Two months after a sexual abuse investigation, Southern Baptist missionary found new church

Mark Aderholt had a job in leadership at a Southern Baptist church within two months after he resigned from the International Mission Board following an investigation into sexual abuse allegations.

Aderholt was arrested July 3 on charges of sexual assault of a child under 17 and two counts of indecency with a child, sexual contact, stemming from incidents in 1996 and 1997. The International Mission Board — the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention — conducted an investigation into allegations against Aderholt in 2007.

He resigned from the International Mission Board in January 2008, after the investigation concluded he had “more likely than not” engaged in an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with Anne Marie Miller when he was 25 and she was 16.

By March 2008, he was employed as the executive pastor at Central Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., according to web archive staff photos from the church’s website. Aderholt’s bio said he came to the church “after serving as an IMB missionary for the past ten years.”

It is still unclear whether the International Mission Board told any other Southern Baptist church about its 2007 investigation into Aderholt. Julie McGowan, the organization’s spokeswoman, declined to answer those questions to the Star-Telegram, saying that responding “could subject IMB to possible lawsuits under tortious interference with contract laws.”

Central Baptist Church did not return a request seeking comment.

Steven L. Kyle was the pastor at Central Baptist Church when Aderholt was the executive pastor, according to the web archive page. Kyle did not return an email request seeking comment. His current church, Hiland Park Baptist Church in Panama City, Fla., said he was away for the week.

From Central Baptist, Aderholt went on to serve as associate pastor of missions/evangelism at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock and then as the associate director and chief strategist of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Officials of the Southern Baptist Convention have not commented on the fact that the International Mission Board knew of the allegations against Aderholt nearly 11 years before his arrest. Calls and emails to the convention’s executive committee chairman, Mike Stone, went unreturned.

Anyone with more information should contact reporter Sarah Smith at
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