COGIC Pastor To Plead Guilty To Sexual Battery, Attorney Says

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(Memphis) A COGIC pastor charged with sexual battery will plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors, his attorney said.

Michael Bryant is accused of molesting a 16-year-old family member for two years.

The 48-year-old has been the pastor at Hour of Restoration COGIC in Hickory Hill for the past three years.

After the arrest, COGIC decided to close the church on December 31.

On Thursday, Bryant appeared in general sessions court to try to reduce his $1 million bond.

Instead, his attorney announced an agreement he said he worked out with the state.

"We felt like it was in the best interest of all parties to get this case over with, get it resolved, so he can move forward, so the alleged victim can move forward," Horne said.

Bryant will plead guilty to Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure in exchange for a six-year sentence. After about a year and a half, Bryant will be up for parole.

Horne said he is going to ask the judge to skip jail time, and allow Bryant to spend the six years on probation.

"He has chosen the route to try to own up to what he's done, move beyond it, and hopefully the courts will have some mercy and assist him in getting some help moving beyond this," Horne said.

It could take up to three weeks before a judge reviews and signs off on the deal.

The alleged victim apparently told church and other family members about the abuse, but instead of calling police, they prayed the Lord would make it stop.

It’s up to the District Attorney’s office to determine whether to arrest the people who didn’t report the abuse.


  • Deja Brew

    That plea agreement is a bunch of bull. This man has no remorse for what he did and expects a slap on the wrist. You’re a “pastor” but you molested your own relative for years and I think the mother and others who refused to report this CRIME should be arrested as well because they purposely hid it to keep his reputation clean. I applaud the aunt for having sense enough to let a crime be known instead of hiding it like the “holier than thou” COGIC members. That church deserves to he closed because a church is place for healing and inspiring people to stop sinning, not hide it to keep an image that impresses others. He is a sick man and deserves his full jail time!

    • brenda taylor

      I so agree Deja , you Hit it right on the nail, anyone who knew about needs to be locked up! Point Blank Period , and they wonder what is wrong with our Babies today, They do not have a chance in this world when the adults that are suppose to be protecting them Fail them.

    • Beverly

      I totally agree. It s so sad the church is suppose to be there for broken people but not to cover up for their mess. All those involved need to be arrested and get the same punishment he is getting. They supported him in his actions.

  • Sue

    This is insane! He will only have to serve 30% of a six month sentence and he is going to request probation? He will get it too. Shame on the justice system. With this he is only suffering a little embarassment and the loss of his church. Poor baby!!! What about the young lady? she suffered at his hands for years and he is admitting it. The people that prayed about it sentenced the young girl to more abuse and should be arrested as well. They were giving him the go head to continue and he did. Arrest them too! I pray about things myself but I would never pray about this! I would be calling the law before I could say Dear God! But when I did it would be to please help this young lady and to to please serve justice on the man that abused her and all the people that prayed on it instead of doing something about it. they are guilty too. It is hard to believe that not one of them did the right thing.

    • Jim Williams

      The penalty is six YEARS, not six months The soft pillow is his
      request for 100% probation with no jail time whatever. Let us
      see if the judge approves the total probation request his
      attorney will present in court; the court is under no obligation
      to approve such a request and can send the case to trial if
      the defendant reverts to a not-guilty plea.

  • Paula

    This is a sad day. A man that’s suppose to be doing God’s work taking advantage of a child for years. To the people that knew about it and did nothing, you deserve to be punshied as well. Praying about things is good. God gave you sense to do the right thing and you did nothing. Six years and to only do 30% is nothing. Look at all the damage you have caused in this childs life.They should lock you up and throw away the key.

  • American born muslim

    This guy will only be eligible for release/parole at the serving of 30% it is highly unlikely he will be. Also to my knowledge the plea is not final unless the presiding judge accepts it. Lastly, the Da WOULD have to prove who knew what when but yes those ppl could/should face arrest

  • j cole

    What a tool!!! Yet another phony preaching pervert..Wake up people..
    When are you going to stop enabling these b******s..

  • c.jones

    This child informed her mother over 1year ago of this abuse? and the mother said pray his behavior stops? Is this woman insane? She needs to be charged as well…If your child can’t look to you the parent to protect them..who can they look too? TRAGIC!

  • Hard Truths

    COGIC …. AGAIN … SMH … who WANTED their business?

    It is difficult to pick a jury in Memphis without a deceitful COGIC member or sympathizer as a ringer. And it is hard to conduct a trial with a courtroom chock-full of COGIC members praying loudly under their breath. It would be discriminatory, of course, for a judge to prevent that behavior.

    COGIC, by and large, are not people whom you can reason with. They do not share society’s broad consensus of reality. They’re much like Sovereign Citizens. They make up the rules they want.

    This outcome represents some good lawyering, actually.

    Perhaps someone had an epiphany — defense attorney or prosecutor … that our Man of God would see the necessity made a virtue of a few months in jail after he’s spent a few more weeks at the bedlam that is 201 — because I doubt the Criminal Court judge upstairs will go for the all-probation deal,

    Our Man of God is gonna look forward to quiet days at the Penal Farm once the case is disposed of.

    Because our Man of God is gonna stay en el tanque at 201 until this case is pled next month or tried in another year or two..

    It is a long way to trial in Memphis when you can’t make the bond.

  • MikeBarret

    Isn’t this the guy from where his “Church” was in a gas station? I think they let any body be a “Pastor” these days.

  • Hard Truths

    I believe Memphis has about ten times as many churches per capita as other comparable cities.

    I think it’s a way to get your falling-down garage off the tax rolls.

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