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Report: Southern Baptist Leaders Knew About Sexual-Abuse Accusations 11 Years Before Pastor’s Arrest

According to reports, 11 years before Southern Baptist Convention leader Mark Aderholt was arrested for the sexual assault of a minor that took place in 1997, the International Mission Board had investigated those very accusations.

The International Mission Board investigated whether Aderholt had had sexual relationship with a 16-year-old when he was 25. They interviewed the accuser, Anne Marie Miller, over a two-day period, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,  and determined that Aderholt has “more likely than not” been involved in an “inappropriate sexual relationship” and was “not truthful” about the “full extent of the relationship.” The board never reported the allegations or their findings to police.

IMB responded to questions about why they did not report their findings in a statement to the Star-Telegram:


The IMB has zero tolerance for child abuse, and our actions in this matter reflect that. Any implication that IMB was trying to hide this issue is unfounded. When we heard about the allegations, we chose to investigate the matter immediately. We didn’t ignore it. IMB took action by conducting a thorough, objective investigation that included interviews with multiple players.

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The Star-Telegram report includes full details about the investigation and Miller’s memories of her relationship with Aderholt.

Aderholt was arrested on July 3 and charged with sexual assault of a child under 17, according to court records.

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