FORT WORTH -- The missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention is reaching out to potential victims of a former Southern Baptist leader who was indicted in December on a charge of child sexual abuse.
Mark Edwin Aderholt, 47, was arrested July 3 in South Carolina on a warrant issued in the Tarrant County, Texas, case. Court records in Tarrant County show an indictment was handed up on a charge of sexual assault of a child younger than 17.
Aderholt had worked for the International Mission Board during the 2000s. The International Mission Board is the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
He also worked as a staff member at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock from December 2009 to July 2016, serving as the associate pastor of missions and evangelism, according to church records. He also served as executive pastor at Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock in 2008, according to the church's website.
Aderholt, a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate, resigned last summer from the South Carolina Baptist Convention when his accuser came forward about the assault, which she said happened in 1996.
Stephen Haber, a human-resources official with the International Mission Board, said in an email sent Thursday that it had hired a third-party group to conduct an investigation into its handling of past allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. One of the reviews was of Aderholt, who served as a career missionary in Europe from about 2000 to 2007.
The International Mission Board has said it did not know about the allegations against Aderholt at the time of his employment. However, it knew of the allegations against him in 2007, according to police records, emails and an internal investigation from the organization.
The International Mission Board did not report the allegations to authorities.
"While we are not aware of Mr. Aderholt engaging in any acts of child sexual abuse, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct during his time of service with IMB, it is our desire to ensure that we learn of any victims of sexual abuse so that we can offer counseling resources to help them," Haber wrote.
Haber sent the email to people who could have been in contact with Aderholt during that timeframe or whose children could have been in contact with him.
"On behalf of IMB, I want you to know that we are taking this matter very seriously and are committed to reaching out to any potential victims," he wrote.
State Desk on 04/19/2019
Print Headline: Southern Baptist Convention unit seeks victims of ex-leader who held 2 posts in Arkansas