Bishop Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago, Ill., is defending himself against claims that he took an inappropriate picture of himself taking a bubble bath with his four-year-old granddaughter.
Trotter recently shut down his Instagram and Facebook pages after receiving a plethora of negative messages stemming from the photograph of he and his granddaughter in a tub. The bishop recently spoke to the "John Hannah Morning Show" on iHeart Radio where he explained the photograph that had people in an uproar.
"Javon took a picture, who is her mother, and one of my family members who has access to my Instagram and Facebook put it out there and I said 'that's paw paw's first lady'. So it was a totally innocent thing. I know some people never bathe with their kids, I've bathed with all of mine. When I was coming up, we shared bath water," Trotter said, while making it clear that he and his granddaughter were wearing swimsuits in the bathtub.
"I'm not ashamed of what I did, I am ashamed and hurt that it has gone out across the world and people have called me everything from a child molester to a pedophile to a nasty old man and that I should get out of the ministry… the vulgarities have just been terrible," he added.
After his image went viral online, many people shared their opinions on social media networks.
"WHY did Bishop Larry Trotter felt it was OK to post a pic of him and his 4 yr old granddaughter in a bubble bath on Instagram (sic)," one person questioned on Twitter.
Another person shared in the same sentiments saying, "This is a no-no, Where is her mama??"
Trotter told the radio television show that he received thousands of hateful messages and made sure to remove the image within five minutes of posting it. While he said that he takes blame for his actions to post the image that went viral, the bishop said he is confident that God will vindicate him.
"I take the blame for it… but I know that God is the vindicator. I have been pastoring 31 years, in ministry 36 years. I raised all five of my children. I love my grand baby. People have trusted their children with me in my house and retreats," Trotter said on the radio show. "I just feel awful that now these attacks are suggesting that I can't be trusted with a child… It's a very dark time and a very hurtful time for my family because what was innocent has become nasty and ugly."