Hord had worked at First Baptist Bentonville as a student pastor beginning in 2018 after joining the church in 2016. It is unclear when he was released from his position with First Baptist Bentonville, but the allegations came to light following his departure.
"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," a statement from First Baptist Bentonville said. "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."
The Bentonville Police Department received the notification of possible child sexual abuse on August 19, 2022.
The following Wednesday, August 24, law enforcement was at Hord's residence armed with a search warrant in order to seize his electronic devices. At that time his wife informed investigators that Hord had left the residence and not returned.
Later that day he was located at a Walmart in Fayetteville, Arkansas, approximately 30 miles to the south, after purchasing a TracFone.
In a review of his electronic devices, investigators have identified 30 children that were potentially abused by Hord and so far, have spoken to just six of them. Between Hord and one boy alone, investigators located over 5,000 messages which revealed a romantic and sexual relationship.
Bentonville Police Sgt. Josh Woodhams told the court during Hord's bond hearing that they had identified a half-million text messages which were currently being reviewed. Also found on the phone were several videos and images involving boys.
Formal charges have not yet been filed against Hord, but his arraignment has been scheduled for October 3 at 8:30 am.
Before arriving in Arkansas, Hord was affiliated with the Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee between 2011 and 2016. During his time there he worked as an intern beginning in 2011 before eventually becoming a student pastor at Bellevue's Arlington, Tennessee campus in 2014.
In a statement issued by Bellevue, the leadership urged its members saying, "If you have any information regarding any criminal activity, please report it to the local police department. 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."