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Newly Discovered Letter from Tom Chantry in 2000 Documents Widespread Knowledge in ARBCA of Accusations Against Him for Repeatedly Abusing Children & So Was Talk About Prosecuting Him

I present this letter for two reasons.  One, it educates.  It illustrates how sadistic pedophiles lie and deceive.  Two, it further exposes ARBCA officials like Earl Blackburn and David Dykstra who have repeatedly claimed they had no knowledge of the allegations of abuse.  In the letter, Chantry names 12 individuals, in addition to the three men on the Informal Council, that knew “something of the accusations against me.”  He also talks at length about members of Miller Valley Baptist Church knowing about his severe beating of Daniel Laver.  Chantry fled MVBC knowing there was talk of prosecution. 

This article should be read in conjunction with these articles which also contain newly discovered evidence.  Absolutely no one should have anything to do with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America. 

Don Lindblad’s Recently Discovered Review of Informal Council Investigation for Chairman Earl Blackburn Proves Intentional Cover-Up of Tom Chantry’s Crimes by Marcus “Mike” McKnight, Tedd Tripp and Rich Jensen
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 11:19AM

Church Secretary Told ARBCA Investigators in 2000 that Tom Chantry Would “Take People’s Children & Hurt Them Without Cause & Enjoy Doing It.”



To: Rich Jensen, Mike McKnight, Tedd Tripp
From: Tom Chantry
RE: Arizona Meetings 

Don Lindblad has communicated to me your desire to hear my concerns prior to our, meeting in Phoenix on December 13.  Accordingly, I will endeavor to put all necessary thoughts to paper so that they might be addressed appropriately.  I will first generally address the charges made against me by the elders of Miller Valley, as far as l know them.  I wish then to say a few words about the prevailing climate of my ministry there, and to comment on the process followed by the church during the current crisis, both prior to and following my resignation.  I trust that my actions will become more clear through this explanation. 

[Note: We now know Tom Chantry assaulted at least six children and molested at least four children between 1995-2000 at Miller Valley Baptist Church.  In the first trial, he was found guilty on 2 counts of aggravated assault.  In the second trial, he was found guilty on 4 counts of sexual molestation.  A third trial on  nine counts is in the works.  This letter of “concerns” was sent to ARBCA Informal Council comprised of Marcus “Mike” McKnight, Tedd Tripp, and Rich Jenson a week before their investigation from December 13-16, 2000.  It is the work of a sociopathic liar and sadistic child abuser.  It vividly illustrates the tactics used by these kind of “twisted monsters” to cover up their crimes.  Sadistic child molesters are marked by extraordinary deceit, arrogance and self-centeredness that is hard for decent people to comprehend.] 

The Charges 

Over the last several weeks the elders of Miller Valley have made many accusations against me concerning my conduct as a pastor, particularly with children.  These accusations have never yet been made to me; I have beard them 3rd or 4th hand.  I can only address those of which I have heard. 

Prior to my departure from Prescott [AZ on Nov. 10, 2000], I admitted that I acted inappropriately in the discipline of Daniel Laver, in that I proceeded without his mother’s express permission.  I have acknowledged that this was wrong, and have asked forgiveness repeatedly.  At the time I denied the more objectionable aspects of the accusation, and I understood the elders believed my version of events.  l absolutely deny the rumors which I have heard which accuse me of repeatedly abusing several children.  I will not discuss this further in writing, but you need to know that l have not, and will not, accept the version of events now being publicized by the elders. 

[Note: Chantry was accused by the elders of “repeatedly abusing several children.”  At the time, four to be exact.  He has been found guilty in relation to three of those victims and a trial is in the works in relation to the fourth victim.  He knew he was being accused of child abuse.  Therefore, he boldly lies.  “I absolutely deny the rumors.”] 

As for other accusations, I have acknowledged that at times I have acted proudly, and at times without careful consideration.  I have always been assured, even by the elders, that these “character flaws” do not merit exclusion from the ministry.” 

[Note: Chanty should never have been approved for ministry in 1995.  The “character flaws” were atrocious.  Read the letter his secretary sent to McKnight, Tripp and Jensen in the article linked above.  It is shocking.] 

The Situation 

In order for you to understand how this matter has grown so large, I need to briefly address the nature of my relationship with the elders and people of Miller Valley. 

[Note: The elders and people are to blame according to Chantry.  Like his secretary said, “I have never seen him take responsibility for anything he has done.”] 

At the time of my call I stepped into a quite difficult situation due to the long ministry of Bob Selph.  This was not so much a problem caused by Bob, but by the emotional reaction of the people to his departure.  As all the officers have recognized, many individuals in the church took years to overcome this.  The strain of this on my ministry is obvious. 

[Note: “The emotional reaction” was in response to his arrogance and complete lack of care.] 

Most distressing is the impact that this has had on Rich Howe, the longest standing elder at Miller Valley.  Three problems have plagued our relationship.  The first is that we do not view the ministry in quite the same fashion.  We both acknowledge this.  I view the ministry as essentially didactic, while he views it as essentially relational.  This is not a matter to separate over, and we both sought to work together nevertheless.  Secondly, I have always found him critical of me, not on the basis of my work, but on the basis of my personality.  It is my opinion that he has taken Bob Selph’s personality and elevated it into a requirement for pastors.  Thirdly, he has always viewed me not as an actual elder, but as an apprentice for him to train.  He has endeavored to give me inappropriate “fatherly” oversight on such matters as my finances and my dating life.  When I confronted him about his treatment of me, he once said “I guess I may have expected too much of you.”  It is fair to say that he has viewed me as a project from the beginning and as a disappointment for much of my time there. 

[Note: The role of a teacher is “essentially didactic” (i.e. giving instruction).  The role of a pastor is “essentially relational” (i.e. providing care).  Miller Valley Baptist Church wanted a pastor, not an ivory tower professor.  The problem with Chantry’s was his lack of Christlikeness, not his personality.  Chantry was a young man.  He needed training and fatherly oversight from the elder Howe.  He was not a “project” or  “disappointment,” he was terribly immature and in desperate need of discipleship.] 

It has recently become known to me that Rich has, on a number of occasions, spoken with other ministers about my shortcomings.  I heard that as early as last spring, well before the current matter, he spoke with Tom Lutz about my inadequacies.  There have also been hints that Rich and Bob Selph have conducted discussions about my weaknesses and the needed improvements for years without my knowledge.  I find this intolerable behavior for any elder. 

[Note: Tom Lutz was on the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 Administrative Councils.  More on him later.    Rich Howe needed help in dealing the Chantry.  “Intolerable behavior” could be Tom Chantry’s middle name.] 

The climate of tension is critical to your understanding of subsequent events.  Over the last several months, Rich’s treatment of me has spiraled down to even worse levels. 

The Events Leading to my Resignation 

On Wednesday, October l8 [2000], the elders told me the story they had heard about my time with Daniel Laver.  I denied the story as they had heard it, but acknowledged my wrong in the matter.  They asked my [me] to go to Connie Sue, Daniel’s mother, and to apologize and make matters right.  I endeavored to do this immediately. 

[Note: Daniel’s mother told Rich Howe and Eric “Shorty” Owens all about the severe beatings.  The elders wrote Walt Chantry on November 21, 2000, saying the following. 

“Tom was spanking a young boy [Daniel] he was tutoring after school with various objects (boat oar, whiffle-ball bat, ruler, hand) on numerous occasions, including one bare bottom spanking that left welts and bruises on the child’s rear end and leg.  This had been going on for one year before the Elders were made aware of it. … It is still incomprehensible to us as to how these actions by Tom were justified.  Legally, what Tom did would be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.”  

Susan Eazer, the prosecutor, described the story told the Miller Valley elders and Informal Council in 2000 as follows.  

“The victim [Daniel] described the beatings with the oar to be excruciating to the point of leaving bruises and making it painful to sit for days afterwards.”  

“She [Connie] has testified that his entire buttocks and upper back thighs were covered with deep purple bruises and blisters.  The bruises were about four inches wide and shaped like a board and there were so many there was no space in between them.  Her son told her the spanking was bare-bottomed and with a board.” 

We also know Chantry molested Daniel during these beating to “comfort” him.] 

Already the issues had turned to gossip.  Daniel’s mother had not spoken to me or to the elders [not true, she talked to Rich Howe on Oct. 18], she spoke instead to Daniel’s cousin, a woman who is a known gossip and busybody in the church.  She has been accused again in the last months of agitating amount people to discredit Rich’s wife.  This has been an ongoing problem in the church.  She had begun the process of spreading rumor to the church.  Whether she was the one who first enlarged the story, I do not know.  I do know that, rather than confront her for gossip and end the matter, the elders took the position that I needed to apologize not just to the boy and his mother, but to everyone who had heard about it.  Knowing that I had initially been in the wrong [for spanking without permission], I agreed.  At this time, the elders told me not to argue the details, and suggested that they trusted my version of events.  For this reason I did not try to clear my name, and subsequently have appeared guilty of more than I ever acknowledged. 

[Note: Chantry is in a panic.  The story about his severe beatings of Daniel Laver for over a year with a boat oar, etc. was being told in the small church.] 

In the first week I spoke with various members of the family and church.  Most were willing to forgive.  However, the elders decided to make the matter even broader, and to have me apologize in ever greater generalities to each member of the church.  Again, I trusted them, and in all likelihood opened myself to all sorts of interpretations of my general apology  .  At this time the elders were still telling me that I would remain in the ministry, and that they trusted me.  They said that our individual meetings with members were in lieu of a congregational meeting. 

[Note: Chanty’s “general apology” only included that he had “spanked” Daniel without permission but nothing about repeatedly assaulting him for nearly a years and not for the bare bottom beating with a boat oar that caused serious injury.] 

After several weeks of this, matters took a great turn for the worse.  I had not only been out of the pulpit, but had, at the request of the elders, avoided the services at Miller Valley.  They were conducting many meetings with the people, and several new notes entered into their words to me.  First, the elders began to meet without me.  They met without me on Sunday, November 5, “to discuss their options.”  They then met with the deacons and other members before meeting with me.  Second they stopped talking in terms of what they might do, and began to speak of what the people might do.  This had become a matter for congregational deliberation, and less and less was said of what the elders might recommend.  Third, they stopped saying that it would be right for me to remain, and began saying that it might be necessary to decide otherwise.  Ethics were being replaced by pragmatism as the emotion of the church was stirred up against me.  Fourth, they stopped saying that since I had repented, I would be forgiven and restored, and began to say that they might dismiss me.  There were substantial changes in the tone of the elders towards me.  They have subsequently claimed to have followed one course throughout, but these changes were quite evident to me.  At the same time, the broad, general complaints against my character, which tended to be vague and unanswerable, seemed to take precedence over the issue with Daniel, which even they had to concede that I had dealt with. 

[Note: “The people” and the elders knew Chantry had assaulted Daniel under the guise of tutoring.  The elders never conceded the point and never felt “the issue” was dealt with.  That is why they recommended to the church on November 19 an Informal Council from ARBCA investigate.] 

On Monday, November 6  the  elders met with me to tell me their plan.  They intended to put me on probation for 30 days, although in reality it was an open-ended arrangement.  They would hold a congregational meeting to discuss my sin problems and need for repentance, and to urge the people to spend a month examining me for signs of repentance.  At the end of the time, the people would vote on whether to retain me, dismiss me, or repeat the process.  When I asked for time to think, since so much changing so fast, Rich rebuked me for a lack of real repentance. 

[Note: Good for Rich.] 

A number of things must be said about this plan.  First, it was unconstitutional, both because the constitution of the church does not mention probationary periods for standing officers, and because a move for dismissal is to come from the elders, not the congregation.  Second, it was impractical, since it would have exacerbated the situation, deepened the division in the church, and so greatly humiliated me as to render my future ministry impossible.  Third, and most importantly, I am convinced that it is an entirely unbiblical plan for the follow reasons. 

[Note: “So greatly humiliated.”  No, so greatly exposed.] 

First, it was based on a definition of terrible sin which is not supported by any biblical law.  Remember that this plan was made before the charges of misconduct had grown so great, and while the elders said that they trusted me.  Second, I was to  be judged in my fitness for ministry not on the basis of character, qualifications, and gifts but on that of personality and style.  Third, accusations were being brought against me in a public proceeding without the multiplicity of witnesses required by scripture.  Fourth, the plan did not deal with the existing and growing problem of gossip in the church.  Fifth, the plan abandoned leadership of the church to the people, without any intention of an elder-proposed solution. 

[Note: It was not about personality and style.  It was about character and qualifications for ministry.  Chantry wrote this letter on December 7.  By then, there was a “multiplicity of witnesses.”  Four victims had come forward and their accounts were being documented in writing for the upcoming investigation.] 

In this situation, I could not stay.  I resigned for three reasons.  First, the elders had clearly lost confidence in me.  Second, given their flip-flops and this unbelievable plan, l had lost my confidence in them.  Third, it seemed evident to me that if I could not work with them, I would do well to leave the church in peace rather than stay and fight over our differences.  For this reason I left town immediately. For this reason I have avoided contact with the people, so as not to communicate to them my distrust of the eldership to the church.  

[Note: Chantry knew he was in legal jeopardy.  He “left town immediately” before anyone went to the police and avoided all contact with the people who knew about his abuse.  He hoped his resignation on Nov. 8 and departure on Nov. 10 would end the matter.  Instead the elders pursued an investigation which was commissioned by the ARBCA Administrative Council on Nov. 27.] 

The Events Subsequent to my Resignation 

As soon as I had resigned, the officers [elders/deacons] began to spin events in a way contrary to the truth.  They were talking with other ministers about how terrible a person l was, unqualified for the ministry, while at the same time telling me how much they loved me and wanted me to return.  They began to spread the details which I had denied, and about which they had dishonestly claimed to trust me.  They have both called and written to even my own parents, detailing the grossest of their accusations.  They have evidently reexamined children, in some cases years after the alleged incidents [all the “incidents” occurred between 1996-2000 - one was four years old].  They have, by their own claim, as heard by both Don Lindblad and Earl Blackburn, entered my house and sought for “evidence.”  They have spoken about councils and prosecution.  They have evidently been willing to believe everything said about me without evidence.  They have spread this gossip very far.  So far I have heard that Tom Lutz, David Dykstra, Rich Goswiller, Steve Martin, Dave Shuey, Jaimie Howell, Wayne Roper, Ian Murray, and of course Bob and Cathy Selph have been told something of the accusations against me, and yet nothing of these matters has been related directly to me. 

[Note: This is a critical paragraph.  “The officers began to spin events in a way contrary to the truth.”  This comes from the “father of lies.”  That is, the devil and his servant, Tom Chantry.  The elders and deacons had the firsthand testimony of the victims and their parents.   They had “spoken about councils and prosecution.”  They were are able to detail “the grossest of their accusations” for Walt and Joie Chantry.  They also “began to spread the details” and “spread this gossip very far” to a long list of ARBCA notables.  Remember, ARBCA has adamantly denied the 2000-2001 Administrative Council, or any Administrative Council, thereafter, had knowledge of the accusations against Tom Chantry.  ARBCA is so corrupt!   Earl Blackburn (the AC Chairman) and Don Lindblad knew the elders were trying get the boat oat and other implements used to beat the children.  In the process, they found pornography hidden away in the parsonage by Chantry.  And look who else was “told something of the accusation against me.”  Tom Lutz – he was on the AC and the lead pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church in Anderson, IN.   David Dykstra – he was on the AC, Chairman of the Membership Committee and provided direction for the Informal Council.  Rich Goswiller – he was a well-known pastor-teacher.  See his biography here.  Steve Martin – he met with the Miller Valley elders on Nov. 14, 2000 and was on the AC.  He knew everything!  Dave Shuey – I have not been able to track down who he is yet.  Jaime Howell – he was on the AC and the recording secretary.  He once wrote me saying, ”I had no idea there was anything to cover up. … Those of us on the AC had no idea Tom had abused children” (Sep. 21, 2018).  I don’t believe him!  Wayne Roper – he was an elder at Grace Baptist Church in Taylors, SC with Howell and Bob Selph.  Iain Murray – he is close friends with Walt Chantry, the co-founder of Banner of Truth, and internationally recognized.]  

In all of this they have continued patterns which began years ago. 


I know that your committee must consider the accusations made against me.  These are, in my opinion, a mixture of real sin, which has been both addressed and dealt with, and of false charges which have emerged in a climate of gossip and hysteria.  l hope that you will not only ask what happened, but when and how each allegation arose. The process was so far from biblical that any accusation was likely to emerge. 

[Note: Chantry has always contended the children and parents made up their stories out of animosity.  That defense was attempted at the first trial by John Sears but totally flopped.  Chantry wrote this letter on Dec. 7, 2000.  McKnight, Tripp and Jensen met with each of the children separately on Dec. 13, 2000.  They heard the “false charges” which emerged in a “climate of gossip and hysteria” from the victims and their parents.  In their top secret report, McKnight, Tripp and Jensen wrote, 

“The children we interviewed were to various degrees, angry, ashamed, and struggling with feelings of guilt.  They all expressed fear of further contact with Thomas Chantry. … The parents reflected to the Informal Council both their love and admiration for Thomas Chantry as well as their guilt and shock regarding his treatment of their children.  All members of the Informal Council were deeply moved by the words and the injured expressions of the children.  We do not believe that they had been influenced by parents, other adults, elders, or even on another.  They did not enjoy talking about their experiences with Pastor Chantry.”] 

I would respectfully ask you to also consider the following issues: 

[Note: All that follows is an attempt to mislead and manipulate the Informal Council.] 

1. The elders have agitated behind the pastor’s back for years, criticizing him with the former pastor, and in this fashion ensured that he could never effectively minister. 

[Note: Chantry hated correction which he was in desperate need of for his glaring lack of character.] 

2. The elders have not confronted gossip, but have encouraged it. 

[Note: ARBCA is renowned for playing the gossip, slander, Ninth Commandment card in covering up Chantry’s crimes and their pervasive corruption.  They have followed Chantry’s lead.] 

3. The elders have not followed the biblical mandate to require multiple witnesses against an elder. 

4. The elders have excluded the pastor from their deliberations without cause.

5. The elders have abandoned elder rule for congregational rule.

6. The elders have violated the church constitution.

7. The elders have hastily spread dishonest and slanderous gossip throughout the association.

[Note: The report of Chantry’s physical abuse of children was “hastily spread” “throughout the association” but NO ONE in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America remembers any of it!  Acute amnesia afflicts all the top leaders and pastors in ARBCA from the past 20 years!] 

8. The elders have harassed the family of the pastor. 

9. The elders have invaded the privacy and property rights of the pastor.

[Note: The elders found pornography hidden away in Chantry’s house in 2000 which was the church parsonage.  They also tried to recovery the “boat oar” used to beat some of the children.  Judy Rogers (Chantry’s sister) confiscated it on Dec. 4 at the direction of her father, Walt Chantry and destroyed the evidence.  This is all documented.  See Ten-Part Series, p. 55.] 

10. The pastors have manipulated the pastor’s confession of wrong, first accepting his version of events and subsequently acting as though he had confessed more than he had.

It is not my intent to make any official charges against the elders of the church for these matters.  I rather hope to demonstrate, if only to you men, how this s:ituation has so quickly spiraled out of control.  I hope to be able to exonerate myself in your eyes, although I have acknowledged sin in this matter, and will freely admit that I could have done better in certain respects.  My two great concerns are the future of the church and my own future.  I had hoped at the time of my resignation that the church would be able to put this matter behind them and move on in the faith.  Clearly they have not endeavored to do so.  I still hope that such a future might be possible for them.  At the  same time I planned to continue in the ministry, and it is still my hope that I will  be  able to do so.  My reputation has been severely tarnished by the false charges that have been so eagerly spread.  In some manner I hope to see my name cleared, not of any sin I have committed, but of those gross accusations which contain no truth.  At the very least I hope to continue in the pastorate, and my chief loyalty after Christ is to the ARBCA churches. 

[Note: He resigned “to put this matter behind” and escape criminal prosecution.  Chantry continues to lie, just like above.  He did throughout both trials.  He does so from jail through his wife, family, and ARBCA pastors who are still telling members and bloggers like Pulpit and Pen (P&P), they think he is innocent of child molestation.   

“P&P has spoken to numerous Chantry supporters, some of them notable, who still believe in his innocence regarding molestation accusations.  They virtually all acknowledge that Chantry was sadistic and abusive from a preponderance of the evidence, but refuse to believe that he was guilty of sexual molestation.” 

Twenty years ago Chantry called them “false charges” and “gross accusations which contain no truth.”  He also claimed his “chief loyalty” was to Christ.  Nothing has changed.  He is the personification of evil!] 

I do not know the intentions of the elders of Miller Valley. 

[Note: Well, the elders knew the intentions of Chantry.  He was out to deceive them in order to avoid prosecution for assaulting their children which would certainly have resulted in the discovery of his molestations.] 

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