Founder Of Local Children’s Ministry Freed On Bond

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The founder of a local ministry focused on military children was freed on bond Wednesday, two days after his arrest on a warrant charging indecency with a child.

Jon Tidball (Jail photo)

BELTON (January 15, 2014) Jon P. Tidball, 63, of Salado, a retired Army chaplain who founded Patriot Kids' Ministries, was released from the Bell County Jail Wednesday after posting $75,000 bond.

Tidball, who serves as the ministry's executive director was arrested Monday at the ministry in Salado on an outstanding Bexar County warrant charging indecency with a child, according to a brief press release.

A Bexar County Sheriff's office spokesman confirmed Tuesday the warrant was issued there in October in connection with a case that was reported on Aug. 25, 2013.

The victim, who’s now 24, told Bexar County investigators she was sexually abused from time she was 8 until she was 14, Bell County authorities said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

She told investigators she had reported the abuse over the years, but said Bexar County authorities were the first to investigate the allegations.

The arrest warrant wasn’t served until this week because neither the victim nor San Antonio authorities initially knew where Tidball was living, authorities said.

Tidball lived in Temple and then Salado after he retired from the Army in 2008 as a lieutenant colonel.

He served for 31 years, during which he was assigned to different installations including Fort Hood and Fort Campbell, Ky., authorities said Tuesday.

He’s also facing a military sodomy charge filed in January 2013 at Fort Campbell in connection with an alleged incident involving the same victim, authorities said.

The ministry he founded in January 2012 provides day and overnight camps as well as backyard and after-school Bible clubs for military children.

It also trains adults and teens to lead after-school and backyard Bible clubs.

Nearly 100 children were scheduled to be at the camp Thursday for an event, authorities said.

Bell County investigators Tuesday urged parents of children who attended the ministry’s camps to talk to talk to their youngsters and to report anything that may have happened to them.

Officials at Fort Hood and in Connecticut and Germany were also being advised of the arrest, authorities said Tuesday.

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