A pastor in Memphis is in hot water after being accused of sexual battery by an authority figure. According to MyFoxMemphis, Michael Bryant, a Church of God in Christ (COGIC) pastor was arrested this week by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Chip Washington, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, says that police believe the pastor had been sexually abusing a 16-year old family member for the last two years.
“I think the saving grace behind all of this is he is behind bars,” Washington said. “He’ll have to face whatever the justice department issues out to him in terms of this thing and we’ll just move forward from there.”
The investigation began after the teen came forward with a relative, asking police for help. The police say that they were happy to help by making an arrest after taking a look at the evidence.
“You feel bad for the victim and the family, but at least there’s some peace and solace now hopefully that this type of abuse won’t continue any further,” Washington said.
Hour of Restoration COGIC is the church headed by the pastor and happens to be right near a daycare center. The pastor was arrested inside a Delta Express Gas station down the street from the church.
“There’s plenty of children, especially the little ones,” Kaddesha Clark, a neighbor, said to MyFoxMemphis. “There’s a day care here and there’s a school.”
“If he’s the one that’s supposed to lead people I’d expect him to have more morals about himself, especially with him messing with young girls,” said another resident, Eric Blakley. “With him being a pastor telling people gospel and everything and then totally renege on it messing with a young girl, it’s crazy.”
According to the sheriff, the pastor admitted to the crime after being arrested. The affidavit says that the girl’s mother was aware of the abuse for a year, and tried to pray that the thoughts would leave the pastor’s head. He is now in jail on $1 million dollars bond.
“He’s behind bars where he needs to be,” Washington said. “We’ll let the justice system take over from here.”
Praying for your child’s abuser might work a little, but you also need to call the police. With him working close to a daycare, the girl’s mother’s lack of action could have led to countless more tragedies. Say something when abuse happens around you, don’t just quietly pray about it.