Jericho City of Praise Update: Members offer support of Joel Peeples (video)


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The Washingon Post reported that Joel Peeples, 41 asked Judge Dwight Jackson to rescind his decision and allow him to take his place on the board of trustees. Judge Jackson gave gave control of the church’s administration to six men and women who claim they had been named to a new governing board in 2009 by Peebles’ mother, Apostle Betty Peebles, who died in October 2010. The decision effectively removed leadership from the hands of a Peebles for the first time since the church was founded in 1964.

Joel R. Peebles, 41, asked Judge Dwight Jackson, who last month barred Peebles from all church management responsibilities, to rescind the order and allow him to take his place on the church’s board of trustees. Peebles had argued that he and two others had been wrongly removed from the board.

Meanwhile, members of the church who support Peebles on Monday held the last of seven symbolic protests against his ouster from power, marching around the giant blue-and-white church seven times, taking a cue from the Bible, when the biblical character Joshua led followers on a march around the city of Jericho. The members put out a call for participation days ahead of time, taking to Facebook and the telephone to rally Peebles supporters.

A member of the church, Elaine posted a comment on the post I wrote on churchladyblogs regarding the lock out  stating:

Jericho is a nonprofit.  Betty Peebles did not own it. She could not give the church to anyone.  Her will mentions nothing about the church. Only her personal assets. This case has always been about the long standing true board of trustees of which Pastor Joel Peebles is a part of vs six employees who claim they were put in place by Apostle Betty before she died.  Their lawyer and public relations person are trying to muddy the waters. They have spoken to the press and have put their spin on things.   Pastor Joel has not spoken to the press. The Afro took their story from the Washington Post which has inaccurate information. The initial argument was that Apostle only wanted her son to preach and lead the congregation spiritually not handle the business aspects.  After the ruling they changed the locks with police present and did not give him a key. They want him out so they can control the churches’ assets worth over $136 million.
This board consists of 6 employees.
– The church secretary   (co-chief operating officer- no degree)
-The grounds/facilities manager (co-chief operating officer -no degree)
-The bookkeeper-Chief financial officer (obtained her GED at 35 years old. and testified under oath that she didn’t know how much money is in the bank and she doesn’t file reports.  She only “count the money.”)
-They collect the money, count the money, and write Checks on the account.  As the Board of Trustees that oversee themselves as employees.  They gave themselves $20,000 raises shortly after Apostle died.  They all drive luxury cars.
-Apostle Betty had cancer that had spread all over her body.  She had a stroke and other medical problems. She was a very sick lady.  She had a tracheotomy and suffered during her last days.  She was both physically and mentally incapacitated.  These employees say they were put in place during the last months of Apostles life.  NONE OF HER FAMILY OR RELATIVES WAS PRESENT WHEN THESE CHANGES TOOK PLACE.  Apostle was outspoken. Nothing was said to anybody. They lay in wait and surfaced after she died. THIS IS A CHURCH MATTER.  IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN COURT.  The members have spoken WE VOTED THEM OUT ON SUNDAY.  If they do not release control of the churches assets we will file a MEMBER’S ACTION SUIT AGAINST EACH OF THEM INDIVIDUALLY for breach of their fiduciary duty to the members of this non-profit and request that the court immediately remove them.  This fight is  between the 6 employees and the members of Jericho.  Pray for the Jericho family as we fight spiritual wickedness in high places.”


The Washington Post article states that on Sunday, members of the church filled in paper ballots to cast their votes for an alternative board to administer the church. The vote was orchestrated by a legal ministry made up of lawyers who are church members, banding together to help Peebles untangle himself from the controversy that had rocked the church.

A source familiar with the vote said the lawyers decided to hold the election because of what they believe  was a mistatement made in a document  written by the board. The document, a Peebles supporter said, said  that the board had been elected by the members of the church, when in reality it had not.

In depositions, several members of the board said they had been selected by Betty Peebles, not the church membership.

Some members also complained that they opposed Jackson’s ruling for ecclesiastical reasons, calling it a violation of the separation of church and state for a court to determine who administers the church.

My Moma always said that there are two sides to every story.  Special thanks to Elaine for providing our family with the real deal info. I pray that the saints of Jericho and Pastor Peeples can resolve this matter soon.



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