Maryland Pastor Joel Peebles and Church At Odds Over Church Leadership
As the battle for control of Jericho City of Praise plays out in court, the Landover megachurch’s pastor asserted his authority Sunday over the ministry, a report says. A week after a shoving match broke out at the end of the Sunday service, the Rev. Joel R. Peebles sought to dismiss the rumblings of conflict over the church’s leadership. In a rousing sermon, Peebles said plainly that he is in charge.
Pastor Joel Peebles told his congregation on Sunday:
“We will have no confusion. We will have no mess. We will have no drama. We will have no difficulty — and if you are bringing it to the house, you need to find another house,” Peebles said as the hundreds assembled clapped and cheered. “Now I take authority under the covenant of God, in the name Lord Jesus, over this house. . . . If you’ve got a problem with it, find yourself another place.”
Apparently, a week ago on Sunday, security intervened when nephew Joshua Peebles headed for the collection plates but was shoved out of the church; he allegedly was going to take the money.
Peebles and the church were in court on Friday filing duel petitions as the board is trying to stop Peebles, 41, from handling the congregation’s money. Each side accused the other of mismanaging the church’s considerable finances, the Washington Post stated.
The pastor is the only surviving son of the church’s late founders. Before his mother, Apostle Betty P. Peebles, died in October, she put Joel in charge of the 15,000-member congregation. In dispute is whether she intended to leave the church’s board of trustees to direct millions of dollars in assets. In November, the dispute sprung into action nearly a month after Apostle Peebles passed on.
Joel Peebles’s nephew, Joshua has sided with the board, whose petition accuses Joel Peebles and his supporters of seizing the tithes and offerings at a recent service and refusing to give them to the church’s treasurer.
Pastor Joel Peebles told the church also:
“No matter what you may read in the newspaper today, no matter what you heard happened last week, don’t you put your mouth on my family,” he said. “That’s my nephew, that’s my family — that’s none of your business.”
The family church apparently owned a luxury assisted residences home apartments called Jericho Residences in Landover, MD.
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