J.D. Greear’s Summit Church to Investigate Hiring of New Pastor Accused of Mishandling Sex Crime Allegations
The Summit Church in North Carolina has hired a global investigation firm to conduct an independent review of the recent hiring of Pastor Bryan Loritts, who is accused of mishandling sex crime allegations at another church, The Christian Post reports.
Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear leads the North Carolina church.
“At the recommendation of trusted advocates, we have engaged the firm Guidepost Solutions …. This firm was recommended to us based on their independence from any geographic location, entity or denominational affiliation, and because of their expertise in investigations and assessing institutional processes and dynamics specifically related to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault,” the church said in a statement Wednesday.
Loritts was hired in May 2020 as executive pastor of teaching and development at The Summit Church.
In 2018, Loritts’ brother-in-law, Dwayne Rick Trotter, pled guilty to four misdemeanor counts of unlawfully photographing women under their skirts in 2016 at Downtown Church in Tennessee. Trotter served as a worship leader at the Memphis church.
Previously, Trotter had been fired from Fellowship Memphis Church for similar behavior in 2010. Loritts worked as senior pastor at the church during that time.
Loritts reportedly tried to discourage one of Trotter’s accusers from reporting the incident and also tried to destroy evidence.
Leader pastor and elder John Bryson said the evidence was not destroyed and Loritts was “removed from the matter” because he was a family member.
Greear, meanwhile, said he knew about the criticism about Loritts, but he trusted the church’s vetting process.
“Pastor Bryan is a gifted pastor and church leader who has a great love for God’s people and for God’s purposes. He has been a leader in the movement of churches seeking to reflect the gospel through multiethnic reconciliation, a true reconciliation that demonstrates the power of the gospel to bring people together as one. He is also a pastor and leader who has been matured by experience and demonstrates the humility that we all need to continue to grow in grace,” Greear wrote in 2020.
Photo courtesy: J.D. Greear Facebook
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.