Thomas Chantry – Former Prescott Baptist Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Children
Thomas Chantry, former Baptist Pastor in Prescott has been accused of sexually abusing children. These allegations came to light in 2015 after an associate minister at another church reported them to police.
Last summer, during his trial for molestation charges, the jury deadlocked on four. As such, this has led to a retrial. His case has drawn considerable scrutiny by SNAP who have documented his connections to Reformed evangelical circles.
Early Life and Education
Tom Chantry was raised in Wisconsin and graduated college with an undergraduate degree in Latin and Greek before going on to earn both his law degree and doctorate in information science.
Prosecution at Chantry’s first trial claimed he used Christian Liberty Academy as a cover to beat and sexually abuse children, then exploited his position as pastor to harass, terrorize and abuse his victims and their families for years.
Notable Chantry supporters, such as senior leaders at ARBCA, widely denounced Tom as being innocent of all allegations of molestation against minors with aggravating circumstances and denied that victims are lying about him. Nevertheless, in retrial proceedings the jury found him guilty on three counts of aggravated assault and four of molestation with aggravating circumstances.
Thomas Chantry has an impressive background as a pastor, teacher and counselor. He worked at Christian Liberty Academy (CLA) in Arlington Heights, Illinois until last August when he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault for spanking children severely.
Chantry began his alleged abuses at Miller Valley Baptist Church in Hales Corners, Wisconsin where she served as pastor. Parents reported their children being molested to church elders.
Church’s Informal Council led by Marcus McKnight, Ted Tripp and Rich Jensen reported the abuse to police but, ultimately, no investigation took place and victims never received justice. Recently however, prominent Chantry supporters are making claims that Chantry is being persecuted like Jesus and that all allegations against him are “false”. However this assessment disregards multiple victims, jury verdicts and detective work.
Achievement and Honors
Pre-Reformation medieval England saw wealthy individuals create chantries to employ priests who sang masses every day for the souls of deceased loved ones who had passed on, with these funds coming directly from estate or will grants.
Tom Chantry’s trial is over and he was found guilty. As an individual who has been found guilty of child abuse, it is shocking that ARBCA officials such as Tom Lyon, Don Lindblad, Karen Chantry, Mike Rogers, Al Huber, and Bob Selph continue to claim that Tom is innocent while spreading this information throughout their membership base.
They should have reached out to Devon Berry, the counselor who investigated and advised that Chantry not be permitted to work with children and relayed all the facts of this case. Furthermore, they should have spoken with victims and their families regarding what had occurred in this incident.
Chantry became pastor at Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott in 1995, where he is said to have spanked and groped children during tutoring sessions. Chantry apologized to those affected but did not report his behavior until 2015 after moving them all to Wisconsin.
Chantry had his bond revoked during the aggravating circumstances stage of his trial after jurors found him guilty. Deputy County Attorney Susan Eazer informed them that Chantry caused emotional harm to his victim as a result of his abuse.
ARBCA leadership knew about Chantry’s allegations against them but failed to notify authorities or pressure victims to remain silent, such as Dale Smith (ARBCA’s Senior Pastor) and Al Huber – Tom Chantry’s Father-in-Law; other leaders are evading investigation.
Though several victims have come forward to police and media, there remain members of Chantry’s family, pastors from his churches, and leaders at ARBCA who assert he is innocent of all charges and that those accusing him are simply lying; such individuals attempt to discredit victims’ stories and minimize their stories by asserting Chantry is innocent of them all.
Police report indicates that one victim claims Tom Chantry told them he would tutor them in his church office and during hour-long meetings would spank, rub and grope them; at that time they were only 9-10 years old.
Tragically, a jury found him guilty on two charges of physical assault and four of sexual molestation; four other counts will be retried.