MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former student pastor with Bellevue Baptist Church in the Memphis area was arrested in Arkansas after accusations of sexual indecency with a child.
According to the Bentonville Police Department, 32-year-old Keenan Hord was arrested Thursday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Bentonville Police say the department received a notification from the Arkansas State Police child abuse hotline on Friday, August 19. Police say First Baptist Church in Bentonville made the initial report.
Bentonville Police executed a search warrant on a home in Bentonville later that same day. A warrant charging Hord with sexual indecency with a child was issued Tuesday.
Hord has not been given a bond.
Hord worked at Bellevue Baptist Church from 2011-2016, the church said. He also worked as an intern in Student Ministry from 2011-2014 before becoming Student Pastor at Bellevue Arlington.
20-year-old Logan Holton said he met Hord while in the 8th grade and shortly after joined his church youth group in Arkansas.
“Not only is this someone I spent so much time with when I was younger but also I have dozens of friends and people I knew in the congregation that also just spent time with him and it’s kind of frightening,” Holton said.
Bellevue Baptist said it will be launching an internal review and will share the findings once the review is completed.
Hord had been employed by First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, but was no longer working there, the church said. First Baptist Church in Bentonville released this statement:
“We have been devastated to learn that a former employee of our church has been credibly accused of abusing adolescents during his tenure at our church. While these accusations did not come to light until after his employment ended, when we learned of them we immediately contacted our local authorities, made a report to the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline, and continue to fully support the ongoing law enforcement investigation. We are ministering to the survivors and their families who demonstrated incredible courage in coming forward. We are praying for God’s perfect peace for those who have been harmed and God’s justice for the abuse of His people.”
Bellevue Baptist released a statement on Hord’s arrest:
It has been brought to our attention that a former employee of Bellevue, Keenan Hord, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with minors. There is an active police investigation underway, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest in Arkansas.
Keenan was on Bellevue’s staff from 2011-2016. He served as an intern in our Student Ministry from 2011-2014, then was the Student Pastor at Bellevue Arlington until 2016.
The safety of our children remains our top priority. In response to this new information, Bellevue is launching a thorough, internal review. The findings of this review will be shared after it is completed.
If you have any information regarding any criminal activity, please report it to the local police department. If you have any questions regarding this situation, please do not hesitate to contact us using the link below. Somebody on our team will reach out to you as soon as possible. If you or your child were affected by this, we want to help you navigate this difficult situation with access to professional counselors at no expense to you. You can request a conversation with a counselor utilizing the link below.
Scripture warns us that Satan is a roaring lion, always seeking someone he can devour. His only intention is to steal, kill, and destroy. We must keep our guard up and draw near to the Lord. In doing so, He promises to draw near to us.
Please take time to pray for all who are victims of this tragic situation. If you have any information that may be relevant, please reach out to us using the following link.