Bishop Lamor Whitehead, leader of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries chapter in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, was preaching from the pulpit at his church when the woman in the congregation apparently began shouting. Whitehead, who was robbed mid-sermon in July, appeared to accuse the woman of recording him, then invited her up.
“You wanna come preach?” Whitehead is heard asking the woman. “You want to come preach, come up here. I’m gonna make you famous, yes Lord.”
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When she approaches, Whitehead grabs her by the neck and shoves her forcefully, then begins speaking in tongues.
“Now remove her out of here, move her out of here,” he says.
Appearing to address the woman, who is out of the livestream frame, Whitehead says, “Press whatever charges you want, you’re not going to come in my space. I feel threatened.”
Moments later, Whitehead resumed the service.
“Let’s get back to the word of God,” he says.
Both were reportedly taken from the church in handcuffs. The New York Daily News identified the woman as Tarsha Howard, and reported that she was charged with trespassing and disrupting a religious service. Whitehead told the newspaper he was vindicated.
“They lock me up in front of my children, in front of my wife, in front of my church,” Whitehead said. “They publicly embarrassed me and then they drop all the charges after two hours and apologize to me.”
Whitehead addressed the situation on Facebook Live later Sunday, as he drove home in his Rolls Royce. He claimed the unidentified woman he was seen shoving was threatening his family in connection with a pending lawsuit.
“I know that everyone’s building a narrative, but it is what it is,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “We had some visitor in the church, and they were sent by two nobodies — two bloggers who are nobodies. And they were sent into my church to disrupt my church.
“They came in videoing, and it was a whole set-up,” he continued. “That’s when I took action and I grabbed the young woman and I escorted her out.”
The episode was captured on the church’s regular livestream feed, as was another bizarre incident this summer when Whitehead, his wife and possibly some congregants were robbed of $400,000 in jewelry while preaching.
“I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or if they were just coming for a robbery,” Whitehead said at the time.
On video of the service when the robbery occurred, Whitehead also addressed his taste for luxury living.
“A lot of people are going to say, ‘Why are you so flashy?’” he said. “It’s my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase if I work hard for it.”