- (Photo: theroc.com)
The Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) is searching for a permanent senior and executive pastor to fill the vacant positions after four of its five pastors resigned earlier this month over allegations of a sex scandal and cover-up.
A church spokesperson, who did not want to be identified, told CP the new senior pastor will have spiritual and administrative oversight of the organization, while the executive pastor will handle the majority of administrative responsibilities. CP has also learned that ROC has enlisted the help of Pastor Jonathan Falwell and other consultants from Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., to conduct their nationwide search, which the board of directors anticipates will take six months to a year.
ROC's board of directors said they will also conduct a search for an interim preacher to lead Six O'clock ROC, their Saturday night services, until the senior pastor position is filled.
The church's scandal, which made headlines earlier this month, is centered around founding and former senior pastor Geronimo Aguilar, known as Pastor G, who currently faces possible life in prison for alleged sexual abuse charges involving a minor and the minor's sibling. He was taken into custody last month in Fort Worth, Texas, where he reportedly committed the suspected child abuse during the 1990s, before beginning his ministry with the ROC. The other pastors who resigned are executive pastor Jason Helmlinger, Andrew Delgado and Aguilar's brother, Matthew Aguilar.
Before his arrest, Aguilar focused on working with troubled youth and other community outreach programs that the state of Virginia merited through sponsored funds. Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones also attested to Aguilar's dedication to the community and noted it made a difference. "There's a lot of good the church does in terms of working with young people and working with people who have addictions and people who need to have jobs and so forth," Jones said.
Currently, the board of directors seeks to find a pastor "that God wants" and is "working hard to follow God's lead" during the selection process. They are also considering a large pool of candidates, and as the board narrows the pool, ROC plans to keep their congregants informed.