El Mirage Pastor Booted from Church Wages Unholy War to Regain Control of Building
Guadalupe Davila waiting to see the judge at the El Mirage Municipal Court.
Guadalupe "Lupe" Davila, a pastor stripped of his ordination, is not letting up his fight to regain control of a small church on the edge of El Mirage. The members, some of whom he fleeced, aren't ready to give up the fight either.
They're now searching for an attorney who will help them sort out in court the muddled paper trail regarding the ownership of the church and who has legal control of it.
In 2012, Davila ruled the roost at Primera Iglesia Bautista Camino al Cielo. But his fast and loose style, including sleeping with and harassing women attending the church, gambling, and not rendering a financial accounting to his flock got him stripped of his ordination, arrested by El Mirage police, and kicked out of the church he was supposed to be shepherding.
The members who kicked him out -- literally to the curb when they gutted the church of his belongings and placed it curbside in bins for him to retrieve -- worked to establish order, oversight, and transparency within the congregation.
They changed the name of the church from Camino al Cielo to Luz del Cielo (essentially from a Pathway to Heaven to Light from Heaven) for a fresh start.
As they worked to establish the nonprofit status of the church and file the appropriate tax paperwork, they had a church in Surprise waiting in the wings to provide financial support to get the utilities back on in the church and begin church services.
None of that seems to matter to Davila, who since has threatened to sue the members who kicked him out and took control of the church building.
Davila tried to take ownership of the church building in June by transferring the building from the church to himself. He fudged the paperwork and tried it again in July.
Maricopa County records show that in October he appeared to try to undo those previous attempts by filing with the county Assessor's Office a deed agreeing to quit any claims to the property.
But that was just on paper.