The sexual assault trial of former Richmond Outreach Center pastor Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar is set to begin on Nov. 10 in Tarrant County, Texas.
Aguilar was extradited to Texas in late May and resigned along with three other pastors on June 5. Aguilar is accused of sexually assauting two sisters under the age of 14. Both assaults stem from allegations of incidents that happened in 1996, before Aguilar started ROC ministries in 2003. In the first case, Aguilar is facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14. Both counts are punishable by up to life in prison if convicted, according to Texas authorities. In the same case, he is also charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, felonies which carry up to 20 years in prison. If convicted, he could face life in prision.
Since the allegations broke, more women have stepped forward claiming that Pastor G had a sexual relationship with them. Amber Baker told 8News in Richmond that she had sex with the founding pastor when she was a teenager. Baker started attending the church when she was five, claims that one night when Pastor G's wife was out of town, he took her, two other young women and her 16-year-old sister to a timeshare. "He brought us alcohol, we got drunk and the rest is history," said Baker. "I had just turned 18. We had sex." more >>
Ed Young, pastor of the Texas-based, multi-campus Fellowship Church, explained in his Sunday sermon the difference between Christianity and other world religions to make the point that following Christ is not a religion but is rather based on a relationship.
Young's sermon was part of his current "Mythbusters" series which he has used to biblically clarify preconceived notions about God that society tends to hold as true. In talking about religion, Young emphasized that God does not want His followers to be religious, contrary to what people think.
"There are some similarities among world religions because all make exclusive claims but Jesus says in John 14:6, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one gets to God but by Me,'" said Young. "So to call Jesus just a good teacher is being intellectually and historically dishonest." more >>
A Texas-based group of family planning clinics has cut ties with Planned Parenthood Federation of America so that it will be eligible to receive government funds.
Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County announced Monday that it is no longer associated with Planned Parenthood, and has already changed the name of its affiliated clinics to Access Esperanza Clinics.
"Changing our name and affiliation allows our agency to apply for state health programs and make low-cost services more available for thousands of our low-income women, men and teens," said Patricio C. Gonzales, CEO of Access Esperanza, in a letter posted on the group's website, where she added that it was "a difficult but practical solution." more >>
"Submission never means abuse," Pastor Tony Evans told his Dallas, Texas, congregation on Sunday, making it clear what he believes the Christian position is on domestic violence.
"We've been hearing about one kind of struggle here lately — domestic abuse," said Evans, referring to recent news headlines concerning Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after being caught on tape punching his wife.
"Ladies, you do not have to submit yourself to any man abusing you. You do not submit yourself," he added. "No man has the right to put his hands on him. You shouldn't be putting your hands on him either, but no man has the right to put his hands on you in a violent fashion." more >>
A Texas megachurch that broke away from the largest Presbyterian congregation in the United States will have to pay $7.8 million in order to secure its property.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, which recently voted to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) due to the denomination's liberal theology, agreed to a settlement with its former regional body.
The PCUSA Presbytery of Grace and Highland Park reached the settlement comes the month before oral arguments were to be heard in a lawsuit Highland Park leveled to not pay for the church property. more >>
An appeals court has rejected Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's effort to allow for the enforcement of a key provision of the state's recently passed abortion law.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined Abbott's emergency appeal, which was filed on Sunday, in a three-page order released Tuesday evening.
Tuesday's decline of the appeal stemmed from Abbott's tardiness in filing the motion, which the court said hindered the process. more >>