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ARBCA Membership Process of Christ Reformed Baptist Church

Hales Corners, Wisconsin,
and the Case of Thomas J. Chantry

Administrative Council Report

Part II

October 25, 2018
2

Table of Contents

PREFACE 3

REPORT SUMMARY 5

Significant Findings 5

Listing of Recommendations 7

INTRODUCTION 8

PART II 9

Mr. Chantry’s Tenure at Miller Valley Baptist Church 9

The Formation and Conduct of the Informal Council 11
The Formation of the Informal Council 11
The Conduct of the Informal Council 12
The Informal Council’s Reports 12
Confidential Report and Recommendations – Level 1 Report 13
Report, Conclusions, and Recommendations – Level 2 Report 13
Report of the Informal Council – Level 3 Report 13
Complete Report 13

Mr. Chantry’s Compliance with the Informal Council’s Recommendations 13

The ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly 14

Analysis 15
Discussion of the Relevant Events at MVBC During the Period June 1995 to November 2000 15
Discussion of the Formation, Mission, and Conduct of the Informal Council 16
Discussion of the Formation of the Informal Council 16
Discussion of the Mission of the Informal Council 18
Discussion of the Conduct of the Informal Council 18
Discussion of the Confidential Report – Level 1 Report 19
Discussion of the Report, Conclusions, and Recommendations – Level 2 Report 20
Discussion of the Report of the Informal Council – Level 3 Report (to member churches) 24
Discussion of the Distribution of the Complete Report 24
Discussion of Mr. Chantry’s Compliance with the Informal Council’s Recommendations 25
Discussion of the ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly 26

Conclusions 27

Recommendations 31
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PREFACE
We truly grieve for all those affected by the case of Thomas J. Chantry; and we pray that the God
of all of the earth and of all creation, who has revealed Himself as our loving heavenly Father,
will grant forgiveness and healing and will give us all the grace to seek to honor the Lord Jesus
Christ, our Mighty Savior, in how we understand and love each other and in how we learn from
our mistakes and work together for the future of our association of churches.

We have no illusion that this report will somehow suddenly solve all the conflicts, answer all the
questions, and heal all the wounds the events of the past twenty years concerning this case have
brought upon us. Some have urged us not to publish this second report, believing that the report
itself might cause even more harm. However, we believe that, if our association is going to grow
stronger and if we, as churches, are going to learn to live in ways more honoring to the Lord of
the church through a more robust understanding of associational life, the only path toward these
noble goals is one of transparency and striving for truth in all matters. So, we believe that we
must begin here, with the case of Thomas J. Chantry; and we should consider adopting, in our
governing documents, structures and policies designed to assure such transparency and careful
handling of truth in the future.

Our purpose in this report is to communicate, clearly and transparently, information to member
churches about actions of the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council of the
Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA), specifically in relation to the
formation, conduct, and reports of an informal council sent to Miller Valley Baptist Church
(MVBC) in Prescott, Arizona, in December 2000. We have attempted to provide an objective
account of the events, circumstances, procedures, reports, and results related to this informal
council. Necessarily, we have included a discussion of the tenure of Thomas J. Chantry during
the period he was pastor of MVBC. We have conducted a vigorous search for documentation
and information, including official reports, private correspondence, working papers, notes,
emails, and records of personal interviews. Additionally, we have included an analysis of the
information in this report, in which we have given particular attention to the assessment of
whether the evidence supports an allegation of a conspiracy to conceal information from law
enforcement or member churches of ARBCA.

None of the documentation relating to Mr. Chantry’s tenure at MVBC or the work of the
informal council in December 2000 was available to the current Administrative Council or
accessible until after the completion of Mr. Chantry’s trial. Moreover, we have continued to
pursue documentation that has only become available during the drafting of this report.

Much of the information in this report has been extracted from private and/or sensitive sources
and is not publicly available; therefore, any quotations from such sources have been heavily
redacted and the sources have not been included as attachments. Instead, these sources have
been identified as “Private Document” in the footnotes. Several of these sources have already
been made public by other individuals; however, in some cases the Administrative Council has
determined it inappropriate, for a number of reasons, to publicize documents as attachments to
this report. While we have decided it would be insensitive or inappropriate to reproduce or
publicize these sources, we are able to make them available for review, under supervision, at the
2019 General Assembly. To the extent possible, we will make arrangements for interested
delegates to review the documents by appointment during the General Assembly. Following the
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General Assembly, we will attempt to make other arrangements, if necessary, for pastors or
members of churches affiliated with ARBCA to view the documents, by appointment.

Our goal has been to provide a thorough and coherent record of the events at MVBC; of the
history, work, and results of the informal council; and of the related activities of the ARBCA
officials involved. Furthermore, we have attempted to articulate conclusions and
recommendations based on the content of this report, which we submit to the member churches
of ARBCA with a view towards correcting and strengthening our Association. We pray that this
report will provide the pastors and members of our associational churches the information
necessary to answer questions regarding this matter and to maintain the unity of fellowship and
confidence in our association.
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REPORT SUMMARY
Significant Findings

The Membership Committee and the Administrative Council failed to recognize the MVBC
protest of the membership application from Christ Reformed Baptist Church (CRBC) in Hales
Corners, Wisconsin, as a statement of difference or conflict between MVBC and Grace
Reformed Baptist Church (GRBC) in Rockford, Illinois, which was the sponsoring church for
CRBC. This failure resulted in the mishandling of MVBC’s protest, the missed opportunity to
address MVBC’s longstanding issues with Mr. Chantry, and the approval of CRBC’s application
without the GRBC elders possessing knowledge of the unresolved complaints and concerns of
the MVBC elders regarding Mr. Chantry’s actions as pastor of MVBC and their belief that he
had not complied with the Informal Council’s recommendations.

The Membership Committee and the Administrative Council should have advised the MVBC
elders to address their concerns about Mr. Chantry and the application of CRBC for membership
in ARBCA to the elders of GRBC, which was the sponsoring church for CRBC. While the
Membership Committee and the Administrative Council lacked authority and policy provision to
take action to resolve the MVBC elders’ concerns about Mr. Chantry, the GRBC elders could
have taken steps to resolve the complaints against Mr. Chantry and bring about reconciliation, or
they could have withdrawn their sponsorship from CRBC for membership in ARBCA. If the
MVBC elders’ attempt failed, they should have brought their differences with GRBC to the floor
of the 2016 General Assembly.

The Administrative Council issued the ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly
without access to sufficient documentation and information to make some of the definitive
statements included in the Announcement. Consequently, some of those statements were
inaccurate, and the Administrative Council should issue a letter of apology to member churches.

The documentary evidence contains no allegations or information of any kind concerning any
accusation of molestation by Mr. Thomas J. Chantry.

The documentary record does not provide any information that supports a finding of any
conspiracy to conceal necessary information from law enforcement. All of the data currently
available shows an absence of any evidence that the MVBC elders, the members of the Informal
Council, or any ARBCA officers acted to conceal the information about Mr. Chantry’s spanking
of children from law enforcement. In fact, the members of the Informal Counsel advised the
parents of the children involved of their right to report the spankings to the police.

Because the MVBC elders stated in their letter of November 21, 2000, that they recognized the
spanking could be considered child abuse, they should have reported the incidents of Mr.
Chantry spanking children to law enforcement.

The presence of the letter from the MVBC elders in the Complete Report packet, which shows
they considered the spankings child abuse, should have alerted the members of the Informal
Council to advise the MVBC elders to report the incidents to law enforcement.
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The actions of Mr. Selph (ARBCA Coordinator in 2000-2001), the Informal Council, the MVBC
elders, and Mr. Chantry did result in concealing the bulk of the information about the situation
and circumstances at MVBC from the Administrative Council and essentially all of the
information from member churches in ARBCA. While these actions did result in information
being withheld from the Administrative Council and from member churches in ARBCA, the
documentary record did not substantiate a coordinated conspiracy to do so.

The documentary record shows that the appointment of this Informal Counsel resulted from the
interference of Mr. Walter Chantry with the autonomy of MVBC, a local church of the
Association. Both his letter to the MVBC elders criticizing their treatment of Mr. Thomas
Chantry and his actions to initiate the appointment of a “Council” to go to MVBC led to
disastrous results. The MVBC elders should have been left alone to pursue a process, within the
local church, to address any matters of sin or any other concerns they had relating to Mr. Thomas
Chantry. If they wanted or needed advice, they could have brought the matter to the General
Assembly.

The ARBCA Constitution makes no provision for a Church Council, an informal council, or a
fact-finding committee. Article V, paragraph D of the ARBCA Constitution states only, “The
Association will follow the procedures outlined in the (LBCF 1689) chapter 26.” The ARBCA
Policy Manual, at the time, contained no guidelines for a Church Council. The current
“Guidelines for Forming and Conducting a Church Council” contained in the current Policy
Manual did not exist; they were not incorporated into policy until sometime after May 2002.
Because of the way the process was handled, no line of authority existed to legitimize the
Informal Council; provide oversight of the selection of the Informal Council members; provide
definitive guidance, instruction and supervision; and insure the results reflected conformity to
chapter 26, paragraph 15 of the LBCF 1689.

The Informal Council recommended a program whereby Mr. Chantry would transfer his
membership to another church. Then, in the context of the new church where he had not sinned,
his alleged sins at MVBC were somehow supposed to be dealt with satisfactorily, and he was to
be called to repentance through a process of elder oversight and professional counseling, in the
absence of his accusers. Such an arrangement was devoid of the privilege and benefits of church
discipline, in which a man is called to repentance or exonerated, and, consequently, could do
nothing to resolve the effects of the sins, as understood by the Informal Council, on the people of
MVBC. This approach spawned tragic misunderstandings, a less than beneficial relationship
between MVBC and Providence Reformed Baptist Church (PRBC) in University Place,
Washington, and a failure of the Association to fulfill one of its fundamental functions, which is
to give advice about a matter of difference between churches without exercising authority over
the churches.

Different interpretations of Recommendations 7 and 8 of the Informal Council’s “Report,
Conclusions, and Recommendations” resulted in misunderstandings and strained relations
between MVBC and PRBC. Although the MVBC elders requested help from the Chairman of
the Administrative Council to resolve the issues with PRBC, neither the Administrative Council
Chairman, the PRBC elders, nor the MVBC elders pursued steps in conformance with the
ARBCA Constitution and the Second London Baptist Confession to resolve the matter.
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In order to obtain appropriate information concerning the "serious factual differences between
Thomas J. Chantry and the four children he disciplined," the PRBC elders needed to contact the
informal council and the MVBC elders to get specific details. Due to their lack of contact they
could not address the most serious concerns of the informal council regarding Mr. Chantry.
Although this matter should have been handled as a church discipline issue at MVBC, the fact
that the PRBC elders received both the Level 1 and Level 2 Reports and accepted the
responsibility of providing oversight to Mr. Chantry, in complying with the recommendations of
the Level 2 Report, obligated them to make serious efforts to address the central, major concern
of the Informal Council.

Listing of Recommendations

1) The Administrative Council should issue a letter of apology to the member churches of
ARBCA for the inaccurate statements contained in the ARBCA Announcement to the
2017 General Assembly.

2) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a child abuse reporting policy to be
reviewed by the Administrative Council and submitted to the 2019 General Assembly.

3) The General Assembly Planning Committee should consider including a session on the
legal definitions of reportable child abuse and of mandatory reporters, along with related
issues, at the 2019 General Assembly.

4) The Administrative Council should issue an amendment to Part I of its report to the
churches concerning the case of Thomas J. Chantry. This amendment should clarify that
the Level 2 Report may have been distributed to the Administrative Council in 2001;
however, no documentary information or testimonial accounts of the members of the
2001 Administrative Council confirms such distribution.

5) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a constitutional amendment and
related policy, for submission to the 2019 General Assembly, that provides specific
guidance concerning the obligation of member churches to resolve conflicts, complaints,
or difficulties of any kind between two or more churches, which cannot be resolved by
their cooperative action, by placing those matters on the agenda for the next General
Assembly.

6) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a constitutional amendment
regarding Church Councils for submission to the 2019 General Assembly.

7) The Policy and Constitution Committee should review the Guidelines for Forming and
Conducting a Church Council in the Policy Manual and revise them to conform with the
proposed constitutional amendment regarding Church Councils and submit any proposals
to the 2019 General Assembly.

8) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft policy that prohibits any form of
“confidential” minutes, reports, or records by the Administrative Council, all ARBCA
committees including ad hoc committees, and any group or individuals acting in an
official capacity for the Association.
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9) The Administrative Council should call for a vote of confidence in the current members
of the Administrative Council at the 2019 General Assembly. The vote would not start
new terms, if approved, and should be a vote on each individual Council member instead
of the Council as a group.

INTRODUCTION
The delegates to the General Assembly of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of
America (ARBCA), which met in April 2016, voted to approve Christ Reformed Baptist Church
(CRBC) of Hales Corners, Wisconsin, for membership in ARBCA. In July 2016, Thomas J.
Chantry, pastor of CRBC, was arrested and subsequently charged with five counts of child
molestation and three counts of aggravated assault. The charges stemmed from the period of
time he was the pastor of the Miller Valley Baptist Church (MVBC), Prescott, Arizona, from
June 18, 1995 to November 8, 2000. No police report concerning Mr. Chantry was filed during
this time. In July 2015, a new allegation was made about Mr. Chantry’s actions as pastor at
Miller Valley, which resulted in a criminal investigation and his arrest.

After his arrest, a number of pastors and members of churches affiliated with ARBCA
understandably questioned whether the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council
were aware of the allegation against Mr. Chantry and the existence of a police investigation prior
to the General Assembly. They also questioned why CRBC was recommended for membership
in ARBCA, if the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council did possess this
information. The Administrative Council has addressed these questions in Part I of its report to
member churches dated September 5, 2018.

Other questions concerning the actions of ARBCA officials emerged while Mr. Chantry was
awaiting trial and during the trial. The questions all focused on whether or not ARBCA officials
took action to conceal the accusations made against Mr. Chantry during his tenure at MVBC
from law enforcement and from the member churches of ARBCA, both in December 2000 and
for the successive seventeen years. The proliferation of these questions, as well as selective
aspects of the trial, has resulted in both concern and some confusion in some churches of our
association. Consequently, the Administrative Council received requests to provide a full written
report concerning this matter to ARBCA member churches. Out of concern for possibly
affecting the judicial process in some way, the Administrative Council deferred such a report
until the completion of the trial.

On August 21, 2018, a jury in the Yavapai County Superior Court in Camp Verde, Arizona,
announced its verdict in Mr. Chantry’s case. The jury found Mr. Chantry guilty of two counts of
aggravated assault, not guilty on one count of aggravated assault, and not guilty of one count of
child molestation. A mistrial was declared on four other charges of molestation. Since sworn
testimony of all the principles in the trial and other evidence related to the charges are now
public record, the Administrative Council can provide a report to the member churches of
ARBCA.

As soon as the trial ended on August 21, 2018, the Administrative Council began the preparation
of a two-part report regarding the membership process of CRBC and the Thomas J. Chantry
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case. Part I addressed ARBCA’s actions between the April 2015 and the April 2016 General
Assemblies. Part II will cover the work of an ARBCA informal council requested by MVBC in
November 2000 and the subsequent ARBCA actions related to the results of the informal
council’s assistance to this church. This is Part II of the report. A new trial is pending
concerning Thomas J. Chantry, but sufficient documents have been released that it is appropriate
to make this evaluation at this time. Furthermore, additional time may create greater problems
within our association and its churches. Therefore, we have proceeded with this report.

PART II
This part of the report contains a discussion of the tenure of Mr. Chantry at MVBC, a review of
the formation and conduct of the informal council, a description of the informal council’s reports
and their distribution, an account of Mr. Chantry’s compliance with the informal council’s
recommendations, a critique of the Administrative Council’s announcement to the 2017 General
Assembly, an analysis of the diverse elements of this information, as well as conclusions and
recommendations.

This report makes no attempt to evaluate, in any way, or make judgments regarding Mr.
Chantry’s actions or performance during his tenure at MVBC or the statements of parents and
children who were affected by his actions. The report focuses exclusively on presenting
information and analyzing that information within the context of the activities and
responsibilities of ARBCA officials involved in this matter and ARBCA’s Constitution and
Policy Manual.

Mr. Chantry’s Tenure at Miller Valley Baptist Church

The elders of MVBC invited Mr. Chantry to visit and preach for the church in March 1995 for
the purpose of considering him to serve as interim pastor. He graduated from Westminster
Seminary in Escondido, California, in June 1995 and began his service as interim pastor a week
later. He served as interim pastor and permanent pastor until November 2000.1

On July 4, 1995, only two weeks after his arrival at MVBC, Mr. Chantry was accused of striking
Child A with his fist at a Fourth of July celebration.2 The elders addressed the accusation with
Mr. Chantry, who denied hitting Child A with his fist. Subsequently, the elders decided to
recommend Mr. Chantry to the congregation as its pastor.

During the summer of 1995, the parents of Child A and Child B asked Mr. Chantry to go to their
house and spank the two siblings for fighting. The parents were not home, and the babysitter
called the parents because the siblings had been fighting.3 Mr. Chantry went to the home and
spanked the two children as requested.

In September 1995, Mr. Chantry began tutoring Child B; the parent gave him permission to
spank the child if necessary.4 In December 1995, Child B told the parents about receiving a

1
Private Document 1.
2
Private Documents 2 and 5
3
Private Document 3.
4
Private Documents 2, 3, and 5.
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“bare bottomed” spanking from Mr. Chantry. The elders confronted Mr. Chantry about the bare
bottomed spanking, and he denied doing it. The elders met with Mr. Chantry several times over
the issue and decided the matter was resolved. Mr. Chantry continued tutoring Child B but did
not spank the child again.5 By February 1997, he no longer tutored Child B.

The people of MVBC thought highly of Mr. Chantry’s preaching and teaching, and the elders
presented him to the church for ordination. He was ordained by MVBC in February 1996.6
In April 1997, an older elder began a series of meetings with Mr. Chantry in order to address a
variety of issues, such as Mr. Chantry’s social behavior, philosophy of pastoral ministry and
conduct, and the expectations of the elders for each other.7

Mr. Chantry continued to fulfill his ministerial duties from April 1997 to October 2000.
Documentation reveals that some members of MVBC expressed concerns about Mr. Chantry’s
displays of anger, lack of pastoral warmth, seeming authoritarianism, inexperience, and apparent
immaturity.8

In January 1998, Mr. Chantry began to tutor Child C and continued tutoring Child C until
October 2000. The parents of this child did not give permission for Mr. Chantry to discipline the
child. Over the course of a year, Child C told the parents about being spanked by Mr. Chantry.
In September 2000, Child C reported receiving a “bare bottomed” spanking from Mr. Chantry.

The parents of Child D and Child E, who were siblings, arranged for Mr. Chantry to watch their
children for a few hours a week during the summer of 1999 due to difficulty in arranging
childcare. The parents gave Mr. Chantry permission to discipline their children. Child D and
Child E were often with Mr. Chantry at the same time Child C was with him. Mr. Chantry
spanked Child D and Child E and their parents confronted him. The parents told him not to
spank their children again and continued to leave their children under Mr. Chantry’s care. 9

In October 2000 MVBC elders received their first notification that Mr. Chantry had been
spanking Child C during tutoring sessions and had allegedly spanked Child C bare bottomed.10
The elders met with Mr. Chantry who denied the accusation of bare bottomed spanking of Child
C. Mr. Chantry admitted to spanking Child C and that it was wrong to do so without parental
consent. Mr. Chantry and one of the elders visited Child C and the parents, and Mr. Chantry
apologized.11 The elders determined Mr. Chantry should meet with the families in the church
who were aware of the incident with Child C and apologize. Mr. Chantry and an elder did
conduct these visits. The elders then determined that Mr. Chantry should meet with all of the
other families in the church and offer a general apology. Mr. Chantry and an elder also
conducted these visits.12

5
Private Documents 1, 2, and 3.
6
Private Document 1.
7
Private Document 1.
8
Private Documents 4, 5, and 9.
9
Private Document 9.
10
Private Documents 1, 6, 7, and 8.
11
Private Document 8.
12
Private Documents 1, 8.
11

After the MVBC elders were notified of the spanking of Child C, the parents of Child D and
Child E notified the MVBC elders that Mr. Chantry had spanked these two children also.13
At the request of the MVBC elders, Mr. Chantry did not preach or attend the meetings of the
church for the next two weeks. The first week of November 2000, the MVBC elders met with
Mr. Chantry to outline a plan “to return him to his full duties and responsibilities.”14 The plan
stipulated a thirty-day probationary period for Mr. Chantry, a congregational meeting, and a
congregational vote to determine whether to retain Mr. Chantry at the end of the probationary
period. The purpose of the congregational meeting would be to discuss various sin issues and
Mr. Chantry’s need for repentance, along with urging the people to examine Mr. Chantry during
this thirty-day period for signs of repentance. The church would then vote to retain or dismiss
Mr. Chantry or to continue another period of examination.

On November 8, 2000, Mr. Chantry resigned as pastor of MVBC.15 On the same date, the
MVBC elders communicated their grievances against Mr. Chantry to Don Lindblad, who was a
member of the Administrative Council. The MVBC elders stated that Mr. Chantry was
perceived as unloving, that he needed to visit families more, that he was selective in talking to
people, that he was perceived to express spiritual pride, that he had exhibited outbursts of anger,
that he was not qualified for the ministry, and that he had spanked several children of church
members.16

On November 9, 2000, Walter Chantry, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle, PA, and father
of Mr. Thomas Chantry, wrote a letter to the MVBC elders strongly criticizing their actions in
relation to Mr. Chantry.17

On November 21, 2000, the MVBC elders wrote a letter to Mr. Walter Chantry, in which they
expressed their “sadness” over Mr. Chantry’s resignation, summarized their purposes for the
restoration plan they had presented to Mr. Chantry before he resigned, and specified the sin with
which they had confronted him as “inappropriate discipline of a church family’s child.” In this
same letter, the MVBC elders wrote, “Several of our children have been ‘mistreated’. 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.” 18

The documentary record shows there was no accusation of molestation by Mr. Chantry during
his tenure at MVBC, and no accusation of molestation was communicated to the Informal
Council.

The Formation and Conduct of the Informal Council
The Formation of the Informal Council

Bob Selph, ARBCA Coordinator in 2000, has asserted that Mr. Walter Chantry, “demanded” that
he (Mr. Selph) “send a Council to investigate and mediate the situation.” Mr. Selph further
13
Private Document 9
14
Private Documents 1, 7, 8, and 10.
15
Private Documents 1, 7, 8, and Attachment 1 – Report, Conclusions and Recommendations of the Informal
Council
16
Private Document 11.
17
Private Document 15.
18
Private Document 10.
12

stated that he “contacted the MVBC elders and they agreed that a Council would be helpful.”19
Don Lindblad, pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in Kirkland, WA, also indicates that
the Informal Council resulted from “the suggestion of Walt Chantry.”20

On November 20, 2000, the MVBC elders began “to pursue an ARBCA Church Council”
presumably after Mr. Selph called them.21 On November 27, 2000, the MVBC elders requested
Bob Selph, ARBCA Coordinator, “to organize an ‘informal’ church council for Miller Valley.”22

In a meeting on December 5, 2000, the Administrative Council appointed Pastor Rich Jensen,
Mr. Mike McMcKnight, and Pastor Tedd Tripp to serve as “a fact finding committee from
ARBCA” to go to MVBC.23

After the Informal Council was requested, Mr. Chantry asked Donald Lindblad, pastor of Trinity
Reformed Baptist Church in Kirkland, Washington, to accompany him to Arizona to meet with
the Informal Council.

The Conduct of the Informal Council

During the period of December 13-16, 2000, the Informal Council met with the MVBC elders,
Mr. Chantry and Mr. Lindblad, the parents of the children involved, and the children who had
been spanked by Mr. Chantry. They interviewed all the people with whom they met and, with
the parents’ permission, interviewed the children privately. After conducting all of the
interviews, the Informal Council met with the MVBC elders as well as Mr. Chantry and Mr.
Lindblad, to discuss their findings and present their recommendations. On December 16, 2000,
the Informal Council, the MVBC elders, Mr. Chantry, and Mr. Lindblad met to sign the “Report,
Conclusions and Recommendations of the Informal Council.”24 Mr. Lindblad was not present
during the interviews of the MVBC elders, the parents, or the children. He was only present
during the Informal Council’s interview of Mr. Chantry and during the final meeting on
December 16, 2000, with the Informal Council, the MVBC elders, and Mr. Chantry.25 Mr.
Lindblad did not have access to the information in the Level 1 Report or the Complete Report
until January 2017 when he was called to be a witness in Mr. Chantry’s trial, at which time he
was provided a copy of these reports.
The Informal Council’s Reports

The Informal Council prepared the following four reports: 1) Confidential Report and
Recommendations (hereinafter “Level 1 Report”), 2) Report, Conclusions and Recommendations
(hereinafter “Level 2 Report”), 3) Report of the Informal Council (hereinafter “Level 3 Report”,
and 4) Complete Report.

19
Attachment 5.
20
Private Document 16.
21
Private Document 1.
22
Private Document 1.
23
Attachment 2 – AC Minutes dated December 5, 2000.
24
Attachment 1.
25
Attachment 3.
13

Confidential Report and Recommendations26-- Level 1 Report

This report contained a detailed discussion of the Informal Council’s procedure, the basis of their
conclusions and recommendations, recommendations to the MVBC elders, recommendations to
Mr. Selph, recommendations to Mr. Walter Chantry, recommendations to the families of the
children (included as attachments), recommendations to the elders who assumed oversight of Mr.
Chantry, and a statement of conclusions.

The MVBC elders restricted the distribution of this report to Mr. Chantry, the MVBC elders, Mr.
Selph, Mr. McKnight, Mr. Tripp, Mr. Jensen, the elders who would assume oversight of Mr.
Chantry, the professional counselor who would counsel Mr. Chantry, and Mr. Walter Chantry.27
Report, Conclusions, and Recommendations28-- Level 2 Report

This report contained the conclusions and recommendations agreed to by the MVBC elders and
Mr. Chantry. It includes the conclusions of the Informal Council and recommendations for Mr.
Chantry.

This report was included in the Complete Report file, for which distribution was restricted, and
was also supposed to be distributed to the Administrative Council in 2001 and was identified as
“a middle level report to all the AC members.”29
Report of the Informal Council – Level 3 Report

This was a brief report to all member churches of ARBCA to inform the churches that the
Informal Council had completed its work, that “the differences between” the MVBC elders and
Mr. Chantry had been “resolved”, and that the recommendations of the Informal Council had
been “adopted by the parties.”30

This report was distributed to all member churches of ARBCA.
Complete Report

This Complete Report contained copies of the Level 1 Report, including the separate
recommendations to each family involved; 31 the Level 2 Report; the Level 3 Report; and
“statements from Mr. Chantry, the parents, and one of the children; the letters that had been
exchanged between MVBC elders and Mr. Walt Chantry; and a timeline of events.” 32

Mr. Chantry’s Compliance with the Informal Council’s Recommendations

26
Attachment 3. This document contains a detailed report of the Informal Council’s procedure, activities,
conclusions, and recommendations.
27
Attachment 4 – Distribution of the Complete Report.
28
Attachment 1
29
Attachment 6 – Excerpt from AC Meeting Minutes dated January 4, 2001, p.9.
30
Attachment 7 – Report of the Informal Council.
31
Private Documents 12, 13, and 14.
32
Attachment 5 – Report from Bob Selph dated September 7, 2018.Attachment 1.
14

Mr. Chantry relocated to the state of Washington; and, on February 2, 2001, his church
membership was transferred to Providence Reformed Baptist Church (PRBC) in University
Place, Washington. The elders of PRBC agreed to provide oversight for Mr. Chantry and
supervise him while he implemented the recommendations of the Informal Counsel. During this
time, Mr. Chantry met with a professional counselor who was a member of the Christian
Counseling Educational Foundation (CCEF).

The elders of PRBC sent a report of compliance with the recommendations of the Informal
Council to the Chairman of the Administrative Council on January 1, 2002.33 This letter was read
to the Administrative Council during a meeting on January 22, 2002.34 This letter from the
PRBC elders was also forwarded to the MVBC elders by Earl Blackburn, AC Chairman in 2002.
The MVBC elders wrote Mr. Blackburn a letter dated February 5, 2002,35 expressing concerns
about the PRBC elders’ report of compliance. In their letter, the MVBC elders requested PRBC
send reports to the Informal Council and expressed concern that Mr. Chantry had not “sought
forgiveness from the children and the parents” (as they understood was required by
Recommendation #8 of the Level 2 Report), that Mr. Chantry’s counselor had “noted no
besetting patterns of sin such as those which would disqualify him from ministry”, and that Mr.
Chantry “was preaching in October before his counseling was completed in December.” Mr.
Blackburn replied to this letter from the MVBC elders and informed them that the only report he
had seen was “the general report (the Level 3 Report) that was submitted to the Administrative
Council, that the Informal Council no longer existed and no longer had any function, and that the
MVBC elders would have to contact the PRBC elders about their concern regarding Mr.
Chantry’s need for repentance and for any other issues regarding Mr. Chantry.36 Randy Jamison,
Pastor of MVBC in 2002, did call Tom Lyon, Pastor of PRBC, but none of the issues contained
in the MVBC letter were addressed. There was no further communication between MVBC and
PRBC or between Mr. Blackburn and MVBC or PRBC regarding MVBC’s concerns.

The ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly37

After Mr. Chantry was arrested in July 2016, a few member churches in ARBCA began to
question whether the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council conspired to
conceal information from member churches in ARBCA and, specifically, delegates to the 2016
General Assembly. In addition, postings on the internet began to accuse ARBCA of
orchestrating a cover-up of the accusations against Mr. Chantry during his tenure at MVBC.

The Administrative Council reviewed the information and documentation available to it at the
time, as well as the procedures and discussions involved in the acceptance of CRBC into
membership in ARBCA. Based on that information, the Administrative Council made the
Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly. The Administrative Council did not have access
to the documents contained in the Complete Report of the Informal Council, which are listed
under the above section titled, “Complete Report.” Additionally, the abundance of related
documents, which were acquired by the Administrative Council after the trial and used for the
preparation of this Part II Report to the churches, was not known to the members of the

33
Attachment 8 – Letter from PRBC elders.
34
Attachment 9 – Excerpt from AC Meeting Minutes dated January 22, 2002.
35
Attachment 10 – MVBC elders’ letter dated February 5, 2002.
36
Attachment 11 – Letter from Earl Blackburn dated February 13, 2002.
37
Attachment 12 – ARBCA Announcement to 2017 General Assembly.
15

Administrative Council or accessible by them. The documents contained in the Complete Report
were restricted to those persons listed on the distribution list authorized by Mr. Chantry and the
MVBC elders and were not made available to the Administrative Council until after the
conclusion of Mr. Chantry’s trial. The related documents obtained by the Administrative
Council were in the custody of persons involved in Mr. Chantry’s trial and were not made
available to the Administrative Council until after the conclusion of the trial. The effect of the
lack of access to this information on the Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly is
discussed in the section below titled, “Discussion of the ARBCA Announcement to the 2017
General Assembly.”

Analysis
Discussion of the Relevant Events at MVBC During the Period June 1995 to November 2000

The documentary information shows that the relationship between Mr. Chantry and the other
MVBC elders, as well as some members of the church, was quite strained. The accusation that
Mr. Chantry struck a child with his fist, only two weeks after beginning his service as interim
pastor, as well as Mr. Chantry’s spanking of a child in November 1995, did not contribute to a
healthy relationship with the other elders or some members of the church.

Mr. Chantry admitted to spanking five children, only four of whom the MVBC elders were
aware until the visit from the Informal Council. Of these five children, the parents of three of the
children and grandparent of one child had given Mr. Chantry permission to discipline the
children. The parents of one child had not given Mr. Chantry permission to discipline the child,
although the parents knew of the spankings for several months. As early as November 21, 2000,
the central issue, which the MVBC elders identified as sin on the part of Mr. Chantry, was the
“inappropriate discipline of children.”38 The documentary information shows that the MVBC
elders were notified of the first spanking incident in December 1995; and, after several meetings
between the MVBC elders, Mr. Chantry, and the parents, they decided the matter was resolved.
Even after this incident, the MVBC elders recommended Mr. Chantry to the church for
ordination, and the church ordained him in February 1996.

Although no other spankings were reported to the MVBC elders until October 2000, Mr. Chantry
had spanked other children during the period 1998 – 2000. Neither Mr. Chantry nor the parents
reported these incidents to the other MVBC elders until October 2000. The children in the first
spanking incident of 1998 and the last spanking incident both reported “bare bottomed”
spankings which Mr. Chantry denied.

In all of the incidents, the MVBC elders continued to support Mr. Chantry. In October and
November 2000, the MVBC elders took actions and made plans to work with the members of the
church and Mr. Chantry in order, in their view, to strive to bring about repentance, forgiveness,
and reconciliation with a view towards enabling Mr. Chantry to continue as pastor of MVBC.

The MVBC elders met several times with Mr. Chantry, after the first spanking incident in
December 1995, and eventually considered the matter resolved. The documentary information
does not record any assessment by the MVBC elders of Mr. Chantry in relation to this incident or

38
Private Document 10.
16

any of the content of their conversations with Mr. Chantry. Nor does the documentary
information provide any insight into the MVBC elders’ characterization of the spanking.

However, by November 21, 2000, after the MVBC elders became aware of the spanking
incidents with three other children, they had arrived at the conclusion that the spankings “would
be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.”39

Neither the parents of the children nor the MVBC elders reported the spanking incidents to the
police. According to a motion filed by Mr. Chantry’s attorney on June 18, 2017, the MVBC
elders were “mandatory reporters under Arizona law.”40 This motion also asserts that the
members of the Informal Council were mandatory reporters under Arizona law. There is no
documentary information that indicates whether or not the MVBC elders or the members of the
Informal Council were aware of the actual law involved or of their status as mandatory reporters.

Importantly, there is no documentary information that shows that the MVBC elders asked the
parents not to report the incidents or that the MVBC elders advised the parents that they could or
should report the incidents. The totality of the documentary record shows that the MVBC elders,
as well as the members of the church, wanted Mr. Chantry to repent, to be forgiven, and to serve
as the pastor of MVBC. There is no information to indicate that the MVBC elders and/or the
church members conspired to violate the law. The recorded actions show a corporate focus on
spiritual concerns for the church and for Mr. Chantry.

Discussion of the Formation, Mission, and Conduct of the Informal Council

Discussion of the Formation of the Informal Council

In December 2000, ARBCA was only three years old as an organization. While a Constitution
and Policy Manual existed, these documents had been prepared with little or no experience in
associational life by the original member churches. That being so, these documents were not
informed by robust experience and, in some sections, lacked provisions or delineated less-than-
thorough procedures and guidelines. This analysis of the formation of the Informal Council
considers the implications of the conditions of ARBCA’s governing documents in 2000.

The documentary information shows that Mr. Walter Chantry asked for a “Council” to be sent to
MVBC; that, at some point, Mr. Selph called the MVBC elders and they agreed to a “Council”,
and that the MVBC elders “began to pursue an ARBCA Church Council” on November 20,
2000. The record shows that seven days later they requested Mr. Selph to organize “an informal
church council”; and, on December 5, 2000, the Administrative Council appointed a “fact
finding committee.” The minutes of the December 5, 2000, Administrative Council meeting
state only that “There is a remaining conflict between Mr. Chantry and the elders.” The minutes
do not indicate there was any discussion of the specifics of the conflict or the problems at
MVBC. Additionally, several of the Administrative Council members who held office in 2000
stated in interviews that there was no discussion of the specifics of the circumstances at MVBC
involving Mr. Chantry at the time the decision was made to send a “fact finding committee” to
MVBC.

39
Private Document 10.
40
Superior Court for State of Arizona, Yavapai County, Document P1300CR201600966. This document is not
currently available in the Administrative Council’s documentary files.
17

The ARBCA Constitution makes no provision for a Church Council, an informal council, or a
fact-finding committee to be established in this way. Article V, paragraph D of the ARBCA
Constitution states only, “The Association will follow the procedures outlined in the (LBCF
1689) chapter 26.” The ARBCA Policy Manual at the time contained no mention of a Church
Council nor any guidelines for a Church Council.

The significance of this review of ARBCA’s Constitution and Policy Manual is that neither the
Administrative Council nor any other committee nor any other person possessed organizational
authority to appoint such a Church Council, Informal Council, or fact-finding committee. Not
even a General Assembly could appoint such a Council without the issue being first presented to
the General Assembly and discussed, and a determination made by the General Assembly that
such a Council was necessary. The ARBCA Constitution stipulated that, “The Association will
follow the procedures outlined in the [LBCF 1689] chapter 26” when responding to situations in
which member churches requested counsel. The procedures in LBCF 1689, Chapter 26,
paragraph 15, do not describe any procedure comparable to a Church Council. Regardless of the
manner in which those procedures were implemented in the seventeenth century, it is impossible
to reasonably conclude that the process undertaken in 2000 fits with what is described in the
constitution and the confession.

Therefore, the foundational authority for providing counsel to a church was breached in the case
of the MVBC Informal Council. Consequently, no line of authority existed to legitimize the
Informal Council; provide oversight of the selection of the Informal Council members; provide
definitive guidance, instruction, and supervision; and insure the results reflected conformity to
paragraph 15. Paragraph 15 states:

In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of doctrine or administration,
wherein either the churches in general are concerned, or any one church, in their peace,
union, and edification; or any member or members of any church are injured, in or by any
proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth and order: it is according to the mind of
Christ, that many churches holding communion together, do, by their messengers, meet to
consider, and give their advice in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all
the churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled, are not entrusted with any
church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the churches themselves,
to exercise any censures either over any churches or persons; or to impose their
determination on the churches or officers.41

One of the major requirements of the Confession in such cases is that “many churches holding
communion together, do, by their messengers, meet to consider, and give their advice in or about
that matter in difference.” The language provides that “messengers” at a convened assembly do
this work, not simply a small group of men who are not actually representing churches.

Finally, while the members of the Informal Council were highly qualified, godly men of
impeccable character, the selection of Mr. Mike McKnight to serve on the Informal Council
strains the boundaries of good judgment. Mr. McKnight did not select himself, so he is not
responsible for the selection. The fact that, at the time, he was an elder of Grace Baptist Church

41
2LBC, Chapter 26, paragraph 15.
18

in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Chantry’s father, Mr. Walter Chantry, served as Senior
Pastor, placed Mr. McKnight in an extremely complicated position. His membership on the
Informal Council could certainly have had negative effects on the elders and members of
MVBC. Moreover, his service on the Informal Council left open a door for accusations of
partiality. To Mr. McKnight’s credit, the documentary record clearly shows that he led the
members of the Informal Council to do their work professionally, thoroughly, and objectively,
with the purpose of helping the church and calling Mr. Chantry to repentance.

Discussion of the Mission of the Informal Council

Neither the ARBCA Constitution nor the Policy Manual provided any instructions, guidelines, or
procedures for a Church Council in December 2000. The current “Guidelines for Forming and
Conducting a Church Council” contained in the Policy Manual were not incorporated into policy
until sometime after May 2002. Consequently, no authorized general mission or approved
system of defining the mission of a Church Council existed in December 2000. Obviously, no
procedures or requirements existed for a Church Council at that time either. Thus, the Informal
Council suffered from a lack of well-thought, well-developed, and well-planned regulation and
oversight.

While Mr. Selph writes that “the Chairman of the ARBCA Membership Committee, wrote a
letter to the [Informal] Council stating that their “goals should be to: (1) Find out the facts
through careful interviews; (2) Make recommendations to the parties involved; and (3)
Summarize your findings and recommendations in a written document you all can sign,” the
Administrative Council’s search of Administrative Council records, Membership Committee
records, and the Complete File of the Informal Council did not produce that statement. The
failure to find the statement in the documentary record is not a challenge to Mr. Selph’s veracity;
it only indicates a search was made for the statement without results. However, the fact is that
the Membership Committee Chairman possessed no constitutional authority or policy mandate to
issue such a statement, and the statement did not flow from a carefully considered policy
construct that should have provided a Church Council with the tools and guidance to function.
Consequently, these instructions, assuming they were issued, failed to circumscribe the conduct
of the Informal Council within the parameters of the provisions of the Confession for providing
counsel to churches.

Discussion of the Conduct of the Informal Council

Throughout the work of the Informal Council, the council members expressed their deep concern
for the children and families involved and met with them to discuss their options, including
reporting the spankings to law enforcement. One of the members of the Informal Council was a
retired detective and advised each family that they had the right to report the spankings to law
enforcement. The Informal Council also provided a separate report of recommendations for each
family.

As discussed previously, in the section titled, “The Formation and Conduct of the Informal
Council,” the Informal Council conducted interviews with everyone concerned, gathered
information, made recommendations to the MVBC elders and Mr. Chantry, and prepared reports.
19

The documentary information shows that the members of the Informal Council identified “issues
of personal sin”42 on the part of Mr. Chantry, errors on the part of the MVBC elders, and error on
the part of Mr. Walter Chantry. The Informal Council prepared reports and recommendations
that addressed all of these issues.

The Level 1 Report and the Level 2 Report will be discussed below. However, in relation to the
overall conduct of the Informal Council, the reports show a therapeutic approach43 to addressing
the sin issues identified by the MVBC elders and the Informal Council, versus a strictly biblical
approach to handling sin on the part of an elder. The ultimate purpose of the Informal Council
was to assist the MVBC elders and members of MVBC in establishing peace, forgiveness, and
reconciliation within the body of the church. The only way to attempt to do that biblically is to
address the sin issues involved in the context of MVBC, the local church. Although Mr. Chantry
had resigned his position as pastor, he remained a member of MVBC. Rather than advise the
MVBC elders to proceed with church discipline and rebuke Mr. Chantry publicly, if appropriate,
as delineated in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Timothy 5:20, the Informal Council recommended a
program whereby Mr. Chantry would transfer his membership to another church. Then, in the
context of the new church where he had not sinned, his sin was somehow supposed to be dealt
with satisfactorily, and he was to be called to repentance through a process of elder oversight and
professional counseling, in the absence of his accusers. Such an arrangement was devoid of the
privilege and benefits of church discipline in which a man is called to repentance or exonerated
and, consequently, could do nothing to resolve the effects of the sins, as understood by the
Informal Council, on the people of MVBC. Only a biblical approach to dealing with the sin in
the context of the church in which the sin was committed could offer the prospect of the work of
the Holy Spirit and Scripture to produce the peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and repentance
the circumstances demanded.

This therapeutic approach to solving the spiritual problems in the church and with Mr. Chantry
cannot be divorced from the fact that no constitutional and policy provisions existed to establish
authority, direction, oversight, assistance, and evaluation to the Informal Council. The apparent
lack of any discussion, by the Administrative Council prior to commissioning the Informal
Council, of the specifics about the spanking of children and the issues of conflict between the
MVBC elders and Mr. Chantry, also contributed substantially to the Informal Council
developing this therapeutic approach independently. This approach spawned tragic
misunderstandings, a less than beneficial relationship between MVBC and PRBC, and a failure
of the Association to fulfill one of its fundamental functions, which is to give advice about a
matter of difference between churches.

Discussion of the Confidential Report – Level 1 Report

The Level 1 Report was included only in the Complete Report, as discussed above, under the
section titled, “The Informal Council’s Reports.” This Level 1 Report shows that the members
of the Informal Council believed Mr. Chantry was guilty of unrepentant sin. Additionally, they
postulated, in writing, that Mr. Chantry might have used “this method of punishment for his own
pleasure.”44 However, they offer no insight or reasoning as to their basis for such a statement.

42
Attachment 3.
43
A plan designed to address behavioral problems from a treatment perspective employing psychological counseling
often combined with special living arrangements or work settings as well as coaching and accountability.
44
Attachment 3.
20

In the third paragraph of section III.5. of this Level 1 Report, the Informal Council recommends
that “. . . the priority in dealing with Tom should not be placed on returning him to ministry, but
in dealing with the issues of personal sin and coming to complete and sincere repentance. This is
important for Tom as well as the young children he spanked.” However, although Mr. Chantry
preached at PRBC within eight months after he became a member of PRBC,45 no steps were
taken to seek the reconciliation contemplated by this recommendation.

Simply the existence of a “Confidential Report” confirms that information was restricted and not
provided to all member churches of the Association. Nevertheless, this report contained
opinions, unsubstantiated charges, and allegations against the MVBC elders, Mr. Thomas J.
Chantry, and Mr. Walter Chantry that could not have been published and should not have been
published.

Again, the lack of constitutional and policy provisions governing this Informal Council proved
deleterious to its work.

Discussion of the Report, Conclusions, and Recommendations – Level 2 Report

When the Administrative Council researched and drafted Part I of its report to the churches
regarding this matter, the Council determined the Level 2 Report was distributed only in the
Complete Report packet and not available to the Administrative Council in 2001. The further
research for Part II revealed that the Level 2 Report of the Informal Council might have been
provided to the Administrative Council in 2001. During the research for Part I, the Level 2
Report was not attached to the January 4, 2001, AC Meeting Minutes that referenced the Level 2
Report as a “middle level report”. However, these Meeting Minutes state that the “reports will
be distributed”; subsequent AC Meeting Minutes do not document the receipt of the Level 2
Report by the members of the Administrative Council. Additionally, various members of the
2001 Administrative Council did not recall seeing the Level 2 Report. Consequently, in the Part I
Report, the Administrative Council concluded that the 2001 Administrative Council had not
received it. Although none of the 2001 Administrative Council members recalled seeing the
Level 2 Report, Mr. Selph’s report46 provided testimonial support for the possibility that the
Administrative Council did receive this report. This Level 2 Report was not available to the
Administrative Council in 2015-2017, and there is no indication that it was distributed or
available to members of Administrative Councils subsequent to 2001.

In this report, the Informal Council provides a structure for Mr. Chantry to withdraw his charges
against the MVBC elders and for the MVBC elders to withdraw church discipline from Mr.
Chantry. As addressed under the subsection above titled, “Discussion of the Conduct of the
Informal Council,” these provisions appear to have set aside the need to deal with sin in the
context of the local church, MVBC, where the sin was committed. The end result is that the goal
of the Informal Council, to bring about repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation, was not
accomplished and remains unaccomplished eighteen years later.

The report makes ten recommendations. Seven of those recommendations describe actions the
Informal Council recommended for Mr. Chantry. Recommendations 7 and 8 must be interpreted
45
Attachment 10
46
Attachment 5.
21

in light of the Level 1 Report, in which the members of the Informal Council declared their
strong beliefs that Mr. Chantry had not admitted all of his sin and, therefore, had not sought “full
repentance and the forgiveness from each of the four children and their parents.”47
Recommendation 7 of the Level 2 Report reiterates these strong beliefs of the Informal Council,
“That there still remain serious factual differences between Thomas Chantry and the four
children he disciplined during his ministry at Miller Valley.”48 This means that either Mr.
Chantry was lying or the four children were lying. Therefore, the elders of PRBC, who were to
receive Mr. Chantry into membership and provide oversight to him, were charged with a
seemingly unattainable task. They had to get Mr. Chantry to admit sin he had not yet admitted,
or to somehow get the children to admit that they were lying, and then bring about repentance,
forgiveness, and reconciliation with the members of another church, MVBC.

Although the task given the PRBC elders was impractical, the extremely strong statements by the
Informal Council, in both the Level 1 and Level 2 Reports, about their suspicions that Mr.
Chantry had not admitted all his sin, comprise the central theme of both reports and the most
important message the Informal Council attempted to communicate to the PRBC elders.
However, the documentary record gives no indication that the PRBC elders talked with any of
the members of the Informal Council or the MVBC elders to discuss the differences between the
statements of the children and the statements of Mr. Chantry or to try to gain more clarity or
more specifics about the beliefs of the Informal Council that Mr. Chantry needed to repent more
fully. Furthermore, the documentary record does not show that the PRBC elders specifically
addressed the written statements of the children and parents with Mr. Chantry and sought
clarification of any differences they discovered between those statements and Mr. Chantry’s
account of the spankings.

This Level 2 Report carried the weight of the Informal Council’s therapeutic approach to
addressing their perceptions of Mr. Chantry’s sins and the conflict between the MVBC elders
and Mr. Chantry. Recommendations 7 and 8 established a procedure in which the Informal
Council vested an anticipation of success for this therapeutic approach. That anticipation of
success conveyed a strong expectation that Mr. Chantry would, at some point, return to MVBC
and fully repent and seek forgiveness, as well as a strong implication that the MVBC elders had a
right to require such action by Mr. Chantry. Tragically, this expectation and implication flow
from a misinterpretation of Recommendations 7 and 8. Hence, a thorough examination of these
two recommendations is necessary. Here are the recommendations:

7. That there still remain serious factual differences between Thomas Chantry and the
four children he disciplined during his ministry at Miller Valley. These factual
differences include the purpose, frequency and severity of the physical punishment. It is
recommended that the Elders who assume the oversight of Thomas Chantry address these
differences because it is the opinion of this informal council that his repentance may not
be complete.

8. That Thomas Chantry endeavor to seek full repentance and the forgiveness from each
of the four children and their parents who have been the subject of physical discipline by

47
Attachment 1.
48
Attachment 1.
22

him. It is recommended that the Elders who assume the oversight of Thomas Chantry
assist him with this process.

Notice that Recommendation 7 says in part, "It is recommended that the Elders who assume the
oversight of Thomas Chantry address these differences [between Mr. Chantry’s description of
the spanking incidents and the children’s descriptions] because it is the opinion of this informal
council that his repentance may not be complete." Recommendation 8 is predicated on the
assumption that the elders would be successful in uncovering what the Informal Council thought
might be Mr. Chantry's lies. The PRBC elders, rightly or wrongly, did not find any additional
sins for which Mr. Chantry needed to repent. So, Recommendation 8 did not require action by
the PRBC elders or Mr. Chantry. This understanding and interpretation of Recommendation 8 is
also substantiated by the Informal Council’s Level 1 Report. Therefore, Mr. Chantry did not
return to MVBC to seek “full” repentance and forgiveness.

The MVBC elders abdicated authority over Mr. Chantry in the Level 2 Report signed by the
MVBC elders and Mr. Chantry. Whatever concerns or complaints or accusations, legitimate or
not, the MVBC elders had about Mr. Chantry, they no longer had authority to pursue them. The
MVBC elders had no authority to determine that Mr. Chantry had lied or had not fully repented;
that authority had been transferred to the PRBC elders. In other words, the determination
whether or not Mr. Chantry needed to return to Miller Valley and repent more or again had been
placed in the hands of the PRBC elders. And, PRBC concluded, by whatever means, rightly or
wrongly, that Mr. Chantry had not lied. Thus, the MVBC elders had no authority to decide if
Mr. Chantry needed to repent more or not. Recommendation 8 was not a commitment or a
contract, on the part of Mr. Chantry, to finally admit that he had done things that he had
previously denied. Such an interpretation of Recommendation 8 simply would not make sense,
because it would mean that Mr. Chantry signed a contract promising to come back and admit
sins that he was denying at the time he signed the contract. Again, such an interpretation simply
does not make sense. At the same time Recommendation 8 was not a commitment by Mr.
Chantry to return to Miller Valley and meet with the families a second time and seek repentance
and forgiveness for those things he had already addressed with them. That would not make any
sense either. Rather, Recommendation 8 was part of the obligations placed on the PRBC elders
and tied directly to Recommendation 7. The PRBC elders evidently found no reason to believe
that Mr. Chantry had not fully repented and fully sought forgiveness during his meetings with the
families before the arrival of the Informal Council.

This is critically important to understand, because all of the communications of the MVBC
elders with PRBC, the AC Chairman in 2002, and the Membership Committee in 2015,
concerning this matter, resulted from the anticipated success of the therapeutic mechanism
crafted in these two recommendations and the consequent expectation of Mr. Chantry’s
subsequent repentance and the implication that the MVBC elders possessed a right to require
such repentance. When the PRBC elders found no need for Mr. Chantry to return to Miller
Valley and repent more or again, the anticipated success failed to materialize. However, the
MVBC elders believed that Mr. Chantry had committed himself to returning to Miller Valley and
repenting fully and that they retained some authority, implied in their understanding of
Recommendation 8, to determine that Mr. Chantry was an unrepentant sinner.

Recommendation 8 was the central issue in the MVBC elders’ objection to CRBC’s application
for membership in ARBCA. The evidence on which the Membership Committee relied was
23

documents attached to the Part I Report that showed that Mr. Chantry had met with all of the
families of the children involved before the Informal Council was sent to Miller Valley. In 2015,
the Membership Committee did not have access to the reports issued by the Informal Council
that stated its recommendations. Also, the protest to CRBC’s application from the MVBC elders
did not mention Mr. Chantry’s visits with the families prior to the arrival of the Informal
Council. So, it was true that Mr. Chantry had visited all the families of the children, as well as
all the families of the church, to express repentance and seek forgiveness. However, it was also
true that he did not visit the families after the completion of the Informal Council to express
further repentance and seek further forgiveness. The Membership Committee’s assessment of
MVBC’s objection to CRBC’s application accepted the PRBC elders’ report of compliance with
the Informal Council’s recommendations by Mr. Chantry and recognized the PRBC elders’
authority over Mr. Chantry, which accrues from the logical interpretation of Recommendation 8
being predicated on Recommendation 7.

Significantly, this analysis of Recommendations 7 and 8, for the purposes of this Part II Report,
has shined light on the decision process of the Membership Committee and the Administrative
Council in their handling of CRBC’s application for membership in ARBCA and of MVBC’s
protest of that application. In their protest, the MVBC elders focused on their belief that Mr.
Chantry had not complied with Recommendation 8 and was, therefore, unrepentant and had
further sinned by violating the terms of the Level 2 Report that he signed. Consequently, the
protest defined the issue as an objection to the pastor of the church, which was applying for
membership in ARBCA. Both the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council
evaluated the protest within the constraints of that definition. Therefore, since the protest was
not seen as a protest against CRBC, as a church; since churches, not pastors, are members of
ARBCA; and since the ARBCA Constitution and Policy Manual only contained provisions for
disapproving applications based on criteria that applied only to churches, the Membership
Committee and Administrative Council recommended CRBC for membership.

However, the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council should have seen the
protest from a wider perspective in the context of associational relations between churches. The
MVBC elders’ protest opposed CRBC’s membership in ARBCA. GRBC was the sponsoring
church for CRBC and supported CRBC’s application. Thus, the Membership Committee and the
Administrative Council should have seen the issue as a difference between MVBC and GRBC,
two sister churches in the Association. Under that definition of the protest, the Membership
Committee and the Administrative Council should have advised the MVBC elders to pursue their
complaint with the elders of GRBC and, if they could not resolve the matter between the
churches, MVBC could then file a protest based on the need to resolve the conflict between
MVBC and GRBC before the recommendation to approve CRBC for membership was presented
to the General Assembly. Such a process would have rightly defined the issue as a protest
against the sponsoring church, if the MVBC elders and GRBC elders could not have resolved the
matter. The recommendation regarding CRBC’s application could then have been legitimately
delayed, if necessary, pending the outcome of the General Assembly’s discussion of the conflict
between two churches and the advice of the General Assembly. GRBC possessed the authority
to question Mr. Chantry concerning MVBC’s complaints and to require him, as a condition of
sponsorship, to approve the release of the Complete Report to the elders of GRBC. GRBC also
possessed the authority to withdraw its sponsorship. Neither the Membership Committee nor the
Administrative Council possessed this authority or had liberty under the ARBCA Constitution
and Policy Manual to take such action. The failure of the Membership Committee and the
24

Administrative Council to recognize the MVBC protest as a statement of difference or conflict
between MVBC and GRBC resulted in the mishandling of MVBC’s protest, the missed
opportunity to address MVBC’s longstanding issues with Mr. Chantry, and the approval of
CRBC’s application without the GRBC elders possessing knowledge of the unresolved
complaints and concerns of the MVBC elders regarding Mr. Chantry’s actions as pastor of
MVBC and their belief that he had not complied with the Informal Council’s recommendations.

These different interpretations of Recommendations 7 and 8 also resulted in misunderstanding
and strained relations between MVBC and PRBC. Lamentably, the MVBC elders’ concentration
on what they believed was Mr. Chantry’s failure to comply with Recommendation 8 and the
PRBC elders’ defense of their autonomy and authority over all matters relating to Mr. Chantry
eclipsed the reality of this misunderstanding and strained relationship between two member
churches of ARBCA. For that reason, both groups of elders apparently failed to recognize the
gravity of the emergence and presence of a difference or issue between two sister churches of the
Association. The ARBCA Constitution stipulates that “. . . each member church must be
committed to promoting the peace and good name of every other member church.”49 Since the
PRBC elders believed that the MVBC elders were attempting to infringe on their autonomy and
authority, it was incumbent on them to engage the MVBC elders in a dialogue to resolve the
matter. Since the MVBC elders believed the PRBC elders had failed to fully implement the
recommendations of the Informal Council and had erred by issuing a report of compliance, it was
incumbent on them to engage the PRBC elders in a dialogue to resolve the matter. If the elders
from these two churches failed to resolve the matter by their own actions, it was incumbent on
both groups of elders to bring the matter to the General Assembly.50

Although the documentary record clearly establishes the care and concern of the members of the
Informal Council for the families, the children, the people of MVBC, as well as Mr. Chantry, the
futility of the therapeutic approach they designed failed to produce the well-intended results and
has subjected the work of the Informal Council to attack and suspicion.

Discussion of the Report of the Informal Council – Level 3 Report (to member churches)

In summary, this report simply states that an Informal Council went to MVBC and all the issues
had been resolved. This report failed to communicate the serious nature of the situation at
MVBC, and strongly implied a result not yet achieved.

Although far reaching consequences might have ensued, this report would have been much
different had the perceived sin issues been addressed through a process of church discipline at
MVBC or the difficulties brought to the messengers of the Assembly.

Discussion of the Distribution of the Complete Report

This Complete Report packet51 contained a letter from the MVBC elders in which they stated,
“Legally, what Tom did would be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.”52

49
Constitution of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Article V, paragraph A.
50
Constitution of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Article V, paragraph D.
51
Attachment 5.
52
Private Document 10.
25

Therefore, everyone included in the Distribution of the Complete Report53 authorized by the
MVBC elders and Mr. Chantry had access to this letter and the MVBC elders’ conclusion.

In view of the lack of constitutional or policy governance available to the Informal Council, the
documents and information gathered and the reports of the Informal Council contained
unsubstantiated charges and allegations against the MVBC elders, Mr. Chantry, and Mr. Walter
Chantry that could not have been published and should not have been published. The
information and reports also included sensitive information about the families and their children
which could have injured them if it had been widely distributed. However, even with all the
difficulties involved with this Informal Council, as discussed previously, the Complete Report
should have been made available to the Administrative Council for review. While no
mechanisms existed for the Administrative Council to correct issues proceeding from the
Informal Council’s recommendations, the information could have been useful in providing
assistance to MVBC and in offering assistance to the elders of PRBC and Mr. Chantry. The
Complete Report could certainly have been instructive for the Administrative Council in
considering the constitutional and policy changes necessary to provide for governance of Church
Councils.

A thorough discussion of the restrictions on distribution of the Complete Report is contained in
Part I of the Administrative Council’s report to member churches.

Discussion of Mr. Chantry’s Compliance with the Informal Council’s Recommendations

The MVBC elders made an attempt to address their concerns about PRBC’s report of compliance
by their letter to Mr. Blackburn (AC Chairman in 2002) dated February 5, 2002, in which they
described their concerns and asked for help. However, while Mr. Blackburn properly advised
the MVBC elders to work directly with the PRBC elders to resolve their differences, he did not
advise them to bring the matter to the General Assembly if they were unable to satisfactorily
resolve the issue. Furthermore, Mr. Blackburn did not follow-up with the MVBC elders or the
PRBC elders to find out if the matter had been resolved. The MVBC elders’ letter was their
attempt to seek counsel from what they perceived to be the Association; accordingly, follow-up
by the AC Chairman and advice to bring the matter to the General Assembly would have been
appropriate.

Aside from the MVBC elders’ belief that Mr. Chantry was obligated to return to MVBC and
repent more or again and the PRBC elders’ assertion of their rightful authority in this matter, the
fact that the MVBC elders asserted the absence of reconciliation and the existence of unresolved
accusations, with which the Informal Council concurred, imposed a biblical obligation (Matthew
5:23-26) on Mr. Chantry to make a good faith effort to be reconciled with the elders and
members of MVBC. Since the PRBC elders accepted the oversight of Mr. Chantry under the
framework of the Informal Council’s report and recommendations, they accepted the
responsibility of instructing him in that obligation and assisting him to attempt to fulfill it. Since
the MVBC elders had communicated that they and the families involved had something against
him, Mr. Chantry had a duty to strive, once again with the help of the PRBC elders, to be
reconciled to the elders and members of MVBC. Even if he believed that he had repented of all
of his sins at MVBC, that belief would not relieve him of the responsibility to strive for

53
Attachment 4.
26

reconciliation. If, in fact, there were no additional sins to confess and the MVBC elders and
families still were unwilling to reconcile, Mr. Chantry would have fulfilled his biblical
obligation.

Discussion of the ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General Assembly

As addressed in the above section titled, “The ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General
Assembly,” in 2017 the Administrative Council did not have access to the complete body of
documentary and testimonial information subsequently made available to the Administrative
Council for the purposes of preparing the Administrative Council’s report to the churches
concerning this case. Accordingly, the arduous assessment of the formation and conduct of the
Informal Council articulated in this Part II Report was not possible for the Administrative
Council to perform at the time the Announcement was written.

In light of that assessment, which is presented in the subsection titled, “Discussion of the
Formation, Mission, and Conduct of the Informal Council” under the “Analysis” section above,
the Announcement included statements that suffered from a lack of information and analysis.
The statements were not lies or designed to conceal information possessed by the Administrative
Council. The Announcement resulted from the recollection of a few individuals about events
that occurred seventeen years previously and from review of the documentation available to the
Administrative Council in 2017. That documentation did not include any of the reports of the
Informal Council or related documentation acquired by the Administrative Council upon the
completion of Mr. Chantry’s trial.

The Announcement stated, “The Association pursued the matter with due diligence and a process
was followed that conformed to biblical, confessional, and constitutional parameters.” However,
the assessment referenced above indicates a lack of constitutional authority for an Informal
Council and of any policy provisions. Consequently, the Informal Council’s handling of this
matter appears to have fallen short of confessional parameters, and the therapeutic program
established by the Informal Council appears to have circumvented biblical injunctions for
addressing allegations of sin in the context of the local church. Consequently, the statement
from the Announcement quoted above was wrong.

Additionally, the Announcement stated, “Tom Chantry was never under discipline and was
released by Miller Valley Baptist Church to comply with the directives of the Council.” Since
the Level 2 Report shows that the MVBC elders “will withdraw” church discipline against Mr.
Chantry, this statement was also inaccurate.

That being said, the aggregate of the documentary record does not provide any information that
supports a finding of any conspiracy to conceal necessary information from law enforcement.
All of the data currently available shows an absence of any evidence that the MVBC elders, the
members of the Informal Council, or any ARBCA officers acted to conceal the information
about Mr. Chantry’s spanking of children from law enforcement. In fact, the members of the
Informal Council advised the families of their right to report the spankings to law enforcement.54
However, the families did not want to report the spankings to the police.55

54
Attachment 14.
55
Attachment 13.
27

There is no documentary indication of any communications or actions, by the individuals who
received the Complete Report packet, designed to conceal information concerning the spankings
from law enforcement. So, in relation to law enforcement authorities, the documentary record
confirms the statement in the Announcement that “from 1995 to this day there has never been a
cover-up whatsoever by anyone in the Association with knowledge of these events.”

However, the actions of Mr. Selph, ARBCA Coordinator in 2000-2001, the Informal Council,
the MVBC elders, and Mr. Chantry did result in concealing the bulk of the information from the
Administrative Council and essentially all information about the situation and circumstances at
MVBC from member churches in ARBCA. While these actions did result in information being
withheld from the Administrative Council and from member churches in ARBCA, the
documentary record did not substantiate a coordinated conspiracy to do so.

Conclusions

1) The documentary evidence contains no allegations or information of any kind concerning
any accusation of molestation.

2) Because the MVBC elders state in their letter of November 21, 2000, that they
recognized the spanking could be considered child abuse, they should have reported the
incidents of Mr. Chantry spanking children to law enforcement.

3) The documentary record shows that the MVBC elders and the members of the Informal
Council were mandatory reporters under the laws of the State of Arizona.

4) It does not appear that the MVBC elders or the members of the Informal Council knew
the requirements of Arizona law concerning child abuse or that they were mandatory
reporters under that law.

5) The presence of the letter from the MVBC elders in the Complete Report packet, which
shows they considered the spankings child abuse, should have alerted the members of the
Informal Council to advise the MVBC elders to report the incidents to law enforcement.

6) The documentary record shows that the appointment of this Informal Counsel resulted
from the interference of Mr. Walter Chantry with the autonomy of MVBC, a local church
of the Association. Both his letter to the MVBC elders criticizing their treatment of Mr.
Thomas Chantry and his actions to initiate the appointment of a “Council” to go to
MVBC led to disastrous results. The MVBC elders should have been left alone to pursue
a process, within the local church, to address any matters of sin or any other concerns
they had relating to Mr. Thomas Chantry. If they wanted or needed advice, they could
have brought the matter to the General Assembly.

7) Since the Informal Council operated outside of any organizational policy governance
procedures, the day-to-day work of the Informal Council was not supervised by or
coordinated with the General Assembly or even with the Administrative Council and the
contents of the Complete Report packet were not available to the General Assembly or
the Administrative Council. Consequently, the Informal Council could not benefit from
oversight, which might have focused attention on the conclusion of the MVBC elders that
28

the spankings could be considered child abuse. Such oversight and expanded dialogue
should have resulted in the reporting of the spankings to law enforcement.

8) The work of the Informal Council was accepted by everyone who received the Complete
Report packet as a complete and satisfactory resolution of the issues at MVBC involving
Mr. Chantry. As a result, none of the individuals who were provided packets of the
Complete Report, including the ARBCA Coordinator and subsequent elders at MVBC,
appears to have given sufficient attention and weight to the MVBC elders’ statement that
they thought the spankings could be considered child abuse and subject to prosecution.
The current body of documentation available to the Administrative Council is devoid of
any communication of the MVBC elders’ statement to anyone for any purpose.

9) No information in the documentary record shows any attempt to conceal information
from law enforcement. Although the MVBC elders did not report the spankings, which
they thought could be considered child abuse, there is no evidence they discouraged
anyone from reporting the incidents to the police. In fact, the members of the Informal
Council advised the families involved that they had the right to report the spanking of
their children to the police. The families chose not to do so, but there is no
documentation that shows they were asked not to do so by the MVBC elders or the
members of the Informal Council. There is no documentation that shows that the
members of the Informal Council advised the MVBC elders not to report the spankings to
the police.

10) The testimonial information does show that the Level 2 Report of the Informal Council
might have been received by the Administrative Council and restricted to the
Administrative Council and those listed in the Distribution of the Complete Report. The
Report was an agreement between the elders of MVBC and Mr. Chantry and, therefore,
treated as a private document.

11) The documentary record does not provide any information that indicates the
Administrative Council concealed information from law enforcement.

12) The MVBC elders, the members of the church, and the members of the Informal Council
were focused exclusively on the spiritual health and well being of the church and on
calling Mr. Chantry to repentance.

13) No authority existed in the ARBCA Constitution or Policy Manual for the Administrative
Council to appoint the Informal Council. Therefore, no authority existed to select the
members or to direct and supervise the work of the Informal Council. Moreover, this
lack of constitutional and policy authority left the MVBC elders with the liberty to
exercise total authority over the reports of the Informal Council, since they were not
constrained by Associational membership to accede to constitutional and policy
requirements governing a Church Council, Informal Council, or fact-finding committee.

14) The concept of the Informal Council created further distance between the MVBC
Informal Council and the Administrative Council, although no direct formal authority
existed anyway, resulting in the work and results of the Informal Council resting totally
in the hands of the Informal Council members, the MVBC elders, and Mr. Selph.
29

Consequently, accountability to the duly elected officers charged by ARBCA with
performing the administrative duties of the Association was nonexistent. In addition, the
idea of an “Informal” Council implies that the Informal Council is not constrained by the
requirements imposed on a Church Council or subject to the same oversight. However,
since no organizational requirements existed and no formal system of oversight existed,
the designation of “informal” lacked any meaning and only served possibly to contribute
to the confusion of mission, methods, and accountability.

15) The lack of organizational authority for an Informal Council and the consequent absence
of a constitutional or policy platform for an Informal Council resulted in the appointment
of an individual to the Informal Council that created the appearance of a conflict of
interest.

16) The absence of constitutional and policy provisions for a Church Council left the
members of the Informal Council without clear directions designed to produce
conformity with the provisions of the Confession for providing counsel to churches.
Consequently, the information gathered by the three members of the Informal Counsel
was not reviewed, evaluated, and discussed by “messengers,” duly elected ARBCA
officials, or even representatives from a group of churches delegated responsibility for
oversight of the Informal Council. As a result, the Informal Counsel did not benefit from
a policy and authority structure that could have provided valuable insight, wisdom, and
judgment from a larger group of elders possessing organizational authority over the
Informal Council.

17) The therapeutic program established by the Informal Council placed the issues of Mr.
Chantry’s sins, as perceived by the members of the Informal Council, under the oversight
of elders in another church where the sins had not been committed and in the hands of a
professional counselor. Such a program does not appear to meet the biblical test for
dealing with sin, especially the sin of an elder.

18) In order to obtain appropriate information concerning the "serious factual differences
between Thomas J. Chantry and the four children he disciplined," the PRBC elders
needed to contact the informal council and the MVBC elders to get specific details. Due
to their lack of contact they could not address the most serious concerns of the informal
council regarding Mr. Chantry. Although this matter should have been handled as a
church discipline issue at MVBC, the fact that the PRBC elders received both the Level 1
and Level 2 Reports and accepted the responsibility of providing oversight to Mr.
Chantry, in complying with the recommendations of the Level 2 Report, obligated them
to make serious efforts to address the central, major concern of the Informal Council.

19) The speed with which Mr. Chantry was reported to have complied with the
recommendations of the Informal Council by PRBC suggests that he was returned to
ministry without sufficient regard for resolving the issues with the elders and the families
of MVBC.

20) The only information communicated to member churches of ARBCA was contained in
the Level 3 Report which stated that all the issues had been resolved. A more accurate
statement would have been that an agreement had been reached to work towards
30

resolving all the issues. This Level 3 Report contained none of the details regarding the
accusations against Mr. Chantry and, in fact, did not even mention that he had spanked
children, which he had admitted doing. While there is no evidence that any actions were
taken to conceal information from law enforcement authorities, the process adopted by
Mr. Selph, the MVBC elders, Mr. Chantry, and the members of the Informal Council did
result in the withholding of information from member churches of the Association and
from the Administrative Council.

21) The dissonance between MVBC and PRBC constituted a serious discord in the harmony
between sister churches of the Association and the brotherhood and fellowship sister
churches should strive to maintain. Consequently, the failure to resolve their different
understandings regarding Mr. Chantry’s situation violated their associational
commitments. Resolution should have been pursued through the General Assembly if
such resolution could not be achieved through the elders of the two churches, as set forth
in the ARBCA Constitution and the Second London Baptist Confession.

22) Mr. Blackburn, as AC Chairman in 2002, could have followed up with MVBC and PRBC
to find out whether or not the concerns between the two churches had been resolved,
since the MVBC elders had contacted him, as representing the Association, for help and
counsel in resolving the situation with PRBC.

23) The Membership Committee and the Administrative Council failed to recognize the
MVBC protest of CRBC’s application for ARBCA membership as a statement of
difference or conflict between MVBC and GRBC in Rockford, Illinois, which was the
sponsoring church for CRBC. This failure resulted in the mishandling of MVBC’s
protest, the missed opportunity to address MVBC’s longstanding issues with Mr.
Chantry, and the approval of CRBC’s application without the GRBC elders possessing
knowledge of the unresolved complaints and concerns of the MVBC elders regarding Mr.
Chantry’s actions as pastor of MVBC and their belief that he had not complied with the
Informal Council’s recommendations.

24) The Membership Committee and the Administrative Council should have advised the
MVBC elders to address their concerns, about Mr. Chantry and the application of CRBC
for membership in ARBCA, with the elders of GRBC, which was the sponsoring church
for CRBC. While the Membership Committee and the Administrative Council lacked
authority and policy provision to take action to resolve the MVBC elders’ concerns about
Mr. Chantry, the GRBC elders could have taken steps to resolve the complaints against
Mr. Chantry and bring about reconciliation, or they could have withdrawn their
sponsorship from CRBC for membership in ARBCA. If the MVBC elders’ attempt
failed, they should have brought their differences with GRBC to the floor of the 2016
General Assembly.

25) The Administrative Council issued the ARBCA Announcement to the 2017 General
Assembly without access to sufficient documentation and information to make some of
the definitive statements included in the Announcement. Consequently, some of those
statements were inaccurate.
31

26) The sole biblical authority for declaring a professing believer to be an unrepentant sinner
is within the context of the local church as established by the Lord Jesus Christ. Any
church, elder, group, or individual who pronounces a person to be guilty of an accusation
and an unrepentant sinner, outside of this context, usurps the authority of God.

Recommendations

1) The Administrative Council should issue a letter of apology to the member churches of
ARBCA for the inaccurate statements contained in the ARBCA Announcement to the
2017 General Assembly.

2) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a child abuse reporting policy to be
reviewed by the Administrative Council and submitted to the 2019 General Assembly.

3) The General Assembly Planning Committee should consider including a session on the
legal definitions of reportable child abuse and of mandatory reporters, along with related
issues, at the 2019 General Assembly.

4) The Administrative Council should issue an amendment to Part I of its report to the
churches concerning the case of Thomas J. Chantry. This amendment should clarify that
the Level 2 Report may have been distributed to the Administrative Council in 2001;
however, no documentary information or testimonial accounts of the members of the
2001 Administrative Council confirms such distribution.

5) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a constitutional amendment and
related policy, for submission to the 2019 General Assembly, that provides specific
guidance concerning the obligation of member churches to resolve conflicts, complaints,
or difficulties of any kind between two or more churches, which cannot be resolved by
their cooperative action, by placing those matters on the agenda for the next General
Assembly.

6) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft a constitutional amendment
regarding Church Councils for submission to the 2019 General Assembly.

7) The Policy and Constitution Committee should review the Guidelines for Forming and
Conducting a Church Council in the Policy Manual and revise them to conform with the
proposed constitutional amendment regarding Church Councils and submit any proposals
to the 2019 General Assembly.

8) The Policy and Constitution Committee should draft policy that prohibits any form of
“confidential” minutes, reports, or records by the Administrative Council, all ARBCA
committees including ad hoc committees, and any group or individuals acting in an
official capacity for the Association.

9) The Administrative Council should call for a vote of confidence in the current members
of the Administrative Council at the 2019 General Assembly. The vote would not start
new terms, if approved, and should be a vote on each individual Council member instead
of the Council as a group.
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