Home Christian News Church of the Highlands Pastor Named Co-Defendant in Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Church of the Highlands Pastor Named Co-Defendant in Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Ron Delgado, Miriam Delgado, Jason Delgado, and Dino Rizzo, are all named as defendants in the suit. The lawsuit also names “XYZ Corporation” and “John Does 1-25,” both of which are to be identified as the litigation continues. 

“Numerous members of the Church and other organizations” were made aware of Jason Delgado’s inappropriate behavior and failed to intervene, claims the suit.

The ultimate piece of irony in this matter is the involvement of [Dino] Rizzo. [Dino]  Rizzo, who has been accused of his own sexual improprieties during his time at the Healing Place in Baton Rouge was tasked with investigating this matter. He is the “overseer” of the Defendant, the scope of which is unknown to the vast majority of the congregation, much like everything involved with the Defendant (including finances). 

The suit is referring to the fact that in 2012 Rizzo resigned as senior pastor from his Louisiana church because of an “inappropriate” relationship before joining The Church of the Highlands in 2013 under a ​​“restoration plan.”

Eagan is suing the defendants on five counts and is seeking actual, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as damages for “​​Pain, Suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment.”

“If the Defendant would have simply put something (or really anything) in place to prevent sexual harassment,” says the suit, “none of this would have happened.”

ARC Responds

ChurchLeaders has reached out to The Church of the Highlands, Vibrant Church, and ARC for comment. ARC responded with the following statement:

Since its beginning in 2000, the Association of Related Churches (“ARC”) has helped over 900 independent churches launch through training, coaching, and advice to thousands of church pastors. ARC calls this process “church planting.”  

Today, some of ARC’s church plants have become the most prominent and fastest-growing churches in the USA. Thousands of people decide to follow Christ and are baptized in ARC church plants every year. ARC church plants give over $15 million each year to missions. Over the last two decades, ARC has become a church planting movement focused on seeing a life-giving church in every community.

Unfortunately, over the years, a small number of pastors have disregarded biblical guidance and instructions. The wrong personal choices they made and the resulting consequences are theirs to bear. In regard to this situation, Vibrant Church alone had the authority to make personnel decisions with regard to its employees, including Jason Delgado.  

ARC does not condone any illegal, immoral, improper, or unethical conduct or actions opposed to biblical teachings. ARC will continue its mission to help launch, connect and equip thousands of pastors who greatly value and benefit from the support of a church planting organization like ARC. 

Jason Delgado is neither a volunteer, employee, nor part of any Church of the Highlands or ARC restoration process.

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.