Court Decision overlooks fraud and abuse as Jericho church Secretary/COO Denise Killen admits under oath to signing Apostle Betty Peebles name on the bank signature card just about five (5) days before her death to gain access to church funds.
See: The Washington Post article below,
Then See: Denise Killen’s own words from her deposition taken at the bottom of this page.
You be the judge!
Judge rules against ex-pastor’s supporters in fight for control of Jericho City of Praise
By Hamil R. Harris, Published: February 4 E-mail the writer
A multimillion-dollar mega church in Landover is rightfully controlled by a board of directors, not the son of the ministry’s co-founder, a Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Dwight Jackson’s ruling was a blow to the supporters of Bishop Joel R. Peebles, former pastor of Jericho City of Praise, who had argued that the current board of trustees had wrongly appointed themselves to lead one of the largest churches in the Washington area.
The church was thrown into turmoil in 2010 when Apostle Betty R. Peebles, the founder of the church, died and the board of directors began to take control of the congregation from her son. Ever since then, Joel Peebles and his supporters have argued that the board of directors- Gloria Magruder, Clifford Boswellm Denise Killen, Dorothy Williams, Clarence Jackson and Linda Plyes had wrongfully installed new leadership.
Several of those supporters- Roderick Chavez, Barbara Jackson, Tremilo Walters, Charlease Logan and Bessie Ashworth- brought an injunction against some of Betty Peebles’ closes aides charging that while Peebles was ill they “failed to hold mandatory elections,” to legitimately govern the church as trustees.
In granting summary judgment, Jackson wrote that matters of church leadership and membership are the church’s purgative. “It has long been established that ecclesiastical questions are to be determined by the churches and their appropriate tribunals, including matters relating to membership in the church, and their decisions are not reviewable by the Civil Courts.”
In a joint statement, the plaintiffs called Jackson’s decision “appalling,” because it “allows six defendants who admitted under oath to committing fraud, theft and forgery to remain in control of a Maryland Mega-church.” The plaintiffs cited the deposition where one of the members of the board, Killen, admitted to signing Betty Peebles name on documents and taking cash in the amount of $27,000.
In a letter to his congregation, Joel Peebles said that there are several more legal matters to be settled and the case is far from over.
“While the legal system has its twists and turns, the ways of Christ aids us in our steadfastness,” he wrote. “While this recent case is being sent for appeal and the three remaining cases are on the road to victory, let us continue our standards of unyielding love and forgiveness.”
Jackson’s decision is the latest development in a controversy that began just after Betty Peebles’s death more than three years ago. The issue has largely been over control of the church’s massive assets: a 10,000-seat sanctuary, a senior citizens’ complex, schools and a lucrative agreement to provide parking for Washington Redskins home games.
Pages taken from the testimony of Denise Alma Killen