This post looks at the role Bryan Loritts played in the cover-up of the Rick Trotter situation which took place in the Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis scandal. And for the first time in writing about this impropriety people will learn what Crawford Loritts knew about his son-in-law at the time and how he allegedly chose not to intervene for financial reasons. New information also has come forward, and The Wondering Eagle would like to know the following; does Bryan Loritts still have the child pornography from Fellowship Memphis?
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
“One must beware of ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money. “
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.
Ephesians 5:11 NLT
Bryan Loritts who co-pastored Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis
Ricky Jenkins formerly of Fellowship Memphis with Crawford Loritts. (From Crawford Loritts Twitter account)
Crawford Loritts on character and greatness and not walking away from responsibility.
Today The Wondering Eagle is going to look at the role that the Loritts family played in the cover-up of Rick Trotter in Fellowship Memphis. You can read the original post about Fellowship Memphis in, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” Up above you have the picture of Ricky Jenkins with Crawford Loritts. If you want to read about Ricky Jenkins role in the Fellowship Memphis scandal you can do so in, “John Bryson’s Fellowship Memphis – The State of the Church as Assessed by The Wondering Eagle.” For the first time in the history of the scandal individuals are going to learn of the role that Crawford Loritts played in the situation. Before I continue let me say a few words about how this information is coming to light. The source for the information is the same one who contacted Sandy Willson and warned him about Rick Trotter. You can see that exchange in, “Sandy Willson of Second Presbyterian Memphis is Allegedly Notified in November 2011 that a Sexual Predator was on Staff at Downtown Presbyterian Church.” In this post, like the prior linked post, the source shall be called “Nick.” He worked with Rick Trotter in a counseling capacity at Fellowship Memphis and interacted with Bryan Loritts frequently and Crawford Loritts by mail and once by phone. Before we continue, let’s look at Crawford Loritts.
Who is Crawford Loritts?
Today, Crawford Loritts is the senior pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. He married his wife Karen on May 22, 1971. He attended Cairn University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he graduated with a B.S. in Bible with an emphasis in pastoral studies. He earned his Doctor of Divinity from Moody Bible Institute and a Doctor of Letters from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Crawford also earned a Doctor of Divinity from Biola University, a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Cairn University and another Doctor of Divinity from Columbia International University.
Crawford joined staff at Campus Crusade for Christ in 1978 and traveled and spoke. He serves as the associate director of Cru and is on the board of directors today. Crawford and his wife Karen are speakers at the Family Life marriage conferences. They also co-wrote “Building Character in Your Child.” Crawford has been the featured speaker at the Super Bowl in the past, NCAA Final Four Chapel, and also with senior leaders in the United States Department of Defense. He has preached and traveled throughout the United States, Caribbean, Asia, Canada, and South America. He is a council member of The Gospel Coalition, and he is on the Board of Directors for Chick Fil A. He has two radio shows that he does, one is through Moody and is called “Living a Legacy.” and a daily program called “Legacy Moments.”
Crawford has published multiple books to include, “Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence“,”Make It Home Before Dark“,”For a Time We Cannot See: Living Today in Light of Heaven “,”A Passionate Commitment: Recapturing Your Sense of Purpose.”,”Never Walk Away: Lessons on Integrity from a Father Who Lived It“,”Your Marriage Today.And Tomorrow: Making Your Relationship Matter Now and for Generations to Come” and “Lessons from a Life Coach: You are Created to Make a Difference.” Crawford Loritts has four children. Bryan Loritts who The Wondering Eagle has been writing about along with Heather, Bryndan and Holy.
Rick and Heather Trotter
Rick Trotter was Worried he Would be Arrested for Child Pornography in the 2010 Time-frame Plus the Federal Government was Conducting Wage Garnishment
Rick Trotter had been engaging in voyeurism for some time, until he was caught by the Fellowship Memphis church staff in 2010. The now former worship pastor, Rick Trotter engaged in voyeurism with an camera in a phone. It was a regular habit that he did both at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis, his own home and around Memphis by his own admission. In the process of engaging in voyeurism in his home, he actually caught his own children in the restroom, as well as Bryan’s baby sister. This action led to Bryan banning Rick Trotter from his house. Bryan Loritts did not warn others who were at risk. Bryan Loritts asked Nick to help out Bryan and Heather Trotter. Their finances were a disaster and they had defaulted on his federal student loan payments. The federal government contacted Fellowship Memphis and was in the process of federal wage garnishment. Heather also had a spending problem as well. When Nick worked with the Trotters, one day Rick revealed as to how as a manager in Chick Fil A he would pay his female employees to flash their breasts and he would record it on film. Many presumably were teenagers and The Wondering Eagle does not know how old these individuals were at the time.
How Bryan Loritts Pulled Off a Cover-up
This is how Bryan Loritts pulled off the cover-up at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. Bryan actively intervened to control the situation. His actions resulted in preventing the prosecution of Rick Trotter. In the process he also hid the evidence of the child pornography and did not report it to the Memphis Police. Bryan Loritts did not contact child protection services which was required by law as there were minors on the videos that were taken at the church and Rick Trotter’s home. Despite Bryan’s statements to the contrary, the Memphis Police have no report that was made by Bryan Loritts or Fellowship Memphis. Bryan Loritts and his staff were involved in pressuring the victims from going to law enforcement. Fellowship Memphis admonished the victims and told them they would destroy Rick Trotter’s life. The victims were forced to meet with Rick Trotter face to face. Bryan Loritts was too consumed in protecting his reputation and making money. When someone who was threatening to go to the police over the situation with the voyeurism and warn others as Rick Trotter had young babysitters in his home Bryan Loritts threatened them with church discipline. Nick was threatened with church discipline by Bryan, but he could not practice it on him because he did not sign a membership covenant. Bryan Loritts also paid off his brother-in-law and sister Heather tens of thousands of dollars to be quiet about the situation. Furthermore arrangements were made for Heather Trotter and Rick to live in a house of an affiliated ministry, Downline Ministries in Memphis. Bryan used money that was given and tithed in good faith to Fellowship Memphis. Heather took some of the money and used it on a breast reduction surgery. Furthermore Bryan supposedly destroyed the child pornography that Rick Trotter made.
The Child Pornography was Destroyed…Or Does Bryan Loritts Still Have it?
For the last two years, The Wondering Eagle was under the impression that Bryan Loritts destroyed the child pornography. At the time, Bryan Loritts went through some of the footage and identified and contacted people as well. According to Bryan Loritts and an elder at Fellowship Memphis, the church lawyer advised Fellowship to destroy the child pornography and to “throw it into the Mississippi River.” A cover up was to be done instead of ensuring full justice for all victims.
Recently, there was a development that I learned about that raises questions of whether or not Bryan Loritts still has the child pornography from Fellowship Memphis. One of the relatives from one of the potential victims posted about the story on Facebook. Bryan Loritts scans Facebook and social media for any signs of the Fellowship Memphis scandal. Bryan saw that one of the mothers posted about it on Facebook and Bryan called that person up from California and attempted to bully her into taking the Facebook post down. This mother confronted Bryan and asked him directly what happened to the child pornography? Did they destroy it? Bryan Loritts did not confirm that the child pornography was destroyed, which is now leaving some to believe that Bryan Loritts still has it. Bryan Loritts claims he did not know what happened to it, which seems implausible given that he knew his own family members were on the illicit videos. Either way, an alleged crime was committed by the former Fellowship Memphis pastor. He did not report it to the police, and it would also be a crime to destroy the child pornography. However, if he still has it, then he is committing a crime by holding onto the child pornography. Bryan should have properly turned over the child pornography to the Memphis Police with an official report being filed. This is not optional, this is the law the Bryan Loritts failed to follow.
What Happened when Crawford Loritts was Contacted
So how did Crawford Loritts get into this situation? At about the time Rick Trotter arrived for “sex addiction” counseling in 2010, Nick reported to the Loritts family what Rick Trotter was doing. He reiterated the fullness of what was going on to his knowledge. Now Crawford Loritts sits on the Council of The Gospel Coalition with Sandy Willson who is still on that council. The question that exists is did Crawford Loritts help Rick Trotter get a job on Memphis Second Presbyterian’s church plant which was led by Richard Rieves in 2011? After all Sandy Willson led Memphis Second Presbyterian. Plus Crawford Loritts was readily aware of Rick Trotter’s predatory behavior. Crawford certainly didn’t stop Rick from being hired by Richard Rieves’ church. Due to his position on the Council, Crawford could have easily told Sandy Willson not to hire Rick., after all he had a moral responsibility to do so, but Crawford did not. Nick spoke with Crawford by phone about the situation. It is believed that the reason Crawford did not intervene is because he would end up financing and pay for his daughter and son-in-law’s activities, housing and more should his daughter not be able to find work. Crawford Loritts told Nick on the phone that his daughter Heather, “has always been a failure.” When Rick Trotter moved back to Memphis and later began to work as the worship pastor at Downtown Church, he also got a job at Chick Fil A. This is a problematic hire for either Chick Fil A management, depending on whether or not they have been properly informed. Plus it was also a problem for Crawford Loritts because he is on the Chick Fil A Board of Directors. After all Crawford had a moral responsibility to warn the corporation and the patrons in the store for their safety. This situation became a risk for the Chick Fil A corporation and it also opened it up to risk. After all Rick Trotter had previously made videos in a Chick Fil A when he was previously employed. And it had been reported in the Memphis media as to what Rick Trotter has done. If Crawford Loritts didn’t address the issue of Rick Trotter and let that slide then why is he on the Board of Directors for Chick Fil A corporation? After all if Crawford had done this in a church he would have been disqualified from leadership. The question to ask is the following. Is the reason why Bryan Loritts so corrupt because of how he was raised by Crawford? The fact that Crawford still talks about family in light of what Bryan did, or how Rick Trotter was handled reveals that Crawford is more interested in the money and the prestige is too great.
Analysis of the Situation and How Rick Trotter Got Off Easy
Religion for the Loritts family is a business. It’s something that they use and exploit. I would like to know how Crawford Loritts can write books and teach about character when he openly slams his daughter. That is not to defend Heather Trotter’s behavior in this mess. Heather is addicted to fame and being in the spotlight. After all, she only left Rick Trotter and filed for divorce after Rick’s voyeurism blew up in the Memphis media. How can Crawford go and preach and do more when he enabled the cover up of Fellowship Memphis with Rick Trotter? The unknown is how Rick Trotter got on board Downtown Church. The Wondering Eagle believes that since both Sandy Willson and Crawford Loitts sit on the Council of The Gospel Coalition that perhaps Crawford asked Sandy a favor. However, that cannot be confirmed, but this is me just thinking out loud. One thing I do know, is that as a pastor Crawford Loritts did not interveneto prevent his predatory son-in-law from being hired at Memphis Second Presbyterian or Richard Rieves Downtown Church. The reason for that most likely is due to Crawford not wanting to financially support his son-in-law and daughter. After all, in a telephone conversation Crawford told my source Nick that Heather Trotter has always been a failure. In regards to Chick Fil A Crawford Loritts was profiting from the situation and knew that there was a conflict of interest. The situation with Chick Fil A only goes to reinforce how many evangelical Christians do not understand ethics or situations like conflict of interest. The secular world, in my opinion, actually does a far better job than many evangelical Christians in this area.
Recently, Rick Trotter was sentenced to 60 days in jail. I can drop the word alleged with the word voyeurism and Rick Trotter because he has been processed and plead guilty to voyeurism. The reality is that Rick Trotter will likely get out early for good behavior. Either way he goes on the Tennessee sex offender registry. The charges of voyeurism came in upskirt videos at Richard Rieves Downtown Church. Rick Trotter was not investigated for his behavior at Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. That is because of the cover-up of that the Loritts family played in protecting Rick Trotter from the law. and out of concern for their own image and brand. What would have happened if the Loritts family contacted law enforcement and turned over the child pornography to the Memphis police? Child pornography, I believe is a federal crime, so at some point the federal government most likely would have gotten involved. If Rick Trotter was found guilty for creation and possession of child pornography at the federal level what would that mean? 10 to 15 or 20 years in the federal prison system? Because of Bryan Loritts cover-up and the fact that Crawford Loritts did not report the situation to law enforcement even when he was aware of the mess, Rick Trotter got off easy and justice was denied to many of the victims and placed others at risk. The downside is that this mess will trail and follow the Loritts family for the course of time. That is not to minimize the pain the victims endured. But this is all a tragedy. I used to listen to Bryan Loritts speak in Campus Crusade both in San Diego and Minneapolis. You can read about that in, “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.” Today, I have no respect for Bryan Loritts, as he is profiting off religion. He is in illustration as to all that is wrong with evangelical Christianity. Will the Loritts family do the right thing in this mess? I honestly doubt it. Bryan and Crawford both had opportunities multiple times to do the right thing and they failed. I think that is what we can expect from them and what others should also expect. As a result of this post The Wondering Eagle is requesting a statement from the Chick Fil A corporation. This has been a difficult post to compose but its something that needs to be told.