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Trinity Reformed Baptist Church 14407 East Rosecrans Avenue + La Mirada, California 90638 + 562-944-3366 April 18, 2002 Mediators of Informal Prescott Council Pastor Rich Jensen Elder Mike McKnight Pastor Tedd Tripp Dear Brethren, ‘Warmest greetings in the name of our great King and Savior. I trust each of you is prospering in the particular tasks assigned to you in the kingdom of God’s dear Son. My purpose for writing involves our discussion on Thursday morning, March 7, 2002, in Bremen, Indiana at the General Assembly. I would like to revisit that in the context of this letter. That morning, during the meeting you requested, Mike McKnight asked me if | agreed with the informal Council. [told you that I wanted to carefully choose my words and I then replied, “Yes and no.” By that I ‘meant, as I explained, that you sought to be generous and kind to Tom Chantry by giving him an opportunity to deal with matters and, hopefully, in time, reenter the ministry. For that I was and am thankful. However, as I explained, the situation in Prescott did not develop in a vacuum. I expressed that 1 did not agree with you not allowing Tom to speak fully and to address all issues that were of concern to him. All of you immediately spoke up and said that was not the case at all. You then told me that Tom had the opportunity on two different occasions, during your meetings in Arizona, to say whatever he wanted to say. Frankly, I was stunned at your response. I then stated that what you were telling me was contrary to what Tom Chantry, Don Lindblad, and Walt Chantry had told me. You reassured me that Tom did have every opportunity to address his concerns. We finally finished our discussion and then went to lunch. The final day of GA was busy as usual and I had no time to speak with Don Lindblad at the Bremen church. That night I saw him in the hotel and briefly told him what you had told me during our morning meeting. He immediately stated that you were not correct in your claim. He said that he didn’t have time to explain everything. I asked him then, and later followed up that request with a phone call, to ‘write a report of the meeting and send it to me. I have enclosed for each of you a copy of that report. When I read Don’s report, I was troubled. What you told me and what he wrote do not match up. After reading his report, I phoned him to ask if he could substantiate his claims. He told me that he has “pages of detailed notes” which he took before the informal Council and during it. I have known Don for many years and he has always been “Judgment Day” honest with me. There have been times when he has been truthful to his own hurt. I trust him implicitly. Furthermore, I know him to be meticulous, almost to 2 fault, and very precise in what he says and writes. In other words, brothers, I believe his written report. “Unto Him be glory inthe church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 Mediators of Informal Prescott Council April 18, 2002 Page 2 Apart from Don’s veracity, there is further evidence to support my belief. During the informal Council, Don phoned me two or three times seeking advice and counsel. He told me two different times that you were not allowing Tom Chantry to voice his concerns. I told Don that he must get you mediators to allow Tom to address all his concerns or there would be serious and unsettling ramifications. Each must be allowed to have his “say,” even if no one agrees with him. It was then that I encouraged Don to do what he was already planning to do: to phone Tedd and plead with him to allow Tom the opportunity to speak all of his concems. He said he would do so and this he After hanging up with Don, | tried to phone him to get Tedd’s hotel room phone number. Since ‘Tedd was the most experienced pastor, I wrongly assumed he was the chairman of the informal Council. 1 wanted to speak with Tedd and ask him that Tom be allowed to address all of his concerns. Don’s line ‘was busy and I could not get through. After a while, I placed a call to Elder Rich Howe in Prescott in ‘order to get Tedd’s hotel room phone number. Nobody was at the Howe home and I left a message on their answering machine asking Rich to call me back that night, no matter how late, and give me Tedd’s ‘number. He never returned my call. Since there was nothing I could do I prayed, committed the matter to the Lord, and went to bed around 2:00 AM Saturday morning, The rest is history. The informal Council ended Saturday morning and Tom Chantry immediately drove to my home. | asked him if you allowed him to address all of his concerns (he confirmed that you did not) and Don Lindblad phoned me that evening confirming the same. Now you have Don’s written report. Page one, paragraphs three and four of Don's report reveal an inconsistent shift on the part of the Prescott Elders and focus on what I had spoken to you about the entire incident not having taken place in a vacuum. Why the shift and why was Tom Chantry not allowed to address this? At this I am bothered. Just as I predicted, serious and unsettling ramifications have followed the Arizona meetings. Pastor Walt Chantry is very bothered that his son was not given a full and fair hearing, so much so that he has stated to me via letter and phone that he will never have anything to do with ARBCA again. Also, ‘your refusal to allow Tom Chantry to fully address all of his concerns has caused prolonged problems in the Carlisle Eldership. This does not include a number of other ARBCA pastors who have heard and are concerned about your refusal. Please understand, neither I, nor anyone else I know, (including Pastor Walt Chantry), condones in any form or fashion Tom Chantry's spanking the children. It was as foolish as it was sinful. In dealing with Tom about these matters you sought to be fair and merciful. However, in dealing with Tom’s concerns, I believe you were not. Whether his concerns were valid or not, he had the right to be heard at the proper time. This you did not allow him. Since 1992, I have been involved both directly and indirectly with five church Councils. All of them, except this one, has ended peacefully with no ‘unwarranted and unsettling ramifications. It is my earnest opinion that Don’s report is accurate, that things could have been put to rest, and that there would not have been protracted problems in the Carlisle Eldership if you had only allowed Tom to address fully his concerns at the appropriate time. What is done is done. We cannot turn back the hands of time. There is, I think, something each of ‘you can do to help put matters to rest and bring about peace. Since you no longer have any authority to act as an informal Council, I ask that you individually consider and act upon my following suggestions. ‘Mediators of Informal Prescott Council April 18, 2002 Page 3 ‘You, of course, are under no compulsion to do so. One, prayerfully search your hearts and if you believe that Don is correct in his report and that you were wrong, then admit it to yourself and each other. Two, individually write a letter to Tom Chantry acknowledging your wrong in this particular matter and ask his forgiveness. Three, do the same with Pastor Walt Chantry. This would go a long way toward settling matters and restoring integrity in their minds about you and ARBCA. It would also help bring peace to the Carlisle Eldership and keep peace in ARBCA. do not writ this letter as a lord over you or as one with authority. The Holy Scriptures instruct us not to hate our brother in our heart (Leviticus 19:17). There is no hate in my heart for either of you, nor do I want this matter to cause me to harbor bad thoughts or ill feelings towards you. I simply write as 1 brother and fellow pastor who loves and esteems you in Christ and who desires to “clear the air” and be “above board” with you in al things. If you believe I am wrong in this matter, | am open at any time to discuss any and all of what I have written. I look forward to many long and prosperous years of laboring together in our beloved Association. May the blessing of the Lord, which makes rich and adds no sorrow with it, be your portion and strength. Your servant in the best of bon Earl M.Bfackburn Pastor & Chairman of the ARBCA Administrative Council 2001 W. Oak Avenue Fullerton, CA 92833-3624 (714) 447-3412 (Study) enclosure: Pastor Don Lindblad Pastor Walter J. Chantry Pastor Dale Smith (Chairman of the ARBCA Membership Committee)