Tom Lyon

This walk-through focuses on Tom Lyon and his involvement with ARBCA and Tom Chantry.  He is pastor of Providence Reformed Baptist Church in University Place, WA.

#1 Tom Lyon Timeline of Events

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

#2 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.  Tom Lyon 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]

#3 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.  Tom Lyon 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]

#4 Tom Chantry’s Letter for the Informal Council (12/2000)

This letter was written by Tom Chantry for the Informal Council.  Tom Lyon was on the Complete Report Distribution List , so he received a copy of Tom Chantry’s letter for the IC.

#5 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.  Tom Lyon was on the Complete Report Distribution List (“7. The elders who assume oversight of Tom Chantry”), 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 [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick] 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 and Mark McCormick].” [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. The Elders who assume oversight of Tom Chantry [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick].” [Distribution of the Complete Report]

#6 Informal Council’s Level 2 Report (12/16/2000)

This document contains the Informal Council’s Level 2.  Tom Lyon was on the Complete Report Distribution List, so he received a copy of the 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]

#7 Informal Council’s Level 3 Report (12/16/2000)

This is the report that the 2000 AC sent to the ARBCA member churches in early 2001.  There is no mention of the children or the violence they suffered at the hands of Thomas Chantry.

#8 Counselor’s Report (12/18/2001)

This is the report from the counselor Tom Chantry was while he was under the authority of Tom Lyon.

“Dear Eldership at Providence Reformed Baptist Church [Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick],” [Page 1, greeting]

“No attempt was made to return to the details of the circumstances at MVBC for purpose of further investigation…In this sense I did not counsel in regards to an identified sin issue or pattern arising from the particular circumstances that took place during Tom’s time in ministry at MVBC.” [Page 1, paragraph 2]

“I have met with Tom Chantry four times between 11/29/01 and 12/14/01.” [Page 1, paragraph 4]

Tom has stated that he will not enter into any type of circumstance or arrangement that will require him to be in a setting with a minor without a third party present.  He has also stated that he will not, in any circumstance, spank a child other than his own as a form of discipline.” [Page 2, paragraph 3]

#9 Tom Lyon’s Report (1/1/2002)

This is the “report of compliance submitted” by Tom Lyon and Mark McCormick.

“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]

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]

#10 Email from Chris Marley to Tom Lyon dated 7/1/2015

“Are you aware that Mr. Chantry has not sought forgiveness from either the children or the parents at Miller Valley since leaving Arizona?” [Item #5]

#11 Email from Don Lindblad to Steve Marquedant titled “A Possible Approach to MVBC” dated 9/4/2015

“The AC already approved Tom’s ‘rehabilitation,’ and an email was sent to the churches to that effect.  ARBCA has already weighted in officially on the matter.  All objections were dealt with in letters by Early and myself before the AC unanimously decided to approve Tom Lyon’s report.” [Second paragraph]

#12 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]

#13 Letter from Steve Marquedant to MVBC (9/23/2015)

“Members of the MC also had private interviews, with Don Lindblad, Tom Lyon and others.” [Second paragraph]

#14 ARBCA Announcement (4/2017)

This is the statement ARBCA released at the 2017 General Assembly.  It contained many “inaccuracies.”  

Tom Lyon was a member of ARBCA.  As an elder who assumed oversight of Tom Chantry, he received the “Complete Report” which contained every piece of documentation (everything from MVBC, letters from the families, etc.).  He also had access to the report from the counselor who saw Tom.  These documents would have given him the ability to recognize and address the “inaccuracies” contained in the ARBCA Announcement.

#15 Transcript of Don Lindblad’s Telephone Interview (3/21/2018)

This is the transcript of the telephone interview of Don Lindblad by the prosecutor Susan Eazer.  Tom Lyon had the Complete Report from early 2001 until late 2017 when he gave it to Don Lindblad.

EAZER: And – and you yourself have all of these documents, the minutes and the documents that were sealed?

LINDBLAD: The reason I have that is because there was only one set left and, uhm, because I keep documents, uh, they were given to me and that – that was from Pastor Tom Lyon. [page 6, lines 19-22]

EAZER: So, Pastor Lyon had it, he gave it to you around the same time that it disappears from the administrative office?

LINDBLAD: Correct.  That’s correct now that I think, that’s correct. [page 33, lines 8-10]

EAZER: Okay.  So, he’s [Tom Lyon] had them all along, they disappear from Washington [Pennsylvania], he gives them to you presumably for safekeeping and you turn them over to Mr. Sears and – and again, when do you think that was?

LINDBLAD: Mmm, November [2017] maybe. [Page 35, lines 1-5]

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