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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.
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.
New Times

The locksmith worked nervously trying to pick the lock on the back door of a small white church in downtown El Mirage.

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.

See also:
-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.

 

When they learned that he tried to obtain sole ownership of the building, many longtime church members were not surprised. They believed all along that the junior Davila was waiting for a larger payout.

The building is worth at least $86,000, according to the Maricopa County Assessor's Office, and might be worth much more because volunteers pitched in to give it a major facelift, inside and out.

County officials also note that another flaw in Davila's plan to own the building is that a nonprofit cannot enrich an individual with its property or profit. Rather, it must go from one nonprofit to another.

When the church doors were opened, the estranged church members and volunteers swiftly made their way through the building. Several went straight to Davila's office and cleared out his desk and bookshelves of personal belongings, including dozens of Bibles.

As they stacked the Bibles and other books into plastic bins, out popped a DVD with a topless woman pressing her forearm and hand against her breasts.

"Filthy porn stars?" one of the church members read in disbelief. "Oh, my . . . Can you believe this? Well, we shouldn't be surprised."

One church volunteer brought musical equipment, such as speakers, to the church to use in a musical ministry for the children. When he fell out of Davila's good graces and was forced out, Davila told him the items had been stolen from the church.

On Monday, when members were searching the building, they found several of those reportedly stolen items locked up in a church storage room.

 

They filled several plastic bins with his clothes, shoes, and other belongings and placed them outside of the church fence.

A few of Davila loyal supporters -- three women in a car -- showed up and were shouting that what the other members were doing wasn't right.

Before they left, the new church crew painted over the old church sign and put up a freshly painted one. They pulled down remnants of the old administration, including a large poster of the pastor hanging in the children's learning center.

They changed the locks, secured the building, and posted notices throughout the property letting Davila know that he was no longer welcome on the property.

New church leaders anticipate closing down the church throughout July and reopening it in August. They also are creating fliers to pass out in the community to let people know about the changes -- and the reasons for them.


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