FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2012
Contact: Deana Bass
Disputed Board Terminates The Membership of Long Standing Parishioners at City of Praise Church
LANDOVER, MD – April 20, 2012 – Thursday, the disputed board of the City of Praise Church in Landover, Md. revoked membership from at least four longstanding members of the church.
In letters from Gloria McGruder, Keith and Denise Moore, Bobby Henry and Rod Chavez were told that because they do “not accept the Trustees of the church” the disputed board has decided to terminate their membership. This test for membership termination will no doubt result in more such terminations because the members of City of Praise do not accept the disputed board as legitimate.
Because today Judge Dwight Jackson denied the members of the church a hearing on this issue, they are even more determined to press forward in insisting that the Prince George County Court listen to the will of the people. They want to remove the six employees who claim that they are the church’s board.
The terminated church members have a collective of over 100 years of service to the church.
“This is merely another in a long string of attempts by the disputed board to bully and intimidate the congregation,” said Rod Chavez.
Chavez is leading the congregation in a lawsuit that questions the authority of the board. He like the others whose membership has been terminated has expressed openly his support for Pastor Joel Peebles.
“In their letter they tell us that because we disagree with them, they are terminating our membership in a church that we paid for with our tithes and offerings,” said Denise Moore. “This is a church that I have served in for 27 years under the excellent leadership of Apostle Betty Peebles and now the awesome leadership of Pastor Joel Peebles. I am truly saddened and disgusted over the way they are treating members. But I know that in the end God will have the glory.”
It is expected that they will deliver additional letters to other church members in the coming days. These church membership terminations come just one day after Pastor Joel Peebles was fired and his membership terminated.
These brute tactics have come largely from Clarence Jackson who served as janitor when Apostle Betty Peebles was living. Shortly before Betty Peebles died in 2010, Jackson declared himself Chief Operating Officer. This title was bestowed at a time when Betty Peebles was incapacitated and suffering in the final stages of cancer. Several months ago, Jackson changed the locks, locking Pastor Joel Peebles out of the church. He also installed costly security cameras all over the church. Jackson has implemented a security plan that includes an overbearing police presence.
Jackson is an ex-prison guard. His highest degree is a high school diploma. He earns close to six figures in addition to the undisclosed fees that his maintenance company receives for doing work at the church. Jackson is also responsible for collecting the cash fees from the Red Skins parking. The congregation has asked repeatedly that Jackson disclose the amount of money being collected from the cash lots. He has refused.
Just some of the documented bullying and intimidation by the disputed board includes the following:
Bobby Henry long time general council was fired for his support of Pastor Joel Peebles.
Even Radio One was threatened with a lawsuit if they continued a relationship with Pastor Peebles and First Lady Ylawnda.