- (Photo: theroc.com)
Richmond Outreach Center founding pastor Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar, who resigned with three other pastors from the church amid an explosive sex scandal on June 5, will continue to receive his $115,930 annual salary and reside in the church's half-million dollar parsonage until December.
The severance deal was arrived by the ROC board of directors "after much discussion and taking his family into consideration," according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The ROC church announced the resignation of their founding pastor, Pastor Jason Helmlinger, Pastor Andrew Delgado and Pastor G's brother, Pastor Matthew Aguilar, in a brief statement on June 5.
All the resignations stemmed from Pastor G's extradition to Texas in late May to face seven felony charges, including aggravated sexual assault of two sisters under age 14. The charges are related to incidents that occurred before he began the ROC ministry in 2003. If convicted, he will face life in prison.
Attorney for the ROC Stephen C. Lewis explained that the board felt Pastor G deserved the severance package because of his years of service as the founder of the church.
"He was under an employment agreement, but I don't think that was the reason for the severance. The reason was [because] people appreciate what he's done and with what he's got going on, people want to make sure his family was taken care of," Lewis said to the Times-Dispatch.
"We certainly could have had no severance package at all, but the board thinks they are doing the right thing."
The church is expected to pay the property taxes on parsonage for the duration of the time Aguilar will remain there but he will be responsible for his utilities and household costs.
It was also noted that the $115,930 annual salary was based on pastoral salaries for other large churches.
Lewis also pointed out that the board could not comment on whether or not the other pastors who resigned will be receiving any kind of severance deals.
About a week ago, the ROC's board of directors recruited Jonathan Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, as an adviser and he told The Christian Post that despite the problems with the leadership of the church, congregants remained passionate about their faith in God.
"They are still passionate about ministry, and even in the lack of leadership there today, they're continuing to go out and serve and continuing to go out and willing to share the love of Jesus with the people in their community," said Falwell of the members of the congregation.
The church, which is currently being run by the board and an executive committee, is reportedly in the early stages of identifying new leaders. For now however, the work of the church must continue. Several pastors are expected to take on pastoral duties for the ROC's Saturday service during the interim.