-------- Original Message --------
||Gailon Arthur Joy
||Directors, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc.: Walter Thompson,
Carmelita Troy, Elder Ken Denslow, Elsworth McKee, Mollie Steenson
||Emergency Board Action Required
||Thu, 07 Dec 2006 15:05:43 +0000
Some of you may have been following closely the saga of revelations
relating to issues perceived and defined regarding the administration
of Danny Shelton at 3ABN.
Probably none is as descriptive of the malfeasance and mismanagement
and failure of oversight as the issue of Tommy Shelton.
During the early 1980's Tommy was serving as pastor at the
Ezra Church of God, West Frankfort, Illinois. Several young men
made specific allegations regarding sexual molestation of a
minor from the Church School at Ezra by the Administrative Pastor,
Tommy Shelton. There was substantial debate amongst the parishioners
regarding the support of Tommy versus submitting to the discipline
of the Illinois General Assembly of Church of God.
Tommy Shelton and the Ezra Church of God refused to submit
to church discipline after Tommy admitted to the molestation
of minors and conducting a homosexual lifestyle.
In 1985 Tommy was relieved of his license and credentials.
The Ezra Church of God subsequently separated from the General
Assembly and became a congregational church. Tommy left for
approximately a year to assist in the development of a church
school in Marion, Ky. Tommy returned to serve as pastor for an
additional two years and during this period there were additional
allegations of child molestation against Tommy Shelton by young
men of the church school of Ezra Church of God. Tommy became
ill and left the pastorate of Ezra COG.
Tommy Shelton was given carpentry work. At some point Tommy
was made the production manager at 3ABN. In late 1991 Melody
Shelton Mundall and Derrell Mundall gave several pages of written
statements to Illinois Conference President BJ Christiansen.
[That] statement resulted in a board meeting and the board decided
that Tommy Shelton could not work at 3ABN. Tommy was severed
from the payroll and was given contract work promoting 3ABN with
cable companies until he took a media consulting position and
assistant pastor for media ministries with Dunn Loring Church
of God, Dunn Loring, Va. in 1993. In 1995 the Senior Pastor left
for mission service and Tommy became the senior pastor. During
his pastorate 3ABN reportedly contributed a bus to the Dunn Loring
COG [that] was not approved by the board of directors.
In 1999 3ABN issued a $10,000 check to Tommy Shelton in Dunn
Loring, Va. This was done without the approval of the board.
However, in late 2000 Tommy's own family confronted Tommy regarding
concerns related to his adopted son and at least one other minor
male child. Danny Shelton declared he had forewarned of this
and stated, "I told you so, he's done it again." Tommy suffered
a nervous breakdown and went on leave and finally resigned his
pastorate in the spring of 2001. He moved his family to Marion,
Danny Shelton hired Tommy to manage and organize the Tapes
and Masters Archives mid 2001 without asking the board of directors
and over the objection of Linda Shelton.
In May of 2003 the Chairman received a letter by Certified
Mail from a Pastor Dryden of the Ezra Church of God warning them
that there were new allegations regarding sexual misconduct, commonly
referred to as the Dryden Letter. The Chairman brought the letter
to the attention of the entire board in June 2003. Danny is
reported to have misled the board and clearly stated the conduct
was thirty years old and was over when he knew there were fresh
allegations in West Frankfort, Il. as well as in Dunn Loring,
Va. Bill Hulsey declared that this was all in the past and they
could move on and a letter was sent back to Pastor Dryden telling
him simply that the matter was taken up by the board and dealt
with when in fact the board simply brushed it aside without investigation
Tommy continued in this position until mid 2004. After Linda
Shelton was terminated by the Chairman, Tommy was given Linda
Shelton's Office and her job, again without the approval of the
board. Tommy also began playing the piano for Kids Time and other
In 2006 a young man came forward and admitted to the senior
pastor and the Chairman of the board of trustees of the Dunn
Loring COG that he had been molested by Pastor Tommy Shelton
and needed counseling and other assistance. The church made contact
with their insurance carrier. Two other males have come forward
and stated they were solicited by Pastor Tommy Shelton. Another
young man that was admittedly very familiar to Pastor Tommy Shelton
is leading an openly gay lifestyle.
I have attached a copy of a communique that identifies specific
contradictions between the Chairman and the CEO, Danny Shelton,
with hyperlinks to supporting documentation.
It is imperative that the board needs to meet immediately
and determine if Tommy Shelton should be terminated from 3ABN, [and]
determine if Danny Shelton has been sufficiently insubordinate
and has deliberately misinformed the board such as to require
the resignation of Danny Shelton as president and CEO of 3ABN.
The board should be able to resolve these issues within a
period of 72 hours, thereafter we shall assume that the matter
shall be reserved to the "stock-holders in the pews" for their
individual interpretation and determination.
Below is a far more succinct description of the seriousness
of the matter at hand and the need to resolve the same.
Gailon Arthur Joy
Greetings Deb, Ron, and Harold.
I believe I have a responsibility to pass on to you my recent
correspondence with Danny, which he, not I, initiated on Thanksgiving
Day, so you can assess the situation for yourselves. It is possible
that you are already aware of the situation, but just in case
you are not, I will forward separately the five communications
we have had since last Wednesday to you.
You can read all the correspondence online, as well as supporting
documents, in three threads:
leading up to Dr. Thompson's admission of apparently being misled.
Glenn Dryden and related Documents.
Walt Thompson's suggestion, letters to Danny Shelton seeking verification of Walt's statements.
I will be less equivocal than how I have stated things online
and in my correspondence with Danny: What we basically have here
is Walt in essence admitting that Danny intentionally lied to
him in 2003 regarding the serious nature, wide extent, and recent
timing of the Tommy Shelton child molestation allegations. We
aren't talking about a small discrepancy. We are talking about
obvious, extensive fabrications about a very serious problem
that has potentially compromised the financial security of the
And the fact that Danny ceased to immediately respond, like
he usually does, to my courteous, kind, but thorough emails,
except with one lame exception, indicates that he knows he is
in real trouble, with no way out. And Danny's online apologists
who counter the "rumors" on the forums have totally disappeared.
We obtained permission from one of Tommy's alleged victims,
Roger Clem, to post his 2004 letter to Tommy, a letter sent
a year or so after he went public in his church and community
there in West Frankfort, a letter in which he, as well as venting
his anger on Tommy for abuse that occurred or began in 1988,
implicates Danny and a 3ABN attorney in pressuring people into
silence. A letter from that 3ABN attorney doing that very thing
is also posted.
We also have a statement from the pastor of the Church of
God congregation in Virginia where Tommy used to pastor from
1995 to about 2000, saying that there are three incidents of
sexual misconduct there, one involving a male who was a minor
at the time.
Contrast this with Walt's statements that Danny told him in
2003 that the allegations were 30 years old, and that Walt was
led to believe that Pastor Glenn Dryden is the only one who has
accounts of these allegations. There is absolutely no way that
Danny in that little community would not know that Roger Clem
had come forward publicly in 2003 at a time prior to when
[Walt] was told by Danny that the allegations were 30 years old.
And I am mentioning only a few of the discrepancies.
So we have an alleged pedophile who has been accused of molesting
boys and propositioning adults for maybe 22-30 years, depending
on whether Walt's 30-year figure was an exaggeration on the high
side or not. That individual was hired by 3ABN with at least
the president and probably others knowing full well about these
allegations, and when it was brought to Walt's attention in May
2003 by Pastor Dryden, Walt relied on Danny's word and, according
to his written statement to me, never contacted, as he was invited
to do by Pastor Dryden, any of the six alleged victims, their
families, and the two associations that had ordained Tommy and
then later revoked his credentials.
I am not an attorney, but my hunch is that all that constitutes
gross negligence, and the fact that Tommy apparently has ready
access to kids at 3ABN, that the IL Conf. has or is moving part
of their academy operations to Thompsonville, and that Tommy
has already been employed at 3ABN for more than five years makes
for a potentially disastrous situation.
Over the last four months, an informal and unofficial network
of active and retired pastors and administrators, as well as
some laymen, has formed, and the whole situation has been pondered.
The consensus has been, as I understand it, that these recent
developments since Thanksgiving cannot be covered up and must
be gotten out. Mind you, these are folks that are of a conservative
bent, from what I understand, folks that appreciate supporting
ministries. I certainly do, having worked at three, and I appreciate
ASI. This is not an effort by liberals to discredit a supporting
We all need the wisdom of God to know what to do. Is there
anything we can do to save the ministry of 3ABN? I surely hope
so. Do you have any ideas?
I sent a pastoral note to Danny tonight of a very different
flavor. If he would only be willing to step aside after implementing
some basic changes that would institute some checks and balances,
that would be ideal. But whatever is done, it is of the utmost
importance that it be done quickly and immediately, for my understanding
is that there are other issues in the wings that could have an
equally detrimental impact on the ministry of 3ABN as well as
the reputation of Seventh-day Adventism.
Please keep me abreast of developments on your end, if that
is appropriate, so that I can better make wise decisions of what
to do or not do.
God bless you all at this extremely difficult and troubling time.