The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church

A deeply disturbing scandal emerges out of Memphis, Tennessee involving the former announcer of the Memphis Grizzlies Rick Trotter. Two churches – Fellowship Memphis (of Acts 29) and Downtown Presbyterian Church are ensnared in a deviant sexual scandal where Rick Trotter allegedly recorded women in the restroom. John Bryson and Bryan Lorrits have a lot of questions to answer and their neglect led to a lot of people being hurt at another church. Today’s post at The Wondering Eagle is going to be exceptionally dark.

“The biggest thing is that I am them. I paid to see games last year and I just want to bring that fan enthusiasm. I’m not just a guy who’s there and has a job, I’m a guy who’s passionate about the game, passionate about the Grizzlies, and I want it to be infectious, I want to pass on that energy night in and night out and really cheer our guys on.”

Rick Trotter on being the Voice of Memphis

“I was really upset. I asked about pressing charges, but they discouraged us from doing that. They really didn’t give us any of the information,” she said, adding that church members “weren’t allowed to talk about it. I tried to find out additional information as to what I could do about it. They said the only person I could talk about it with was a counselor, and they wouldn’t give me any more information.”

One of the victims quotes given to the Memphis Commercial Appeal

“They said that no one would consider pressing charges because it would ruin his life and he had a family. They said they had already consulted with the police and they were told to destroy the evidence,”

Another statement to the Memphis Commercial Appeal on how Fellowship Memphis leadership covered up criminal allegations. Again do men do that?

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:1-2 NKJV

My question to John Bryson…when does being a man mean you cover up allegations of criminal activity? I want an answer to that question.

I sometimes check my email nervously because as I have learned you never know what you are going to encounter. Some of it is good, and other parts are dark. I deeply fear that one day I will get something that will be horrific. Last Sunday morning on August 14, 2016 I got a partial taste of that and it leads to today’s post. There is a deeply disturbing story out of an Acts 29 church known as Fellowship Memphis. One of the pastors allegedly put a camera in the restroom and secretly recorded females and children. One of the victims contacted me and encouraged me to write about this situation. I read her email after I got up last Sunday and what I read stunned me. I felt sick, and I was so disturbed by what I contemplated that I got lost on the way to church. Why? My mind was pre-occupied with what I had read. And I grieved for what she endured. The purpose of this post is an attempt to fill in the gaps. It appears as if the Memphis Commercial Appeal may have left out some information probably due to their lawyers. So let me go on the record that I will use the word alleged quite frequently but I believe the victims. I dedicate this post to the brave person who contacted me. Please know I love and care for you. Its for you that I will go to war, and its for your name and reputation and pain that I will challenge the Acts 29 network. I hope you know that you have a friend in the Washington, D.C. area. We are all part of the fellowship of the wounded, a fellowship of those of us who have been hurt and wounded by the institutional Christian church. Spiritual abuse is a sin, and its long past time we acknowledge and discuss and deal with it. If you are a victim at Fellowship Memphis I am going to encourage you to contact the police. I would also be willing to contact the police on behalf of any victims. Plus I would also encourage you to contact Amy Smith of SNAP. This is going to be a dark story and for some of you this will be hard. It is hard for me to write about. It is hard to stomach.


What is Fellowship Memphis? Also an Overview of Bryan Loritts and John Bryson

Fellowship Memphis came about in the summer of 2003. From what I am reading in my research it was planned to be a multi-ethnic church. Memphis is a city that has struggled with racial strife, and it is the city where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. So the goal was to create a different church. Fellowship Memphis was launched on November 2, 2003. In the course of time the church would grow to 4 campuses. Those four campus are Downtown, East Memphis, Germantown and Collierville which is launching in October 2016. In addition this church is also an Acts 29 network church. In the course of time there were two personalities who would be known and tied to Fellowship Memphis. Those individuals are Bryan Loritts and John Bryson.

Bryan Loritts is the son of Crawford Loritts and the two are not to be confused. Crawford Loritts leads Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. Crawford also spoke at Mark Driscoll’s Resurgence conference before Mars Hill imploded due to Mark Driscoll’s corruption and abuse.  Bryan Loritts attended Philadelphia Biblical University, which was once known as Philadelphia College of Bible and today Cairn University. There he earned a Bachelors of Science in Bible and Pastoral Studies. Bryan is ordained but into what denomination I do not know and could not find that out in my research. Bryan’s first church after graduating was the Pastor of New Members at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. He also obtained an M.A. in Theology from the Talbot School of Theology where he attended from 1996 until 1998 and in 2009 started working on his Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford Graduate School. After Talbot he went to Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California and subsequently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and served as a Pastor at Calvary Church. He then was involved in the launch of Fellowship Memphis in 2003 and served at Fellowship for 11 years. There is much more to Bryan in regards to where he went to after Fellowship and I will get into that later in this post. Bryan sits on the Board of Trustees of BIOLA University. He is also involved in the Kainos movement which seeks to help with racial integration by creating multi-ethnic churches. Bryan, along with his father Crawford have been regular speakers on the circuit for Cru, which is formerly Campus Crusade for Christ. As one who helped plant Cru at Marquette University in Milwaukee that is how I know of Bryan. In addition he has also published several books to include, “Saving the Saved: How Jesus Saves Us From Try-Harder Christianity into Performance-Free Love“,”Right Color, Wrong Culture: The Type of Leader Your Organization Needs to Become Multiethnic“,”Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Martin Luther King“,”A Cross-Shaped Gospel: Reconciling Heaven and Earth” and “God on Paper: The Wildest Story of Passion and Pursuit You’ll Ever Read.” Bryan also has a blog which you can read here. Finally Bryan has a wife Korie and three sons Quentin, Myles and Jaden. In today’s story its important to remember that Bryan Loritts is the brother-in-law of Rick Trotter, as Bryan’s sister Heather is married to Rick Trotter.

John Bryson is another pastor who helped establish Fellowship Memphis back in 2003 I believe. At Fellowship Memphis John Bryson preaches about the roles of women and how they have persecuted men.  He has also taught classes on how to stand up to women, mothers and wives. On Mother’s Day John Bryson made sure that dish rags were passed out to all women who came to church. But who is this Acts 29 pastor? John Bryson comes from Harlan, Kentucky, and spent 11 years in Denton, Texas before moving to help plant Fellowship Memphis. His doctorate is in Leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and he has a Masters in Biblical Studies from Dallas Seminary which I believe is Dallas Theological Seminary  along with a Masters in Business from the University of North Texas. John Bryson has written “College Ready Student Guide” and writes “The Authentic Manhood Series.”  In this page you can read of some of the locations that use “Authentic Manhood” from businesses, to churches to Ft. Leavenworth’s military prison.   John also sits on the Board of Acts 29. When Acts 29 had removed Mars Hill Seattle and Mark Driscoll from the network John Bryson was one of the board members who signed his name to the letter. If you recall the final tipping point for Acts 29 was when it came forward that Mark Driscoll had taught that women are penis homes. He is a partner in Fellowship Associates. In last years review of all the Cru Christmas Conferences I refused to recommend the Denver Christmas Conference because of what appears to be a growing relationship between Denver’s Cru and Fellowship Associates and that it is taking a Neo-Calvinist slant. In addition he has a blog, which as of August 21, 2016 appears to be taken down. Finally he married his wife Beth, in 1994, and he is the father of Brooke, Beck, Bo, Boss, Blair, and Bayne.

Rick Trotter Introducing the Memphis Grizzlies

Who is Rick Trotter?

Rick Trotter was the former announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Memphis Grizzles are an NBA expansion basketball team, and originally come from Vancouver, British Columbia. They moved to Memphis after the 2001 basketball season. Rick Trotter comes from the Atlanta, Georgia area and graduated from Tri-Cities High SchoolRick Trotter apparently has been the worship leader for differing churches. He was worship leader of Fellowship Bible Church (Is this another church in the area or is this affiliated with Fellowship Memphis?)  when he tried out for the PA announcer job of Memphis’s basketball team.  You can read how he became the Memphis sports announcer right here in this NBA article.  Also there is this interview with Rick Trotter about him being an NBA announcer. In addition Rick Trotter also was  a manager of the Chic Fil A in Union Avenue these past couple of years. Rick Trotter was the worship pastor for Fellowship Memphis for  a number of years. In this interview he explained how he got involved with Downtown Church formerly Downtown Presbyterian Church: 

“I got connected with Downtown Church through a couple of friends who are the pastors and now my co-workers,” Trotter said on how he ended up at Downtown Church Memphis. “Richard Rieves is a life long Memphian who felt called to plant a church in his hometown that would represent the unifying power of Jesus between blacks and whites. That divide is one of many but in Memphis, historically and currently; the separation is prevalent and apparent. Richard is white and he knew he’d need black people to see him sharing the balance of power and influence in our church with minorities. The beginning of that step was asking Chris Davis, our assistant pastor, to join the ministry.

So, this church is lead by a middle class, white Memphian, empty-nester and a single, black, recent seminary graduate from Saint Louis. They needed a person with experience to lead the music and arts and I fit the profile and they fit mine. I love being a part of bringing others together. This felt like the right place for my family and me to lock arms with brothers and sisters in Christ, despite the color of our skin and other dividing factors.”

His favorite expression as an announcer was “Shot Clock Violated!” But as we will see there is a lot more that was allegedly violated to include safety, security and the lives of multiple women who were allegedly secretly video-taped in the Fellowship Memphis restroom.


Alleged Voyeurism and was Child Pornography Manufactured in an Acts 29 Church? Plus how it was Handled?

In 2010 Rick Trotter allegedly took a smart phone and mounted it on a bathroom wall in the coed bathroom at Fellowship Memphis. He then arranged the items on the book case to conceal the camera. One day, however, a church intern was in the restroom and noticed the bookcase was not level and they went to move it. In the process they found the camera – which was still recording – and then reported the incident to another church official. Rick Trotter allegedly recorded women in his home as well where he had a camera installed.  The Senior Pastor John Bryson who sits on the Acts 29 Board allegedly reviewed and watched all the footage from Rick Trotter’s iPhone and claimed to have destroyed the evidence. Fellowship Memphis did not contact nor consult with the police as I have been told, plus that is backed up in this Memphis Commercial Appeal story. John Bryson claimed to have allegedly consulted an officer and an attorney. While I have no doubt that John Bryson contacted an attorney the part about consulting an officer appears not to be true. Bryan Loritts is allegedly involved in the destruction of evidence.

The next part is eerily reminiscent of how Sovereign Grace Ministries operated. John Bryson, and Bryan Loritts allegedly set up meetings between Rick Trotter, his wife Heather and the victims who were secretly recorded in the Fellowship Memphis restroom. Over and over Rick Trotter in these meetings allegedly apologized for the recordings. For the women involved the forced apologies were quite distressing, and one person refused to participate in it. Allegedly John Bryson and Bryan Loritts spoke with the woman and encouraged them not to press charges or to report Rick Trotter to the Memphis Police. John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly claimed that if the women went to the police they would be responsible for destroying Rick Trotter’s life. This was especially true if the video that was allegedly recorded was played out in court. After all this happened Fellowship Memphis fired Rick Trotter as their worship pastor from the Downtown Church location (Don’t confuse this location with Downtown Presbyterian Church that figures next) .  Despite Trotter’s termination the Memphis Grizzlies kept him on staff.   As a sex addict Rick Trotter supposedly went back to Atlanta and went into “counseling.” The counseling lasted for three months and was paid for by Fellowship Memphis. I do not know which counselor or organization Rick Trotter used, and if anyone out there knows, please email me as I will correct and update this post. With all that Fellowship Memphis under the leadership of John Bryson covered up the deviant sexual behavior of Rick Trotter.  While I am not certain if I were to take an educated guess I would assume that Fellowship Memphis did not notify the congregation of Rick Trotter’s behavior. Plus I would also suspect that when he was let go, it was spun for another reason, and not for the allegations of the deviant and illegal conduct. If I am wrong on any of this please correct me and I will update this section of the post.

Here is the other fact that needs to be pushed in this story. From my understanding two of the victims who were allegedly recorded in the bathroom were underage. One was 15 and the other 16 at the time of the recording. It would be safe to say that Rick Trotter allegedly manufactured child pornography by recording those underage girls. If this is true then John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly destroyed child pornography as well. In regards to the illicit recordings there allegedly was a falling out between Bryan Loritts and Rick Trotter.


Bryan Loritts Brief Relationship with Trinity Grace Church in New York City, and Abundant Life Christian Fellowship

While John Bryson stayed at Fellowship Memphis Bryan Loritts was allegedly let go. He then went on staff at Trinity Grace Church in New York City as the Pastor of Preaching and Mission in early 2015. Before I get into Trinity Grace Church I need to fill you in on some background. Trinity Grace is the brainchild of Jon Tyson, an Australian who moved to the United States in 1997. Jon is well known for urban church planting and today speaks in a lot of conferences about the topic. As the pastor of Trinity Grace Church he was involved in planning five smaller missional communities which he calls the “city parish” model. In this format life is done locally and about once every six weeks the individual parishes assemble for a large event. It is modeled after Redeemer Presbyterian Church which is led by Tim Keller. Today Trinity Grace Church has eleven parishes. Those parishes are Chelsea, Crown Heights, East Village, Midtown, Park Slope, Queens, Tribeca, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Washington Heights, and Williamsburg. You can read more about Trinity Grace Church in this article from Christianity Today and the New York Times.

According to what I have learned Bryan Loritts was at Trinity Grace Church for a year and he was allegedly let go. The circumstances of how and why he was let go are not known. Did Trinity Grace’s leadership become aware of what happened at Fellowship Memphis? Or was there an incident at Trinity Grace Church that was handled very poorly? I honestly do not know, and if I can get more information on that I will beef up this section. After Trinity Grace Church Bryan went to the West Coast and found himself back in Mountain View, California. Mountain View is in Santa Clara county. It is south of the San Francisco Bay area. Bryan Loritts first gave a sermon at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship on October 11, 2015. I wonder if that sermon was part of the hiring process or job searching that could have been going on, especially if Bryan saw the writing on the wall in regards to Trinity Grace Church. He was hired on as Elder and Lead Pastor and started preaching regularly on January 24, 2016. The title of Bryan’s sermon? The Church You’ve Always Longed For. (No you can’t make this stuff up…) I have a number of questions that I am quite curious about. Does Abundant Life Fellowship know about the situation at Fellowship Memphis? Are they aware of the serious allegations that continue to dog Bryan Loritts?  These questions and more deserve to be answered.


Rick Trotter and Downtown Presbyterian Church in Memphis and More Criminal Allegations of Voyeurism

Rick Trotter after his sexual addiction “treatment’ came back to Memphis and eventually pursued employment with Downtown Church. Downtown Church is a church plant of Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis. Richard Rieves moved to downtown Memphis in 2008 and the church had its first service in 2010. Today it meets in Memphis Central Station. You can read the history of Downtown Church hereBy the way in researching Downtown Presbyterian Church I noticed that this place led by Richard Rieves still is promoting Mark Driscoll. You can see his book “Real Marriage” being promoted on the resources page. Now here’s my question before I get into the thrust of this section. Mark Driscoll had called women penis homes. You can read about it in this Time Magazine article. Does Richard Rieves also believe that? Does Richard look at the women who attend Downtown Presbyterian Church and think to himself, “these are future penis homes!” Its just something that I want to ask.  
In 2011 allegedly Downtown Church contacted Fellowship Memphis about Rick Trotter joining their staff. The leaders and elders of both churches met and discussed the situation regarding Rick Trotter. From my understanding Fellowship Memphis lobbied for Rick Trotter to be hired. Chris Davis who is the Teaching Pastor at Downtown Church also served on staff at Fellowship Memphis and allegedly was fully aware of Rick Trotter’s behavior. Downtown Church allegedly spoke to his counselors. who is the I find this particularly interesting and honestly wonder about the quality of the counseling that he received. Is this “Bible Based” Jay Adams inspired counseling which is fatally flawed? When you think of the privacy laws and regulation that happens today a counselor sharing private information begs a lot of questions. I invite those that know about this to please comment below. Trotter became a part time subcontractor at Downtown Church in 2011.

In 2014 he requested to become a full time employee at Downtown Church. Downtown Church is claiming that as part of his re-hiring he read a statement of full disclosure in which he admitted to his past sexual misconduct in regards to the alleged voyeurism. He worked in this position for some time.  Meanwhile John Bryson continued to allegedly advocate for Rick Trotter’s employment in Downtown Church. In the fall of 2015 John Bryson allegedly posed with a selfie with Rick Trotter in which he said he was “proud of him.” Then in May 2016 some more allegations came forward and Rick Trotter was terminated.

According to what I heard, right before Rick Trotter went on staff as a full time employee he allegedly resumed his voyeurism. However, this time it happened Rick Trotter allegedly perfected his tradecraft. This time Trotter allegedly posted a number of cameras in the restroom where they were strategically hidden in the air vent, above the stall, hidden in the wall and more. These cameras were allegedly installed in differing angles. These recordings at Downtown Church allegedly went on for three years. Rick Trotter was also the general manger at the Chic Fil A at Union Avenue these past couple of years, and these allegations of filming women and children in the restroom also happened in the restaurant as well. This time Downtown Presbyterian Church fired Trotter for the upskirt videos and turned over his computer to the Memphis Police Department. The Memphis Police are allegedly going through three years of camera footage in trying to identify victims.


Is Fellowship Memphis Doing Damage Control? The Police Get Involved

After Rick Trotter was fired from Downtown Presbyterian Church the Memphis Grizzlies also fired him as well. Meanwhile the police also got involved and issued a warrant for Trotter’s arrest on August 9. He faced 8 counts for recording someone against their consent. His total bond was set for $370,000.

This is a listing of all he Memphis Commercial Appeal articles so far that exist.

  1. “Former Grizzlies announcer arrested, accused of taking illicit pictures”
  2. “Former Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter reportedly recorded women at another church in 2010”
  3. “Former Grizzlies announcer Trotter waives arraignment”
  4. “Trotter arrest causes sickening day for Griz fans”
  5. Geoff Calkins’ Take 5: Quick thoughts on Rick Trotter, the Grizzlies schedule and the MLK Day game
  6. “Churches Tried to Help Trotter What About the Victims?”

In addition you can read this Sports Illustrated article about Rick Trotter as well as the Christian Post.

Downtown Church issued a joint statement but then apparently took it down. They do have this other statement up, which as of August 21, is still posted. Fellowship Memphis’s statement is still up, and I snagged it and threw it into a post here so it will be preserved. It appears as if Fellowship Memphis is doing damage control and that their statement has deception in it. As it was explained to me the joint statement does not mention that Trotter and his wife Heather met with some of the alleged victims at their house. The Fellowship Memphis statement is trying to white wash what happened. Both John Bryson and Brian Lorritts need to be challenged on this aspect in my view, but I will have more to say in the analysis below.


Some Analysis and Fellowship Memphis on The Wondering Eagle This Week

The best point of view was written by Geoff Calkins by the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It amazes me that many secular organizations have higher standards and ethics than many churches. This is what Geoff wrote on the Appeal of August 10, 2016:

You go to the police. If you know or suspect someone has committed a sex crime, you go to the police. You do not try to handle it as an organization, internally. You do not try to persuade yourself it wasn’t that bad. You do not try and spare the perpetrator from the shame of discovery, and you do not try and convince yourself it won’t happen again. You go to the police. You report what you found. You do not confuse mercy with irresponsibility. You do not put future victims at risk. That’s a lesson we have been taught too many times over the last decade, and it’s the lesson of the Trotter case as well. If Fellowship Memphis had gone to the police when they caught Trotter taping women in a bathroom in 2010, would we be where we are today? Doubtful. So once again, we learn it. Go to the police.

Writing about Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania was hard. This story has been equally hard to write about. It boggles my mind that here it is August of 2016 and you still have to remind people to go to the police. Bryan Loritts and John Bryson have a lot of questions to answer. Years ago in a Campus Crusade for Christ Christmas conference both in San Diego and Minneapolis I remember Bryan teaching about getting off the fence and choosing to do hard stuff for the Lord. My question to Bryan is when does a pastor try and silence victims of such sexual deviant behavior? When are victims pressured to be silent? Lets be clear here the victims didn’t destroy Rick Trotter’s life, he did – when he chose to install a camera in the restroom. Bryan Lorrits and John Bryson have a lot to answer for and I honestly hope that some of the victims from Downtown Presbyterian Church obtain a “Gospel Centered” lawyer and file a “Gospel Centered” lawsuit against Fellowship Memphis. This behavior is reckless and irresponsible. Bryan I would suggest is being like Jonah in his efforts at running from the mess. Fellowship Memphis’ behavior amount to gross negligence when you consider what eventually happened at Downtown Presbyterian Church. This week at The Wondering Eagle we are going to talk about Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church. The point of these posts is to flush out this story and drag it out into the light. As a part of this story I will be doing the following. In regards to John Bryson I am going to seek statements from regional Acts 29 leadership, as well as the Acts 29 board and Matt Chandler. In regards to Bryan Loritts I am going to seek statements from BIOLA, Trinity Grace Church in New York City, and Abundant Life Christian Fellowship.

Quite simply guys this crap needs to stop. It amazes me that evangelicals are so quick to talk about the gospel and cover up allegations of criminal activity. For those of you who claim I am going to be “gossiping” this week I will refer you to this post. And for those that say corruption should be ignored and this activity not written about I will refer you to this post. Again this post is dedicated to one of the brave souls caught up in this mess who contacted me. I want them to know they are loved and supported. I am going to have a hard time sleeping tonight after reading all the sordid details, but please know that I love you.


78 thoughts on “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church

  1. Great research and write up! Voyeurism is a paraphilia. Paraphilias are not curable. Treatments like counseling are largely ineffective. Voyeurism is not an addiction like alcoholism where you can refrain by going to meetings with support groups. One of voyeurism’s thrills is in the concealment. It was gross negligence for any church to hire or re-hire Rick Trotter after knowing he was a pathological voyeur. Pathological voyeurs are by definition pathological liars, as lying is required to keep the concealment going. People with these paraphilias can NEVER be in ministry. Period. The idea that a room full of men could talk amongst themselves and decide that Trotter (or any voyeur) could be EVER be employed, even as a contractor, is ludricrous and wrong on its face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave I do not understand the psychology of issues like voyeurism so I will leave that to the professionals. I think what Fellowship Memphis allegedly did was over the top and that they had no idea of what they were dealing with. They put the reputation of the church above the victims. If they had done the right thing their reputation would be in a much better place today than it is. This has been a hard story to process, as its been very unsettling.


      • I don’t buy that this was done out of ignorance. Memphis’ own Sammy Nuckolls was arrested in 2011 and sentenced in 2012 to ten years in prison for video-raping students and pastor’s wives taking showers. Both churches watched that sinister case unfold while they continued to employ and help cover-up Trotter’s crimes.

        Sammy was the head pastor at the LifeWay Centrifuge Camps for many years and a regular camp and contract pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. Sammy had several victims that he knew exclusively through those two organizations, although both claimed no kids were harmed on their watch. Technically the videos found on his laptop were filmed mainly at overnight church events held in private homes (not inside the churches) but those two mega brands gave Sammy exclusive access to known, identified victims and they should have accepted their share of responsibility. Both organizations also failed to notify their flocks that numerous members were among the 25 identified victims.

        Sammy’s original files were never recovered as it took the police four days to execute a full search warrant for his home which had long since been purged of evidence. Cameras were allegedly discovered in FUGE camps back in 2007 but that was covered up by LifeWay. That’s also the same year LifeWay switched Sammy from full-time pastor to contract pastor. Sammy also had 10 overnight opportunities to film Gateway kids at Gateway’s summer youth camps on the beaches in Corpus Christi. Gateway denied that Sammy had any such access and said he had only preached a few times concealing the fact that he regularly spoke to the youth and even flew out early to attend Staff Chapel at GW for 4 years. Steve Gaines’ Bellevue Church also welcomed Sammy onto their campus for counseling that was later used as evidence to help reduce his sentence.

        Sammy was a graduate of the local Memphis area Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He taped MABTS’ founder’s grand-daughter multiple times including during two pregnancies (one time just days before she gave birth). Sammy was also the most convicted criminal in MS history with 13 felony sex crime convictions (SN lived just over the border of TN in the greater Memphis area). He was also convicted in two counties in AR. No charges were filed in TX or West Virginia following his MS sentence.

        So this case was highly publicized, closely watched and talked about in every church circle in Memphis. Those churches knew about church related voyeurism long before this Rick Trotter deal came to light. Some pastors and teachers in the area wrote letters of support for Sammy. Many were angry at the pregnant victim taking a public stand against Sammy instead of playing ball for the local celebrity pastor. So it’s not ignorance about the severity of the crime, it is ignoring it to support a local pastor, despite that criminal only entering ministry to gain easy access to victims.

        Readers can witness a summary of Sammy’s crimes here
        And here

        Liked by 2 people

    • Great research and write up! Voyeurism is a paraphilia. Paraphilias are not curable. Treatments like counseling are largely ineffective.

      In an age as erotically-saturated as today, I’m not sure it’s even possible to get past puberty without acquiring some sort of paraphilia. The best you can hope for is that your paraphiliae are only embarrassing instead of actually destructive.

      That said, nothing creates and supercharges paraphiliae like Purity Culture.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Great points Rick. One more thing readers should consider is that over 95% of forceable rapists and sexual based serial killers started off as voyeurs. As many as one third of voyeurs admit they have escalated their voyeurism to sexual assault. By continuing to put Trotter into positions where he has extraordinary trust and spiritual authority over his victims, these churches aided and abetted a criminal who may likely escalate well beyond voyeurism. This is a serious crime.

      This crime is also one of the most repeated sex crimes. Most offenders commit this crime hundreds, if not thousands of times, before they are caught. Trotter has done this many more times than we know. One other thing to remember is that because Trotter allegedly uploaded those images to the internet ALL of his victims, known or unknown, are now serving a life sentence. Every day the victims live in fear of those horrible images being discovered by their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Every day. Some of the most private moments in a female’s life take place in the bathroom. Imagine the horror of your daughter, wife or sister having those moments posted on the internet forever. The crime is about control and humiliation. The more embarrassing the act, the higher value the video is to these perverts. That is who Rick Trotter is.

      Readers should also keep in mind that (depending on the program) in-patient treatment for sex issues costs about $1,000 per day. The Meadows is typically the rehab center of choice for fallen pastors due to their links with the very expensive Pure Desire University program hocked at many churches. The church typically picks up the tab as sex addiction is generally not covered by insurance. That means this church likely used around $90,000 to help the perpetrator, plus the financial support for wife and kids. What did the victims receive? I doubt it was in the 6 figures like Trotter. Church members should be furious over this squandering of tithes and offerings to prop up a pervert who victimized his own lambs. Please continue to educate Eagle.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These cases that come to light -and they seem endless when you follow the news- lead me to wonder how often this stuff is going on and is never found out? How often do these type of men meet together and decide to hush something up because it would make them or their church “look bad”? What is really going on under the surface in the average church? I wonder if a survey could be taken and get honest results, how many churches have quietly sent a sexual offender on to another church? And how often does this happen at any given church? Is it unusual or does it happen fairly regularly?

    As to the handing out of dish rags… I have no words. There is your tip-off that women are not respected as human beings, so it comes as little surprise that their safety and well-being were not taken seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shy thanks for the comment. I find the fact that John Bryson passes out dish rags on Mothers Day to be appalling. Why not something like a rose or a flower instead. When you see how John views women that explains why he allegedly treated many of them the way he did.

      John is all about being a man and the reality is that he knows what a man is. A man doesn’t disrespect women. A man doesn’t ignore the “the least of these’ who were victims of an alleged crime. A man doesn’t treat women who were alleged victims of a sex crime and cover it up. A man doesn’t allegedly cover up allegations of illegal activity. To have John Bryson lead a church is kind of like having Jeffrey Dahmer have a show on the Food Network or having Ted Bundy run EHarmony. I rest my case.


      • This story is very, very disturbing, especially if someone at the church really destroyed the evidence. Is that not tampering? IANAL. Maybe if they convinced the victims to keep it hush hush it isn’t?

        I agree that they bear some moral liability for what happened at the other church. This is what happens when you cover these things up, predators are allowed to hide.

        It will be interesting to hear what Mr. Loritts has to say, provided he agrees to make it public.


      • I will say that in reading the articles, if the facts are true I would put more blame on downtown because he should never have been hired in the first place.


      • If you read the Christian Post article about the Trotter issue, the dish rags come up. Bryson blames the gift choice on female staffers. I am not sure it matters as the dishrag does communicate all we need to know about how women at that church view themselves due to that teaching. My guess is most thought it wonderful. I am surprised it did not have the women’s ministry logo on it. Or did it?


    • Sadly, this happens more than we’d like to believe. I don’t think it’s the norm, but I bet a Google search would reveal many stories of churches & ministries that shame or disregard victims & don’t prosecute the perpetrators.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey brother. Bryan Loritts here. I’d love to talk directly to you about this article. I think once our conversation is over you’ll have incredible clarity, and may even want to take this down. Send me an email with your cell phone and I’ll call you. Don’t want to give out my email here, but you can actually reach me through our church’s website. Grace to you. Bryan Loritts


    • Please just air here what you need to say. Stop with the hiding. If you and others had done their job as leaders you would have turned this over to the authorities and at least have tried to stop this individual. Stop writing your books, stop hosting conferences, and start acting like a decent person.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bryan Loritts is in no position to be teaching. He spoke at Russell Moore’s ELRC and you know what got me blocked on Twitter? Bryan asked for prayers before preaching and I asked “what are the victims in the restroom at Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church?”


    • Oh, please. So many people have read this post, as well as so many other posts and articles on the same subject, that a private conversation about it between you and our Eagle to is a moot point.
      Why don’t sing the truth from the mountain tops and give us all a little clarity.
      Take down this post? Ha ha. I wonder how many people have either taken a photo or printed it out?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Bryan Lotts,
      Threatening slander is not going to stop the sordid details from going out…. It just shows how “unchristian” the behavior of you and your organization is. Your concerns should solely be places on the victims… (Who are the women videoed, NOT the person doing taping as you seem to think!) We are all watching and holding you, and all of the “celebrity pastors” accountable…. You guys are not above us pew sitters…

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Incredible clarity” is what Mr. Trotter was striving for with his camera trained on random women’s private parts. I don’t know, Bryan, maybe a simple apology and repentance, an acknowledgement that you set a predator free to destroy the lives of more women might be more appropriate than damage control. By the way, did you pay for extensive counseling for those women who’d be violated by your church leader? Or just for him? Just kind of wondering.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m curious about your statement that Loritts was “allegedly let go” from Fellowship.
    I watched the you tube video that you linked to, and I didn’t hear anything that made it sound like he was “let go” from Fellowship.

    I’m not trying to defend. I actually have made the decision to leave Fellowship since all this nastyness has come out. I just wondered if you had more to back up the claim that he was “let go” than just the youtube clip.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Preserving The Joint Statement Between Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church | Wondering Eagle

  6. I would encourage you to reach out to Bryan like he requested. I think it might help you. Also–I am a member of Downtown Church, and I know that MANY of your “facts” regarding what happened at our church are actually not true at all. Therefore, I’m having a difficult time believing anything else that you wrote. I understand that you were hurt by the church, and I have been deeply hurt as well. But writing things that are both untrue and vindictive to those actually involved in the messy situations doesn’t seem to be the best way to handle this. Listen to the leadership AND the victims, please.

    Grace to you.


    • To the member of Fellowship Memphis who wrote that…here is my question. Is the Memphis Commercial Appeal being dishonest? Are they lying? The facts speak for themelves. John Bryson is doing damage control. Plus why is a “church” hiring a PR firm? Are Jesus’s teaching not good enough? Does John Bryson have a problem with Jesus saying to shine your light for the world to see.


      • The person above is not claiming that the Commercial Appeal was dishonest or lying, just that they don’t have their facts straight- just like you. You responded by saying “to the member of fellowship” when the person clearly said they are a member of Downtown Church. As in any situation where somebody is trying to inform others of something that they were not firsthand involved in, facts can be (and very often are) left out, mixed up, and totally skewed. The Commercial Appeal, just like yourself, wanted to bring light to a horrific situation. But the Commercial Appeal, just like yourself, is relying on information gathered from multiple sources with multiple perspectives. Facts can’t speak for themselves when they are partial bits of the big picture and the person relaying them to the masses doesn’t know the entire story. What you are doing is giving your audience 5 pieces to a 1250 piece puzzle and claiming that you have the box top in your hands, when you in fact don’t. The reality is you don’t know the facts, or else you wouldn’t be pleading with any and everybody to share information with you. I’m not condemning you for that, and I think that you have good intentions. I hope you’re effort to bring light is beneficial for those involved. But I also think YOU need to get your facts straight before claiming that something you are ignorant about is the absolute truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You know in the end I love these comments because they reveal the group think and perspective of these places. I believe the people who are speaking to me. Likewise I believe those who are telling me what happened. My sources are primary and they are emailing me and asking me to keep writing. But I will allow the other side to comment and post here as well to give perspective. But this blog exists to help those who have been hurt and John Bryson and Bryan Loritts have a lot of questions they need to answer.


    • The thing is, everytime something like this happens, people come along who ‘go to this church’ and ‘know these facts aren’t true. Like what happened at the village church – and all the facts turned out to be true.

      The fact that the church issued a statement and hired a pr firm means that there is a big problem. The police, press and multiple churches are involved. I doubt there is a true story that will make everyone blameless at this point.


      • It kind of amuses me in a sad way. People who attend authoritarian top down churches are the most gullible people in the world. They believe whatever the leaders tell them to believe. It’s akin to the wife being the last to know of the affair. She is married to a con.

        I am quite familiar with how the inner ring operates. It has been a source of concern to me how gullible pew sitters are. Worse, they pay for it and become enablers of evil deeds.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I would encourage you to at least get your facts about Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church straight. You mix the two churches up frequently throughout your post, and quote some things as happening at one church that actually happened at another. For example, when you quote Rick Trotter’s description of why he went to work at Downtown Church, you referenced it as being about Fellowship Memphis. This happens several other times throughout your post too. I appreciate your search for the truth, and your intention of supporting the victims, but your credibility is lacking when you can’t keep the two churches straight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clarifying – Thing is, I wonder if you have first hand information, or information that was gleaned by sitting in the pews and listening to the words of leaders from the pulpit. The only way you could have first hand information is if you were one of the people who was upskirted, saw the upskirting yourself, or was the one doing the upskirting. Perhaps if you set in on a meeting in which Mr. Trotter made a personal confession or you spoke directly to someone who’d videoed by this perverse church leader, that would be close. But you’re so vague, makes any rational person think you’re just another sheep sitting in a collapsible chair listening to spin, taking it as the undiluted truth, and scolding anyone who thinks otherwise. If that’s anything like the case, your information is far less reliable than what Wandering Eagle posts here and you’re just blowing worthless hot air that only damages your cause.


    • “I understand that you were hurt by the church, and I have been deeply hurt as well. But writing things that are both untrue and vindictive to those actually involved in the messy situations doesn’t seem to be the best way to handle this.”
      FYI, you may be new to all this so I won’t impugn your motives here. I will suggest that next time you just leave out the silencing/discrediting and just state your case. For those of us who have read numerous such accounts that are later documented to be entirely true, there is usually someone who drops in to dismiss the allegations by telling us we are bitter / hurt / vindictive. Thus for me, the inclusion of such verbiage discredits your claim.


  7. I find it amazing that even after the newspaper reports, which are pretty damning in themselves, along with this reporting, Fellowship Memphis went with a crisis management team. What happened to doing the right thing and referring victims to the police? Just my personal opinion, but I believe the church should stop trying to be the middleman here. You’d think Fellowship Memphis would have figured this out by now, since hiding the original incident has caused the whole thing to blow up even worse, with even more victims of Trotter.


  8. I suggest Lorritts just write what he had to say here.

    It is always interesting how these guys jump up and down for your attention but when things like this come up all of a sudden they want to go very private.

    They actually think that they are so convincing they can make you believe other things if they can just get you alone. That comes from too many years on stage as being adored and living a double life if stage persona.


  9. The other side of this is that another board member of a neo Cal organization (Acts29/GC, Etc.) is embroiled in scandal. It appears that Bryson’s board term recently ended ( article). Either way it is still bad for A29 and the like.

    Maybe Bryson comes out innocent in all this on a personal level. But he is the “authority” of the church proper and should “man up” and take church responsibility if Fellowship dropped the ball. Somebody is clearly lying here.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a typical response by church members. You are telling lies. It’s slander. It’s vindictive. You don’t know the whole story. As soon as I see those comments, I am more convinced regarding the truthfulness of the account. Add in the Crisis Management team and you have a full blown, mishandled situation. Continue to expose this crap.

    BTW, if you were telling outright lies, you would have been contacted by the lawyers proving your lies and presenting you with legal *opportunities.* The last thing they want to do is make this a legal situation. Then you would get to depose them all on the stand and that is a dicey situation in instances like this.

    Keep at it Eagle. You do us proud!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. There are much more important things to focus on in this story but I wanted to comment on the Morher’s Day gifts. I visited Fellowship Memphis with a friend that morning. I’m not a mom but I was given the gift on my way out. It was a decorative hand towel (not a “dish rag”) and lavender scented room spray. The towel is nice enough that I use it in my bathroom. They also had a pretty floral photo backdrop for families to take photos in front of. I’m not defending this church but simply offering my experience on that day. There was nothing about the Mother’s Day gift that struck me as an attack on women or a statement about gender roles. And I’m a feminist!

    Liked by 1 person

    • >There was nothing about the Mother’s Day gift that struck me as an attack on women or a statement about gender roles.

      I read the CP article and it seems like that came from one of the victims. She may be reading that choice of gift through her understandable anger and disgust at the church – or she may have picked up on something others didn’t see. I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah, Dish towels are for wiping dishes. Even when they are pretty. You may not see what it communicates because you are immersed in top down authoritarian church polity. It is your normal. It has Driscoll DNA all over it. I would not expect women in these Acts 29 style churches to think outside the bubble. But hope springs eternal and my deepest prayer is women wake up to know they are full co heirs of all spiritual gifts.

      Say, flowers, for example. They are to simply enjoy for their beauty and fragrance.

      I can assure you they would give men a dish wiping towel. That is woman’s work only.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’d feel more sanguine if they just gave nothing at all, maybe gave some donations to impoverished moms or perhaps set up a fund for those who’d been abused by Mr. Trotter, because churches forever seem to be flattering this group or that in an effort to further their marketing and branding and build a good revenue base. Locally there’s a budding mega that had a sign outside the church saying “C——— Church Loves Moms!” right before Mother’s Day. It was a shameless attempt to get moms in through the doors, marketing at its most cynical. Tired of these secular organizations designed for the purpose of producing revenue streams to support the leaders posing as “Christian”. They seem to me, in many cases, to be listing towards antichrist.


  12. I attend Fellowship Memphis. I was also given a dish towel on Mother’s Day. It was tied with a pretty ribbon along with air freshener. Doesn’t matter. The church would never consider giving these to the men. Why is that? If you are not convinced about John Bryson’s view of women, listen to any of his sermons on manhood, the family, mothers and wives. I just heard the following quote by him on one of his videos.

    “You can’t have a strong movement without strong men, you can’t have a strong organization without strong men. ” John Bryson

    Really? Is that true?
    The cover up of these disgusting acts has gone on long enough. I applaud you for getting information out there even if you don’t have all the details yet. You have been fair about reaching out to all the parties involved and given them a chance to refute any of the details. As a member at fellowship I have heard a few details that conflict with the story above but that does not make you wrong for getting it out there and asking for additional information or clarifying details. For instance – I was told by an elder that Bryan Loritts and Bill Garner were responsible for destroying the phone and not John Bryson – doesn’t matter. The decision to destroy evidence was mutually agreed upon by ALL of the elders that included John Bryson and Bryan Loritts. Why exactly is Bryan Loritts not sharing these details he has that can clear up the whole matter??? Why don’t they tell us who destroyed the evidence? I’d love to hear what he has to say!!! Why did Fellowship Memphis not throughly discuss this with the body this past Sunday? Why did John Bryson hire a private investigator? I have personally seen their use of intimidation tactics against ANYONE that takes issue with their practices. John Bryson was quoted by the Christian Post saying whoever is offended should come forward and work with them. Bad idea. I’ve seen what happens to the people that come forward and express concern with their programs and practices. They are threatened with lawsuits, disfellowshipped, or made to look mentally unstable. So many of our friends have been run off because they dared to take issue with the leadership. This man has hired a private investigator to uncover the truth about these allegations. The people speaking out should be worried. The private investigator is looking for one thing, who said what.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is all so sad. I attend Fellowship Memphis and the thing that broke my heart and caused me to lose sympathy for any of these leaders was a conversation I had with one of the victims that overwhelmingly supports the church and is standing with them. She said “I know they mishandled the situation. They have never shepherded women well. Never have and never will.” I had to ask her to repeat it. It took hours for the gravity of that statement to sink in. She went on to talk about how unfair these attacks were on the leadership were and how she was recently instructed by John Bryson and an elder not to talk to reporters. Praying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Concerned, that sounds very cultish. It has the ear marks of Thought Reform. I have seen the same from other spiritual abuse victims. It is frightening they cannot recognize the end up enabling evil because they actually think bad men care for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Why Would Bryan Loritts Allegedly Ban Rick Trotter from his House and Encourage him to go to Richard Rieves Downtown Church? | Wondering Eagle

  15. This part was disturbing:

    “Allegedly John Bryson and Bryan Loritts spoke with the woman and encouraged them not to press charges or to report Rick Trotter to the Memphis Police. John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly claimed that if the women went to the police they would be responsible for destroying Rick Trotter’s life. This was especially true if the video that was allegedly recorded was played out in court.”

    They are very mistaken. Rick Trotter destroyed his own life by recording videos of underage girls going to washroom.

    The way these neo-Calvinist does it is twisting everything. The victims are forced to forgive the criminal. And that they shouldn’t report criminal activities to the police. So the criminal gets off free and can commit another crime in another day. This is not love. This is siding with the criminal against the victims!

    It is true that Christians should forgive criminals. However all criminal must be punished. Else the church will become a haven for criminals. Many of these criminals weren’t sorry for what they did. They were ONLY SORRY THAT THEY WERE CAUGHT! In its ultimate form if a Christian murder another Christian in church, should the church cover up the evidence and hide the body for the murderer? Of course not! Then why is the church covering up “lessor” crimes? A sin is a sin, and these neo-Calvinist should do well to remember that.

    If a Christian discover the criminal-sins of another Christian, that means both God and even non-believers agree it is a crime, then call the police and sent that criminal Christian to jail. After he is already in jail, sent him prison ministries to bring him back to God. But justice must be served. Covering up is not love. It is the church sinning against the victims.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I do think it is a generalization to say all neo-Calvinism (NC) churches have some sort of cover up going on. Not every NC church has a sick criminal to the level of Nathaniel Morales, for example. And I am sure there are cases where NC churches themselves exposed criminals. (Although a quick Good search reveal zero results. Google doesn’t know if any NC churches ever reported criminals to the police….)

    Anyways the problem is what happens when a NC church does found a Nathaniel Morales in their congregation. How would they handle it? It just seems to me their system encourage these kind of cover ups.

    The origin of their system is from 1 Corinthian 6. It says that Christians should try to resolve disputes internally instead of going to court. However these NC it taking this out of context. All Paul is talking about here are disputes. That means very minor conflicts. And of course brothers and sisters in Christ, out of love, should resolve minor conflicts in the church. However does sexually abusing children or taking videos of children going to washroom sound like a minor dispute and conflict to them? That’s on a totally different level!

    At a minimum, NC got to admit that their view on 1 Corinthian 6 is debatable. And so, why are the enforcing their view on all of their churches? Why are they enforcing this on their members, so the members cannot even call the cops?

    It is especially bad when NC churches are heavily controlled by their elders and pastors. They literally think all elders are wise shepherds and all members are dumb sheeps. Come on they know that isn’t the case! The whole bible keep mentioning about false prophets. Who did they think the false prophets are that had authority to lead people astray? False prophets are the elders!

    John MacArthur once had a sermon on how dumb and useless sheeps are. And he preached it to tell the leaders that they must work hard to take care of the sheeps EVEN IF they are dumb, just as Jesus did. And that would be a fair message. But the way many of these leaders heard it is that all their members are literally sheeps that are too dumb to think. And perhaps that was actually what John MacArthur meant, given how mistaken these NCs are.

    If the members stay as dumb sheep forever, it is the FAULT OF THE LEADERS! Why are the members not taught to become shepherds one day? At the minimum the members has to know enough about the bible to rebuke the elders if needed. The elders are attacked especially hard by Satan so the members must look out for them.

    The misinterpretation of 1 Corinthian 6 is indeed from Satan. Look at how the non-believers reacted. Does covering up for criminals glorify God? If you are NC and you are reading this I know this hits you right in the heart. Because NCs place their #1 importance on glorifying God. Look! This church covered up for this criminal and now he goes out and harm move victims! God wasn’t glorified but instead God is disgraced. This church DISGRACED God!

    Remember that Christians are the body of Christ. Christians are the representative of Jesus on earth. So when Christians cover up a crime, to the non-believers it is as if Jesus himself covered up a crime. This DOESN’T help non-believers believe, but led them further away from God. Once again, how is God glorified?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You wrote: “God wasn’t glorified but instead God is disgraced. This church DISGRACED God!”

      With all due respect, no one ‘disgraces’ God. This church disgraced itself.


  17. “On Mother’s Day John Bryson made sure that dish rags were passed out to all women who came to church.”

    “John Bryson and Bryan Loritts spoke with the woman and encouraged them not to press charges or to report Rick Trotter to the Memphis Police.”

    Don’t think for a minute that these two situations are unrelated. Their attitude towards women determined that they would protect a member of the good ol’ boys club rather than the victims of a crime.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Pingback: Does Bryan Loritts Need Anger Management Therapy? His Behavior on Twitter and Another Email Exchange | Wondering Eagle

  19. That is another sick thing about churches that promote comp doctrine. They claim male spiritual headship “protects” women but over and over the last 20 years. I have seen exactly the opposite in varying degree. And it often takes a big scandal for a few to see it clearly. In this particular scandal everything has been done to protect the male predator and his male enablers.

    The female victims are viewed as nothing but collateral damage who need to just let the males handle it.

    For this reason I am so thankful for men like David Bonner and others who don’t see church in pink and blue. They are able to actually see basic right and wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Sandy Willson of Second Presbyterian Memphis is Allegedly Notified in November 2011 that a Sexual Predator was on Staff at Downtown Presbyterian Church | Wondering Eagle

  21. Pingback: An Overview of Sandy Willson and Memphis Second Presbyterian Church; Plus When Individuals Like C.J., Carolyn Mahaney and Steve Estes are Promoted, Does that Help Transplant an Unhealthy Culture at Richard Rieves’ Church? | Wondering Eagle

  22. “According to what I heard,”

    Those are all the words I needed to read to realize that you have NO IDEA what is really going on in this story and are, as typical media maggots do, writing fictional fact in order to get readers. You take individuals at their word and publish them as truth. Really? The ONLY liars in this scandal are the church-folk, right? And you can prove this HOW?

    And, by the way, satan is the only winner in any of this. For heaven’s sake, go do something productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why thank you for the comment. I believe the sources and people who have approached me. They are established and have good information. Feel free to post what you would like, I love comments such as yours as it helps reveal the mindset of people from Fellowship Memphis.


  23. Pingback: From Elverson, Pennsylvania to Memphis, Tennessee why the Media Needs to Learn how to Cover Religious Stories | Wondering Eagle

  24. Pingback: An Open Letter to Bob Rowley (Texas and Oklahoma District Superintendent on Why I Write this Blog, Feedback I Get and More) | Wondering Eagle

  25. Pingback: An Open Letter to Cru Director Steven Douglass (Regarding Criminal Allegations of Bryan Loritts’ Fellowship Memphis) | Wondering Eagle

  26. Pingback: An Open Letter to Cru Staff (Regarding the Criminal Allegation’s from Bryan Loritts Fellowship Memphis) | Wondering Eagle

  27. It seems that far too many took of their thinking caps before commenting or writing on these allegations for that matter. If a person places a camera in a unisex (or regular) restroom to record, it’s going to capture everyone that comes in & out of the restroom, whether they are the intended targets or not. If an 80 year old man walked in to use the restroom, he’d have been captured too, does that mean the alleged voyeur is into 80 year old men? Your article states that the camera was discovered by a staff member who took it to leadership & Rick Trotter was questioned about it, as it was allegedly his phone. You also state that it was allegedly still recording when discovered, which means that he would not have had the opportunity to edit & remove segments of the video which were not things he wanted to see or record. Of course I wasn’t there and neither was the writer here for that matter, but it doesn’t take Einstein to see the logical conclusion here. There was no “child porn”. From what I’ve read in YOUR articles & in the statement from both churches, only adult women were allegedly filmed upskirt, which reinforces the logical conclusion that Mr.Trotter is in no way, shape or form into children/minors.
    Any expert on sex crimes will tell you that it’s highly, highly improbable that a person who allegedly has a sexual addiction will sudenly change their MO. Switching from adult victims to minors or vice-versa, happens so rarely in general. I have not discussed the case with anyone involved at all, and I speak for no one but MYSELF, but I don’t need to, this is just common sense. This article & others however, are slanderous.


    • So, if Trotter filmed children and/or young girls, they were merely collateral damage? Well, I’ll bet that’s quite a comforting thought to the children and their parents!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anyone filming ANYONE without the person conscent while sitting on the pot is a sicko… INHO… Filming in a church bathroom is a double sicko….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Totally agree! The original author of the comment seems to be okay with allegations of illicit filming in a church bathroom. Like this is standard “Gospel Centered” behavior in any Acts 29 church. God help us if it is accepted. I can’t believe I am writing about some of this stuff.


      • Nope. Nor did I say that at all. Nice spin. No children/minors were targeted. In these articles, the writer is insinuating & outright accusing him of deliberately manufacturing child porn – his words not mine. That is not true at all.


      • So you absolutely believe the leadership of Fellowship Memphis? Juts because they state that it makes it correct? I think of the restrooms in restaurants, movie theaters, business, etc… they are not segregated by age. You can find young and old in there alike. Notice some of the restrooms that you see in public.


      • Nope. Not at all, nice spin though. The writer is accusing him of allegedly manufacturing child porn, a DELIBERATE act, and I’m saying that’s a lie, and is incongruent with his alleged MO. In any case, I am praying for all involved, including the victims, and take none of this lightly whatsoever. I’m unwiling to lie & exaggerate to attract readers, that’s all & that’s what’s taking place here, whether it’s the reader or these “anonymous” commenters/sources, one of whom told about 85% lies on me already, yet whose spin on events of long ago was readily acepted & believed on face value.


      • So the two minors that were caught on film by accident at Fellowship Memphis…that makes it okay? I personally wonder about what happened at Downtown Church. How many underage people there were allegedly caught on film?


      • Not at all. Praying for all involved, including the victims & the body of Christ there – all involved. Wondering is one thing, making specific accusations that he allegedly, deliberately recorded minors is another thing. Most are on the outside looking in, and should just keep all in our prayers. That’s a better use of time. Pray, and let the wheels of justice turn. This is America, in our legal system, we are all innocent until proven guilty. God Bless.


    • You seem to be worried & caught up in semantics concerning “who” it was Rick Trotter was “targeting”…the fact is that the POSSESSION &/or RECORDING of child pornography is a crime. While one’s sentence may be mitigated by somehow (inexplicably) determining “intent”, one will still be prosecuted. Trotter, himself, was very concerned about the authorities and child protective services finding the videos. Fellowship Memphis gave him time to wipe his hard drive on his church-issued computer before authorities could potentially confiscate it. Rick took videos all over town and in his own home bathroom that ensnared children (whether that was his “intent” or not).

      I suppose that you are a friend of his who would like to stick up for him..while on the one hand, that might seem admirable, the excuses and willingness to gloss over exactly what Rick Trotter did is exactly what has led to more victims and, frankly, turns you into an enabler and accomplice, ultimately.

      You would ask people to put their “thinking caps” on…you should do the same! Assuming that Rick would edit out the victims “he did not want to see” is foolish and naive. For starters, to make such edits, he would actually have to view the minors you claim he did not wish to see; hence, he was in possession of & viewing child pornography. Furthermore, you expect Rick to make good judgment about which non-consensual pornographic videos he’d like to keep after he’d viewed them; now, mind you, his judgment to that point was evidenced by his setting up video cameras in various restrooms and ambushing his friends, family, and fellow church members. His discerning judgment was further put on display by filming upskirt videos DURING CHURCH! Incidentally, he was live-broadcasting his videos, which eliminates the ability to edit before they are sent to other perverts all over the world and become impossible to selectively edit.

      Rick (when caught) even told a close friend who were victimized by his deviant behavior, “Don’t worry, I edited you out.” (as if, that makes it OK or could even remotely be believed). When accepted at face value by the victim, such ridiculousness gives approval to all of the other people being videotaped without consent, “as long as it wasn’t me.” The lack of righteous indignation enables Rick to continue to prey on anyone in his path (be they women, children, or men). In fact, that he would do this to his “friends” makes his actions even worse; it is passive-aggressive and cowardly, intentional assault. Again, I would suggest that anyone who would do this to me or my family is not even remotely my friend!

      I really encourage you to re-evaluate your position and defense of the indefensible. Rick DID videotape minors (at the church, his home, and most likely his other places of work). He has admitted it, and church leadership has admitted it (behind closed doors, of course–although Bryan Lorrits’ deliberate disinformation tweet in defense of himself that claimed that he and leadership notified the Dept of Children’s Services clearly indicates to the public that they knew kids were on the videos). None of us has any real idea exactly what type of person was targeted; for you to say that you factually know that Rick is in “no way into minors” presumes that you must’ve known (ahead of his being caught) that Rick was (& is) into filming non-consensual videos of women (etc.) in the restroom. So, you either know & knew that he had a predisposition to do this and did nothing about it, or you have no real idea what Rick’s perverted turn-on is.

      Remember, too, that “minors” and “child pornography” is not necessarily 8 yr-olds–it also includes teenagers under the age of consent (such as those who participated in church and choir events, babysat at his home, or worked for him at Chick-Fil-A). I think that one has to really suspend disbelief to presume that Rick had the bad judgment and evil intent to film people (including friends, family, co-workers, etc.) without consent in the bathroom in order to satisfy his sexual perversions, but was kind and conscientious enough to edit out the ones under 18 years of age from his “keep” pile after viewing.

      Please, don’t make excuses for evil, and don’t assume that those of us who would like to see this evil stopped by Trotter and the churches who covered for him are somehow without “grace”–we just don’t believe in cheap grace (nor did/does Jesus). Grace does not eliminate the consequences of sin. I hope he is prosecuted and imprisoned for the protection of others, that God grabs hold of his heart, and that he might even go on to have the greatest prison ministry of all-time!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. @ Teemtwo

    So you are saying that Rick Trotter “intended” to film adult men and women going to the bathroom. And so if any underage boys and girls were also filmed, they are just collateral damage?

    What about the opposing scenarios then? That Rick Trotter “intended” on filming underage boys and girls going to the bathroom. So any adult men and women that were also filmed are just collateral damage. Isn’t this also possible?

    The court system might indeed look at “intend”. There is a big difference between murder and manslaughter. But you have to remember that the court is not the church. The church involved should never have covered up for him in the first place. They should have been the first one to send Rick Trotter to the police. And afterward they can send him prison ministry.

    Covering up only hurts more people. When you show a criminal mercy by covering up, he/she will just go out and hurt more people. That criminal might beg and beg and tells you how sorry he/she is. But they are all lies. Once he go out he will do it again.

    That’s why justice must be served. Criminals must be send directly to the police. A church must NOT and NEVER be a safe haven for criminals.

    I am not saying here that you must expose every single sin that your brother and sister in Christ tells you. But there is a huge difference between a criminal sin and a non-criminal sin. And by criminal sin I do not mean something minor like speeding or watching movies online. I mean serious criminal sins like rape and sexual abuses.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pingback: Is Acts 29 Portico Arlington Doing John Bryson’s Authentic Manhood Program? Is Jason Conner Aware of the Criminal Allegations Dogging Fellowship Memphis? | Wondering Eagle

  30. Pingback: Why is John Bryson Speaking to the Women’s Luncheon at Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee? Is Bill Hogan Aware of the Criminal Allegations Dogging Fellowship Memphis? | Wondering Eagle

Comments are closed.