RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Four out of five pastors of the Richmond Outreach Center megachurch in South Richmond resigned Wednesday afternoon following a Board of Directors meeting and after news of the specific sexual assault allegations against the church’s founder.
Three of the resigning pastors had also served on the ROC’s board of directors.
Gone are “Pastor G” – Geronimo Aguilar – the 12-year-old church’s founder and board member; executive Pastor Jason Helmlinger, also a former board member; Pastor Andrew “Drew” Delgado, another former board member; and Pastor Matthew Aguilar, Geronimo’s brother.
Pastor G is out on bond, facing seven felony charges in Tarrant County, Texas, based on allegations that he sexually abused two young girls in the mid-90s.
Pastor Helmlinger, a former Henrico County police officer, is out on bond after he allegedly threatened a former ROC church member over the telephone.
According to a statement from the ROC’s board of directors, the resignations are “mutually agreeable” and the ROC remains focused serving those in need and will never stray from that mission.
David Carlson, Geronimo Aguilar’s attorney, said “Pastor G has been thinking about this for the past several weeks and came to the realization that it was probably best for is family and also best for the organization, at least at this point in time.”
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All but Helmlinger have said they have down-and-out histories prior to their spiritual conversions that included arrests and gang activity. Matthew Aguilar was charged in 2010 during when he and Geronimo’s dad’s Christian biker gang, Set Free, was involved in a brawl with the Hells Angels. The charges were later dropped in a plea agreement that he stay out of trouble. Testimonials about the checkered pasts of both Pastor G and Andrew Delgado are posted on the ROC’s website and elsewhere.
CBS 6 went by Pastor G’s $600,000 parsonage off Riverside Drive in South Richmond Wednesday evening, but no one came to the door. A neighbor said he had been there earlier in the evening.
“The property the ROC owns where he and his wife and three children live is all that he has at this point in time,” attorney Carlson said.
The resignations come after years of rumors about Pastor G’s appetites and just a day after news reports that shared the details of the allegations against the pastor once praised by governors and city leaders here.
According to its non-profit, tax-exempt income report, the Richmond Outreach Center is a $17 million dollar independent church organization that brings in some $3 million a year. It has received city and state funds for the work it has done to help addicts, the homeless and parolees.
CBS 6 News spoke with a member of the board of directors who said they recognize the vast church needs new leadership – a new face for the body – and they’re working on it.
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- ROC executive pastor ‘voluntarily’ steps down
Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of this story.