A man who served for years as a deacon at the megachurch of controversial pastor, Doug Wilson, has been indicted by federal authorities for possession of child pornography.
Alex R. Lloyd, a former deacon at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, for the past four years, was indicted Thursday by the U.S. District Court in Idaho on felony charges of possession of child pornography.
Led by prominent Reformed pastor Doug Wilson, Christ Church has an estimated membership of approx. 2,000 people and is a leading voice within the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC).
An investigation led by Moscow Police Department forensic detective Lawrence Mowery found that Lloyd possessed child sex abuse (CSA) images on his iPhone 8 from March 2021 to January of this year, according to court documents. The CSA images “involved a prepubescent minor or a minor who had not attained 12 years of age,” the documents allege.
Under federal law, a felony conviction on these charges is punishable by up to 20 years of prison, lifetime supervised release, and $250,000 in fines. Lloyd pleaded not guilty in the federal court hearing.
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A representative of the Moscow Police Department said that, due to federal authorities’ involvement in the case against Lloyd, they could not yet release further information. A call to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho was not immediately returned.
Wilson said in a statement to The Roys Report that the church first received word last January that Lloyd had been taken in for questioning, but no charges were filed at the time. At the family’s request, Wilson said he picked Lloyd up at the police station. And “because of what had come out regarding a porn habit,” Wilson said he received Lloyd’s resignation and “started the process of removing Lloyd from office as a deacon.”
Wilson said Lloyd was then “placed under church discipline” and the congregation was informed of “the situation” on February 7. However, Wilson said Lloyd has been allowed to attend Christ Church services with “a chaperone.” Additionally, he noted that Lloyd “went to Texas to check into a sexual rehab facility” and has since returned.
“With regard to the other surrounding sins by which Alex disqualified himself, humiliated his family, and embarrassed his church, he has sought our forgiveness, and we have extended it,” Wilson added. “At the same time, there are terrible real world consequences for his family, as well as for him, and we regard this entire tragic episode as one more casualty in the unconscionable pornification of our culture. This is why we intend to continue laboring for public reformation, grounded solely on the gospel of free grace, as offered through Jesus Christ.”
Wilson and Christ Church are very prominent within the Christian Reconstruction movement, which aims to establish a form of theocracy. Wilson also helped establish the CREC in 1998 and served as the denomination’s Presiding Minister of Council from 2014 to 2017.
According to a local news report, Christ Church removed Lloyd’s name from its website five days prior to Lloyd’s initial indictment on April 19. (The church’s archived page can be viewed online.)
However, Wilson claimed in a statement that the church updated its website “immediately upon Alex’s removal as deacon back in January.”
Sex abuse controversies of Christ Church
Wilson has been linked to multiple controversies involving sex abuse offenders. In 2001, Wilson presided over the wedding of a convicted pedophile, Steven Sitler, and later told church members the man was “very welcome” in their congregation.
According to a Religion News Service report published in November 2019: “After Wilson counseled and vouched for the suspect, Steven Sitler, Sitler was released on probation, married a young Christ Church member, became a father and was later removed from his home for violating probation.” Wilson defended his actions in a lengthy statement online.
Additionally, Jamin Wight, a former student at Greyfriars Hall—a pastoral training program of Christ Church—was convicted after sexually abusing a teen girl when Wight was in his 20s. The victim, Natalie Greenfield, has since disclosed her identity publicly. According to recent reporting, similar to Sitler, Wilson asked authorities for leniency for Wight in the case.
However, only weeks ago, Greenfield stated that she had reconciled with Wilson and Christ Church. “What I went through was the result of the insidious actions of a single individual, and those who provided opportunity for me to be harmed by him,” Greenfield wrote in part.
A lengthy analysis of Wilson’s handling of the Sitler and Wight cases has been published online by religion researcher Rachel Shubin whose work includes source documents.
Through his popular blog, Wilson regularly writes cultural and theological commentary on current events.
Wilson and his son, N.D. Wilson, host a video series called Man Rampant that offers “conversations about Christianity, leadership, and masculinity.” An episode of that program titled “The Sin of Empathy” has generated significant discussion among evangelicals.
A jury trial has been set for June 21 in the federal case against Alex Lloyd.
Statement of Douglas Wilson re: Former Christ Church Deacon Alex Lloyd – May 4, 2022Statement-DouglasWilson-ChristChurch-AlexLloyd
This story has been updated to include a statement received from Douglas Wilson of Christ Church.
Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.
17 thoughts on “Deacon at Doug Wilson’s Church Indicted on Possession of Child Pornography”
I so appreciate The Roys Report for shouting aloud from the roof-tops “that which is done in darkness” as much as anything the evangelical cover-up of so much immorality and corruption. White American evangelicals are starting to make the vaticanist priests all look like saints…😖
Cover-up? Where? Here? I see no cover-up.
Yes, it looks like this man’s sin is being dealt with appropriately, with church discipline and removal from office. We shouldn’t pretend we don’t have sinners and criminals in church offices; the question is how a church deals with it when its finds out. Ideally, they are punished appropriately, repent, and are welcomed back with caution.
Now here’s where The Roys Report can change the church. I like it that you wrote that the deacon ‘served’. But that should always be the word for pastors, elders, ministers, priests, secretaries, church board presidents and janitors. They all only serve.
Thus, “Served by prominent Reformed pastor, Doug Wilson…” would be the opening I’d love to see. It would also remind such office holders of their true role in the church: servants. Just like the rest of us.
I’m no fan of Doug Wilson. But I think he and the church acted appropriately in this particular case.
Going after groomers is the big thing with Republicans these days. They need to focus on churches. Kids are a lot safer at a drag queen story time than at church.
Drag queen story hour is grooming. Or, as Jimmy Hinton characterizes it, “testing”. It is a performer testing the reaction of children, parents, and a community to the presence of a flamboyantly sexualized adult interacting with children.
As contained in the published letter signed by D. Wilson: “We informed our congregation of the situation at our next heads of households meeting.”
What is a heads of households meeting? So, the entire congregation is informed of situations through a “heads of households” meeting, but only the “heads of households” are invited to attend? If you don’t meet the definition of “head of household” does this assume that you received this information second hand from the head of your household? So, the entire congregation wasn’t really informed, at least not directly? What happens if your assigned head of household chooses to not share certain information with you? Does head of household assume males only or does it include female heads of households as in single adult women, whether never married, divorced/separated, or widowed? When do you become a head of household – when you marry, when you establish your own residence, when you obtain employment, when you turn a certain age, or maybe something else? What happens if, for example, your husband “head of household” is unable to attend the meeting; does that mean that the wife can attend by proxy for the household or does that mean that the household isn’t represented at the meeting? What happens if your husband “head of household” can’t attend these meetings for a significant length of time due to situations such as medical condition, deployment, or other work related situation. Does this mean that the household is denied representation for this entire length of time or perhaps permanently?
So many questions…
Heads of households include single men and women, single moms, etc. Wives often attend and were especially invited to this one. It’s basically what any church calls a congregational meeting…
It means exactly what you suspect it means. From their website:
Note the use of “he” and “his” and not “they” or “he or she”. Indeed, their constitutions talks about “the men of the church” on several occasions, and women not at all. And we’re not only talking about leadership roles, but in the wider decision making and disciplinary matters.
Clearly, wives have no voice in their church, at all.
Oh boy. This says they take “covenant membership vows” as a household. Members are to promise to submit to the “government and discipline of this church.” (Since when was a church a “government?”)
What’s interesting is that it refers to individuals being eligible for membership under the heading “From the Christ Church Constitution,” however the membership vows are taken as a family with the “head of a household” as the family representative.
I would take a hard pass on joining this church. The ability to abuse power is clearly evident. Yikes!
I don’t see the evidence that Doug Wilson himself was a crook here. I’m not a fan of ANY megachurch–but it’s not like he has gone out of his way to cover for the pedophile the way MacArthur did. Now that it’s undeniable what Lloyd he did, Wilson has severed the relationship. I have to wonder just how much of the attacks that Wilson gets are politically motivated.
“According to recent reporting, similar to Sitler, Wilson asked authorities for leniency for Wight in the case.”
That is inaccurate. What he appealed to was that the level of punishment didn’t exceed the crime – as in, ‘lex talionis.’
Based on Wilson’s track record with pedophiles, when it comes time for Lloyd’s sentencing Wilson will be there pleading with the judge for leniency, especially if there’s an opportunity to pocket some coin.
“According to recent reporting, similar to Sitler, Wilson asked authorities for leniency for Wight in the case.” Wilson handled the pedophile cases of Wight and Sitler in similar ways. But there were also some significant differences that many have found quite puzzling. For one thing Wilson’s defense, cover up, and pleas for leniency for Sitler were far more robust than it was for Wight, this in spite of the fact that Wight molested 1 14 year old girl while Sitler molested dozens of 2-12 year old boys and girls. It’s been alleged that it all came down to the fact that the Silter family is very wealthy and was a major benefactor to Wilson’s church and college, perhaps even to Wilson directly. That allegation is reinforced by RC Sproul Jr’s similar experience with Steven Sitler and his refusal to bring criminal charges for crimes Sitler committed in his church in Virginia.
Pastor Wilson has responded to his critics quite convincingly in his podcasts addressing these issues, so if you want answers, I’d direct you there.
He accepts repentant sinners back into his fold after thorough examination. He’ll even accept his most vociferous, obscenity-spewing critics into the fold if they’ll repent. What’s the difference? Isn’t that was redemption is about?
Moscow, Idaho again? What’s going on with this little town? First, an elder of a church alleged to possess child porn, and now four college students knifed to death in their beds.
OK, probably not connected. But both stories out of such a small town? Is there something in the water?
It’s a college town, so there’s that.
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