On Tuesday (Oct. 18), Bishop Lamor Whitehead made a surprise appearance on the red carpet of the 53rd GMA Dove Awards. Whitehead made headlines this past summer after he and his wife were robbed at gunpoint during his church’s Sunday service livestream.
On July 24, three men who were dressed in all black clothing and face masks rushed into Whitehead’s church, Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries (Brooklyn, NY), and took an estimated $1 million worth of jewelry.
Whitehead again made the news on September 18, after he forcefully grabbed a woman by the back of the neck for disrupting his sermon by shouting and pointing her finger while walking around the room. After authorities arrived, Whitehead was arrested and informed he would be charged with assault. A couple of hours later, the bishop was released and all charges were dropped.
ChurchLeaders asked Whitehead how his family was doing after the incidents of this year. The bishop told us that the “smoke” is starting to clear, adding, “I think the biggest part of the restoration was the misconception of me having anything to do with this robbery.”
Since the robbery, two of the three men have been arrested and charged.
“The world turned me from a victim to a villain,” Whitehead said, explaining that he is focused on rehabilitation and restoration, ”understanding the trauma that my church had to go through, that my family had to go through, and last that I have to go through.”
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Whitehead shared that, as a leader, he carries much on his shoulders and it can be difficult to express the pain he experiences in the same way that others are able to.
“That’s actually why I’m here today [at the Dove Awards], because it’s how I release my pain and release my prayers is through worship,” the bishop shared. “These artists have no idea what they do for us.”
Whitehead said that some of his times of worship come in the early hours of the morning or when he is in the car by himself.
“It’s a certain sound that just takes you to the element where you need to be, of restoration,” Whitehead said. “You know what I mean?”
Whitehead shared that although his family and church have recently endured unforeseen turmoil, God has used it to bring attention to the protection of houses of worship.