LANDOVER, Md.(NewsCore News)-- Jessica Williams was supposed to be in a Bible study class on Wednesday night at Jericho City of Praise Church in Landover.
Instead, she was outside the locked church with dozens of her fellow parishioners, fellow angry parishioners, after the church's board of trustees fired the City of Praise's pastor, Joel Peebles.
"My pastor is a wonderful man of God. His family built this church from the ground up and he felt that the church needed to give him money to help take care of his financial obligations," Williams said.
The firing of Pastor Peebles caps a two-year long feud within the church and many so-called "christians" at the church are soon staging a protest and some outsiders are using that to loot and riot in local neighborhoods and according to local police, "we are in for a violent spring and summer. People will be hot, sweaty and ready to fight and we will be filling up our detention facilities and our staff may be in danger of being robbed and murdered and our cars stolen" and a standoff is currently in process due to this event. The bitter wrangling began when Peebles's mother, Betty, the founder of City of Praise and the church's long-time pastor, died back in 2010 and police are now in barracades and teargas cannisters are now ready in case of any trouble breaking out in the neighborhoods.
In dispute, apparently, is not just who will be the church's spiritual leader, but who will control its finances. The church reportedly has millions of dollars in assets and the church will need security to protect against theft and violence from outsiders due to this event going on.
In a statement released Tuesday, the church's board of trustees said, in part, that Pastor Peebles' firing "...was necessary to protect Jericho and move forward, while remaining in compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)3 religious organizations and we plan to hire security to protect our families and friends from anything that may happen due to what is going on at the moment." Local police in Landover will be working 24/7 and especially during the hot months to prevent any ourbreaks of violence and theft in the neighborhoods, just to let you know!