Despite a recent claim by Rock Church International in Virginia Beach that their lead pastor, John Blanchard, “voluntarily stepped back as lead pastor and from all his ministerial duties” due to a prostitution arrest, he was still boldly preaching at a prophetic conference in Texas last weekend.
On Saturday, Blanchard, 52, preached at the Power and Authority Conference hosted by Global Fellowship Church in Richardson, Texas, where he was revered as a “man of God” who is a “prophetic voice to the body of Christ.”
He first appeared at the pulpit armed with a shofar he found in the host pastor’s office.
“When you have crazy faith, sometimes it makes you do crazy things,” Blanchard said. “We’re going to release to God some crazy faith, and I believe we’ll see the supernatural happen in this place tonight.”
He further declared, “There’s nothing the devil can do to steal what God has ordained for your life. I want you to know you are a child of destiny.”
The Virginia pastor was among 17 men accused of solicitation of prostitution after an online sting operation by police on Oct. 29, 2021. The married father of two was charged with solicitation of prostitution of a minor and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution, both felonies. He was arrested at a hotel where he was supposed to meet a detective posing as a 17-year-old girl. He insisted that he wasn’t sure what would have happened had his plan materialized, and he had intended to talk.
After almost a year of legal maneuvering, the charges against Blanchard were withdrawn, or nolle prosequi, ahead of a criminal trial in October. Nolle prosequi means prosecutors could potentially bring those charges again.
In an Oct. 11 statement on Facebook, Rock Church officials announced that Blanchard was cleared of all charges by prosecutors from the Chesterfield County Courthouse.
“We have always believed in John’s innocence. His humility and submission to those over him during this time has been a testimony to his character,” Bishop Anne Gimenez, who is currently leading the church along with Blanchard’s wife, Robin, said. “He has spent the time in fasting and prayer and has invested much of his time in his family and education. We anticipate his resumption of church duties shortly.”
That plan, however, was interrupted when details of Blanchard’s arrest were shared publicly in documents online by attorney Tim Anderson. The records show Blanchard negotiating for a “quick visit” in a chat he initiated by responding to an advertisement presented as a 19-year-old girl on a website that “obtained pornographic images.”
“Under the guidance of our legal counsel, we cannot make a statement or comment concerning the accusations against Rev. John Blanchard at this time. We are all committed to walking in integrity and truth at Rock Church International and will continue to take steps to do so,” the church said. “Pastor Blanchard has voluntarily stepped back as lead pastor and from all his ministerial duties until this present situation is,”,” resolved.”