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Church Culture

Orlando Megachurch Pastor and Wife Divorce Quietly, Report Says

The lead pastor of an Orlando-area megachurch and his wife quietly filed for divorce last summer in a county across the state, a fact confirmed by court records but never publicly acknowledged by the pastor or his church.

The Roys Report broke the story, detailing that Justin Dailey, lead pastor of multi-campus Action Church, and his former wife Stefanie filed for divorce in June 2021 in Dixie County, Florida, a three-hour drive from their home.

The dissolution of marriage was made final Aug. 6. Justin Dailey is listed as the plaintiff and Stefanie as the defendant.

The couple had married when he was in his early 20s, per the Roys Report, and moved to Florida in 2008.

Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, so either party may seek a divorce without providing a reason.

Justin Dailey founded Action Church, a non-denominational church that is part of the Association of Related Churches (ARC), in Winter Springs, Florida in 2014. The church now has four locations throughout the central part of the state.

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Dailey serves as president of the entity, according to documents filed with the Florida Secretary of State’s Office, which also list Nelsa Rivera, the wife of Action pastor Eddie Rivera, as the secretary and treasurer.

Dailey is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, where he attended Highlands College at Church of the Highlands.

His biography on the church website says he was drawn to full-time ministry while he was in college and in early 2012 felt a “clear call” to plant a church. Action Church was launched two years later with nearly 800 people in attendance, per the website.

Justin Dailey also is among three pastors who are named in a lawsuit that alleges ARC and the pastors knew Joshua Mauney, ARC’s former national director of church planting, had a history of sexual misconduct, but still allowed him to plant and lead Newsound Church (now Sound Church) in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, where he allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted his female assistant.

Dailey and the other three pastors had been appointed by ARC to be “overseers” of Mauney’s church.

Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.