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CONFIDENTIAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Informal Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America December 13, 2000 to December 16, 2000 {In an attempt to explain the basis for our report and to make further recommendations to people who have been involved in this matter, we make the following: I. PROCEDURE: ‘The members ofthe Informal Council met in Phoenix, Arizona, at approximately 12:00 noon on December 13, 2000. Following a brief lunch, the Informal Council met with the Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church at the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Phoenix. The Informal Council then met with Tom Chantry and Don Lindblad at the Best Western Motel on Bell Avenue, Phoenix. At approximately 5:20 p.m. the Informal Council met with the J family and 15 year old MEIJI at the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Phoenix. The Informal Council then traveled to Prescott, Arizona, and met with the WI family including IM, age 9, and age I, at the Howe residence. The evening concluded with 2 meeting with the family and DI UM age 12. On Thursday, December 14, 2000, the Informal Council traveled to Phoenix and during the late morning and afternoon conducted a series of meetings with Thomas Chantry and Don ‘Lindblad at the Best Western Motel. They concluded with a tentative agreement regarding certain recommendations to resolve the outstanding issues between the parties. The Informal Council returned to Prescott and met with Elders, Rich Howe and Eric Owens, who also tentatively agreed to the outline of the recommendations suggested by the Informal Council. On Friday, December 15, 2000, the Informal Council wrote a report and its recommendations. Friday aftemoon a meeting was held with Tom Chantry and Don Lindblad in a restaurant near Prescott Valley to finalize the provisions of the conclusions and recommendations. In the evening a meeting was held between the Informal Council and the Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church in which they also finalized and approved the provisions and recommendations of the Informal Council. Later that evening, a series of meetings were held with some families from the Miller Valley Baptist Church who sought to meet with the Informal Council. On Saturday morning, December 16, 2000, the Informal Council, the Elders of Miller Valley Baptist Church, Thomas Chantry, and Don Lindblad held a final meeting at the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church in order to sign the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Informal ‘Council. There was a reading of Psalm 139 v. 1-10 and a period of prayer. I, THE BASIS OF OUR CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: ‘With one mind, the members of this Informal Council found the interviews with each of the children to be very helpful. Each of the children made very credible answers to our questions. Each child was interviewed with the permission of the child's parents. ‘The interviews of each child took place outside the hearing of the parents and each one was interviewed alone, ‘The children we interviewed were to various degrees, angry, ashamed, and struggling with feelings of guilt. They all expressed fear of further contact with Thomas Chantry. They felt anger directed toward their parents for not believing them soon enough to protect them from the punishments inflicted by Pastor Thomas Chantry. The parents reflected to the Informel Council both their love and admiration for Thomas Chantry as well as their guilt and shock regarding his ‘treatment of their children. All members of the Informal Council were deeply moved by the ‘words and the injured expressions of the children. We do not believe that they had been influenced by parents, other adults, elders, or even one another. They did not enjoy talking about their experiences with Pastor Chantry. During the meetings with Thomas Chantry held Thursday, December 14, 2000, in Phoenix, he did mention spanking a fifth child. Tom Chantry identified the child as grandson of a member of the church named Gj PINE. Tom Chantry indicated that Gi PI requested that he spank her grandson for his unruliness. The Informal Council did not have access to either Gl PAM or her grandson. The church secretary, CN A. LIE, remembered that Tom Chantry "stated" that he volunteered to spank the grandson of Clg PI with a belt. The members of the Informal Council found it very troubling that a pastor would even consider spanking a child who is in the temporary custody of a grandparent. ‘The members of the Informal Council believe that Thomas Chantry was remorseful toa degree for the events which led to his resignation. However, Thomas Chantry could not satisfactorily explain to the members of this Informal Council reasons for resuming a pattem of tutoring and punishment after it had been discovered and had ended with MJ in November of 1995, Tom Chantry did admit to inappropriate spanking of all four children. Some of the spankings involved the use of one or more paddles which Thomas Chantry obtained for his use during the tutorial sessions with these children. ‘This Informal Council firmly believes that Thomas Chantry used physical punishment as a regular part of the tutoring process with each of the children. The inability of Thomas Chantry to provide any details of willful misconduct by any of the children does raise serious concerns with this Informal Council. It should be noted that all of the parties agreed that none of the four children had any previous serious experiences with misbehavior in their respective schools, or in their homes, or atthe Miller Valley Baptist Church. The Informal Council members consider this pattem of behavior to be very serious. ‘Taken in its entirety, the question must be raised, did ‘Thomas Chantry use this method of punishment for his own pleasure? In our meeting on Friday, December 15, 2000, Thomas Chantry expressed disappointment with the Couneil at not giving him the opportunity to express all of his concems. Quite the contrary, this Informal Council carefully considered the strongly held concerns of ‘Thomas Chantry that the Miller Valley Elders had acted improperly with regard to his ministry 2 and also in regard to these specific incidents of spaniking four children of the church. These concems were carefully weighed by the members of the Informal Council. Many of these issues could have some merit, but their degree of merit was overwhelmed by the sin of Thomas Chantry and the damage caused by that sin to the families of the Miller Valley Baptist Church. For the sake of both parties, the Informal Council sought and obtained a final resolution of these matters, between the parties. TI RECOMMENDATIONS: 1 ‘To the Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church: a. When the physical discipline by Tom Chantry was discovered in November of 1995 by the Elders, a more extensive investigation could have disclosed the serious nature of Mat Jolly's punishments by the Pastor, Tom Chantry. b. The Elders of the Miller Valley Baptist Church pursuant to its Constitution, Article VIL, were to recommend to the congregation that a teaching Elder be removed from his office. The procedure adopted by the Elders on November 6, 2000, appears to violate this stated Constitutional procedure. In the future, careful consideration of following the church Constitution should be considered by the Elders. ©. Based upon all the circumstances of the cases of inappropriate discipline by Thomas Chantry, the Elders should have removed him from the position of Elder in the ministry ofthe Miller Valley Baptist Church until a more complete investigation of the facts had been prepared by the Elders in order to make a complete recommendation to the congregation. 4. The Elders should not have instituted church discipline without informing Thomas Chantry of the discipline, e. The Informal Council recommends that in addition to personal counseling with the individual families, that a church wide Bible study on the topic of forgiveness would be beneficial. We suggest working through ‘From Forgiven to Forgiving, by Jay E. Adams during the Sunday School hour. To Robert Selph, Coordinator of the Association of Reformed Baptist ‘Churches of America: ‘Asa former Pastor of the Miller Valley Baptist Church with strong ties to the Elders and members of the congregation, Bob Selph must be circumspect in his current position as Coordinator of ARBCA. In matters of contention between a Pastor and his Elders, communication must be maintained with both parties by the Coordinator of ARBCA.