Rick Trotter’s Alleged Confession of his Illegal Acts Before Fellowship Memphis

This is Rick Trotter’s alleged confession that he read before the congregation at Fellowship Memphis. This is difficult to read and I would be careful about reading this at work. This confession should be read against the joint church statement and what the Memphis Commercial Appeal is saying.

“According to the Memphis Police Department’s Lt. Karen Rudolph, no one ever contacted police to report the incident or file a complaint. The church’s statement makes no mention of contacting police after the camera was discovered at Fellowship.”

Memphis Commercial Appeal article from August 11, 2016

“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.” 

One of the victims on how the leadership of Fellowship Memphis of John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly pressured her and others not to press charges.

All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.

John 3:20 NLT

I was emailed Rick Trotter’s alleged confession before Fellowship Memphis. I am asking former members to help me fill in the gaps. You can comment below anonymously. I would like to know how this was read, how Rick Trotter was introduced and how this was received. I believe this statement was before he went to Downtown Church led by Richard Rieves.  Having said that as I read this statement it is deeply flawed. The biggest flaw is where Rick states that each victim chose not to press charges against his alleged voyeurism. Its my understanding in speaking to one of the alleged victims that John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly placed a lot of pressure on people not to press charges or to go to the police. In the August 11, 2016 Memphis Commercial Appeal article called, “Former Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter reportedly recorded women at another church in 2010Lt. Karen Rudolph of the Memphis police Department said that they were not contacted. My question is this…did John Bryson or Bryan Loritts threaten to place members from Fellowship Memphis under church discipline if they reported to the police or pressed charged? Did John Bryson or Bryan Loritts invoke part of a membership covenant against the victims? Fellowship Memphis is a popular church in the Acts 29 network, and many Neo-Calvinists are drunk with power and control. If any of the victims want to answer these questions below you can do so anonymously, as I will approve the comments. My heart grieves for the pain that is coming from this church, and its my hope that people find peace one day. However, until that happens the truth of what happened at Fellowship Memphis needs to get out. I love you guys

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

I stand here before you with great joy for being back in your presence. I also feel fear, pain and apprehension for the sin I committed that has necessitated this season of separation. I’d like to thank the leaders of this church for allowing me an opportunity to address the members of this body today. I also thank you for your attention in this moment.

For those that may be new to Fellowship Memphis, my name is Rick Trotter. I served as worship director for this church from August, 2005 until February 4th of this year when I was caught in a heinous sin that has taken a significant toll on this church in multiple ways. The nature of my actions and the ripple of consequences caused the leadership to terminate my employment immediately. I am confident that this action was not executed lightly or hastily. It is my belief that they acted in the best interest of all parties involved and with heavy regard to the extreme nature of my sin.

The fact that I in my flesh am powerless has led me to many sinful and inappropriate behaviors. Some of the ways I’ve coped with my powerlessness are: idolatry, pride, self-pity, self-protection, self-hatred, self-righteousness, lying, manipulation, isolation, multiple forms of sexual immorality (including pornography, voyeurism and masturbation), compulsive eating, compulsive spending, approval seeking, codependency, compromise of biblical truth, passive aggression, suicidal thoughts and many more.

The situation I choose to share with you today took place over a two month period. I used a video camera to invade the privacy of several women while in a restroom. I was discovered by a close personal friend who turned the evidence in to the leaders of this church.

As a consequence, I was terminated immediately. I placed this church under severe spiritual, emotional and financial duress. I caused emotional harm to several innocent women who were informed of my offense by the church leaders. I faced legal prosecution by each victim. I disgraced my wife and jeopardized our marriage and shamed my friends and family. Greatest of all I sinned against my God who loves me and gave Himself for me.

The leaders of Fellowship Memphis responded in grace and mercy. They helped me to find and finance a 90 day Christ-centered intensive treatment and recovery program. God used the tool of that program to dig out years of spiritual and emotion infection so divine healing could take place in a holistic manner. I was restricted from outside communication for the first 45 days of the program. God used that time to expose every part of me that not submitted to Him and gave me the choice to continue to strive in my own strength or trust Him with who I am and allow Him to provide security and significance through my identity in Jesus Christ and nothing else. The program helped me to see God as the lavish lover that He is instead of the insatiable task master that my insecurity made Him out to be. As my image of God became more accurate, my image of myself came into focus as well. I practically understand God’s grace through Christ in what I could only give intellectual assent to before when I thought I could please Him in my own power.

When I was found out, I wanted to end my life or flee the shame and consequences of my sin. I’m glad I didn’t. It has been an incredibly painful road but God has shown me His love and grace through the victims of my offense. Each victim, fully informed of their individual rights, chose not to press charges and to allow the leaders of Fellowship Memphis to lead my correction. God spoke to me through many of you who through phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, text messages or spontaneous meetings in public expressed sympathy and regret, offered prayer and encouragement and embraced me without judgment. There were several of you who loved my family and me in very material ways and I am eternally grateful. God had mercy on me through my faithful wife who, in all the pain and betrayal, never took her eyes off of Him. In my submission, God was able to show off His exclusive ability to repair the irreparable. I pray I never lose sight of the fact that the very things that are impossible for mortal beings (obedience, unconditional love, grace, true forgiveness and reconciliation) are the very things God, through Jesus’ atonement for sin and by the power of the Holy Spirit, wants to do for us.

I used to think that God brought me to Memphis to help this city and this church by establishing a music program and ministering with music. Now I believe He may have brought me here to be surrounded by brothers and sisters full of His grace when He decided to humble and chasten me.

As a former staff member, member of this local body of believers and as a one who has been inextricably unified with you in Jesus Christ, I ask your forgiveness for my sin and how it has impacted you. Thank you for listening.


27 thoughts on “Rick Trotter’s Alleged Confession of his Illegal Acts Before Fellowship Memphis

  1. Eagle, is this the statement he gave to Downtown Church before he was hired, so in 2014? It’s kind of confusing what happened when, a timeline of events would be really helpful.

    I would like to know what the 90 day Christ-centered intensive treatment and recovery program was that he attended. Was he provided with real assessment and counseling by a credentialed professional, or was this a religious program?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kind of confusing what happened when, a timeline of events would be really helpful.

      “Kind of confusing” is a FEATURE, not a bug.
      AKA Shuck and Jive —
      Dot enough T’s to cross everyone’s eyes and skip away scot-free.

      I would like to know what the 90 day Christ-centered intensive treatment and recovery program was that he attended.

      The same one as Josh Duggar?


      • ‘“Kind of confusing” is a FEATURE, not a bug.’
        Good point. I find it interesting that organizations can be so dumb yet still crafty. It reminds me of the two year old that is smart enough to play dumb when they do something wrong.


    • Shy I am learning a lot as I go. Rick Trotter got out of the 90 day “intensive” treatment in June 2010. This statement was given after that and before he went to Downtown Presbyterian. So this was given in late summer 2010.

      The biggest problem with this statement is when it says that the activity of alleged voyeurism took place over a 2 month period. (Paragraph 4) In the joint statement between Fellowship Memphis and Downtown it says something very different. The leadership of Fellowship Memphis back in 2010 was going damage control.


  2. HUG, Josh Duggar went to Gothard’s “Institute,” right? (What a joke.) Are they still in operation?

    Eagle, I noticed when I read the joint statement, it says it was “a single incident of Trotter recording people” – so, “one incident” yet “people.” So were there multiple people in range of his camera at once? or by one incident does it mean it was one period of time? And if one period of time, how long was that period of time? I guess, apparently, 2 months?

    2 months is a long time for a cellphone battery to last… either it was connected to power or he was having to charge it and replace it, which would mean more than one “incident” in my mind.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eagle – I wonder what the end game is for these organizations such as A29, and then how that relates to the member churches and their policies towards these types of situations? There have been a number of scandals (The Journey/Darrin Patrick most recently prior to Memphis). They all seem to have a re-occurring theme of abusive authoritarian leadership woven in with the more sordid details unique to each particular case.

    I have a particular interest because I happen to attend an A29 church. I am not Calvinist, and I have not signed the membership covenant (18 month attendee). The DNA of Mark Driscoll, however, appears to still be all over A29. Surprise! John Bryson looks like another “Man-Bro” that pushes the message of biblical manhood and gender differences well past that of actual Biblical emphasis. A29 places male leadership within its 5 core values… “The equality of male and female and the principle of male servant leadership.” Male only ordained elders and pastors isn’t unique to A29 or Calvinism. But the emphasis on male leadership is so strong and out front that a level of elitism and self-importance seems to grow out of it. These types of leaders, it appears, take themselves very seriously.

    While I can’t say that I see authoritarianism to the scale of the above mentioned cases in my home church (I have not been excessively pushed to sign the covenant or discouraged from asking questions), It seems an unhealthy amount of pressure is put, thanks to the system in place, on these A29 type elders and pastors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Jason this is the best summation of the culture there. I have attended A29 churches for 15 years and finally got fed up with it. It didn’t start out that way but has simmered until becoming grossly out of control. It’s insidious the way it slowly creeps and you don’t even notice. This quote perfectly sums it up:

      John Bryson looks like another “Man-Bro” that pushes the message of biblical manhood and gender differences well past that of actual Biblical emphasis. A29 places male leadership within its 5 core values… “The equality of male and female and the principle of male servant leadership.” Male only ordained elders and pastors isn’t unique to A29 or Calvinism. But the emphasis on male leadership is so strong and out front that a level of elitism and self-importance seems to grow out of it. These types of leaders, it appears, take themselves very seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I view Acts 29 as a spiritual version om Amway. A pyramid scheme that is attracting questionable personalities. One of my sources repeatedly speaks as to how arrogant John Bryson is. I believe this scandal just like The Village Church fiasco shows how corrupt Acts 29 is. Plus it reveals how the DNA of Mark Driscoll remains.


  4. I was on staff at the time. The restroom was a single restroom in the staff office. Guys very well could have been videoed too. I don’t recall children been in the office on a regular bases. Rick Trotter is to blame. It was his sin not Fellowship Memphis.Did the leadership make a mistake? Sure! Would they change things? Sure! What would the leadership gain from a cover up? From my understanding Bryan was not a Rick Trotter fan. If anything he would have wanted him to be prosecuted. Y’all missing the whole point. You are digging in an empty field. For all we know that could have been the first and only time. Oh by the way, he was using his cell phone not an independent “spy” camera. DT church gave Rick a chance as Jesus would. Knowing what they know now I’m sure they would make a different decision on hiring him. Rick fooled them. He racked like he was “healed”. He played them line a rubik’s cube. He fooled me, his wife, the church, his family, his friends, the Grizzlies, he even fooled himself. Rick is the only one to blame. Trust me.


    • Downtown should never have hired him knowing what they knew then!!! Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

      We are not obliged to give people a second chance to hurt others just because it’s church. Their decision making was obviously terrible.

      It does no good to say they should have known. Fellowship at least hired him without this sort of history (presumably). Downtown knew. They are culpable.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Leadership would gain from a cover up or play down by not having the flow of money interrupted. That is how it works. Churches run on “image” and perception. Scandals hurt the money flow.

      As a staffer you are well aware of that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • One and only time?

      Beside the pattern of this sort of evil you are seed planting for a reason.

      When evidence is destroyed by church leaders because police said to destroy it? Seriously?

      Liked by 1 person

      • And what kind of police force would ever tell anyone to destroy evidence? Why would a non-believing 3rd party encourage the church to destroy the evidence?

        If they ever contacted “the police”, it wasn’t actually “the police”. It would have been a single (or couple) policeman that is HEAVILY RELATED to the church (e.g. perhaps a member in the very same church) and a believer. There is a big difference and I hope we can all see that.


  5. I hate to say it but this doesn’t surprise me the way it has some. I have known the families affected by this for years. On Rick Trotters website he mentions in an older post that he effectively alienated everyone at age eighteen because of his own sins and dispbedience as I recall. What he does not say is that his sexually deviant behavior caused a suicide attempt of a female teen his age who was a friend of the family at the time. Several of us explained to him then that this young lady was particularly vulnerable because of discord in her own family and depression, and recommended that he leave her alone. He just would not listen and kept pursuing a sexual relationship with her. He used her selfishly and did not care about her well being. To my knowledge he has never apologized to her either. Out of respect for her I cannot reveal her name and do not want to bring up old wounds which she has probably long healed from. I do not know because no one has spoken with or seen her since that painful time. One of her initials is a T. She not only attempted suicide, she had to endure so much ridicule from so called Christians, many of them linked to Trotter.I have tried unsuccessfully to contact her before posting this, she has not responded at all. Maybe now after consequences, he will finally grow up and stop causing women so much pain. He’s been at it for a while selfishly now since his teens. Iam in prayer for all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment Anonymous. This is a sad story to write about. We need to get Rick Trotter’s behavior and the alleged cover up documented and written about so that the community can understand what happened and that people can heal. This blog stands with those that were hurt by Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church. Thank you for your comment.


      • Your welcome. It is very sad. This behavior started long before he even moved to Memphis. Rick, his wife Heather (to be fair she was not his wife way back then), his family, the Loritts, the churches,his friends, they all know of this story. If there is a non-public way for me to share more I can share it that way. Maybe she will share some with you to help others. As I said I have not heard back from her but I just sent her a friend request. She was his earliest victim in some ways.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. @ Concerned, I know because I was there. Rick Trotter and the female were teens then young adults but this started in the teen years. They knew about his sexual pursuit and relationship with this woman. He did not to my knowledge engage in voyeurism with her, so technically they are correct in that he did not do the same things to her that he has done with the victims at both churches in Memphis. This young woman was young, vulnerable and had gone through alot of trauma in her family and she battled depression. Mr Trotter was warned to leave her alone and he pursued her anyway. He used her and tossed her away, leading to her suicidal thoughts and attempts. It was handled very poorly then as well. I am limited in what I can share because I have been unable to speak with her yet. He did do something that certainly can be easily seen as a warning of things he would do later, his current charges and accusations, but I will not get into that until I can make contact with her.


    • You know, I wasn’t going to comment on this article after several people sent it to me because they knew, or at least suspected that the “T” referred to in the comment from some lying gossiper hiding under the guise of “Anonymous” was me. And they’d be right, although only about 10% (and I’m being charitable) of the comments are true. Where do I start? Perhaps with the claim that Rick “just kept pursuing me” – No, we kept sinning as teens mind you, TOGETHER. He didn’t pursue me any more than I did him. We were BOTH wrong, and not that it’s anyone’s business, we both apologized to one another a few years ago via social media (I initiated w/my apology & asked for his forgiveness) & he responded in kind. How in the heck would “Anonymous” know if he had apologized to me or not? Is she or he inside our heads? Don’t quit your day job because mind-reading isn’t your thing. The events from 20 years ago (yep I said TWENTY), have nothing to do with current events. He also was not the cause of any of my suicide attempts – that’s an outrageous LIE from the pits of Hell. As mentioned, I did have family problems my family was fractured & falling apart right before my eyes, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was in despair long before Rick & I were ever in a relationship. It’s NOT his fault! If “Anonymous” cared about my family & healing, he or she would not have opened that door at all. Obviously, they don’t care about MY family, nor my feelings. The issues Rick & I had, again, AS TEENAGERS, hurt us both, but “Anonymous” wants to conjure up a sordid tale of cause & effect, and call it a precedent for his current dilemma, portraying Rick as a predator when he is NOT. I can’t in good conscience allow that. Nor would “Anonymous” if he or she had even the smallest amount of integrity. Initially, I thought I shouldn’t comment, because then people would know who I am, but at this point I don’t give two clicks of a witches heels about that. I want to go to bat for my friend & brother in Christ & his family, whom I love deeply. As I do the Loritts family as well. And the victims whom I don’t know, but they are a part of the body of Christ. Who claims to care about a person, so much so that they told Rick to “stop pursuing me” then snatches the band-aids off of a old, healed wound 20 years later? Are they bored? Seeking attention? Is this a paid gig? What is it? WWJD anyone? What is this site, the TMZ of Christianity? The irony is that Rick’s family was the first outside of my extended, biological family to open their doors & hearts to mine when we needed it most. And then there’s the cryptic “her initial is T” nonsense, yet, “out of respect for her I cannot reveal her name,” Are you serious? Then “no one has spoken with or seen me since that time” – Says who? Actually I’m in regular contact with the Trotters. We’re good. Speak for yourself. See this is why so many believers dealing with sins & addictions that are sexual in nature often don’t seek the help they needed or go to fellow believers – we judge & condemn them repeatedly in the court of public opinion. Has anyone stopped to ask themselves what might have triggered his addiction? It’s none of anyone’s business, but can we give Rick the benefit of the doubt just a little bit? I don’t understand why some want to continuously throw him under the bus & apparently folks like “Anonymous” get a kick out of this. Others have lied & accused him of things he has not & will never do, particularly with minors. It’s ALL a lie. I won’t allow you to use unrelated events from 20 years ago to hurt Rick, myself or anyone else, so this is my retort. I’m not wearing a cyber mask, so unless “Anonymous” is prepared to take hers or his off, keep my initials & past experiences from parting your flapping lips. It’s obvious that there’s an ax grinding going on here – its sharp enough, trust me. Do me a favor & keep it out of the backs of all involved.

      Liked by 3 people

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