Scandal-Rocked Megachurch Loses Yet Another Pastor

Joe Donahue
Joe Donahue—the pastor hired to fill Geronimo Aguilar's shoes and bring healing to the Virginia megachurch—has been released from his position. (

After being arrested on sexual abuse charges, Geronimo Aguilar left Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) about a year ago. Now, Joe Donahue—the pastor hired to fill his shoes and bring healing to the Virginia megachurch—is also on his way out the door.

"This man is the man God has raised up as the leader of the Richmond Outreach Center, and he will lead this ministry into the future," Jonathan Falwell, who has been acting as a consultant for ROC, told the congregation when they announced the former teaching pastor at First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"I'm telling you tonight, God has heard the prayer of the Richmond Outreach Center ... and God has said ... 'I will deliver you from the hands of every single person who mocked this church. And I will deliver you from the hands of every single person who laughed at this church.' ... There is a new day dawning for the Richmond Outreach Center, and that day begins right now," Falwell said at the time.

That day ended seven weeks later. ROC was not immediately available for comment, but Donahue is speaking loud and clear from a heart of confusion.

"My wife and I love the ROC," he wrote on a statement on his website. "We believed that God had called us to the ROC to lead the church to health, growth and to become a New Testament structured church. In the words of my 4 year old, 'We love the ROC family.' We still believe that God has called us to the ROC, to minister to the church family, the community and to repair a broken foundation."

Donahue says he understood it would be difficult but never anticipated anything like what has occurred since Thursday. 

"Despite ongoing encouragement from the board of directors, and without warning, I was terminated," he says on his website. "I would have greatly valued a conversation. I love accountability and love to be sharpened. If I was leading the church in an unbiblical manner—I would repent and seek forgiveness. My hope was to repair and rebuild the foundation of the church, while keeping the ministries running."

Donahue then outlines his "9 Phases to Calming the Storm at the ROC," which you can read here.

"In 7 weeks, I realize I have no 'political capital' among the people," he concludes. "If I am the only one standing in the field fighting for the church—I will do it. The Church belongs to the Lord. Not to me. Not to the Board. Not to the members. It belongs to Jesus and He has revealed the structure of the church in the Bible—and that is good enough for me."

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective