Pastor Robbed During Sermon Does "Bizarre" Re-Enactment of Jewelry Heist at Service
Controversial clergyman dramatically recounts the holdup.
An extravagant Brooklyn pastor caused a media stir last week. Firstly he was robbed of pricey jewelry while he was delivering a sermon in his church and the video of the accident went viral. Shortly after that, he was accused of stealing $90,000 from one of his parishioners. Over the weekend, the pastor pleaded for some sympathy and even bizarrely reenacted the crime at his prayer meeting Sunday. Read on for the 5 things you need to know about this wild case.
According to the New York Post, Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead was delivering his sermon when he addressed the congregation. "I need you to get back in position when them three men came in here with them guns out. I gotta get back into position," he said. He then made a "voosh" sound and stepped behind his podium.
"As I began to preach, I saw the door open," Miller-Whitehead said. "And I looked, and I said, 'OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK."
"As I got down on the floor, I told my church, 'Y'all get out.'" He then splayed his body down the floor, according to the Post's video.
The assailants took an estimated $1 million in jewelry from Miller-Whitehead, his wife, and reportedly members of the congregation. On Sunday, the bishop told his audience that God would restore "double" his losses, comparing himself to King David of biblical lore. "Don't think that God allows somebody to come here and steal something for him not to give us double. This is what the Bible says," said Miller-Whitehead. "David recovered all."
The pastor was in the spotlight in June when he claimed he was involved in trying to negotiate the surrender of a man accused of shooting and killing a Goldman Sachs employee on a New York City subway. Police eventually arrested the man before he could voluntarily surrender.
But there is more; The City reported that Whitehead previously served state prison sentences for identity fraud and grand larceny.
Whitehead has a close relationship with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and has appeared at several public events with him. "No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our faith leaders and congregants worshiping in a House of God," Adams told the Daily News on Monday. "The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice."
Whitehead's verified Instagram account details his extravagant shows of wealth, including his Gucci suits, diamond chains and stable of luxury cars.
According to The New York Post, bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead insisted on Instagram that his public displays of wealth didn't lead to Sunday's gunpoint robbery during his livestreamed service. "It's not about me being flashy," said the Rolls-Royce-driving bishop in a video shortly after the robbery. "It's about me purchasing what I want to purchase," he said. "It's my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase. If I worked hard for it, I can purchase what I want to purchase."