updated 9:52 PM EDT, Mar 26, 2015
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Jon Phillip Tidball

The founder and executive director of Patriot Kids’ Ministries was arrested on Jan. 13 for the felony charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
As of presstime on Jan. 14, Jon Phillip Tidball, age 63, was being held in the Bell County Jail until he can be transported to Bexar County.


The arrest came from a warrant issued by Bexar County Sheriff’s office in October 2013. 

The alleged victim is a 24-year-old woman and former family member who told investigators that the alleged sexual contact occured with her between the ages of eight and 14. When the woman learned that Tidball was associated with the Patriot Kids’ Ministries, she came forward to make charges. 

Bell County Special Crimes Unit has asked that parents of children who attended the Patriot Kids’ Ministries camps and events talk to their children.

“We’re concerned abou the children of this community,” Lt. Michelle Cianti with the Bell Co. Special Crimes Unit told Salado Village Voice.

Tidball served as an Army chaplain, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel after 31 years in the military.

After retirement, Tidball founded Patriot Kids’ Ministries, opening the facility in January 2012. 

According to its website, the purpose of Patriot Kids’ Ministries is “to serve the children of our Nation’s Military Heroes through a variety of ministries and programs.”

Those programs include Christian after-school programs, day camps, summer camps, workshops and other activities. Patriot Kids Ministries retreat center and kids camp is south of Stillhouse Lake. The organization purchased the property that once housed the Cedar Knob Baptist Church.