Pastor John Donahue fired from The ROC megachurch after seven weeks

Donahue was hired just seven weeks ago.
Joe Donahue

Virginia megachurch Richmond Outreach Center, known as The ROC, has fired Senior Pastor Joe Donahue just seven weeks after hiring him.

Donahue released a statement Tuesday stating that the church suddenly fired him on May 22.

"Despite ongoing encouragement from the Board of Directors, and without warning, I was terminated," he wrote on his website.

"I would have greatly valued a conversation. I love accountability and love to be sharpened."

Donahue, 41, replaced founding pastor Geronimo Aguilar, who was charged last year with seven child abuse felonies for allegedly assaulting two sisters, ages 11 and 13, in the 1990s.


Aguilar established The ROC in 2001, and resigned in June 2013. In the wake of the scandal, three other pastors also stepped down.

When The ROC hired Donahue, the husband and father was described as a man of God who would usher in a new day for the church.

"Pastor Joe has a heart to lead, strengthen, and equip the church through solid biblical teaching, authenticity, transparency, and his love for Jesus," the church's website read.

The day Donahue was fired, The ROC posted one of his quotes about repentance on their Facebook page.

"The moment you realize how damaging your sin is, repent. –Pastor Joe," the church wrote.


On his website, Donahue stated that if he had swayed from the Bible's teachings, he would do exactly as the quote states.

"If I was leading the church in an unbiblical manner– I would repent and seek forgiveness," he wrote.

However, sources told WRIC Richmond that it was not a spiritual misstep that led to Donahue's firing, but a conflict with church board members. Donahue acknowledged that he did not see eye-to-eye with at least one board member.

"I had initiated a dialogue with one member of the Board of Directors in regard to the foundation of the church," he wrote. "I communicated to him, if he wasn't going to support the direction, it would never happen.

"At this point, I was hoping to open a door of ongoing dialogue, and did not expect to be terminated as a result."

The ROC has not issued a statement regarding Donahue's termination.

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