The reaction has been largely shock, disapproval and betrayal.
Church officials did not publicly cite a reason for the departure.
He later worked at Scottsdale Bible Church from 1985 to 1996 before going on to found Highlands in the late 1990s.
He was married and in his 20s at the time, one of the victims said.
The victim, Tracy Epler, came forward and said Hughey was removed from the Modesto church in 1978 after an explicit note was discovered.
Additional victims came forward after seeing an initial article on Sunday.