Pastor sex scandal hits close to home

The details are horrific. 

A recent report from the Southern Baptist Convention covered more than 200 pages and listed in great detail pastors in that faith who had engaged in sexual acts with minors, including a toddler.

While not all pastors were named, as some information was redacted, the complete report can be viewed by clicking here.

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The report is not for the faint of heart and included a total of 17 pastors with connections to Arkansas including those connected to the sex scandal at Abundant Life School in Sherwood, as well as other pastors in North Little Rock and Pulaski County.

Below is an alphabetical list taken from the report. And has been lightly edited and formatted.

Mark Aderholt | 2018

In 2018, Mark Aderholt, 46, was arrested in South Carolina on charges of sexual assault which occurred in 1996-97 when Aderholt (25) was a SWBTS student. The victim was (16). In 2019, Aderholt pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury crimes Plea deal. Sentence wiped clean. Will not be on Sex Offender Registry

Aderholt was employed by the IMB from 2000-2008. In 2007, IMB was informed of the abuse and an internal investigation lead to Aderholt’s resignation. IMB did not report it to the police. He went on to be employed at Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, Central Baptist Church, North Little Rock, Arkansas, and the South Carolina Baptist Convention. In 2018, IMB’s president David Platt issued a public statement of apology and additional investigations led to policy changes at IMB.

John Lankston Anderson Jr. | 2002

 In 2002, John Lankston Anderson Jr., former pastor, Carbon Hill First Baptist, Carbon Hill, Alabama, was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual abuse of juveniles under the age of 12, pleaded guilty to all charges and sentenced to 3 yrs. 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.

CHURCH POSITIONS: Pulpit preacher at Southside in Russellville, Natural Bridge Baptist, West Blocton Baptist, Hartselle Baptist, and other churches in Mississippi

OUTCOME: Pleaded guilty in 2002 to 3 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. Sex Offender Registry in Tennessee

Tim Ballard | 2011 

In 2010, Tim Ray Ballard, was principal of Abundant Life, a Baptist-sponsored Christian school, Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church in Sherwood.  Ballard was charged with one count of sexual assault in the first degree and four counts of sexual assault in the second degree, in conjunction with his alleged relationship with former students at the school.

OUTCOME: IN 2011, Registered sex offender in Arkansas for offenses of first- and second-degree sexual assault. Received five years probation.

Larry Michael Berkley | 2014 

Larry Michael Berkley, pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Harrison, and former pastor, Victory Baptist Church, Henning, Tennessee, was arrested for abuse of over a dozen boys as young as 14 and 18. Police say he plied them with alcohol and marijuana and showing them porn to gain compliance.

OUTCOME: Convicted of 16 crimes, including four counts of aggravated statutory rape and four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. Sentenced to 33 years. Incarcerated in Tennessee and registered as a sex offender.

Wayne Farren | 2016

David Wayne Farren, sexually assaulted a 16-yr-old girl in 2013 when he was her youth pastor and another teenage girl he met at church. See sentencing below. He is to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

CHURCH POSITIONS: Lead Pastor of Anchor Church in Texarkana and he worked as pastor and youth director at other Texarkana-area churches - Heritage Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church and Faith Church.

COURT OF CONVICTION: Bowie County, 2017

OUTCOME: Pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault; sentenced to 180 months in 2017 in negotiated plea agreement. In Arkansas state prison.

Nathaniel Hull Jr. | 2015 

In 2015, Nathaniel Hull Jr., preacher’s son, First Baptist Church, West Helena, was arrested for rape of a 13- year old girl. DNA confirms the victim’s baby is the offender’s.

Keith Daniel Kiger |  2008 and 2014

Keith Daniel Kiger or Daniel Keith Kiger, youth minister, What Church, Winslow.

OUTCOME: Pleaded guilty to sexual indecency with a child in 2008. In 2014, Kiger pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Currently incarcerated.


Letter dated June 23, 2006,  discussed abuse in the 1980s in Arkansas

Tyson Norsworthy | 2009 

Tyson Norsworthy was connected with Abundant Life and Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church in Sherwood.

Timothy E. Patton | 2015 

Timothy E. Patton, former music minister, Danville First Baptist Church, Danville, arrested following accusations of 2nd degree sexual assault, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and the purchase or possession of intoxicating liquor by minor.

August 6, 2015, court document should Patton will plead no contest to sexual assault, 2nd degree, a Class B felony, years ADC with 3 additional years SIS. Defendant will register as a sex offender.

Travis Payne |  2012 

Travis Payne, pastor, South Texarkana Baptist Church, Texarkana.

OUTCOME: Convicted of sexual assault (victim was reported to be a 3-year-old). Sentenced to five years in prison. Later died.

David Pierce | 2009 

David Kent Pierce, former minister of music , First Baptist Church, Benton, pleaded guilty in  August 2009 to four counts of sexual indecency with child involving 3 young men. He served 2 years of a 10-year sentence. His parole decision was postponed.

OUTCOME: Pleaded guilty in 2009 to four counts of sexual indecency with a child in Arkansas. Sentenced to 72 months on two of those charges and 48 additional months on two other charges, plus additional time on probation. Served time in Arkansas prison. Now a registered I

Timothy Lee Reddin | 2018 

In 1998, Timothy Lee Reddin, 49, while serving as Director of Misions, Central Baptist Association, Benton, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for having child pornography on his computer.

In 2018, Reddin messaged an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent posing online as an underage male to arrange a meeting for sex. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of attempted online enticement of a minor. Faces a minimum of 10 years in prison, but could receive a life sentence as well as a $250,000 fine.

He has served Southern Baptist at the following:

  • Pastor, Turner Street Baptist Church, Springdale

  • Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Conway

  • Pastor, Pines Baptist Church, Quitman

  • Prior to 1998 - Pastor, Barcelona Road Baptist Church, Hot Springs Village

  • Pastor, Elmcrest Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas

  • Also taught High School for three years in Heber Springs and McCrory

Richard Thomas Riley | 2017 

Richard Thomas Riley, former teacher at LifeWay Christian School was senteneced to 24 years in prison for having sexual relationship with a student. The school is a ministry of First Baptist Centerton, Centerton

Ira Smith | 2013

While Ira Smith’s name and information was redacted in the report, further reporting shows he was serving as pastor at Corinth Baptist Church in Cave City when he was arrested for raping a mentally handicapped child. Local news coverage can be read by clicking here. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and is currently incarcerated in Marianna. His inmate profile can be viewed by clicking here.

Derek L. Smittle |2019 

Derek L Smittle, youth volunteer, First Baptist Centerton, Centerton, was arrested January 14, 2019, in connection with first-degree sexual assault involving a sexual relationship with a 17-yr-old girl who went to the church. Even though the pastor stated that Smittle was not a youth pastor or in a position of church authority. Smittle told police he had been teaching Sunday School for four years and hosting Bible studies at his home.


Pastor was arrested for “accused of improperly touching a female member of his congregation” who was only 17. She alleged that he “grabbed her breast and tried to put his hand down her pants.”