In the wake of a scathing report on the Southern Baptist Convention’s long pattern of mishandling sexual abuse claims, the Baptist organization on Thursday released a 205-page list of people affiliated with the church who it described as being “credibly accused.” The list is a version of one maintained for more than 10 years by an SBC executive committee staff member, according to the New York Times. It’s labeled “highly confidential” and includes a number of redacted entries, at least three of which are labeled as taking place in Arkansas.
But for all the attention the list is getting, it’s hardly a courageous reckoning. It’s just a database of names with links to news articles on arrests and convictions. Unlike releases from the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, the SBC’s list doesn’t appear to include any names of alleged abusers previously undisclosed to the public. The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News previously gathered many of the names in a database.
Still it’s worth reviewing those with Arkansas connections, none of whom the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette listed in its reporting on the release of the list in today’s paper.
Mark Aderholt, who was employed at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock and Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock, pleaded guilty in 2019 to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Texas in 1996.
John Lankston Anderson Jr. held Baptist Church positions in Mississippi and Alabama. It’s unclear when he lived in Arkansas or if he held a role in a Baptist church in the state. From the Houston Chronicle database: “Pleaded guilty in 2002 to three counts of sexual abuse in Alabama and sentenced to three years. Immediately transferred to Arkansas, where he pleaded guilty to another sex abuse charge and was sentenced to 10 more years. Served prison sentences in both states. Released in 2013. Was later required to register as a sex offender in Tennessee.”
Tim Ray Ballard, principal and coach at Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church’s Abundant Life School, pleaded no contest in 2011 to one count of first-degree sexual assault and four counts of second-degree assault and received two months of jail time and five years of probation. Ballard was allegedly having sex with two underage female students. He had to register as a sex offender. Russell Darin Eudy, the superintendent of the school who is not included in the list, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to notify by a mandated reporter.
Darren Farren, a pastor in Texarkana, was sentenced in 2017 to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls he met at church. According to the SBC document, Farren was lead past of Anchor Church and affiliated with Heritage Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church and Faith Church, all in Texarkana.
Paul “Kevin” Hendrix, a youth minister at First Baptist Church Cherokee Village, admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. In 2012, he was fined $3,500, sentenced to 120 months of probation and forced to register a sex offender.
Nathaniel Hull Jr., the son of the preacher of First Baptist Church in Helena-West Helena, was arrested in 2015 for raping a 13-year-old girl, who he impregnated, according to the Baptist report. Hull is serving a 20-year sentence in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Daniel Keith Kiger, a youth minister in Winslow, pleaded guilty in 2014 to sexual indecency with a child in 2008 and 10 counts of chid pornography, according to the Houston Chronicle database. He was sentenced to 120 months in prison.
Timothy Patton, a music minister at Danville First Baptist Church, was sentenced to Arkansas prison for second-degree sexual assault after three male victims came forward.
Travis Payne, a pastor of South Texarkana Baptist Church, was sentenced to five years of prison for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl in church.
David Kent Pierce, a music minister at First Baptist Church in Benton for 29 years, pleaded guilty in 2009 to 54 counts of sexual indecency with a child. He was sentenced to 10 years, paroled in 2012 and is registered as a sex offender in Florida, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Timothy Lee Reddin, who according to the SBC database worked at Turner Street Baptist Church in Springdale, Central Baptist Church in Conway, Pines Baptist Church in Quitman, Barcelona Road Baptist Church in Hot Springs Village, the Central Baptist Association in Benton and taught high school in Heber Springs and McCrory, was convicted of possessing child pornography in 2000 and spent 27 months in prison. He was arrested in 2018, while serving as a part-time pastor at Turner Street Baptist Church, after he contacted an undercover federal agent posing as a teenager looking for sex. He was sentenced to 10 years of federal prison time in 2019.
Richard Riley, a teacher at Life Way Christian School in Centerton, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault and computer child pornography. Riley was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student and having nude pictures of her on his computer. He was sentenced in 2017 to 24 years in Arkansas prison.
Derek Smittle, a volunteer youth minister at First Baptist Centerton, pleaded guilty in 2019 to sexual assaulting a 17-year-old female church member. He received 10 years of probation, 119 days in the Benton County Jail and was required to register a sex offender.