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Tag: Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jose Lozano Accused of Sexually Molesting Foster Children

pastor jose lozano

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jose Lozano, pastor of Zion Assembly Church of God in Hesperia, California, stands accused of sexually molesting his foster children. Zion Assembly — Hesperia is affiliated with Zion Assembly Church of God International, headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee. Zion Assembly rents its meeting space from Sovereign Way Christian Church.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A Hesperia pastor is in police custody following an investigation into allegations he sexually abused two minors under his care as a foster parent.

Jose Manuel Lozano is awaiting trial at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, where he is being held in lieu of $5-million bail. Investigators described his alleged victims as girls ages 16 and 10.

The 54-year-old Hesperia resident led bilingual services for a predominately Latino and Spanish-speaking congregation at Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia, an affiliate of Zion Assembly Church of God International, headquartered in Tennessee. A representative from the latter said in an interview that the organization condemns Lozano’s “ungodliness” and that he was removed from office March 15, when the allegations came to light. He was arrested last week.

….

Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia is holding services in Lozano’s absence with interim pastor Henry Rodriguez in his place. Rodriguez did not respond to The Times’ request for comment, and the church’s Instagram and Facebook pages have been taken down.

Since 2018, Lozano’s congregation had been renting space from Sovereign Way Christian Church, according to that church’s pastor, Stephen Feinstein. He said he knew Zion Assembly Church of God Hesperia as a good tenant that communicated well. The news “came as such a shock,” he said.

He said the Sovereign Way Christian Church campus has security cameras in nearly every room, but law enforcement hasn’t asked for any video.

“Sexual abuse is a problem in every institutional setting,” Feinstein said.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser