Filthy Porn Stars DVD Hidden in Religious Book Inside El Mirage Pastor's Office
|Church members evicting a pastor from an El Mirage church find a porn DVD hidden in the pages of a religious book in his church office.|
On Monday morning, anxiously waiting for the locksmith in the blistering heat, were about a dozen people who had been forced away from that congregation by its pastor, Lupe Davila. But the estranged members and volunteers were back, and they were intent on cleaning up the church -- figuratively and literally.
-False Profit: How an El Mirage Preacher Swindled Followers
As they cleared the building of Pastor Guadalupe "Lupe" Davila, they would be shocked to find his church office -- tucked away in the pages of a religious book among his belongings -- an eight-hour DVD titled Filthy Porn Stars.
It was a series of revelations for church members that moved them to reorganize the church by filing the appropriate paperwork with state and county officials. They changed the name of the church from Camino al Cielo to Luz del Cielo. They brainstormed on who could lead the congregation.
But as they worked to establish a board of directors -- with a president, vice president, and secretary -- and a guiding set of bylaws that would give stability and accountability to the wayward congregation, Davila was working to take sole ownership of the building.
On June 10, he filed a "special warranty deed" intended to convey the church building away from the congregation to himself. County officials deemed the deed invalid because Jessica Matthews, the church member who signed the paperwork giving the church building to Davila, doesn't have that authority.
As New Times reported in "False Profit" (June 27), church members say that Davila was improperly using church donations and making use of an invalid federal tax-identification number to obtain donations of money, food, and other goods, including a set of bedroom furniture.
Davila, they later learned, also was carrying on sexual affairs with at least two church members, was arrested for aggravated harassment of one of those women after she obtained an order of protection against him, and was removing from the church those who questioned his authority.
Since he arrived in 2009, Davila took in an unknown amount of money -- personally and for the church -- from volunteers and members who opened their hearts and wallets to support the congregation and improve the building and the children's learning center.
Davila was stripped of his ordination by Skyway Church in Goodyear when church leaders there became aware of his behavior and arrest. Although he claimed to have stepped down, he persisted in baptizing new members and offering up weekly sermons.