- Baptist Press - https://www.baptistpress.com -

Former Baptist leader indicted for sexual assault

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — A former International Mission Board missionary and South Carolina Baptist Convention associate executive director was indicted Dec. 18 in Texas for alleged sexual assault of a minor 21 years ago.

Mark Aderholt, 47, was arrested in July in South Carolina under a warrant issued in Tarrant County, Texas, and has been out of jail on bond since his arrest. The indictment by a Tarrant County grand jury includes four counts of sexual assault of a child under 17.

Baptist Press reported [1] previously that Aderholt has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old while he was a 25-year-old student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Though the accuser’s name is redacted from a copy of the indictment obtained by BP, author and speaker Anne Marie Miller has identified herself online and in media reports as Aderholt’s accuser. Miller told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram she is “glad that truth is being heard and justice is being served.”

[2]

Aderholt’s indictment came the week after newly-elected IMB President Paul Chitwood promised [3] to continue an independent study of the board’s handling of past allegations of abuse and harassment.

Additionally, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear is conducting an ongoing Sexual Abuse Advisory Study [4] in partnership with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, with plans to report to the convention at its June 2019 annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.