Author’s note: For most recent updates, scroll to the bottom.
In July, it was reported that mega church pastor Dino Rizzo was going on a sabbatical.
According to The Advocate, Dino Rizzo, lead pastor and founder of Healing Place Church announced Sunday that he and his wife are leaving the church.
“We feel it is best that we step down as pastors today,” Dino Rizzo told several thousand church members gathered in the spacious arena sanctuary during the first of two Sunday morning services.
“Two months ago,” Rizzo said, “I let my spirit, soul and body get depleted and did not make good choices as a dad, as a husband, as a leader.”
Dino is also quoted as saying he stepped down voluntarily, which contradicts reports that a newly established church board had asked him to step down. On July 25, 2012, the following was reported by news channel WAFB,
The church issued a statement Tuesday saying that the Healing Place spirituality board determined that Rizzo needed the sabbatical.
The church statement says Rizzo has “humbly and willingly embraced the board’s plan.”
The Advocate quoted long-standing church member Brian McCollister who suggests the public take this resignation as face value.
“There will be tons of rumors circulating, but it’s none of anybody’s business,” McCollister said. “My heart is broken for them and their family. God can see the end from the beginning and this was no surprise to him. The decision they made was between them and God.”
However, rumors have circulating since late July on Louisiana message boards that Rizzo was having an affair with a former intern. What’s worse is, the church board allegedly paid the young woman to move back to her home state to cover the incident up, which was not originally Louisiana, according to sources.
Commenter “RedStickNative” shares sentiments with those on the message boards:
The article plainly says “Two months ago,” Rizzo said, “I let my spirit, soul and body get depleted and did not make good choices as a dad, as a husband, as a leader.” There is little doubt this pastor is running from a heinous scandal if facts were made public. What these men want is power and easy money and they are no different than any con man anywhere preying on the weak and guillable. Their product is invisible and the payoff is promised to come after you die and can’t get your money back. FYI that’s my opinion and you obviously don’t have to agree but this sort of thing happens all over the country all the time.
According to local sources, it seems RedStickNative has hit the proverbial nail on the head.
Could this be just another Jim Bakker/Jessica Hahn story?