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.
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.
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.
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.