10 New Times Cover Stories You Should Have Read This Year

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9.) False Profit: How an El Mirage Preacher Swindled Followers


By Monica Alonzo:

Guadalupe Davila Jr. isn't standing at the pulpit of his small church in El Mirage preaching to the congregation about living a godly life. He isn't inside the baptismal font, waist-deep in water and immersing new members and cleansing them of their sins. And he's not at the church's learning center giving children a lesson about the evils of lying.

Instead, on this warm day in May, the 47-year-old is sitting in a crowded El Mirage courthouse waiting for his turn to stand before a city judge. He fidgets, crossing and uncrossing his arms and legs. He places his left ankle on his right knee and anxiously shakes his foot.

The pastor with graying hair swept up into a faux-hawk is here to answer allegations that he repeatedly harassed an ex-girlfriend.

The young woman had been his secret lover for about two years, but she ended the relationship after realizing she wasn't the only church member with whom he was sexually involved. She obtained an order of protection last November. Continue reading.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley