COGIC Pastor Accused of Molesting 16-year-old Family Member

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(Memphis) A COGIC pastor was arrested for sexual battery by an authority figure.

Michael Bryant, 48, is accused of molesting a 16-year-old family member for years.

Investigators said for the last two years, Bryant would sneak into her bedroom when her mother was asleep or at work, expose himself and fondle her.

He's been the pastor at Hour of Restoration COGIC in Hickory Hill for the past three years. He was also an elder at Greater Community Temple COGIC.

"Knowing him, I wouldn't believe it," said Leonard Gray.

Gray says he never saw any signs. He looked up to Bryant at his church.

"He was a great preacher. You know, inspiring, so I mean it hurts to hear these things about a great man," said Gray.

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.

Bryant's neighbor said he always sees him holding a bible.

"I was blown away. That was shocking," said his neighbor.

After the alleged victim's aunt reported the abuse, Bryant was arrested at a gas station next to his church on Knight Arnold.

An employee said Bryant was getting gas when deputies swarmed the place.

"I'm embarrassed as far as that being a COGIC preacher. I mean that is my religion," said Torey Echols.

Prosecutors said the most recent instance of abuse happened Monday.

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

Bryant is being held on a million dollar bond.


  • Jess

    WHAT ANGERS ME IS THAT INSTEAD OF CALLING POLICE, THEY PRAYED IT OULD STOP? Religion hasn’t made people stupid…. Stupid people come from all walks of life, Probably a black congregation, too. I am black myself, and I will be the first ay that black folks wanna always cover stuff up. SHAME ON IT ALL!

  • CS Pruitt

    The bible said the law is for the lawless,I am also COGIC,not all our pastors are like that,we were taught growing up anybody touch you in the wrong way call the police,he has to face court and God,and the bible say it’s bad to fall into the hands of an angry God,I pray for that young lady that she will get some help,there are Godly counsel.

  • Joe Williams

    Pastor? Elder? LOL… self ordained clown. The family members are just as guilty for not reporting it. Nothing more then enablers. Hope that girl gets the counseling she needs.

    Memphis representing!!! Keepin it real.!!! You sick, demented people…

  • kevin

    Why don’t people report stuff like this when it first happens? Waiting months and sometimes years make me feel like they were trying to blackmail the man just to keep this incident quiet …. if he did this he need to be punished but they should not have waited until he did it over and over again. The parent also need to be punished for waiting so long to report this …

  • vee jay

    @Donned I wonder if this was an article about Catholic Priests molesting little white boys would you have responded “whites”

  • Bishop Greene

    This church is a farse for the church, it seems to me they only allow African Americans to be credentialed in their organization. It seems that this is because these people don’t want the truth to be told, this mother should be arrested too as she allowed it to continue.

  • Rose Marie

    First of all he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. After that..Yes the Mom should have reported this to the police! Where was this young lady’s safety net? Mom should have been there for her just as the aunt was!

  • Elder Keith L. Corbett

    Cast out the demon which is controlling the man, get counseling and let justice prevail. Pray for all affected by this adversity.

    • Nonya Bidness

      Who said he did anything? Remember Tawana Brawley? Or maybe the Duke lacrosse incident?

      It seems like the “community” has a “credibility” problem. If there is a law civil suit filed against the church then we know it’s all B.S.

      Maybe the demon is in the girl!

  • DMF

    He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and beyond, should these allegations prove true! I personally believe the child!!!

    Having said that, this crime is of the perpetrator only. Why would anyone take an instance where a minister commits a crime and make it guilt by association for everyone involved in a profession or organization? If that should be the case across the board when teachers, police, doctors, dentists, counselors, coaches, mentors, tutors, etc, are all guilty of like offenses. It doesn’t mean everyone should be painted with a broad stroke!!!

  • Bobby Taylor

    You know, I wish you news agency’s would stop referring to this clown as a COGIC pastor, as if he has been ordained by the COGIC bishops. Would you call him a Chatholic priest if he just CLAIMED to be one? Stop the nonsense. He’s not a COGIC pastor. He’s a jack-leg wannabe.

  • Amanda

    So many people with negative comments. Pray for him.. he too has a soul. We don’t know what is the truth but God knows all… To many “I believes” and too many “What I think”.. Just hush and pray

    • J

      See, that’s where the problem began. Too many just “hushing and praying” and not enough people SPEAKING UP while praying… SMH

  • Nebbie

    The enemy does Not discriminate against race Satan cares nothing about people being Black or white or Catholic Methodist COGIC he is as Roaring Loin seeking who he my Devour sin is sin and all people has done it or is doing it so lets not make it a race thing Its sad to hear that this Preacher did this and that those who knew did nothing but pray about it Wow God help the world today I’m COGIC and I’m not a shame of it but I will say this if he truly commented this crime then he needs to be punished for it bottom line Ima say this n then I’m done this could have happened to any of us or happened to our family members so please keep in mind We all have done wrong we Just didn’t get caught there is No big sin and Little sin in God eyes it’s all sin!!!! I’m praying 4 him n all that R involved God bless that child!

  • Skeptic

    It’s bad enough that a child was abused. Worse….the parents didn’t step in and protect her. Parents should be charged too.

  • Deja Brew

    Just like in the old black movies on BET, they prayed about it instead of reporting it to keep their pastor’s reputation clean since he is a preacher. COGIC members have a tendency of hiding many things to keep their “holier than thou” image. There’s nothing wrong with prayer, but don’t pray and NOT seek justice for a negative situation that can have a traumatic effect on this teen.

  • Joyce

    It is so sad that people are most concerned about grammatical errors or whether the comments are placed by persons who attended Memphis City Schools (I am a graduate of MCS)! This situation is horrendous and it is not important the church affiliation of the accused or if he is black or white. We need to pray and study the Word of God for ourselves, so we may understand how to handle these situations if ever we are confronted with diabolical situations. Our concern should be that this child is strengthened during this very difficult time in her life and to pray for her! I too am Cogic,and I understand that God is greater than any denomination or individual!

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