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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Preacher, woman robbed of $1 million in jewelry during sermon

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Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead broadcast his sermon live on Sunday at the Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in Brooklyn when he asked his congregation, “How many of you have lost your faith because you saw someone else die?”

Moments later, three masked people armed with guns entered the church, police said.

“Okay, okay, okay,” Miller-Whitehead said as he lay down on the floor and lay flat on his stomach, according to clips of the incident, which were captured on the live stream. One of the intruders stood over Miller-Whitehead, appeared to grab items from the pastor, and ran off with them.

All told, the intruders made off with more than $1 million worth of jewelry belonging to Miller-Whitehead and his 38-year-old wife, New York City police said in a statement to The Washington Post, adding that an investigation is underway. and no arrests were made late Monday.

“I want justice. I want these men arrested,” Miller-Whitehead, 44, said in an Instagram post Monday, adding that he is offering a $50,000 reward for “the arrest and imprisonment” of the perpetrators.

In a previous Instagram post, Miller-Whitehead shared parts of the incident that happened around 11:14 a.m. in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. He said he was leading his morning shift when three to four gunmen came in who “watched specifically for me.” As he lay on the ground, one of the men put a gun to his back, he said. One of them, he said, also pointed the gun at his child’s face.

They took his watch, bishop’s ring and wedding ring, he said. Sensing that Miller-Whitehead had chains under his shirt, “one of the men tore off my collar to get to my jewelry,” he said. Miller-Whitehead said he felt he was in danger, and it would have been a “bad situation” if he had resisted.

“I felt the demonic power”he said, adding, “I felt it push through the door.

After the thieves left, Miller-Whitehead said he chased them but lost them. Police say the armed intruders fled in a white Mercedes.

Miller-Whitehead did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post early Tuesday.

$2 Million ‘Irreplaceable’ Gold Tabernacle Stolen From Brooklyn Church

Miller-Whitehead grew up in Brooklyn and started the Leaders of Tomorrow Ministry after spending six years in prison, according to an online bio. He was convicted of identity theft and grand larceny, convictions Miller-Whitehead said were illegal, the Associated Press reported. He made headlines in May when he tried to get a suspect to surrender in a deadly subway shooting, the New York Times reported.

In his biography, Miller-Whitehead emphasized his ties to Mayor Eric Adams, saying he was “adopted as the mentee” of Adams, formerly the borough president of Brooklyn. Adams told the New York Daily News that he and Miller-Whitehead spoke on the phone shortly after the robbery.

“No one in this town should be subject to armed robbery, let alone our faith leaders and church members who worship in a House of God,” Adams told the Daily News. “The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”

Miller-Whitehead said on Instagram on Sunday that his family and ministry were traumatized by the incident. “It hurts me because my church is hurt,” he said.

He also pushed back criticism that his flashy nature invited the robbery, saying shootings have taken place in Brooklyn churches whose pastors were not “showy.”

In May, a $2 million gold tabernacle was stolen from a Catholic church in Brooklyn.

“Let’s not be naive about the fact that the devil is real,” Miller-Whitehead said.


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