It seems preaching can be a dangerous profession these days. During his Sunday sermon on July 24, a Brooklyn, New York, pastor was robbed in the middle of preaching, and it was all caught on live stream.
The flashy pastor claimed he was robbed of more than $1 million worth of jewelry, though some media reports place the figure at $400,000.
According to a police report, three masked men entered the Leaders of Tomorrow Church with firearms and removed the jewelry Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead and his wife were wearing. Some of the incident was caught on video from inside the church, CNN reported.
“All right, all right, all right,” Whitehead can be heard saying in the video. He is seen raising his hands and lowering himself to the floor. The video has seen been taken down from the church’s live stream.
There was also a congregation of 20 to 25 people in the church at the time.
“I got women and children there. As I got down, one went to my wife and took all her jewelry and had the gun in front of my 8-month-old baby’s face,” Whitehead told reporters.
The Rolls-Royce-driving bishop continued that the robbers took “my bishop’s ring, my wedding band and took off my bishop chain, and then I had chains underneath my robe, and he starts tapping my neck to see if (there was) anything else — so that means they knew, they watched, and they knew that I have other jewelry.”
“My church is traumatized,” Whitehead said.
The New York Police Department said the assailants reportedly escaped in a white Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
Whitehead founded Leaders of Tomorrow Ministry in 2013, and has ties to New York City Mayor Eric Adams. In Whitehead’s church bio, he claims Adams is a mentor.
“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 said in a statement about the armed robbery. “The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”
Whitehead is known to flaunt his wealth. His Instagram posts are often of photos of him in Louis Vuitton suits and seemingly expensive jewelry. He also liked to show off his high-end cars.
But Whitehead says he’s not “flashy.” “It’s not about me being flashy. 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.”