An Open Letter to Bryan Loritts (Former Teaching Pastor at Fellowship Memphis)

An open letter to Bryan Loritts the former Lead Pastor at Fellowship Memphis. This open letter explains how I once viewed Bryan and how I lost respect for him in light of the allegations that he was involved in covering up Rick Trotter’s alleged voyeurism in the restroom of Fellowship Memphis. Bryan Loritts was allegedly involved in the destruction of child pornography, and abused his authority instead of help those who were hurt. Plus Bryan put his own church reputation and the Reformed Industrial Complex ahead of his own flesh and blood.

“I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”

Edward Gibbon

I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:29 NLT

Bryan Loritts



This is going to be an extremely difficult open letter to write. You are going to learn of my disappointment in you and why I don’t believe you should be in ministry any more. You’ve forgotten what ministry is about and you have sold your soul to the Reformed Industrial Complex. But before I get into the details and express my feelings, let me tell you about a Bryan Loritts that I remember. It is a Bryan Loritts that I miss.

I remember when you preached at Campus Crusade for Christ’s Christmas Conference in December 2000. I was 25 years old, a grad student and one of hundreds of kids that was there in attendance. You were one of the most dynamic and gifted speakers I have heard, and I quickly understood why you had a good relationship with Campus Crusade. You were passionate, exciting and amazing to listen to . As I type this I can close my eyes and imagine sitting back in that conference room in the hotel and hearing you speak.  I was deeply involved in Campus Crusade for Christ and actually the very existence of a Cru chapter at Marquette University today exists because of me and four girls who worked hard at growing it. I heard you again at TCX  and was again thrilled to listen to you preach. One of the best things about Protestantism in my opinion are expository sermons. Its part of the reason why I still like such talks today. In one of the downtimes in Minneapolis Bryan I saw you and went over and talked with you. I mentioned that I saw you preach in San Diego and how much I appreciated it. We talked for a few minutes and I thanked you for preaching God’s word and for doing what you did. I picked up a lot of your sermons and I listened to them often over the years. I listened to them frequently and I enjoyed them immensely.

I am not going to spend much time here explaining what happened as I have written plenty before here on this blog. But I had a profound faith crisis that was hell. You can read about it here, as well as what it felt like here and here. As I pushed back from Christianity for years there was one thing that drove me away and it was this fact. I saw all the corruption in Christianity and I was baffled by how many people didn’t care or they turned the other way and acted like it was not an issue. I saw all the crap pouring out of evangelicalism and it was revolting. I saw the financial scandals, and I saw the child sex abuse scandals. When I was into individuals like Christopher Hitchens and Greta Christina hearing atheists talk about how corrupt Christianity is, well it deeply clicked with me at the time. It resonated and that was just how it was. As I was slowly coming out of my faith crisis I had the idea to email you. After all I respected you and had fond memories. Surely I thought you would care after all you preached about boldness and faith and not being indecisive. So I did something as I was taking steps back into the Christian faith…I emailed you about it. I pointed out the scandals with Sovereign Grace, Mark Driscoll, and others. I was baffled and asked why is it when John Piper taught that a woman submits to her domestic abuser why is there no outrage? Who the hell teaches crap like that? It was a whole host of issues and which is captured in this post here. Then I got your email in return. I was crushed, disillusioned and disappointed.  You claimed I was “gossiping” can I tell you something Bryan? Telling someone that they are “gossiping” when they are just stating facts is  bullshit. Sorry for the strong language but I can only handle so much of that crap. How could you act like that? Do you feel that entitled? Is your bubble that small and the lack of reality that evident? It was with profound disappointment that I disposed of all your material and forgot about you.

It wasn’t until August 14, 2016 that you came again on my radar. Let me tell you a couple of things about the person who contacted me. She is a mother and she has kids, her family is incredibly beautiful.  She also is one of the people who was allegedly videotaped in the restroom. She emailed me and asked for help, and I read her email and the details and I felt like I was going to be sick. I got lost going to church that Sunday Bryan. Why? Because I was horrified about the details. Plus I learned something I did not know. The more I read, and the more I listened the sicker I felt. The more details that existed that more enraged I became. But how could I say no to her request for help? For all the talk about what being a man is who walks away form someone asking for help? So I decided to help her. But lets also remember one thing very clearly. Anger is a healthy and necessary emotion. Anger in this situation is justified. To be angry that an alleged cover up took place is normal. To be angry that alleged victims of sex crimes are victimized again is horrific. To be angry that Rick Trotter wasn’t turned into the police in 2010  is appropriate. If you are not angry over that then I would have serious concerns about your stability. Because I would think any person who was allegedly videotaped would be angry that their privacy was violated. You can not preach the Gospel and allegedly cover up criminal activity. You can not preach the Gospel and allegedly be involved in the destruction of child pornography that was manufactured in the restroom of Fellowship Memphis.

Bryan I have to ask you…what the hell were you doing? Why did you honestly think you could allegedly cover up your brother-in-law’s deviant behavior? What Bible are you reading? And how  could you treat people in such a way? You have lost sight as to what your position is about. You took people for granted and you failed them in their need. Not just that Bryan but you failed your family, and as a father and parent. Why did you put Fellowship Memphis’s reputation ahead of your own flesh and blood? I mean your own family? You cared more about your reputation and hocking and selling your books than the fact that your family was victimized?  Its also my understanding that you had a sister who is not a Christian. Do you honestly believe that you allegedly covering up your brother-in-law’s behavior actually helped her?  I mean you did all this as a pastor so what the hell were you thinking?

There was another thing I realized Bryan in 2013 when we had an email exchange, and in that you said that I engaged in gossip. Note for you Bryan I would strongly recommend you read this post about gossip because I am rejecting what you are saying. But there is another thing I also realized as well in the past week. The reason why you would not call out individuals like C.J. Mahaney for his allegations of covering up child sex abuse or Mark Driscoll’s spiritual abuse is because you allegedly were doing the exact same thing. You were also involved in an alleged cover up at Fellowship Memphis.  I am angry that I used to listen to you and that I thought so highly of you. I am livid that I once followed and respected you. I am livid that I find myself in the same scenario once again where I realize that someone I looked up to is instead a fraud. I am angry that there is so much pain in this situation and so many fine people who have been hurt and you don’t give a damn!

There is one other thing that I read that enraged me. Why did you  allegedly help bring on Pete Newman onto Fellowship Memphis? The man was awaiting trial for child molestation in Missouri and his case is the worst in Missouri history. He was on strict court orders not to be around minors given the fact that he allegedly sexually abused at least 19. Do you realize what this man did to children? Its my understanding Bryan that Pete Newman used to get children into hot tubs at Camp Kanakuk for sexual purposes. Bryan its my understanding that you said that this ” was just skinny dipping thing.” Really Bryan? How many men in their 30’s that you know of seek out young boys and try to get them into a hot tub under the guise of “Bible studies?” God help the church if people like you are at the helm.

Bryan I also need to tell you this as well. Many celebrity pastors and Neo-Calvinists need to stop being Jonah. They are found out to be violating the law, or do something incredibly shady and they run. C.J. Mahaney did this when it came out that he allegedly blackmailed his ministry partner Larry Tomczak and other criminal allegations came forward. So what did the man who boasted of his humility do? He ran from Covenant Life Church and hid behind Mark Dever’s ass and stayed there in his flight. Then there is Mark Driscoll who resigned and fled from Seattle to Scottsdale, Arizona. Then I had an Air Force Captain who was trying to me involved in a Sovereign Grace church led by Eric Simmons and Jordan Kauflin.  He pulled off as false accusation that took aim at my name, ability to earn income and more and what did Andrew White do? He fled from Washington, D.C. to Colorado Springs. Then there is you Bryan…you fled from Memphis to New York City, and then you fled again to the San Francisco Bay Area. You are running just like Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney and others. You are found out for what you are and you run. You can’t run forever Bryan not with this floating around on the internet. All one has to do is a simple Google search and people see what you have allegedly done. But you are a fool Bryan if you think you can run from your role in this situation.

Bryan I have to tell you this…due to your behavior in that email exchange in 2013 combined what your efforts and involvement in covering up this allegation of criminal activity I also have to say this. I don’t respect you Bryan and I no longer believe you should be teaching. Your days of being a pastor are over you have done something so heinous and horrific that its time to call it. Bryan since I helped drag this story out I feel an obligation to let Cru know about what happened at Fellowship Memphis. In the days to come I will write an open letter to Steve Douglas the President of Cru. Then I will sit down and write an open letter to Cru employees and let them know what happened at Fellowship Memphis and I will start to Tweet or email it out to Cru chapters around the United States. But Bryan I lost all respect for you due to what you did, how you allegedly covered it up, and your behavior since then.

Bryan you need to stop running, own your mistakes and come clean. You are in no condition to teach and how you could after all this going on behind the scenes is beyond me. It gives me no joy in writing this letter. The Bryan Loritts I once remember and listened to is not the Bryan Loritts I am seeing today.


David Bonner 

4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Bryan Loritts (Former Teaching Pastor at Fellowship Memphis)

  1. Over the last 10 years I have read Acts 20 in my studies many times and always glean so much from it in relation to events in other books. And in relation to the corruption I witnessed in mega churches and even within my own family involved in the Christian Industrial Complex.

    Paul says to the Ephesians elders:

    26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God,[a] which he bought with his own blood.[b] 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day

    What a bizarre thing to say. Paul is innocent of the blood of any of them? Blood? IOW, they know. Truth. They know better. Yet….Paul knows some of them will become wolves who gather their own followers.

    2000 years later much of Christian history is full of such wolves from Augustine to Popes to Luther, Calvin, Kings, Electors and Princes to Piper to Lorritts. Each doing what works for “Christian” wolves in their era. What I witnessed is the more they deny the blood on their hands the more savage wolf in sheets clothing they become. The deception. The phoniness grows.

    Who can say they have no blood on their hands? Those who have no desire to gather followers but only to support those who are used by the charlatans? The nobodies?


  2. I would love to hear Bryan Loritts clarify what happened! John Bryson went on record week before last saying that he was not in charge at the time and that Bryan Loritts was in charge and handled the whole situation. John Bryson said no children were involved but Bryan Loritts said their were children on the explicit recordings and that the victims included his own family. Too much finger pointing and not enough men “taking initiative” and “rejecting passivity.”

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