Home > Bishop Brandon Porter, child sex crimes, COGIC, Memphis > Pastor pleads guilty to sexual battery; church shut down permanently

Pastor pleads guilty to sexual battery; church shut down permanently

gavelWe’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. And we’ll ask for probation.”

“We’re hoping that some good can come out of this, particularly getting this behind the family and allowing people some time to heal and move on,” Horne continued.

Horne says Hour of Restoration COGIC, a small church with 27 members, will shut down for good as of December 31, 2013.
Bryant remains locked up at 201 Poplar on $1 million bond.
According to an affidavit of complaint, Bryant had been touching a 16-year-old inappropriately for the past two years. She told her mother, but instead of calling the police, her mother and Bryant decided to pray together over the matter in hopes of driving the thoughts out of his head. If convicted as charged, Bryant could have faced between six and 15 years in prison.
Horne says Bryant pleading guilty may be what is best for everybody involved.

“We’re hoping that some good can come out of this, particularly getting this behind the family and allowing people some time to heal and move on,” Horne said.

COGIC did not publish the outcome of its internal investigation allegedly conducted by Bishop Brandon Porter.

  1. Lorenzo T Neal
    March 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Zera Today Blog and commented:
    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.

  2. March 6, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Once again another child molester in the name of COGIC. As I said before COGIC Pastors are no different than the catholic priests! When will some of you members finally wake up and sue them? smh over and over again.

  3. March 6, 2014 at 5:01 am

    When will you COGIC people wake up and start suing this organization? Weak as water…..

  4. March 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    @prayerwork; I must agree w/ the statement of “when members will finally wake up.” If the catholic’s got their butts handed to them over child molestation, why not call in to question the continual pattern of sexual misconduct within black churches. How is it that they (in leadership) are not held to the same standards as the catholic’s church? When sin goes uncheck it creates a sense of invincibility. If anything, COGIC national should be investigate for a cultural of breeding and releasing deviant predators on the most vulnerable. I propose a grass root campaign to March on COGIC headquarters demanding change and the ouster of all perverts, which includes but not limited to, child molesters, perverts, kiddy porn addicts, twisted, raving, anomalistic individual that hides among them. If they, COGIC National, would adhere to our demands it may only leave very few in leadership( from the general board to the board of bishops) but at least those individual’s would be banished . I say pass the message on thru Face book, Twitter or any social media that is available to you. Spread the word, March on COGIC for our children.

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