Fellowship Memphis Turns 16. Imagine a Church Where Child Pornography Is Recognized as a Crime and Where Sex Crimes Are Not Covered Up

Fellowship Memphis celebrated its 16 anniversary. As John Bryson celebrates his church this blog wants to mark the occasion as well. Its especially important that it be remembered in light of the Rick Trotter voyeurism and child pornography scandal at a key Acts 29 church that engages in church planting in the United States.  

“No crime can ever be defended on rational grounds.”

Livy 

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!

Isiah 49: 8-9 NIV

John Bryson is proud of his former worship pastor who engaged in voyeurism and made child pornography in a church. 

Does this video from Galaxy Quest capture John Bryson and Fellowship Memphis? All glitter and show but you can’t do the damn basics? Meanwhile you live as frauds? 

Fellowship Memphis celebrated its 16th anniversary the other day. This blog has been writing about Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis long term. This key Acts 29 church is the model for multi-ethnic church planting in the Acts 29 network. But this church is known for something far darker. Its known for one of the darkest scandals that this blog has told. Part of the story was told by the local newspaper in Memphis, called the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The rest of it was dragged out by this blog. Here is a brief synopsis of what happened. 

Fellowship Memphis was led by two people – Bryan Loritts and John Bryson. Bryan Loritt’s brother-in-law was Rick Trotter who the worship pastor and also the announcer for a professional basketball team in Memphis. Rick Trotter also had another interest, and that was engaging in voyeurism. What Rick Trotter did was engage in voyeurism and illicitly and illegally record females in the church restroom. He recorded around 100 and in the process he captured a couple of minors which means he manufactured child pornography in a church restroom. When he was caught in 2010, Fellowship Memphis under the leadership of Bryan Loritts and John Bryson worked to cover it up. The church pressured victims to meet with Trotter and forgive him. The police were not notified and he was let go into “sex addiction” treatment in Georgia. In 2011 Rick Trotter went on staff as an independent contractor at another church in Memphis called Downtown Church, which is led by Richard Rieves. Downtown brought Trotter on staff with Fellowship Memphis’s support. In 2014 Trotter went from independent contractor to full time staff member, and he resumed his voyeurism. For three years Trotter engaged in making illicit video tapes in the church restroom. This blog conservatively estimates that maybe around 1,000 females were recorded over a three year period. Eventually in 2016 Rick Trotter was caught making an up skirt video. What was he doing? Well during praise and worship he leaned over and took out his camera phone and started taking pictures by inserting the camera under a female’s dress. The Memphis Police were notified and he was arrested. Then the scandal of Fellowship Memphis emerged when it came forward as to what Bryan Loritts and John Bryson allegedly covered up. Rick Trotter was sentenced after pleading guilty. He is now on the Tennessee sex offender registry. If you would like to read more about this situation as well as the newspaper articles from the Memphis Commercial Appeal you can do so in, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” 

 

 

Video for Fellowship Memphis’s 15th anniversary.

John Bryson wrote a blog post commemorating the 16th anniversary of Fellowship Memphis. This blog captured and preserved it in, “Preserving John Bryson’s Post About Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Anniversary.” This blog would like to write a response to John Bryson’s note called “Imagine a Church.” Indeed there is a lot to imagine in a church and what one can wish for.


 

Imagine a church that believed that child pornography is a crime and that it is of such a sensitive nature that the federal law enforcement should be brought in. 

Imagine a church where John Bryson and Bryan Loritts reported the sex crime to Memphis Police right away. 

Imagine a church where church discipline is not threatened on someone when they want to go to police and report illegal activity. 

Imagine a church where victims of a sex crime are taken care of and the church helps them long term. Not engage in further manipulation of victims. 

Imagine a church where in the wake of a scandal Fellowship Memphis would not bully, harass or try and intimidate females to stay quiet. Imagine a situation where the church admitted it was wrong. 

Imagine a church that would not help bring an offender on board another church and put a stop to the madness and prevented more people from being hurt. 

Imagine a church where the pastor is transparent about a dark situation and tells it like it is. 

Imagine a church where John Bryson tells Bryan Loritts to get his ass out of California and to come home to Tennessee and own his part of the scandal and to repent to the victims and the congregation for wrongdoing. 

Imagine a church where women would not get PTSD from deviant sex crimes that the church allegedly covered up

Imagine a church that didn’t exploit racial tension to perpetuate an agenda while the pastor is living high on the hog in a very affluent suburb. 

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