ARBCA Update: Ministers are Truth Distributors?

By | December 27, 2019

Below is an 18-minute recording sent to me anonymously of John Giarrizzo addressing his church after the church Elders had conducted a thorough examination of Giarrizzo’s role in the coverup of sexual abuse of children by Tom Chantry. The Elders found Giarrizzo had lied and misled them. I suggest listening to the whole recording, but if you don’t have the time, listen to the last 5 minutes where Giarrizzo skirts a direct question and blames the evil bloggers!

 

I ran across the above Tweet by “Orthodox Radical” yesterday. (Note from the editor: For the benefit of the 9Marx pastor in Dubai who accused me of attempting to deceive individuals with my photoshopped Tweets, yes, I added the photos of  Pastors James Renihan, Steve Martin, Earl Blackburn, Don Lindblad, Tom Chantry, David Dykstra, and John Giarrizzo.)  All of these men were bigshots in ARBCA.

Tom Chantry, in light of the fact that he is a convicted pedophile currently serving a 4 x 24-year concurrent term, is no longer a pastor. His church building in Hales Corners, WI has been sold and a handful of the deceived moved to New Berlin, WI to continue their worship of the London Baptist Confession of 1689, and occasionally even Jesus Christ! They renamed the church in hopes of keeping potential members from discovering their ugly history if they Googled “Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Hales Corners, WI.” They also removed all references to ARBCA from their website and now have resigned from ARBCA. I suspect their resignation was not over ethical problems with ARBCA (they would have resigned long ago if that were the case) but more of a pragmatic resignation. I suspect the infinitesimal church was receiving financial aid from the shrinking Mothership, but with ARBCA churches now reduced from about 80 at their zenith to 21, they no longer have enough money to prop up the smaller churches in their cult.

His Loftiness, the Right Reverend James M. Renihan, Ph.D., the first President of the ARBCA Seminary, IRBS, is frantically attempting to recruit students to attend his pitiful institution – what he had hoped would be the crown jewel in his life in academia. The Good Doctor Renihan remains in ARBCA, now attending the corrupt Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, TX, which, not coincidentally, is also the home of IRBS.

Below is a screen capture of the latest ploy by IRBS to attract students – free tuition for the first year. Of course, there is a catch –  the potential scholar must sign a document agreeing to finish his MDiv at the (ahem) “Only Residential and Confessional Reformed Baptist Seminary in the World.” Proving only that if one inserts enough qualifiers prior to “in the World” almost anything can be said to be the only one “in the World!”

A word of caution to any young scholars contemplating a “Confessional. Rigorous. Practical.” education at IRBS. The institute is likely to be non-existent in the next few years, and even if they somehow can find enough deceived individuals willing to donate enough money to keep the institution afloat, an MDiv obtained from IRBS will be about as valuable as a Confederate Dollar bill. Strike that. Confederate Dollar bills may have some worth as a collector’s item, but you get the picture!

 

 

Google also seems to be aware of what a joke IRBS is. When one Googles the location of IRBS you get a shot of the trash dumpster located in the rear of Heritage Baptist Church! The only thing missing is the fire in the dumpster!

 

Continuing across the photos of the ministers who “distribute truth” at the top of this post, from left to right, we come to Steve Martin. Martin, a longtime “heavyweight” in the ARBCA leadership, was the ARBCA coordinator during the trial of the former ARBCA pastor and now convicted pedophile, Thomas Chantry. While I was in attendance at the trial, truthfully recounting the days proceeding in court and displaying factual legal documents on my blog, Martin wrote the following “meditation” to the ARBCA faithful:

This effort to discredit bloggers who were reporting on the Chantry trial appears to have been a coordinated effort by ARBCA leaders. Dale Smith, an ARBCA pastor from Rockford, IL wrote the following to his church members:

Of course, Pastor Smith, also a minister who “distributes truth,” is the senior pastor of a church that has recently resigned from ARBCA. The assistant pastor is Al Huber. Huber is the father-in-law of Tom Chantry and has likely been the chief financier of Chantry’s two trials.  Smith and Huber’s church was also responsible for sending Tom Chantry to pastor Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corners, WI.

Below is a photograph of the 2001 Administrative Council. Smith is pictured on the left. All of these AC distributors of truth undoubtedly knew of Tom Chantry’s abuse of children which took place from 1995-2000 at the Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, AZ. Many of them played key roles in the coverup of Chantry’s crimes. You will notice that several of the men pictured at the top of my post were members of the 2001 AC.

 

Members of the 2001 ARBCA Administrative Council

Back to Steve Martin. The former ARBCA Administrator now has the demanding job of Dean of IRBS.  My guess is there are 5-10 students attending IRBS. Martin and Renihan have a vested interest in keeping IRBS afloat. Where else can one draw such a comfortable salary for the rigorous work of teaching and supervising a handful of young scholars? They have both migrated to “ARBCA Central” – Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, TX. Here is a photo of Martin’s new home.

 

Steve Martin also recently found the time in his busy schedule to “distribute truth” at the retirement service for his good friend and fellow ARBCA heavyweight, Earl Blackburn. In my opinion, Blackburn has served as the point man for many years in ARBCA’s coverup of Tom Chantry’s criminal abuse. Here is a short excerpt from Martin’s speech where he glorifies Blackburn and honors Christ, or is it the other way around! Hard to tell.

 

Prior to Chantry becoming the pastor at Miller Valley Baptist Church, while Tom was attending Westminster Seminary, he occasionally stayed at Blackburn’s home in southern California and, I am told, babysat Blackburn’s son!

Blackburn has been a close friend of Tom Chantry for years. When Chantry fled Prescott, AZ he first headed to the home of Earl Blackburn in southern California where Chantry complained of “unfair treatment” by the 3-man Informal Council who had investigated his abusive actions. From there Chantry made his way up to Tacoma where he attended Providence Reformed Baptist Church, pastored by Tom Lyon, another good friend of Tom Chantry.

Earl Blackburn sided with Chantry’s version of events that took place at Miller Valley Baptist Church and he sent a manipulative letter to the ARBCA men who had been sent to Prescott to look into the abuse of Chantry. Here is one response to his letter from Tedd Tripp:

Letter From Tripp to Blackb… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Next in line of distributors of truth is pastor Don Lindblad. Lindblad recently withdrew his church in Kirkland, WA from ARBCA. Lindblad’s church was one of the 25 original churches to join ARBCA. Don has been Tom’s friend from way back. He acted as Tom’s “advisor” in the December 2000 investigation into the abuse of children at Miller Valley Baptist Church. He had access to the confidential report submitted by the Informal Council, he was the go-between whenever a victim was attempting to get in contact with Tom, he listened in to a phone conversation between Chantry and one of his victims, writing up notes of the conversation, and he was sent by ARBCA to quell an uprising among the congregation of Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corners, WI after Chantry had been arrested. Below is what a member in attendance at the meeting wrote.

Devon Berry who, in my opinion, was a quack counselor, pronounced Tom Chantry fit for ministry after four sessions with the pedophile. Berry attended Don Lindblad’s church and was apparently a friend of Don. I have made several phone calls to Berry, now an associate dean in a nursing program and none of them have been answered nor my messages responded to.

 

Devon Berry Letter Concerni… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Next in line of distributors of truth is pastor David Dykstra.  Dykstra is a pastor of Grace Covenant Baptist Church in Willis, TX. He recently announced that he will be transitioning to retirement over the next few years. His church has recently resigned from ARBCA, but, again I don’t believe it was for ethical reasons or they would have resigned long ago. Rather, as you can deduce from the purge of references to ARBCA on their website, it is my belief that Dykstra removed his church from ARBCA simply because it’s difficult enough to recruit new members to a quirky church that seemingly holds the London Baptist Confession of 1689 in higher esteem than the Bible, not to mention what a potential member will find when they Google “ARBCA.” Dykstra,  is pictured above in the photo of the 2001 Administrative Council. A long-time leader in ARBCA, Minister Dykstra has co-authored a book with the now-convicted felon and pedophile Tom Chantry and has had access to the reports of Chantry’s abuse of children at Miller Valley Baptist Church from way back.

 

As one of the ARBCA insiders who was partial to Tom Chantry, Dykstra was given the task of writing a letter of instruction to the three-man Informal Council. Notice the final two paragraphs of the letter. Dykstra was hopeful that after their investigation no further actions would be needed. (Does he mean actions such as reporting Chantry’s crimes to law enforcement?  Only Dykstra can answer that question.) Dykstra also is hopeful that the Council’s report will allow Chantry to have a future in the ministry. Why would Dykstra say this? It is probable that he had already heard some reports of what Chantry had been inflicting on children in Miller Valley Baptist Church. It seems to me that an unbiased individual would only be concerned with the truth. He should have urged them to diligently seek the truth and let the chips fall where they may. If this meant Chantry would be judged unfit for ministry, so be it. But no, as this shows, those who held power in ARBCA were intent from the earliest stages of the Chantry scandal to keep him in the ministry!

 

David Dykstra Letter 0f Dec… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Dykstra attended a few days of Chantry’s first trial and apparently believes Tom is an innocent man, wrongly convicted by a legal system that has gone awry. Below is a jailhouse recording of a phone conversation between Chantry and Dykstra. This occurred after Chantry had been convicted on four counts of sexual molestation of a child.

I have already covered John Giarrizzo’s involvement in the Chantry coverup at the top of this article, but below is the report of the investigation of Giarrizzo by the Elders of his church. Regrettably, Giarrizzo is still the pastor of the church while the Elders and approximately 75% of the members have resigned and moved on to churches where the pastor can be trusted.

GCC Elder Investigation – J… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

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Another former member

Wow. Besides not “passing the smell test“, in his answer, he admits that there is a possibility that he did, in fact, have knowledge of the accusations at the time in question. The very fact that he admits this, speaks volumes about the man’s character. By saying that he needs to “check the timeline“, he is essentially saying that it is something that he would do, otherwise he would have immediately replied with something like “I don’t remember exactly when I became aware of it, but I’m sure that I never would have voted to bring an accused pedophile into our midst“, instead he basically replied “My actions would have been the same whether I knew about it or not.” Wow.

A former ARBCA member

I’m glad you are raising the issue of “why” churches are leaving ARBCA. If they do not state explicitly that they are leaving because of how ARBCA leadership handled the Chantry situation, their leaving may not really mean much.

I spent a long time in one of the churches in this article. It was very authoritarian. It took me leaving and going somewhere else to see just how authoritarian it was. I feel bad for those so deeply in the fog, so desperate to justify the behavior of these men that they will give a pass to anything, and believe any narrative they create.

Are we to honor men or are we to honor Christ? That is the question that these ones need to wrestle with personally.

Mr. Jesperson

Thanks for highlighting again what is obviously wrong with this white-washed religious institution and the wolves that are typical of its leadership. The lust for power and influence over people is a huge and very common problem in so called “Christian” leadership in our culture today. The spirit behind the Pharisees is still alive and has become more experienced over the last 20 centuries. This is who we are battling and they do not give up just because one institution is exposed for what it is. They just move on to the next, or create another new one where they have great influence over the lemmings who think that they are sheep.

You have a point. However, when I started informally advocating for individual abuse victims I felt that God conveyed the following message to me:

My goal and mission was to be there for those who often could not stand up to Christian institutions promoting great evil, as opposed to focusing on the outcome of their individual situations or legal cases.

I’ll be honest in saying that seeing how few victims receive temporal justice in this world often demoralizes me.

However the following has been said:

“If we cannot have justice, then let us at least have the truth.”

I believe that your advocacy work and that of many other people exposes horrifying lies and the illegal cover-ups of sexual abuse that are bad for individuals and the reputation of Christianity in general.

I have no way to prove this, yet also think that many atrocities against children have been prevented because people looking for a new church have passed on some of the ones written about in this blog alone.

It’s very hard for any court system to mete out justice after any crime has already been committed.

Better to warn people away from bad churches and bad parachurch organizations before children are fed to organized pedophile rings claiming to represent Christ.

That’s all just my opinion of course.

Thanks.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Watching

To Giarizzo: “were you not ever afraid for your OWN children?”

Likely the pastors did not worry about their own children being harmed. In my more than eight years of experience informally advocating for child abuse victims in certain churches which have no culture of either respecting the law or acting like decent human beings, the following seems to be true:

Pastors protecting pedophile rings in churches often tell known child molesters to stay away from the children of pastors or prominent, wealthy church members.

Only the less well connected and non affluent kids are available to be sexually abused at will.

That’s how it seems to have worked at many Sovereign Grace Churches. I suspect that ARBCA pastors who harbored pedophiles had the same understanding with the pedophiles in their flock.

“Hands off the kids we care about, yet feel free to indulge otherwise.”

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Former member

17 years ago, I left the cult of Reformed Baptists, after hearing more than one member publicly point out to local leadership that they seemed more in love with their doctrines than with their supposed savior.

Years prior, I had attended an adult Sunday school series on cults at the same church. I was subsequently able to see some of the same signs fall into place; disproportional exultation of doctrine and leadership, willingness to blatantly lie to membership (you see, it’s only ‘lying’ if you have an obligation to tell the truth to the subject – and if you convince yourself that the congregation has no right to the truth, you’re off the hook).

I distinctly remember an elder in the church blatantly lying to me so that he wouldn’t have to admit that his disagreement was a matter of personal taste, and not a doctrinal one.

Now that that church has left ARBCA and is under a new pastor, who knows what their future will be.

The lesson for me – not just from that experience, but from life in general – is that everyone and every organization changes. If you expect the changes to only be good, you’re deluded.

Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Acknowledging that one has been conned by an organization or individual, for a long time, is also hard.

I recently discovered that someone I once considered a friend and ally is actually a sociopath who has covered up child sexual abuse for money and power.

There weren’t many warning signs, an insider finally blew the whistle.

However, I struggled and still struggle with the reality that I had so badly misjudged someone for many years.

But a reality it is. Likewise, I hope that people will give serious consideration to abandoning Giarrizzo immediately and permanently.

He seems unworthy of being entrusted with the safety of a pet turtle much less children in a church.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Stopped Listening; Started Watching Years Ago

But, Your Honor, it is the WHOLE Counsel of GOD…we care about children from the womb, not just ones that are being molested in our churches!

Janna L. Chan

I’ve only had a chance to listen to the last five minutes of the video yet do want to say the following.

As shocking as it seems the following argument was often made by pastors, whose churches harbor pedophiles or even pedophile rings:

“Yes, our pastors and lay leaders regularly feed innocent children to known (they have confessed to pastors ) child molesters, but why are you bloggers focused on that when our church does so many good things for Christ and our local community?”

Most corrupt church leaders quickly discovered that that argument didn’t go over well with even their most devoted supporters. Apparently John Giarrizzo didn’t get that memo.

Also, if Mr. Giarrizzo believes that slander has been posted on this blog, he’s welcome to bring that matter to Todd’s attention or my attention.

As his statements in the last few minutes of the video stand, I think he’s just crudely slandered bloggers who genuinely care about abused children. He has done this in a childish attempt to try and take attention away from his own corrupt and disgusting behavior.

Believe it or not, many churches both bring people to Christ and protect children from child molesters.

Those two activities are not mutually exclusive.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)