This walk-through focuses on Bob Selph and his involvement with ARBCA and Tom Chantry. He is a missionary in inner-city Atlanta; sponsored by Grace Baptist Church in Taylors, SC (Pastor Jamie Howell) https://reformedbaptistnetwork.com/missions/bob-selph/.
#1 Bob Selph, ARBCA & Timeline of Events
This document is an abbreviated version of the ARBCA & Timeline of Events timeline specific to Bob Selph regarding what we can ascertain from the currently available documentation.
#2 Tom Chantry Letter to ARBCA [“Attn: Bob Selph”] Regarding Formation of IC (11/28/2000) and David Dykstra’s Instructions for the IC (12/6/2000)
This document contains a letter from Tom Chantry to ARBCA [“Attn: Bob Selph”] regarding which men he finds agreeable for the Informal Council and David Dykstra’s Instructions for the Informal Council. They give us insight into aspects of how the Informal Council was formed and what its goals were to be.
“This morning, November 28, 2000, Bob Selph called to discuss possible names for a private arbitration between the elders of the Miller Valley Church and myself.” [Tom Chantry Letter, first paragraph]
“I [Tom Chantry] agree in principle to Mike and any two others in this list making up an arbitrating group to investigate and make recommendations.” [Tom Chantry Letter, last paragraph]
“Bob Selph asked if I would write to provide some guidance for your scheduled trip to Arizona next week. He did so because the membership committee of our association has a part of its responsibilities, the duty of making sure that member churches comply with the standards of the association, namely our Confession of Faith and Constitution.” [David Dykstra Letter, first paragraph]
“I believe that your 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.” [David Dykstra Letter, fourth paragraph]
“Hopefully the honor of Miller Valley’s elders will be maintained and Tom will be able to have a future in the ministry.” [David Dykstra Letter, last paragraph]
#3 MVBC Timeline, Special Meeting Minutes, & Letters to/from Walt Chantry (11 & 12/2000)
This document contains the MVBC Timeline, Special Meeting Minutes, and letters to and from Walt Chantry. These all give a good idea what happened prior to the Informal Council’s formation. I have included a transcript of Walt Chantry’s handwritten letter for easier reading. Bob Selph was on the Complete Report Distribution List, so he received a copy of the MVBC timeline and the letters to/from Walt Chantry.
“Several of our children have been ‘mistreated’…Legally, what Tom did would be considered child abuse and could be subject to prosecution.” [Letter from MVBC to Walt Chantry page 3, paragraph 1]
#4 Letters from the Parents & One of the Victims (11/2000 & 12/2000)
These are letters that were written by the parents and one of the children for the members of the Informal Council sent by ARBCA. They do not contain accusations of molestation, but they do contain many red flags for molestation. Bob Selph was on the Complete Report Distribution List, so he received a copy of the letters from the parents and victim.
“Tom would regularly threaten M with spankings and actually spank him if his work wasn’t perfect, even to the point of having him do his catechisms over Tom’s knee with a swat at the end for each mistake without telling him what the mistakes were and then repeating the process. The private classes ended after M spent the night with Tom as a favor to us. During the night M said afterward that Tom spanked him bare bottomed (with his underpants pulled down) for what M said was no reason at all. The aforementioned events came to light after L and I found out about the bare bottomed spanking.” [Letter from LJ (first letter – father) page 3, paragraph 2]
“It certainly appears that I have been deceived for years by a very convincing liar.” [Letter from LJ (first letter – father) page 3, last paragraph]
“Tom is a bold face liar who can and has manipulated situations to take full advantage of innocent people and children. He has misused his office as Pastor and the trust and authority that comes with it for his own twisted pleasure” [Letter from LJ (second letter – mother) page 1, last paragraph]
“Sometime in August of this year, Tom called and asked if he could spend the night because he had an appointment very early the next day in Phoenix. When he came, he told us that he was applying with as a foster child advocate with the state. This meant that he would have contact with foster children one on one to see how they were doing and report back to the state on their behalf. We assumed that Rich and Shorty knew about this and were somehow involved. According to Rich, he had only found out about this right before Tom resigned. With the four children that Tom assumed authority over and spanked inappropriately, and now putting himself in a position of authority over foster children is extremely frightening to me. I do not know his motive behind this, but I can’t help but think with his secretness with the elder and his actions with the church children he was again setting the circumstances to be able to abuse more innocent children.” [Letter from LJ (second letter – mother) page 4, last paragraph]
“After the second spanking, Chantry made me sit on his lap. There he explained that I could not try to relieve the pain, but he could if he chose to, and he always did. Yes, that does mean he rubbed my ass after spanking me.” [Letter from MJ page 3, paragraph 2]
“After the movie, Chantry’s true intentions revealed themselves. He had constructed two new paddles just for the occasion that he was just waiting to try out. First he made me stand up and bend over and grab my feet while he spanked me with his paddles. He claimed that he was punishing me for the sins that I had committed but had not been caught. Things went from bad to worse. I will say this clearly so that nobody will be able to misunderstand me. He took my pants off and bent me over his knee while he spanked me with his paddle. He told me that he wanted to see my buttocks turn red while he spanked me. There was nothing between his paddle and me.” [Letter from MJ page 5, paragraph 3]
“Thomas Chantry is a sick, twisted monster who used his position as pastor of the church to manipulate my trust in him and my parent’s trust in him.” [Letter from MJ page 4, last 2 paragraphs]
“Tom proceeded to that D into his bedroom, have him pull his pants and underwear down around his ankles, put his head into a pillow so Tom (or anyone else for that matter) couldn’t hear D if he cried out. He then began to spank D ten times with a large, thick board. I tried to keep calm in from of D that evening, but I did ask him if I could see where he was spanked. D said o.k. and showed me his bottom and thighs. He had severe bruises that were dark purple across his bottom about 4 inches wide- also 4 inches across his upper thighs on both legs. It was no wonder he could hardly walk.” [Letter from CSL page 1, paragraph 4]
“I was also troubled by the fact that D would have to pick with what “instrument” he wanted to be spanked with. He had his choice of a wiffle ball bat, a switch from the bush in Tom’s yard or the board. If he picked something like the wiffle ball bat, which he said didn’t hurt as much, he would get more swats. Even during the weeks that he had completed all his assignments there were sometimes ‘play spankings’.” [Letter from CSL page 2, first paragraph]
“Tom got angry because W didn’t come immediately, so W got spanked in Tom’s office. Also, that D was spanked in front of them as well as him being there when they were spanked. J told us that she cried out loud so hard in hopes someone would hear her the day she was spanked. Tom repeatedly threatened J, W, and D with an oar, a ruler, and his hand after telling me that he wouldn’t spank our children or any others. Our children told us his anger was terrible and scary.” [Letter from T and P W page 3, paragraph 4]
#5 Tom Chantry’s Letter for the Informal Council (12/2000)
This letter was written by Tom Chantry for the Informal Council. Bob Selph was on the Complete Report Distribution List , so he received a copy of Tom Chantry’s letter for the IC.
#6 Informal Council’s Level 1 Report, Parent Recommendations, & Distribution List (12/16/2000)
This document contains the Informal Council’s Level 1 Report, the Parent Recommendations, AC Report Part 2 Page 13, and the Complete Report Distribution List. Bob Selph was on the Complete Report Distribution List, so he received a copy of the Level 1 Report.
“Each of the children made very credible answers to our questions…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.” [Level 1 Report page 2, paragraphs 1 and 2]
“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.” [Level 1 Report page 2, paragraph 4]
“Taken in its entirety, the question must be raised, did Thomas Chantry use this method of punishment for his own pleasure?” [Level 1 Report page 2, paragraph 5]
“…the Elders who assume oversight of him should consider the possibility that on some level he punished children for his own pleasure.” [Level 1 Report page 4, paragraph 3]
“…we do believe that the seriousness of the allegations against Tom, the inconsistencies between the accounts of the spankings and the apparent lack of complete repentance would certainly prohibit any return to the ministry until these issues are resolved by Tom and his Elders [Tom Lyon].” [Level 1 Report page 4, paragraph 5]
“This Complete Report contained copies of the Level 1 Report, including the separate recommendations to each family involved; 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.’” [Part II Report page 13, last paragraph]
#7 Informal Council’s Level 2 Report (12/16/2000) & Confidential Minutes (1/4/2001)
This document contains the Informal Council’s Level 2 Report and the documents that record that the 2000 AC received a copy of it and actively concealed the fact that there were multiple levels of reports (picture of men on the 2000 AC, Confidential Minutes dated 1/4/2001, Telephonic Interview with Pastor Don Lindblad dated 3/21/2018 page 52 lines 17-20, Letter from Jamie Howell with Testimony of Bob Selph, and AC Report Part 2 page 13). Bob Selph was on the Complete Report Distribution List, so he received a copy of the Level 2 Report.
Level 2 Report
“That during his ministry at Miller Valley Baptist Church, Thomas Chantry did volunteer to tutor four children from three separate church families. Each child was subjected to inappropriate physical discipline in the course of their instruction.” [Page 1, last paragraph]
“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.” [Page 3, item 7]
“That Thomas Chantry endeavor to seek full repentance from each of the four children and their parents who have been the subject of physical discipline by him. It is recommended that the Elders who assume the oversight of Tom Chantry assist him with this process.” [Page 3, item 8]
“The AC received a report concerning the Council sent to Prescott, AZ, concerning the difficulties between former pastor Tom Chantry and the church. Three reports will be distributed: a general report to be sent to all the churches, a middle level report sent to all the AC members (to remain confidential), and a much fuller report to be given only to nine individuals involved.
Mr. McKnight is to e-mail the public statement to be inserted. Distinction of 3 levels of reports is to remain confidential!! Only the public statement is to be sent to the churches or noted in the public minutes.” [Page 9, item 2]
Testimony of Bob Selph
“I am the one who organized the Council that went to Prescott and I set up the logistics for its functioning while it was there. I was in contact with the Council to some degree while they were there, and I have had in my possession a complete set of reports from the time the Council finished its work. Not only was I the ARBCA Coordinator at this time, but I was the former pastor of this very church in Prescott for 17 years. I know and love the people who were in that church with all my heart.” [Page 1, paragraph 2]
“Walt approached me, as I was serving as Coordinator of ARBCA, and demanded that I send a Council to investigate and mediate the situation. I contacted the MVBC elders and they agreed that a Council would be helpful. I then contacted the ARBCA Administrative Council and the AC appointed a three-man committee to travel to Arizona and to meet with the parties involved. The three men appointed were actually agreed upon by both Chantry and the MVBC elders out of a field of fifteen possible men.” [Page 1, paragraph 5]
2000/2001 AC: Bob Selph, Larry Vincent, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz. [Photograph]
#8 Informal Council’s Level 3 Report (12/16/2000) & Confidential Minutes (1/4/2001)
This is the report that the 2000/2001 AC sent to the ARBCA member churches in early 2001 and the Confidential Minutes that identify it. There is no mention of the children or the violence they suffered at the hands of Thomas Chantry.
#9 Tom Lyon’s Report (1/1/2002), Confidential AC Minutes (1/22/2002), and Spring 2001 ARBCA Update Pages
This document contains the “report of compliance” submitted by Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick, the Confidential page from the AC Minutes dated January 22, 2002, and the Spring 2001 ARBCA Update identifying the 2001/2002 AC.
Tom Lyon’s Report
“Thomas Chantry has undergone and completed the recommended “Biblical Counseling” as advised by the council. This counseling was pursued under the oversight of the elders of PRBC [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick] and was completed in December 2001. A report of which has been submitted and is in the possession of those elders, who are satisfied with both its progress and conclusions.” [Page 1, item 3]
“…beginning in September [Tom Chantry] has preached regularly.” [Page 2, paragraph 3]
“This report is being sent to:
Earl Blackburn (chairman of the ARBCA Administrative Council)
Don Lindblad (witness to the informal council’s proceedings at Tom Chantry’s request)
The counselor mentioned in this report.
We authorize Earl Blackburn to further publish this report to the elder(s) of Miller Valley Baptist Church and grant him permission to abstract this report to the ARBCA Administrative Council.” [Page 2, paragraph 5]
Mark McCormick” [signature]
Confidential AC Minutes
“Pastor Tom Lyon sent a letter to Mr. Blackburn concerning Tom Chantry, which Mr. Blackburn read to the AC, commending Mr. Chantry’s progress in spiritual restoration, and suggesting that there is no impediment to a future wider usefulness in the church of Jesus Christ, having completed a course of biblical counseling recommended by the ARBCA ‘informal council.’ This letter is to be archived with the prior findings of the council concerning Mr. Chantry.” Page 4, item 2]
2001/2002 AC Members: Bob Selph (Coordinator), Tedd Tripp, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz. [Photograph]
Why didn’t any of the men who were also on the 2000/2001 AC question why item #8 on the Level 2 report was not addressed, why the “serious factual differences” between what the children and Tom Chantry said, or why Tom Chantry was preaching “regularly” for 2 months before he had any counseling?
Men on both the 2000/2001 AC and 2001/2002 AC: Bob Selph (Coordinator), Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz.
#10 Transcript of Tom Chantry’s Sentencing (7/19/2019)
This is the transcript from Tom Chantry’s sentencing on 7/19/2019. Bob Selph attended the sentencing and spoke in support of the J family. His testimony begins on page 14. Some quotes of interest; all are Judge Astrowsky addressing Tom Chantry (names of the victims redacted or changed to pseudonyms):
“The church council was ill-equipped to do this type of investigation. They should have involved the police at that time, as should have others. Unfortunately, that didn’t occur.” [Page 68, lines 2-5]
The transcript is 76 pages, but there is a lot of white-space so it doesn’t take that long to read. Here is a table of contents for the transcript:
- Lois Jones: page 9, line 22 to page 10 line 25
- Tracy Jones: page 11, line 5 to page 12 line 15
- Luke Jones: page 12, line 19 to page 13, line 18
- Bob Selph: page 14, line 17 to page 15, line 21
- Al Huber: page 16, line 7 to page 20, line 10
- Karen Chantry: page 20, line 16, to page 22, line 10
- Attorney Eazer: page 22, line 15 to page 28, line 18
- Tom Chantry: page 25, line 5 to page 55, line 15
- Attorney Eazer: page 55, line 24 to page 58, line 10
- Attorney Stevens: page 58, line 15 to page 66, line 18
- Judge Astrowsky: page 66, line 19 to page 76, line 18
#11 First Baptist Church of Clinton, LA Resignation (9/27/2019)
This document is the resignation that First Baptist Church of Clinton, LA posted on their website (http://fbcclintonla.com/about-arbca.html). It contains their list of charges and Timeline of Actions Taken by FBC to Address ARBCA’s Mishandling of the Tom Chantry Matter.
“1. In 2000 and beyond, ARBCA’s officials failed to protect the children abused by Tom Chantry and failed to aid them in obtaining the justice due to them (Ps 103:6). In 2019, ARBCA’s GA failed to reach out to those abused by Tom Chantry, to acknowledge the wrongdoing of the ARBCA council, to ask forgiveness from the victims, and to seek to make amends in any way possible (2 Sam 21:3; Lk 19:8).”
“2. Recently discovered documents in July of 2019 prove that ARBCA’s 2000 Informal Council knew of Tom Chantry’s child abuse and failed to report it to law enforcement (Rom 13:1). This failure to report to the authorities had the effect of exposing more children to danger and denying justice to Chantry’s victims (Ps 82:3-4; Is 1:17).”
“3. ARBCA’s 2000 Informal Council failed to recommend that Miller Valley Baptist Church discipline Tom Chantry, which is what the Scriptures require (Matt 18:15-20), and instead resorted to a biased and unbiblical program of restoration so that Chantry’s ministry could be preserved (1 Tim 5:20-21).”
“4. The formation of the 2000 ARBCA Informal Council by Walt Chantry, Bob Selph, and ARBCA’s 2000 Administrative Council was both unbiblical and contrary to ARBCA’s confession of faith, which does not permit “informal councils” (Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22-25; 2LCF 26.15).”
“5. The allowance of “sealed reports” facilitated the cover-up of a crime. Sealed reports from an ARBCA council are a violation of Scripture and ARBCA’s confession of faith, which requires that all advice given by church councils “be reported to all the churches” (Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22-25; 2LCF 26.15).”
2000/2001 AC Members: Bob Selph, Larry Vincent, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz. [Photograph]
2001/2002 AC Members: Bob Selph, Tedd Tripp, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz. [Photograph]