My former EFCA Church in Fresno, California is having Bryan Loritts speak on July 8, 2018. Is The Bridge Fresno aware of the scandal, of voyeurism and alleged child pornography that was manufactured at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis? Bryan Loritts was one of the pastors who oversaw the alleged cover-up. This is a post to my old church telling them they need to cancel Bryan Loritts. You don’t place a wolf before the congregation.
“I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating.”
“Between a fellow who is stupid and honest and one who is smart and crooked, I will take the first. I won’t get much out of him, but with that other guy I can’t keep what I’ve got.”
Lewis B Hershey
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
Matthew 7:15 NLT
Bryan Loritts in the center next to John Bryson at Acts 29’s Fellowship Memphis
On April 7, 2018 I was eating dinner in Springfield, Virginia. I spend a lot of time reading and researching, after all if one is going to write a blog like this its going to take a lot of effort. This blog has been writing about Bryan Loritts and the issues at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. I was curious as to what Bryan Loritts is up to. So I checked his speaking schedule and I realized that I have a lot of work to do in letting people know why Bryan Loritts has fled from in Memphis, Tennessee. When I was going through the upcoming speaking engagements I saw The Bridge listed there. I was curious and wondered which Bridge can that be? After all a lot of churches are named The Bridge. In my mind since I have been writing about the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) my mind went to The Bridge of Newbury Park outside Los Angeles. I wrote about The Bridge of Newbury Park in, “Did Tim Sherreitt Theologically Hijack The Bridge of Newbury Park (Formerly Evangelical Free of Conejo Valley) When Steve Larson Left?” So I clicked on The Bridge and when I saw it I almost choked. Of course it has to be my old EFCA church, The Bridge Fresno, or Fresno Evangelical Free Church as I knew it. It has to be the church I was baptized in and had my first Bible study in. If you want to read more about my history with this church you can do so in, “A Personal Reflection on Fresno Evangelical Free Church; Known Today as The Bridge Fresno.” Before I continue let me explain a dark and deviant scandal that unfolded in Memphis, Tennessee.
A Dark and Deviant Scandal in Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis
The best summary that I wrote can be found in, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” In 2010 the worship leader of Fellowship Memphis, Rick Trotter, who was into voyeurism hid an iphone in the church restroom and recorded people using it. The phone was found by a Fellowship Memphis intern and it was given to Ricky Jenkins I believe. Fellowship Memphis pastors John Bryson watched the footage and Bryan Loritts was allegedly involved in the destruction of evidence. The church’s attorney told them to destroy the alleged child pornography by “throwing it into the Mississippi River.” Its important to note that Fellowship Memphis did not contact the police. Two of the victims were underage, one was 15 and the other 16. So its my belief that child pornography was created in the Fellowship Memphis restroom. How many people were recorded illicitly? This would be an educated guess but I would say about 100. John Bryson and Bryan Loritts allegedly made the victims meet with Rick Trotter. Over and over females who were recorded in the Fellowship Memphis restroom were forced to forgive him, reminded that that they were not to go to the police. They were told that they would destroy Rick Trotter’s life and career if they did. Please note Fellowship Memphis didn’t believe that Rick Trotter would destroy himself because of his behavior. The church shifted responsibility on the females. Rick Trotter was the brother-in-law of Bryan Loritts, after all he was married to Bryan Loritts sister Heather Trotter. Rick Trotter allegedly practiced voyeurism in Bryan Loritts own house, and recorded his children as well. Bryan Lorits banned him from his house but refused to take this information to the police. Bryan Loritts was more concerned about his career and pubic image then of the safety and violation of his family. You can read about that in, “Why Would Bryan Loritts Allegedly Ban Rick Trotter from his House and yet Encourage him to go to Richard Rieves Downtown Church?“
After Rick Trotter apologized to all the victims at Fellowship Memphis he was let go and made to go into “sex addiction counseling” in Georgia. In 2011 he was hired on as a part time sub-contractor at one of the newest church plants in Memphis, Tennessee. It was called Downtown Church and is led by Richard Rieves. Bryan Loritts and the staff of Fellowship Memphis I believe vouched for Rick Trotter and helped him get the job. Downtown Church knew about what happened at Fellowship Memphis. Bryan Loritts moved on to Trinity Grace in New York City in time. John Bryson continued to advocate for Rick Trotter. Rick Trotter resumed his voyeurism and perfected his trade craft installing multiple camera in the restroom at Downtown Church. Richard Rieves own daughter was recorded using the restroom. This behavior happened in the 2014 time frame and continued until he was caught again in 2016. Downtown Church found itself dealing with more allegations of Rick Trotter. He allegedly recorded a woman in worship by sticking a camera under their dress. He was reported to he police. He engaged in voyeurism for three years at Downtown Church and Memphis Police went through the footage to try and identify victims. It is my belief that several hundred people may have been recorded over a three year period. How many? I do not know. 600? 800? 900? When you consider the deviant behavior at both churches its easy to state that over a thousand were recorded over a nearly four year period. Rick Trotter was indicted down in Shelby County, Tennessee which is where Memphis lies. You can read that below. When he is convicted and sentenced then I can drop the word alleged. While I am not certain,chances are high he will probably go on the sex offender list for the state of Tennessee. Bryan Loritts has not owned his part of this scandal. All he has done is flee. He fled to New York and then out to California. In writing about this scandal I dragged out more details. You can see Bryan Loritts comments on the following post called, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” Plus you can also see the email exchange I had with Bryan over the Fellowship Memphis matter in, “Does Bryan Loritts Need Anger Management Therapy? His Behavior on Twitter and Another Email Exchange.” There is a lot more to say about this situation below.
Recommended Reads for Andrew Smith and The Bridge Fresno Staff
This blog clashed with Bryan Loritts and dragged out the story. I went farther then the Memphis Commercial Appeal in naming names and rebuilding the situation. That is what I was told by former Fellowship Memphis members. These are all the articles I have written about Bryan Loritts and Fellowship Memphis.
- “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” This is an overview of the entire Fellowship Memphis scandal
- “Preserving The Joint Statement Between Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church.” This is the joint statement from Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church.
- “Rick Trotter’s Alleged Confession of his Illegal Acts Before Fellowship Memphis.” Rick Trotter’s confession at Fellowship Memphis. This came from one of my sources.
- “Statement from Acts 29 SE Director Brian Lowe on the Situation at John Bryson’s Fellowship Memphis.” This is the statement that I obtained from the Acts 29 regional director on the situation at Fellowship Memphis.
- “An Email Exchange with Bryan Loritts in March of 2013 Helps Shine Light on the Alleged Cover Up of Rick Trotter’s Voyeurism in Fellowship Memphis.” That post contains an email exchange. I used to listen to Bryan Loritts in Campus Crusade. That email exchange left me disillusioned with him. However, in light of the scandal it also helped me to understand why Bryan Loritts wouldn’t call out C.J. Mahaney’s alleged child sex abuse cover up? Why? Because Bryan was involved in an alleged cover up of his own at Fellowship Memphis.
- “Why Would Bryan Loritts Allegedly Ban Rick Trotter from his House and yet Encourage him to go to Richard Rieves Downtown Church?” This is about how Bryan Loritts banned Rick Trotter from his house. After all Rick Trotter allegedly engaged in voyeurism in the Loritts house. Despite knowing all this Bryan Loritts put in a recommendation that helped Rick Trotter go on staff at Richard Rieves Downtown Church in Memphis.
- “Do Evangelical Christians Have a Flawed Understanding of What Peace Is?” How evangelical Christians have a flawed view of peace and how that enables injustice to continue.
- “Questions that Need Answering in Regards to the Rick Trotter Situation; Plus I Need Sources who are Knowledgeable about Richard Rieves Downtown Church and Sandy Willson’s Memphis Second Presbyterian.” This is the list of open questions that I am hoping to answer one day. People approach me about Fellowship Memphis from time to time.
- “Does Bryan Loritts Need Anger Management Therapy? His Behavior on Twitter and Another Email Exchange.” This post deals with Bryan Loritts behavior on Twitter and an email exchange I had with him. This occurred as I dragged the scandal out into the open.
- “Guest Post: Bill M’s Compilation of the Comments by Members of Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church.” This post shows how the members of Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church reacted to me writing about this situation.
- “Fellowship Memphis Hires a PR Firm; Is this John Bryson’s Effort to Establish an Equivalent of Richard Nixon’s “White House Plumbers?” This is about how Fellowship Memphis tried to contain the scandal. The church hired a PR Firm that went after the victims and tried to silence them. Some of the victims were frightened about this move.
- “Sandy Willson of Second Presbyterian Memphis is Allegedly Notified in November 2011 that a Sexual Predator was on Staff at Downtown Presbyterian Church.” After leaving Fellowship Memphis, in time Rick Trotter was hired by Richard Rieves Downtown Church. One person contacted the sponsoring church of Richard Rieves Downtown Church and made them aware that they hired someone who allegedly committed a deviant sex crime. They were ignored that the voyeurism continued at Downtown Church.
- “An Open Letter to Bryan Loritts (Former Teaching Pastor at Fellowship Memphis)” My open letter to Bryan on why he should not be in ministry.
- “In the Spirit of Acts 29’s Fellowship Memphis, Psalm 151…A Modern Day Lament that Individuals Like Chris Davis are Pastors” In this post I write the 151 Pslam, a lament on the state of the pastorship in modern evangelicalism.
- “Rick Trotter Update, News on Heather Trotter, and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Going Forward.” An update on Rick Trotter, Rick appeared in court and his wife Heather used the money from Fellowship Memphis to have cosmetic surgery done. Heather and Rick Trotter’s marriage is over.
- ” An Open Letter to Cru Director Steven Douglass (Regarding Criminal Allegations of Bryan Loritts’ Fellowship Memphis)” This is self explanatory.
- “An Open Letter to Cru Staff (Regarding the Criminal Allegations from Bryan Loritts Fellowship Memphis)” Again this is self-explanatory.
- “One of the Alleged Victims of Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Comes Forward; We Should All Support this Brave Woman.” One of the Acts 29 victims at Fellowship Memphis comes forward. This is one brave woman. The Bridge Fresno should read this Medium post.
- “Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Update: Rick Trotter is Indicted for Unlawfully Recording Women at Richard Rieves Downtown Church; Plus Memphis Second Presbyterian Pastor Sandy Willson who was Warned about Rick Trotter has Retired.” Rick Trotter is indicted in Memphis for voyeurism.
- “Why is The Village Church Promoting Bryan Loritts’s Material? Does Matt Chandler Take Allegations of Sex Crimes at Fellowship Memphis Seriously?” Why is Matt Chandler’s The Village Church promoting Bryan Loritts material? Does The Village Church take the criminal allegations seriously?
- “From Remnant Church in Richmond to Fellowship Memphis in Tennessee, Does Acts 29 Exploit African-Americans in the Name of Racial Reconciliation?” How Bryan Loritts and John Bryson profit of racial reconciliation and have made it a business. Quite simply both John Bryson and Bryan Loritts are frauds.
Bryan Loritts Needs to be Canceled
This situation deeply troubles me. This is not complicated, as a simple Google search should have revealed these issues. After all some of my material tags Bryan Loritts web page. The Bridge Fresno needs to cancel Bryan Loritts. I have been writing and dealing with this scandal as I have written quite a bit about the Acts 29 network. I promised some of the people who were hurt that I would not let this issue go until Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis is closed. There are a lot of people who have left, and I still have a lot of work to do. The Bridge Fresno is putting before its congregation a wolf. A wolf in sheep’s clothing that has hurt a number of people. Bryan Loritts was allegedly involved in the destruction of child pornography. He did not go to the police. He played a role in allegedly coercing women to met with the perpetrator. Not only that but by having Bryan Loritts speak The Bridge Fresno is only adding to the pain of those in Memphis, Tennessee who were hurt. In addition I also have to ask what type of father would put his own career and image ahead of the safety of his own children? His own flesh and blood? Who the hell does that? What Andrew Smith needs to do is to tell Bryan to stop being a Jonah and to go back to Memphis and repent and own his sin and pain that he caused others. Bryan should submit to the wishes of those who were hurt. Today some of these people are living under fear because of the cover-up that took place at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. If this talk by Bryan Loritts is allowed to go forward then The Bridge Fresno is going to enable a Jonah who keeps on running. I wrote about that issue in, “From Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill, to C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace to Jordan Kauflin’s Redeemer Arlington and an Air Force Captain I Knew, A Question that Must be Posed. Are Neo-Calvinists Modern Day Jonah’s in that All They Do is Flee?” I also am not going to let this issue go. On Wednesday there will be an open letter to The Bridge Fresno pastor Jeff Loven, plus I am also going to contact the EFCA West Office in Tulare and make them aware of this issue. Hopefully, EFCA West District Superintendent Steve Highfill can agree with me that a pastor that was allegedly involved in the destruction of child pornography should not be speaking at The Bridge Fresno. That is it The Bridge Fresno I hope you have a good day in my home town.