Former missionary, minister Mark Aderholt pleads guilty

Former missionary, minister Mark Aderholt pleads guilty

Former Southern Baptist missionary, minister and state convention worker Mark Aderholt pleaded guilty July 2 in a plea deal related to the sexual assault of a minor two decades ago.

Aderholt, 47, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury, said Sam Jordan, a communications officer with the Tarrant County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office. Aderholt surrendered to authorities the same day to begin serving 30 days in jail and 24 months’ probation, and was levied a $4,000 fine in confessing to the Class A misdemeanor.

Aderholt was originally charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child under 17, a second-degree felony, in crimes that allegedly occurred in 1996 against a 16-year-old Anne Marie Miller. She met Aderholt, she told the court, while searching the America Online website for help organizing a See You at the Pole event during her junior year in high school. Aderholt, then a 25-year-old Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary student, responded to her online search.

Miller agreed to the terms of Aderholt’s plea deal, adjudicated in the 297th District Court of Tarrant County.

Aderholt served as a missionary with the International Mission Board from 2000 to 2008 and later on the staffs of two Arkansas churches. He was arrested in the Miller case in 2018 in South Carolina, where he had served on staff of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. (BP)