Former Winter Park Pastor and Christian Radio Host Accused of Child Rape Found Dead of Apparent Suicide
Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a former minister at First Congregational Church of Christ in Winter Park and co-host of the popular radio show “Friends Talking Faith,” was found dead at his Altamonte Springs home on Sunday night. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The Seminole County Medical Examiner later ruled the death a suicide.
Imprisoned on charges of more than 30 counts of child sexual battery, in early October, Fulwider was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl more than 100 times between 2005 and 2010. She was a parishioner at First Congregational Church of Christ, where he served as Pastor.
According to prosecutors, the case against Fulwider was “extremely strong,” in part because of a phone call recorded by police in which he admitted the abuse to his accuser. “It would be as if I was a predator and you were victimized by me,” he said. Fulwider posted a $700,000 bond and had been released from prison for just over a week prior to his death. He was facing life in prison if convicted.
The role of pastors in the church is to support the spiritual needs of their parishioners. Education and often counseling in times of need are responsibilities with which they are entrusted. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the Church. Any ministry in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility if they fail to properly screen potential clergymen and protect their parishioners.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergymen in central Florida. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a priest or other clergy, contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.