Tim Ballard, founder and former CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, an anti-child sex trafficking organization, issued a statement Monday affirming his commitment to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The statement was released through The SPEAR Fund, a nonprofit aiming to collaborate with various organizations “to end human trafficking in our time.” Ballard has served as a “senior advisor” to the organization since leaving OUR earlier this year.

“I am a faithful Member in good standing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures, and I believe in our faith with my whole heart. That will never change,” the document reads.

Related
Tim Ballard considers run for Senate amid renewed controversy

Ballard’s statement comes after Vice reported Ballard had allegedly claimed his work and other projects were endorsed by President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two men share the same last name but are not related.

In response to the reports, first published by Vice, the church released a statement which reads, in part, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never endorsed, supported or represented OUR, Tim Ballard or any projects associated with them” and clarified that “Once it became clear Tim Ballard had betrayed their friendship, through the unauthorized use of President Ballard’s name for Tim Ballard’s personal advantage and activity regarded as morally unacceptable, President Ballard withdrew his association.”

The Deseret News independently verified the legitimacy of the statement issued by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The full statement can be read here.

During a tour in Boston earlier this week, Tim Ballard responded to the church’s statement. “Never in my life, never, have I used his name to raise money, to make some business deal, it’s never happened.”

In a statement released late Monday evening Tim Ballard claimed bad actors were attempting to “destroy (his) good name and defame (his) character” and expressed doubt that the Church’s statement was authentic, but commented “In any event, nothing will change my core beliefs. If someone within the church did release this statement, I am absolutely confident that the right people will step in and ensure that proper due process is followed as the rules of our church dictate.”

Hours before Tim Ballard’s Monday response through The SPEAR Fund, Vice News reported “sources familiar with the situation” had come forward with allegations Ballard had, on multiple occasions, asked women to act as his “wife” during OUR missions, among other allegations.

Ballard responded to these most recent allegations related to his time with OUR in a statement published Tuesday through The SPEAR Fund.

“As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false. They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children,” the statement says.

“During my time at O.U.R., I designed strict guidelines for myself and our operators in the field. Sexual contact was prohibited, and I led by example. Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false.”

Tim Ballard said last week on the Sean Spicer Show he is considering a 2024 U.S. Senate run in Utah. Tim Ballard’s life is the inspiration of the blockbuster success “Sound of Freedom,” which has reportedly netted more then $200 million dollars at the box office worldwide this year.

The Deseret News broke the news in May that the Davis County Attorney’s Office had closed an investigation of OUR and would not pursue any potential charges related to the organization.

The end of the investigation, dated March 28, 2023, in the document, marked roughly 21⁄2 years since Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings first publicly confirmed he was looking into the Utah-based nonprofit.

Tim Ballard told the Deseret News in May the investigation harmed OUR’s reputation. 

“The Davis County investigation into our organization lasted nearly three years and —unfortunately — was made public when it never should have been,” Ballard said in a statement to the Deseret News. Operation Underground Railroad’s reputation, he said, “was dragged through the mud.”

Tim Ballard’s statement from Monday reads in part:

“Rescuing kids and fighting child trafficking is an ugly and dark business, especially when— as the result of my work for more than 20 years — we continue to expose members of the powerful, well-funded child trafficking cartels. 

“Evil pedophiles will stop at nothing, and they have allies in government, in the media, in big corporations, and even in public institutions. They continue to lie and attempt to destroy my good name and defame my character … and they will never stop. 

“I want everyone to know that I and our vast army of supporters will likewise never stop. We will keep fighting for the vulnerable all over the globe, and we know that the truth will always prevail.”