Community leader: ‘ROC has been shattered’

Posted at 11:56 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 23:56:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A community leader is worried that a Richmond mega church that has lost four of its five pastors may not be able to continue its mission.

Jeff Davis Neighborhood Civic Association’s Charles Willis, who has worked closely with the church and Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, fears the Richmond Outreach Center’s mission of serving the needy may be too difficult.

This after Aguilar, known as Pastor G, is accused of sexually abusing two young sisters in the mid 1990s in Texas prior to founding the ROC in 2003.

"It's a sad day in Richmond,” said Willis. “The ROC has been a ROC within the Richmond community and that ROC has been shattered."

As civic association president, Willis worked closely with Aguilar on prayer vigils and programs involving Citizens Against Crime.

Willis calls him a spiritual leader who looked out for underprivileged and troubled kids.

"If you have the transportation, and the means, and the will to go out into the community and grab the young folks and teach them and train them,” said Willis. “That's something that could really help build a safer community."

It is a labor of love that Willis believes has made a huge impact in the city over the past decade.  But now there are growing worries that the ROC may not be able to rise above Aguilar’s legal woes.

However, Aguilar’s attorney said stepping down was the right decision for the church – and for his client.

"It's been very difficult for him, particularly, the family as well as for Pastor G,” said David Carlson, Aguilar’s attorney. “He's been mulling it over and talking to me about for several weeks.”

And while Pastor G sorts out his legal troubles, Willis reminds the public to not rush to judgment.

"I don't think that there's one that should be sitting back judging this situation here,” said Willis. “But supporting the ROC church and supporting the mission of reaching out to the lost souls and those that need to have a relationship with God almighty through Jesus Christ."

Willis said he and others plan to meet with the ROC's board of directors later this week to find out who will replace Aguilar and his administrative staff.


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