Photo Credits: Niaja Church News
Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a pastor from Florida, was arrested and charged with 30 counts of “sexual battery of a person younger than 18 by a person in position of custodial authority.” The 59-year-old Fulwider has been a co-host of a show called “Friends Talking Faith” since 2010 and he is known as one of the “Three Wise Guys."
Orlando attorney Jacob V. Stuart Jr., who is representing Fulwider, said he and his client “vehemently deny each and every allegation that has been made against him."
“Our new reality is one that finds public figures and people of success as targets for individuals looking to take advantage of them in this era of ‘gotcha’ politics and news,” Stuart said. “It’s happened before and it’s happening here. Reverend Fulwider has done nothing but faithfully serve the citizens of Central Florida for many years. Reverend Fulwider has committed no crime; nor has Reverend Fulwider done anything wrong or inappropriate.”
The victim reported having been sexually battered by Fulwider repeatedly between 2005 and 2010, when Fulwider was senior minister at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park.
Rev. James Coffin, executive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, said that when such accusations are lodged against someone who has made contributions to the community, it’s even more tragic because of the “extreme impact it has.”
The whole case has a different course after the pastor admitted his ‘sexual relationship’ with accuser, beginning when she was 14, and had started grooming her when she was only 13.
“[T]here was never anything salacious or bad about it and you were always too damn mature for your own good and I have always loved you,” the co-host of popular radio show “Friends Talking Faith” and former senior minister at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park told his accuser in a call recorded by police, according to court records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
“It wasn’t like I was off hunting people. It was a connection.”
In the recorded call, police said Fulwider told the young woman she was the only one.
“They could line up every female related to the church and if everyone ... except for one ... told the absolute truth, they would have zero,” he reportedly said.
“Do you mean me?" she replied. “Well, yeah,” he said, according to the documents.
If convicted, he could face life in prison. He is being held without bond at the Orange County Jail.