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Part 6: Sociopathic Liar & Sadist, Tom Chantry Promised CCEF Counselor, Devon Berry, He’d Never Spank Another Child Again but “Battery” Continued Soon After as an Elementary School Teacher

This is the first of two articles on Devon Berry’s counselor’s report.  That report has been concealed by top officials in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA) and Tom Chantry’s former lawyer, John Sears, for “good” reason.  In fact, they have never used his name in private or public statements in order to conceal his identity. 

Devon Berry was a certified biblical counselor with the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF).  He counseled Tom Chantry on four occasions over a two week period from November 29 to December 14, 2001.  He issued a report on December 18, 2001.   

Berry’s report completely vindicated Chantry even though he was given overwhelming evidence of Chantry’s child abuse.  It was a total whitewash and failed to address Chantry’s strongly suspected sadism which he was mandated to investigate.  This abdication of responsibility was contrary to the formal agreement signed by Chantry and “voluntarily assumed” by his pastors, Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick.  I will address this whitewashed report, and quote it in entirety, in my next article. 

In this article, I want to address just one item - the promise Tom Chantry made to Devon Berry and his pastors that he would never spank any child (except his own) ever again under any circumstance.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the report. 

December 18, 2001 

Tom Lyon         
Providence Reformed Baptist Church
6415 55th Street, Court West
University Place, WA 98466

Dear Eldership at Providence Reformed Baptist Church,

The purpose of this letter is to review the process and outcome of the biblical counseling sessions that I entered into with Tom Chantry. … I have met with Tom Chantry four times between 11/29/01 and 12/14/01. … The issue of child discipline has also been addressed with Tom.  Because of the nature of the events leading to this counseling I believe it is important to make several clear statements about Tom’s voiced commitments in regards to this issue.  Tom has stated that he will not enter into any type of circumstance or arrangement that will require him to be in a setting with a minor without a third party present.  He has also stated that he will not, in any circumstance, spank a child other than his own as a form of discipline.

In Christ,

Devon Berry 

“The issue of child discipline” was addressed with Chantry - not the issue of why and how he assaulted children for his wicked pleasure.  The only thing Chantry ever apologized for at Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, AZ was spanking his victims in a tutorial context.  In other words, he superficially agreed he should not have used spanking as a tutor to address supposed behavioral issues with his students. 

I have little doubt Berry knew Chantry was a child abuser based upon all the evidence in his possession.  For example, he was given “The Complete Report (i.e. packet) which included five letters documenting the abuse.  There is no question he knew others believed Chantry was a child abuser who broke the law and could be prosecuted.  

Yet he never addressed these issues or the strongly held suspicion Chantry was a sadist in his counseling sessions.  He simply addressed “the issue of child discipline” - not the aggravated assaults for which Chantry was convicted on August 21, 2018.  How did he address it?  He got Chantry to make two commitments.  

First, never to be alone with a child.  “He will not enter into any type of circumstance or arrangement that will require him to be in a setting with a minor without a third party present.”  A “minor” is anyone under age 18.  That is a bizarre requirement unless you believe Chantry is too dangerous to be left alone with a child or young person unsupervised.  That is exactly what Judge Astrowsky imposed on Chantry at his sentencing on October 19, 2018.  For the next three years, he may not interact with children other than his own unless under supervision.  

Second, never to spank a child again not his own.  “He has also stated that he will not, in any circumstance, spank a child other than his own as a form of discipline.” 

Why these two prohibitions?  In my opinion, Berry knew or suspected Chantry was a sadistic child abuser.  Berry refers to these “important” “clear statements” as “voiced commitments” by Chantry.  

“Because of the nature of the events leading to this counseling [the aggravated assaults] I believe it is important to make several clear statements about Tom’s voiced commitments in regards to this issue.” 

Despite these prohibitions and commitments, Berry gives the following endorsement of Chantry to Lyon and McCormick toward the end of his report. 

“Tom believes that he is currently qualified for eldership and recognizes that this decision ultimately rests with the leadership in his church.  As mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is my perception that Tom is in no way beholden to any besetting sins at this time.  It would also appear that he does meet the qualifications for eldership.”  

Berry confidently asserts “that Tom is in no way beholden to any besetting sins at this time.”  That includes his propensity to lie and spank children!  This report was produced on December 18, 2001.  Within eight months, Tom Chantry was teaching elementary school children at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois outside of Chicago.  The school used corporal punishment (spanking with a rod) to discipline its students.  Chantry was right at home.  The spanking quickly resumed.  

This timeline comes from Chantry’s biography.  I’ve filled in some blanks and added links. 

“Upon concluding his studies, Tom moved to Arizona and worked in full-time ministry [at Miller Valley Baptist Church] for five years [1995-2000].  Subsequently he has been a member of Reformed Baptist churches in Washington [Providence Reformed Baptist Church, 2001-2002] and Illinois [Grace Reformed Baptist Church, 2002-2006] and has spent four years [2002-2006] teaching at a Christian school [Christian Liberty Academy] in the Chicago area.  Tom began preaching regularly at Christ Reformed Baptist Church [Hales Corner, WI] in the summer of 2005.  One year later he moved to the Milwaukee area to begin preaching full time.”  

Chantry began teaching 6th graders during the 2002-2003 school year at Christian Liberty Academy.  The following year he taught 5th graders.  The same ages as some of his victims back in Miller Valley Baptist Church.  Knowing his history of aggravated assaults, it is astounding Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick allowed Chantry to become an elementary school teacher at a school that enforced spanking for misbehaving students.  That is like taking an alcoholic into a bar after his fourth Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and buying him a cold draft beer or shot of refined whiskey to celebrate. 

I assume Devon Berry also knew Chantry was becoming an elementary school teacher.  There is no question, Bob Selph (the ARBCA Coordinator) and Mike McKnight, Tedd Tripp, and Rich Jensen (the 2000 Informal Council) knew he was leaving Providence Reformed Baptist Church for the teaching position.  Selph, McKnight and Tripp were also on the ARBCA Administrative Council in 2001-2002.  That is when Chantry interviewed, took the job, relocated to the Chicago area and starting his four-year teaching stint having been commended by Berry, Lyon and McCormick.  How could Selph, McKnight, Tripp and Jensen allow this to happen knowing Chantry was guilty of child abuse and seriously suspected he was motivated by sadistic and/or sexual desire?    

Walt Chantry, Tom’s father, was the one who effectively got his son the job.  He was good friends with the founder of Christian Liberty Academy, Paul Lindstrom (deceased 2002) and the headmaster, Philip Bennett.  Bennett is now the Superintendent of Christian Liberty schools.  He has foolishly defended Tom Chantry’s innocence even after his conviction for aggravated assault on August 21, 2018.  

In a dramatic development on August 12, 2018 during the Chantry trial, a “witness” (confidential informant) came forward to reveal Chantry’s assaults at the school.  He said this about Walt Chantry in the words of Susan Eazer. 

“The witness indicted that Walt Chantry is very revered and everyone is afraid to speak out about things that [Tom} Chantry has done because of Walt Chantry’s status.  This individual was very concerned about keeping his anonymity for this reason.” 

Walt Chantry has intimidated many persons over the last 18 years in covering up his son’s abuse of children in order to keep him out of jail and protect the family legacy.  For example, he harshly condemned the Miller Valley Baptist Church elders when they sought to discipline Tom for his physical abuse of children and spiritual abuse of members.  Walt wrote the elders.  

“When you proposed the specific measures of Monday the 6th, you recommended the intolerable, you were proposing diabolical procedures regularly employed by Marxism and cults with the intention of breaking a person psychologically.” 

Rich Howe and Eric Owens replied in part. 

“Tom was spanking a young boy 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. … Legally, what Tom did would be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.” 

Walt Chantry, like so many others, knew Tom was a child abuser but got him a job working with children.  Read this article for fuller coverage. 

Part 2: Walt Chantry, Miller Valley Elders, & ARBCA Officials Knew Tom Chantry Was a Child Abuser Even Before the 2000 Investigation Began
Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 2:10PM

Well, the predictable happened as indicated above.  I don’t know exactly when Chantry began spanking children at Christian Liberty Academy but it was soon after he started teaching in August 2002.  It was part of his job description.  As Chantry told a victim’s mother according to one of the police reports, “It is school policy to spank students when they misbehave.”  

This much we know for a fact, Chantry was investigated by law enforcement and child protective services for battery of a five-year-old just two years later in July 2004.  The parents decided not to prosecute but they removed their child from the school.  You can read much more about this story at the following links. 

Police Report Confirms What We Suspected -Tom Chantry Continued Beating Young Boys at Christian Liberty Academy
Todd Wilhelm
August 25, 2018 

Why Does Christian Liberty Academy Support Convicted Felon Thomas Chantry?
Todd Wilhelm
October 27, 2018

There are other victims of Chantry’s abuse at Christian Liberty Academy who have yet to come forward.  Please contact Susan Eazer with information at or (928) 777-7322.  She is the Yavapai County Deputy Attorney in Arizona who prosecuted Chantry.  

The following information comes from the Arlington Heights Police Department in Illinois.  The parents’ and victim’s names are redacted from this account of battery. 

“[The mother] picked [her son] up from school at approximately 1530 hours.  At that time, the [mother] asked [her son] about the incident.  [The son] advised that Chantry took him into his office after he had kicked at another student.  Chantry then spanked him with a wooden paddle that was kept in Chantry’s office.” 

“[The father] called 911 on 07-16-04 to report the following incident.  His son, a student at Christian Liberty Academy, was the victim of a battery on 07-14-04.  His teacher Chantry spanked [his son] with a wooden paddle, due to his behavior.  [The father] indicated that he is aware of the school’s policy on punishment but was alarmed at the marks left on his son’s buttocks [two days later]. … His concern is that Chantry, a fifth and sixth grade teacher, disciplined his five-year old son.  [The father] felt that [his son] was “paddled” too hard by Chantry.” 

“I [Detective Hamrick] asked Chantry how long he has been employed by the school and how often he “paddles” students.  Chantry advised that he has been employed by the school for approximately two years.  He has “paddled” students less than twelve times. … The paddle is made of pine and is tan in color.  The paddle is approximately 18” in length and approximately an inch thick.” 

Chantry “paddled” a five-year-old boy who was NOT one of his students.  He was teaching 10-12-year olds.  It appears he was the go to guy for paddling at Christian Liberty Academy.  He was spanking children he did not know for other teachers; including this little five-year-old boy.  Unbelievable!   

And of course, he had a ready-made paddle in his office that he used “less than twelve times.”  Less than twelve times!  How many children did that involve?  And this was over a two-year period or less.  Furthermore, nothing Chantry says can be accepted as true.  The number of children battered could be far higher.

Chantry is a sociopathic liar.  Here is his commitment, once again, in the words of Devon Berry.

“The issue of child discipline has also been addressed with Tom.  Because of the nature of the events leading to this counseling I believe it is important to make several clear statements about Tom’s voiced commitments in regards to this issue. …  He has also stated that he will not, in any circumstance, spank a child other than his own as a form of discipline.”

Chantry loves to beat children for his pleasure.  He is possessed with a sinful desire to spank or assault them for his enjoyment.  His “commitments” mean absolutely nothing.  His promises are nothing but lies intended to deceive.  That is why he is in jail on a million dollar bond.  He is utterly untrustworthy. 

And not only does he beat children, he also molests them given the opportunity according to multiple victims.  We should know more about his upcoming trial(s) for 13 counts of sexual molestation, aggravated assault with sexual motivation, and child abuse in the coming weeks.

Chantry was a member of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL while teaching at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL.  Dale Smith and Al Huber (his father-in-law) were/are the pastors.  They had to know Chantry was investigated for battery and involved in spanking multiple children despite his commitment never to do so.    Regardless, they sent him out to be the lead pastor at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Hales Corners, WI in 2006.  That church shut down and sold its building last month because 70% of the congregation left over the scandal and its cover-up by ARBCA. 

In addition, Chantry was fired from Christian Liberty Academy for the battery according to the confidential informant.  As a result of the battery and police investigation, the school ended its policy of enforced corporal punishment.  Law enforcement even confiscated Chantry’s 18 inch long, 1 inch thick paddle.  It probably brought him to tears!

Furthermore, I assume Tom Chantry and/or Al Huber told Tom Lyon back in Tacoma and Don Lindblad in Seattle about the investigation for battery so they could be aware in case the word got out.  If so, Lyon and Lindblad didn’t do anything about Chantry breaking his promise never to spank a child.  This should have triggered a report to the Administrative Council; but of course, Lyon and Lindblad have been at the center of the cover-up for the last 18 years.  So too, Earl Blackburn and David Dykstra.

Tom Lyon, Mark McCormick, Don Lindblad, ARBCA officials, and John Sears (Chantry’s lawyer) have referenced Devon Berry’s report as evidence of Chantry’s innocence but have never quoted the report or made the report public.  Now you know why.  It is incriminating. 

It shows he was too dangerous to be with a minor unsupervised.  And it proves Chantry broke his commitment to never spank a child under any circumstance soon after he finished counseling with Berry and left Providence Reformed Baptist Church in Washington for Christian Liberty Academy/Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Illinois.  

And this resumption of battery was grounds to release all the information in “The Complete Report” (i.e., packet) to ARBCA officials including the Level 1, “Confidential Report and Recommendations.” That is what Don Lindblad wrote Steve Marquedant on June 17, 2015.  “This is a sealed document and is not to surface unless Tom is charged with the same or similar sins in the future.” 

In the same letter, Lindblad told Marquedant about all the documents in the ARBCA files including Berry’s counselor’s report.  Marquedant was on the Administrative Council and Chairman of the Membership Committee in 2015-2016. 

“The following documents are in the ARBCA archives: … The letter written by the CCEF counselor, stating that Tom has fulfilled what he agreed to do.  The limits of his guilt are expressed.” 

Lindblad took the same position during his telephonic interview with Susan Eazer, the prosecuting attorney, on March 21, 2018.  He used Berry’s report to justify Chantry. 

“Well I would say that our association has taken the position that Tom Chantry, followed up on all that he was asked to do and, the councilor’s report asserts that as far as he [Devon Berry] is concerned or as far as he understands, Tom Chantry is guilty of nothing more than what he had admitted to when the committee was there in Prescott.” (“Transcript of Donald Lindblad,” p. 46., lines 16-22 - p. 47, lines 1-2)  

The 2016-2017 Administrative Council (Earl Blackburn, Chairman) did the same thing in their “ARBCA Announcement Concerning Tom Chantry” made to General Assembly in April 2017.  Here’s an excerpt. 

“A sister church and an independent, certified (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation) Christian counselor judged Mr. Chantry fit to return to normalcy.  Their reports included pursuing pastoral ministry, should Mr. Chantry believe this was God’s will.  These reports were archived in the ARBCA office, and there is an entry in official minutes to that effect.” (April 25, 2017) 

Berry’s report is alarming on the one hand, and a whitewash on the other hand.  Don Lindblad, Tom Lyon, Mark McCormick, Earl Blackburn, Steve Marquedant, et. al. reference the “whitewash” in the report but never the frightening “commitments.”  Nor do they point out, Berry did not do what he was assigned to do – address “this method of punishment for his own pleasure.”  He, like Lyon and McCormick, refused to “address the purpose, frequency and severity of the physical punishment.”  

That is why, no one has ever quoted or made public Berry’s report including Chantry’s lawyer, John Sears, who illegally withheld it from the prosecutor, Susan Easer.  Sear’s referred to the report at the July/August 2018 trial in defense of Chantry, but never disclosed it to Easer or entered it into evidence.  

As pointed out in court documents, Chantry is “a sick twisted monster” and “a textbook pedophile and child abuser through and through.”  That is also why Judge Astrowsky ordered Chanty to undergo a psychological evaluation and follow whatever recommendations come from that.  Let’s hope they do a far better job than Berry. 

Thank God, Chantry has been in jail for the last four months but he continues to claim he is perfectly innocent.  Put that in same category as “[I] will not, in any circumstance, spank a child.”  Sexual predators are always sociopathic liars and those that cover up for them are not far behind. 

Related Articles 

Part 5: Victim Impact Statements for Judge Astrowsky in Tom Chantry Case - “We Gave Our Children, Unknowingly, Over to a Pedophile”
Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:19PM

Part 4: Exposing the Extensive Coverup of Tom Chantry’s Child Abuse by Top Officials in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA) the Last 18 Years
Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:15PM

Part 3: A Critical Analysis of the Administrative Council’s Report Justifying the Decision to Withhold All Knowledge of the Police Investigation & Imminent Arrest of Thomas J. Chantry from ARBCA Pastors
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:04AM

Part 2: Walt Chantry, Miller Valley Elders, & ARBCA Officials Knew Tom Chantry Was a Child Abuser Even Before the 2000 Investigation Began
Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 2:10PM

Part 1: Sexual Sadist Tom Chantry Persecuted Like Jesus, Tested Like Job, & Betrayed Like Joseph According to ARBCA Leaders & Enablers
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 6:58PM

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