so grateful for all the work you have gone to in this and other situations. At times, when you are in the middle of a situation, it’s hard to step back from the emotional part of it and see the whole picture. You have provided that opportunity with all the information you have so diligently gathered. Thank you again.

Douglas R Belardi

New American Standard Bible

1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron

Van Helsing

We all need to step back a bit and ask ONE crucial question that still haunts me this Halloween season. Why did the elders at MVBC NOT LEAVE ARBCA until 2016 but only as a response to when CRBC in Wisconsin was allowed in to ARBCA? Why did the elders at MVBC remain within an association that many there suspected conspired to cover-up the sins (crimes) that they themselves supposedly wanted resolved? This is both SPOOKY & KOOKY! I say that MVBC is very culpable as an agent of collusion with ARBCA in this entire crooked affair with ARBCA.

Van Helsing

I forgot to mention one thing in my previous post (about MVBC not immediately leaving ARBCA in 2001) that I consider very important. Since that did not happen then – then all ARBCA has to claim when the civil suits begin to be filed against them is that they must have provided some type of valuable service to MVBC as an association because they retained us until 2016. What would be MVBC’s defense to that likely comeback? Was Bob Selph (an ARBCA operative) still calling the shots behind the scenes? Something smells rotten in Prescott.

Jerome

Does anyone know of the “Sovereign Grace Baptist Church” the ARBCA team used for meetings when they were staying in north Phoenix? I can’t find a church with that name. Perhaps it was Sovereign Grace BIBLE Church on Bethany Home Road?

The trio also reportedly used the facilities of Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church during their visit to Arizona. That’s James White’s church!

Also, the ARBCA on its website says it was founded in 1997 at Cornerstone Church in Mesa, Arizona. Didn’t that church leave the ARBCA about the same time all this went down back then? Anyone know more?

DS

The report also reveals that those on the AC in 2000 saw the unsealed report and then concealed that fact.

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

Mr. McKnight is to e-mail the public statement to be inserted. Distinction of 3 levels of reports
is to remain confidential!! Only the public statement is to be sent to the churches or noted in
the public minutes.”

That means every man pictured above had seen the unsealed report, and two of them were on the Membership Committee in 2015/2016 (Larry Vincent and David Dykstra). Two of them are involved with the seminary; Steve Martin (Dean of Students as well as ARBCA Coordinator) and Don Lindblad (Trustee).

EP

My impression from reading that note in the minutes was not that the AC members read or had access to the “sealed” report (the one that I believe was labeled “confidential” and was signed only by the three members of the Informal Council) but that they were given a copy of the one Todd has referred to as the whitewashed or sanitized report that listed the specific steps that T.C. and MVBP agreed to take and which was signed by something like 7 or 8 people. That note from the ARBCA AC minutes indicates that the members were made aware that three different reports were to be issued and distributed to different levels of parties, but I didn’t see anything there that clearly indicated that AC members were ever shown a copy of the Confidential report, the one that contained the line about how elders who have authority over T.C. in the future must consider the possibility that on some level he had spanked kids “for his own pleasure”.

Anonymous Witness

-Around 150-200 at the peak. It’s a guess, but I think around 40-50 stayed.
-School was used for overflow parking on Sundays.
-No other elders were paid except Giarrizzo. He made around $100K with insurance and book allowances.
-I believe everyone that left no longer wanted to be a part of ARBCA because of the shame it’s brought on the church and Christ.
-David Giarrizzo was never a part of San Tan, he only helped with music once or twice. He stayed at GCC the whole time the plant was active.
-San Tan wasn’t really closed but since this whole mess started, everyone scattered so there were really no people left to keep it open. Some people left and some people came back to GCC. It will be up to the people at GCC to decide what they want to do with San Tan since it wasn’t its own stand alone constituted church.
-Deacon Peter Bradt resigned from GCC because of this. His picture hasn’t been removed for some reason.

Douglas R Belardi

a comparable size to Heriage Baptist Church of Mansfield where IRBS is being housed with three elders(including Larry Vincent) pulling down $100,000
and yet I hear not a peep from anyone there

MLB

It’s a sad commentary. I read the entire report. It was painful reading. I know people who hold John G. in high regard and were not happy when I sent them the link to the elders report. Rather than read the report and consider the evidence they issued a warning to me to be careful about reading these blogs because the blog writer’s agenda is not Christ’s agenda.

I do not understand how pastors hiding information, protecting a child abuser/molestor is Christ’s agenda. It would be tempting to ask them that, but what’s the point of wasting my time when it will only probably make them dig their heels in deeper. Sad what people do when they hold men up on a pedestal instead of looking to God and measuring these men’s actions according to the Word of God.🙄

Van Helsing

Hi MLB,

I read most of the GCC’s elder response (46 pages) to Giarizzo’s lying by conveniently “forgetting,” twisting, distorting, and minimizing the facts about TC and his (Giarizzo’s) role on the AC in the cover-up. I have a few questions: 1) Why were 46 pages of documentation necessary to convince the members of GCC that Giarizzo was lying? IMO, only 5-10 pages would have sufficed. Again, IMO, forty-six pages was over-kill to prove and then declare that someone is a liar. Were they that anxious about not adequately covering their behinds? 2) Why wasn’t Giarizzo “suspended” without pay? Why is he still being paid – a message that sends a mixed message that what he did wasn’t really that egregious after all?

Douglas R Belardi

Does anyone know how many members/attendees GCC had at its peak?
Did they use adjacent facilities for parking?
Were all elders paid a salary?
What is Giarrizzo’s salary and perks?
Are the attendees left mainly those raised in GCC and further indoctrinated by Building Tomorrow’s Church?