Tom Chantry was the pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, AZ from June 18, 1995, to November 8, 2000. Chantry’s five years at the small church proved to be a five-year reign of terror for children and their parents who attended the church. When Chantry finally fled the church, sending his sister to pick up his belongings from the parsonage, the now-convicted felon had sexually molested and/or assaulted six children. At subsequent trials in 2018 and 2019, Chantry was convicted of two felony counts of assault of a child and four counts of sexual molestation of a child. He was acquitted on one count of assault of a child and one count of sexual molestation of a child. Having been in attendance every day of both trials, it is my opinion that Chantry is guilty of all eight counts. Looming on the horizon is another trial for Chantry. He faces nine felony counts- four counts of assault of a child, four counts of sexual molestation of a child and one count of child abuse.
You will recall that time and time again ARBCA leaders have said they had no knowledge of what had taken place at Miller Valley Baptist Church while Tom Chantry was a pastor.
“The significant conclusion, therefore, is that neither the ARBCA Coordinator, the Membership Committee, nor the Administrative Council concealed any information about the allegations against Mr. Chantry in 2000 or any information contained in the informal council’s report, because they did not have access to that information.”
-ARBCA Membership Process of Christ Reformed Baptist Church
Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and the Case of Thomas J. Chantry
Administrative Council Report
September 5, 2018
The above-quoted statement from ARBCA is false. The letters included in this post clearly show ARBCA leaders had access to the documents from the Informal Council investigation and were engaged in discussions on how to coverup Chantry’s crimes. I am no attorney, but I believe ARBCA actions were a criminal conspiracy, but I leave that to brighter minds than mine to determine.
Tom Chantry, recently convicted on four felony accounts of sexual molestation of a child, will be sentenced on Friday, July 19, 2019.
I have been investigating and writing about this case for over two and one-half years. My work on the scandal began when I received an anonymous tip from an ARBCA insider, and I have been aided at every turn by numerous honest ARBCA insiders who have shared information with me. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your invaluable information.
Little did I know when I began covering this story that I was dealing with a corrupt inner corp of ARBCA men who tightly controlled the reigns of power within the Association. I had gathered enough information to believe the charges against Chantry were credible and I naively believed that Reformed Baptist pastors would all be godly, upright men who cherished the truth.
Early on I received a reality check. I had tracked Tom Chantry’s addresses after he fled Miller Valley Baptist Church in late 2000 and discovered he had moved to the Tacoma, WA area. I accessed the ARBCA web site and searched for the closest church to Chantry. I found that church was Providence Reformed Baptist Church of University Way, WA, pastored by Tom Lyon.
I placed a call to Lyon, identified myself, and asked him if Tom Chantry was a pastor at his church. Lyon replied that he was. I asked Lyon if he would mind answering a few questions for me and he said it was not a good time, could I call back later? I explained I was living in Dubai and we had an 11 hour time difference, therefore, it would be easier if I just emailed him. Lyon agreed. So I emailed Lyon, recapping by stating that he had told me Chantry was a pastor at Providence and then proceeding to ask him several questions.
I received what I would tactfully describe as a curt response from Lyon. He wrote that he had talked to me for less than one minute and I had misquoted him, he had never said Chantry was a pastor at his church! He wanted no further contact with me. I was shocked – this man had blatantly lied to me! (I later learned from former Providence members that Chantry was not a pastor at Providence, but Lyon had him preaching within six months of his arrival. This is significant because Chantry had not met the qualifications that he had agreed to comply with prior to ever preaching again. Both Tom Chantry and Tom Lyon were aware of these requirements but chose to disregard them.
As time went on I learned Lyon was not the only dishonest ARBCA pastor!
As fellow blogger Brent Detwiler has written:
“ARBCA is orthodox in its essential theology. It is, therefore, more grievous to find pervasive corruption among its top leaders. They are present day Pharisees – orthodox hypocrites. The glory of Christ and his gospel have been grievously reproached by these deceitful men. They are only concerned for the protection of their pretentious reputations, not the well-being of victims and their families. But God in his power and holiness has determined to expose their malice and evil intent.
And, as is often the case in God’s plan, there has been a remnant of godly pastors and members in ARBCA working for reform, only to be cast out or disparaged and persecuted.”
Yesterday I received some information which should be devastating to the careers of some of the orthodox hypocrites Detwiler was referring to in the above-quoted text. Whether it proves to so really depend on the resolve of the respective church members.
The documents I received are three letters written in 2002-2003. All three letters can be found at the end of this post. First is a letter from ARBCA pastor and Administrative Council Chairman, Earl Blackburn, in which he makes it evident that he supports and believes Tom Chantry, Don Lindblad and Walter Chantry and questions the integrity of the three men on the Informal Council – Tedd Tripp, Mike McKnight, and Richard Jensen.
Second is a response to Blackburn’s letter by Tedd Tripp,
The third is a response to Blackburn’s letter by Richard Jensen.
I will be displaying screenshots from the letters with highlighted passages which I will comment on below each screenshot.
Why would Earl Blackburn be thankful that Tom Chantry, whom he knew abused children, would be given an opportunity to reenter the ministry? David Dykstra, another pal of Chantry, wrote a letter of instruction to the Informal Council members. His hope (a not so subtle hint) was that the Council would allow Tom to have a future in the ministry.
Sorry, I just cannot comprehend why supposedly godly men would place such a priority on keeping Tommy the pedophile in the ministry. I am unsure whether Dykstra knew at this point that Chantry was a cho-mo (prison slang for child molester – a term Tommy will be labeled with once he is incarcerated in the State Pen) but he undoubtedly knew Tommy had brutally beaten children. And Dykstra did show up at Chantry’s first trial for a few days to show his support for Tommy.
I believe all the ARBCA leaders who support Chantry are aware of the implications of the damning statement the Informal Council made of Chantry:
The Informal Council members consider this pattern of behavior to be very serious. Taken in its entirety, the question must be raised, did Thomas Chantry use this method of punishment for his own pleasure.”
-Confidential Report and Recommendations of the Informal Council of the Reformed Baptist Churches of America
December 13, 2000 to December 16, 2000
Further, parents of the children Chantry abused testified in court that the Informal Council members told them they could go to the police if they chose to, but were encouraged to forgive Chantry and assured that he would never preach again. It appears Tripp, McKnight, and Jensen lied to the parents.
Earl Blackburn was “stunned” that the Informal Council gave him a version contrary to what Tom and Walt Chantry and Don Lindblad had given him. In the text below Blackburn notes that the two versions do not match up and then says he believes Lindblad’s version, implying that he does not believe the Informal Council’s version.
Of course, if you have followed this case closely you will recall that old “Judgment Day honest” Lindblad was evasive and dishonest in his deposition by Prosecutor Susan Eazer. Then, when being cross-examined by Eazer, Judge Astrowsky admonished “Judgement Day honest” Lindblad for his evasiveness and said if he continued in this manner he would be charged with contempt of court.
Tom Chantry took an oath to tell the truth prior to taking the witness stand in the first trial and proceeded to lie for the next two hours.
And who can forget old Walt Chantry’s letter where he ranted like a spoiled child at the Miller Valley Baptist Church elders for treating his pedophile son so harshly?
I would believe almost anyone over this trio of scoundrels, yet Blackburn throws his lot in with them.
Blackburn is attempting to quash any report that paints his good buddy Tom Chantry as an evil abuser of children.
Again I ask why? Why is Earl Blackburn so devoted to the pedophile Tom Chantry? Why is Don Lindblad so devoted to the pedophile Tom Chantry?
I had not previously heard that Tom Chantry drove directly to Earl Blackburn’s home after the Informal Council completed their work. Blackburn immediately asked Chantry if the Informal Council had allowed him to express all of his concerns. Of course, Tommy lied, as you will see in both Tripp’s and Jensen’s letter. Later that night “Judgment Day honest” Lindblad phoned in and also lied.
I assume the corrupt triad were plotting that Saturday night in December of 2000 how to spin the Informal Council’s report. They were confident the report would be a whitewash wherein the victims and their families would be painted in a negative light while golden boy Tommy would come out smelling like a rose. Instead, they were faced with the dilemma of how to spin the finding of the Informal Council that “the Elders who assume oversight of him (Chantry) should consider the possibility that on some level he punished children for his own pleasure.”
As I have previously mentioned, Reformed Baptist icon Walter Chantry got quite ugly when things didn’t go his way. He went into full attack mode, threatening, like a spoiled child, to “take his ball and go home” if he didn’t get his way. Apparently, Walt placed a high value on his reputation and if word got out that Tommy was a pedophile, well, that reflected rather poorly on old Walt. If you read the nasty letter Walt penned to the MVBC elders you will note that he did not express any concern whatsoever for the children that precious Tommy beat with paddles and oars and then molested.
Just thinking out loud here – I wonder where Tommy acquired his taste for young boys?
And the sentence about a number of ARBCA pastors who have heard about the Informal Council’s report? Well, we know that cannot be true because it was all kept confidential. Nobody knew anything. Below is a quote from the “Administrative Council Report, Part I, dated September 5, 2018.
This is a good example of how utterly corrupt Administrative Council Chairman Earl Blackburn is. I am of the opinion that he knows Tom Chantry is a liar and a pedophile and has assaulted children, yet he wants the three men on the Informal Council to write letters to Tommy and Walt Chantry stating they were wrong, kiss their ring and beg forgiveness. What a farce. How anyone tolerates this pompous man as a pastor or in any leadership role is beyond me.
Finally, why is Earl Blackburn CC-ing the three men listed? And you may recall that Pastor Dale Smith has basically claimed ignorance of the Chantry affair until just the last few years. Yet him receiving a copy of Blackburn’s letter would seem to indicate that Dale Smith was privy to quite a lot of information on Chantry.
Here is what Smith told Grace Covenant Church elder Pete Smith:
“Pastor John asked Dale, who was in Arizona to watch the criminal trial, to call GCC elder Pete Smith to give the elders a statement. The following is Pete Smith’s statement of his conversation with Dale. Dale said he had no relationship with Tom Chantry until Tom began attending Dale’s church in Rockford. At some point during that time, Tom gave Dale a copy of the “informal council report that had all the signatures.” That essentially communicated to Dale that Tom had engaged in spanking situations “that were not wise.” Dale said he did not know the extent of the spankings (as he does now), nor did he know anything about the child molestation allegations. Dale said that Grace Reformed Baptist later planted the church in Wisconsin (Hales Corners) and Tom became the pastor. Eventually GRB recommended the church for acceptance into ARBCA. According to Dale, Chris Marley Jr. contacted the AC to tell them not to make Tom’s church available to vote. [sic] Dale lamented that Chris Marley did not call him directly, because if he had known what the AC learned from that call, he would not have recommended the church join ARBCA to begin with. He added that he has no idea why the AC, having spoken to Chris Marley, would vote to make Tom’s church available to join ARBCA.
These ARBCA boys are quick to play the slander and judgment card. Generally it is unwarranted, but in this case, I think Tripp is correct. He boldly called out Walter Chantry and Earl Blackburn.
This is the most explosive statement in the three documents. Tripp, in 2002 declared what he knew to be true all along, that is, if the parents of the victims had gone to Law Enforcement Chantry would have been found guilty of abuse and been sent to jail.
The question for Tedd Tripp has, in my opinion, been why Tedd Tripp didn’t report what he knew to be criminal abuse of children by Chantry to Law Enforcement way back in December of 2000? He was required by Arizona law to do so. John Sears, Chantry’s defense attorney even stated this.
Tripp nails it. “Tom Chantry, a trusted pastor, abused children in the Prescott church.” Tripp notes the real issue is Chantry’s abuse of children not a disagreement between elders. Tripp was not shy in confronting Earl Blackburn in 2002, but where was his courage in December of 2000? Why didn’t he report the abusive Chantry to Law Enforcement? It would be nice to hear from Tedd Tripp on this, but he remains silent, likely out of fear of a lawsuit.
Tripp is correct. Back in December of 2000, he knew Chantry was guilty of criminal abuse of children. Why did he not report? Why has he never spoken with the victims or their parents since the Informal Council in December of 2000? Why has he not volunteered to serve as a witness for the prosecution?
Finally, I will include a few screenshots of Richard Jensen’s response to Earl Blackburn.
Richard Jensen was focused on what the number one job of the Informal Council was, finding out if Chantry was abusing children.
Jensen and Tripp both realized Chantry was attempting to raise a smokescreen to keep them from discovering his crimes against the children at MVBC. While he tactfully states that it was unfortunate that Don Lindblad did not see what Tom was doing, I believe he knew Lindblad was doing as much as he could to help coverup Chantry’s crimes.
Jensen rightly raises concerns about Blackburn’s close relationship with Don Lindblad, Tom Chantry, and Walt Chantry. I believe Jensen realized he was dealing with a conspiracy to coverup Chantry’s crimes.
Just as I questioned why Tripp didn’t go to Law Enforcement, I have the same question for Jensen, and Jensen was a former detective, so I am sure he, more than anyone, realized he needed to report Chantry.
Jensen was spot on here. He has no need to repent, Chantry is the criminal here. His chiding Walt Chantry is well deserved.
Jensen is not buying any of the nonsense about Chantry having truly repented for his actions. He realized that Chantry was attempting to pull the wool over their eyes. It seems Chantry had finally met his match, yet the failure of anyone on the Informal Council to insist they report Chantry to Law Enforcement is mind-boggling. Chantry was allowed to continue and a few years later we have a report of Chantry beating a five-year-old boy at Christian Liberty Academy in Chicago. One wonders how many other Chantry victims are out there.
I believe Jensen is beginning to understand that he is facing a conspiracy to coverup Chantry’s abusive ways. He also points out that Tom Lyon has never completed the steps he was tasked with in order to restore Chantry to the ministry. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, Lyon allowed Chantry to preach in his church 6 months after he arrived.
Jensen realizes that Don Lindblad is no objective reporter, but instead is heavily biased towards Tom Chantry. Again I ask why is this? What is Lindblad’s motive for covering up Chantry’s crimes?
I don’t believe Chantry has yet repented of his abuse of children, nor do I think he ever will. Jensen did well to call out Blackburn, but we now know it had no effect. It is unfortunate that Jensen, like Tripp and McKnight, has never gone public with what they know, never gone to law enforcement, and to my knowledge, have had no contact with the victims or their parents since their investigation in December of 2000.
It is my prayer that this corrupt cabal inside of ARBCA will now be forced out of leadership. I think the only way this will happen is if ARBCA folds up their Association. Their short history is destined to be known for a corrupt group of men doing all they could to cover up the criminal physical and sexual abuse of children by a sick, twisted monster.
And I am confident that God answers prayer. I know He answered Karen Chanty’s prayers, just not the way she expected!
“Friends, Tom is not guilty of these accusations, but there he sits. (In the Camp Verde jail.)
Please pray: That we will glorify God in all this and not accuse him of wrong-doing. That is a serious temptation right now. Tom has not done the things he is accused of. They are horrible, sickening accusations.
Why has God allowed his servant to be so disgraced?
Why has he allowed our family to suffer so greatly?
Please pray, once again, that truth will be known and lies be exposed. We want the truth to be known and the enemies of our Lord to be brought to shame. No matter who they are. We believe we have truth on our side, obviously.
But God is the knower of all truth.
May he make it known.”
–Letter from Karen Chantry to her supporters, written on September 11, 2018.
Letter From Blackburn to In… by on Scribd
Letter From Tripp to Blackb… by on Scribd
Letter From Jensen to Black… by on Scribd