WINTER PARK, Fla. – A reverend and well-known radio host was arrested Tuesday in Winter Park on a charge of sexual battery on a minor, according to officials.
Rev. Bryan Fulwider, 59, one of the Three Wise Guys, is a founder and co-host on the radio show “Friends Talking Faith,” which is broadcast weekly on WMFE and its sister station, WMFV.
According to Winter Park police, authorities met with a person Tuesday who claimed they were sexually battered numerous times by their pastor, identified as Fulwider, from 2005 to 2010, while the victim was a juvenile.
At the time, Fulwider was the senior pastor at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park at 225 South Interlachen Ave.
Police said detectives established probable cause that Fulwider had committed the alleged offenses.
A warrant was issued for Fulwider, charging him with 30 counts of sexual battery by a person who is in a position of custodial authority to a person less than 18 years of age.
Fulwider was arrested in Seminole County and taken to the Seminole County Jail, officials said.
First Congregational Church of Winter Park released a statement Thursday about Fulwider's arrest.
"Our church community has been deeply pained to learn of the arrest of Bryan Fulwider, who resigned from First Congregational more than seven years ago. At this time, we have no information about this matter, but we pray that any victim associated with this be given privacy in order to move forward and heal," Rev. Shawn Garvey said in the statement.
WMFE described "Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys" as an independent radio show carried by the station since 2012. The program will take a hiatus in light of the arrest.
'Everyone at WMFE is shocked and saddened by today’s revelations concerning Rev. Bryan Fulwider. Friends Talking Faith has been a part of our programming schedule since 2012 and has helped thousands of people understand their faith, their communities and themselves in times of trouble, conflict and personal hardships," WMFE interim president and general manager Stephen Yasko wrote in a statement.
According to the Three Wise Guys' website, Fulwider is a father of two sons and an ordained minister who has served as a pastor for the past 30 years in the United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ.
Jacob V. Stuart, Fulwider's attorney, released the following statement, denying the allegations:
"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. It’s happened before and it’s happening here. Rev. Fulwider has done nothing but faithfully serve the citizens of Central Florida for many years. Rev. Fulwider has committed no crime; nor has Rev. Fulwider done anything wrong or inappropriate. We vehemently deny each and every allegation that has been made against him. We look forward to facing each of these meritless allegations head-on and will aggressively fight to clear the Rev. Fulwider’s proud and good name as a servant to our family of communities."
Winter Park police ask anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a crime involving Fulwider to call 407-599-3211.