Pastor pleads guilty to sexual battery; church shut down permanently

This is certainly a very sad incident. Pastors are not immune to being corrupt, lustful, or outright devious. The scriptures encourage us to avoid lasciviousness or unbridled sexual lusts and sensuality. We must not only pray for such predators in our churches but have the courage to report them to local authorities (with just cause of course and not out of spite or revenge) so that there will no longer be victims but victors. There are a number of things that church members and church elders and presbyters can do to be proactive and preventative. One is to ensure through regular psychological evaluations the well being of the minister. The second is to ensure ministers/clergy have well placed and maintained boundaries that are in place so that none of them are crossed. The third is to follow through with accountability protocol that may be in place for clergy and members.

COGIC Abuse Watch

gavel We’re a little late on this but needed to get it on the record.

Several months ago, COGIC Pastor Michael Bryant of Memphis was arrested for a lurid case of sexual molestation and battery of a young girl reportedly a family member. See our stories here and here.

WREG reported that Bryant pled guilty to the charges and his church was shut down permanently.

Michael Bryant, pastor at Hour of Restoration COGIC in Memphis, was in general sessions court Thursday for what was supposed to be a bond reduction hearing.
Instead, defense attorney Art Horne says he and the prosecution worked out a plea agreement in a “criminal information” that will be brought before a judge in criminal court.

“The case is settled,” said Bryant’s defense attorney, Art Horne. “He’s pleading guilty to sexual battery by an authority figure and the sentence will be six years at 30 percent…

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