John Giarrizzo

This walk-through focuses on John Giarrizzo and his involvement with ARBCA and Tom Chantry.  He is pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, AZ.

#1 John Giarrizzo & Timeline of Events

This document is an abbreviated version of the ARBCA & Timeline of Events timeline specific to John Giarrizzo regarding what we can ascertain from the currently available documentation.

#2 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). 

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 [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick] 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 [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick] assist him with this process.” [Page 3, item 8]

Confidential Minutes

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]

Don Lindblad Telephonic Interview

LINDBLAD: The other one was more public and it wasn’t distributed, it wasn’t mailed to everybody, uh, uhm, but it was the Administrative Council and – and, uh, and so forth had access to that, I had access to it. [Page 52, lines 17-20]

Testimony of Bob Selph

“The Council also wrote a signed report to the Administrative Council of ARBCA.  As they had been directed in Dykstra’s letter, they sought to ‘Summarize [their] findings and recommendations in a written document [they] all can sign.’  The Council’s specific recommendations concerning Tom Chantry were contained in this report to the Administrative Council of ARBCA.” [Page 3, item 2]

2000/2001 AC Members who were noted to receive the “middle level” report [Level 2 Report]: 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]

John Giarrizzo also had access to the Level 2 Report when Chris Marley loaned him the “Red Binder” in “January 2016.” [Part I Report page 11, last paragraph]

#3 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.

#4 Tom Lyon’s Report (1/1/2002) and Confidential AC Minutes (1/22/2002)

This document contains the “report of compliance” submitted by Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick and the Confidential page from the AC Minutes dated January 22, 2002.

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:

Tom Chantry

Walt Chantry

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]

“Respectfully submitted:

Tom Lyon

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, 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, Earl Blackburn, Steve Martin, Don Lindblad, John Giarrizzo, David Dykstra, Dale Smith, Mike McKnight, Bruce Kronheim, Tom Green, Jamie Howell, and Tom Lutz.  

#5 Letter from Don Lindblad to Steve Marquedant (6/17/2015)

“As suggested, it seems wise to talk with John G. to make sure he is aware of all this and also to discover what, if anything, MVBC decides to do by way of protest.” [Item 4]

#6 Email from Don Lindblad to Steve Marquedant and cc’d to John Giarrizzo, Douglas VanderMeulen, and Tom Lyon titled “TC” (9/9/2015)

“The church [MVBC] is not in a position to protest, as they gave up that right in placing Tom’s recovery in the hands of others.” [First paragraph]

“The bookend minuted reports, the one referenced above and the one in 2002 following the report Tom Lyon sent, are the only significant ones the AC and the member churches can address.” [Second paragraph]

“Once again, while they [MVBC] may be dissatisfied with Tom’s compliance, they gave up the right to pursue him once he left…Even if he had no complied, MVBC was not given the authority to pursue him.” [Fifth paragraph]

“MVBC needs to let this go, at least officially in the context of ARBCA.” [Sixth paragraph]

#7 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.  John Giarrizzo had access to these documents when Chris Marley loaned him the “Red Binder” in “January 2016.” [Part I Report page 11, last paragraph]

“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]

#8 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.  John Giarrizzo had access to these documents when Chris Marley loaned him the “Red Binder” in “January 2016.” [Part I Report page 11, last paragraph]

“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]

#9 Parent Recommendations, & Distribution List (12/16/2000)

This document contains the Parent Recommendations, AC Report Part 2 Page 13, and the Complete Report Distribution List.  John Giarrizzo had access to the Parent Recommendations and Distribution List when Chris Marley loaned him the “Red Binder” in “January 2016.” [Part I Report page 11, last paragraph]

“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]

#10 ARBCA Announcement (4/2017)

This is the statement ARBCA released at the 2017 General Assembly.  It has been said that the men who wrote this statement simply didn’t know that what they wrote was untrue.  However, many of the men on the Administrative Council responsible for writing this statement had access to information that contradicts this statement. 

John Giarrizzo was a member of both the 2016 and 2017 Administrative Councils.  In January 2016 John Giarrizzo was loaned MVBC’s “Red Binder.”  It included everything except for the Level 1 Report.  It contained the Level 2 Report, all the letters from the families, the letters to/from Walt Chantry and MVBC, the Parent Recommendations, and MVBC’s timeline.  All of this was sufficient to disprove most of the “inaccuracies” contained within this document, and they would have been fresh in his mind having viewed them just a year earlier.

#11 Transcript of Day 8 of the First Trial (8/8/2018)

This is a transcript of Day 8 of Tom Chantry’s first trial (8/8/2018).  Some quotes of interest (names of the victims redacted or changed to pseudonyms):

Q (Sears): Now, I’m really interested in this call you got from a man named John Giarrizzo in this case.  Did you know John before he called you?

A (Marley): Yes.

Q (Sears): And he is connected to Reformed Baptist Churches how?

A (Marley): He pastors a Reformed Baptist Church in Gilbert, Arizona.

Q (Sears): And when he called you in 2012, is that when you think this call was?

A (Marley): That’s my guess.

Q (Sears): So he calls you and the substance of the call is he wants to know if you can help in some sort of reconciliation between Thomas Chantry and Miller Valley Baptist Church to let bygones be bygones; was that his word; is that what he was saying?

A (Marley): I don’t remember him using that phrase but yes, that’s the idea.

Q (Sears): That’s your interpretation of what he was calling you about?

A (Marley): That’s correct.

Q (Sears): Out of the blue he calls you about Tom Chantry; right?

A (Marley): Correct.

Q (Sears): He never talked to you about Tom Chantry before?

A (Marley): Correct. [page 95, lines 10-25 and page 96, lines 1-11]

#12 ARBCA’s AC Part I Report (9/5/2018) & Objection to Ad Hoc (9/2018)

This section contains our critique of ARBCA’s AC Report I and MVBC’s Objection to Ad Hoc.  It addresses what happened when Tom Chantry’s church was brought into ARBCA.  There are two files, the report itself and the attachments.

Part I Report

“In July 2015, Mr. Marley notified John Giarrizzo, ARBCA Coordinator; Douglas VanderMeulen, Chairman of the Administrative Council (AC); and Steven Marquedant, Chairman of the Membership Committee; that a man had recently made an allegation that Mr. Chantry had molested him several years earlier,” [Page 5, paragraph 4]

“In January 2016, Mr. Marley told Mr. Giarrizzo that Mr. Chantry was being investigated for multiple counts of child molestation, and that ARBCA should not vote CRBC into the association.” [Page 7, paragraph 2]

“In April 2016, just prior to the General Assembly, Mr. Marley told Mr. Giarrizzo that an arrest in the case of Mr. Chantry was pending.” [Page 7, paragraph 11]

“The fact that Mr. Marley violated the distribution restrictions by giving Mr. Giarrizzo access to that report [the “Red Binder”], in January 2016,…” Note: Mr. Marley did not violate the distribution restrictions.  See below.  [Page 11, last paragraph]

Objection to Ad Hoc

            “Sixth, the report states:

‘The fact that Mr. Marley violated the distribution restrictions by giving Mr. Giarrizzo access to that report, in January 2016…’”

            “This is far from a “fact” and is again an egregious accusation. If the report is at the discretion of the church, then MVBC was well within its rights to share this information. This is further proven by the fact that Mr. Chantry was evidenced to be in violation of that contract which he himself signed. In addition, these documents were already part of the investigation, and could no longer be considered as restricted only to those initial parties.” [Page 2, paragraphs 2-3]

AC Report Part I

Attachments to AC Report Part I

Objection to Ad Hoc

#13 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 (  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]

“6. ARBCA’s 2016 Administrative Council wrongly recommended Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Hales Corners, WI, the church where Tom Chantry was a pastor, for membership in ARBCA (Jas 2:9). But the AC withheld crucial facts from the General Assembly. They wrongly led the General Assembly to vote in favor of CRBC’s membership without sufficient knowledge (Col 3:9), though they knew Tom Chantry was under investigation for child molestation and that Miller Valley Baptist Church of Prescott, AZ objected to CRBC’s membership (Prov 6:19).”

2015/2016 AC Members: John Giarrizzo (Coordinator), Douglas VanderMuelen (Chairman), Ron Baines (Vice Chairman), Brandon Smith (Secretary), Jeff Oliver (Treasurer), Steve Marquedant, Fred Pugh. [Spring 2015 ARBCA Update]  Rob Cosby added by July 2015 [AC Report Part 1, pg. 5]  Note: According to the 3/1/2016 AC Council Meeting Minutes, Douglas VanderMuelen and Jeff Oliver resigned and the AC members were: Ron Baines (Chairman), Rob Cosby, Robert Curley, John Giarrizzo (Interim Coordinator), Steve Martin, Jeff Massey, Brandon Smith, and Larry Vincent.  Glenn Woods (deacon of Heritage Baptist in Mansfield, TX) was made Treasurer. [Attachments for Part I, attachment 16]  Around Sept 2015 Steve Marquedant term limited off of the AC and Jeff Massey joined the AC [Attachments for Part I, attachment 6]  Note: Steve Martin was elected as new Coordinator in “Late-February or Early-March” (it must have happened after Mar 1 as the previously quoted notes from 3/1/2016 list John Giarrizzo as Interim Coordinator).  Jeff Oliver resigned in January 2016.

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