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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

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  • Justaposition
    April 19, 2019 at 9:52 a.m.

    The Southern Baptist Convention and it's Theological Seminary in Kentucky have long covered up the culture and predatory actions of its adherents, especially white pastors and preachers whose trail of abuses are equal to the Catholic Church.

    Locally, the board of the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) has long covered up the predatory behavior of its longtime Southern Baptist-trained chaplain who oversees the agencies counseling and spiritual services. At the same time, this so-called Southern Baptist minister and other white male executives at the agency promote a culture of racism and misogyny against women, black employees and other minorities.

    No one will speak out about these abuses because the board is made of cowards and racists.

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