Love of Money
Last weekend, a Brooklyn pastor known for his conspicuous wealth was robbed at gunpoint during a live-streamed service on Sunday, as thieves reportedly nabbed over $1 million in jewelry he and his wife wore.
Lamor Miller-Whitehead, 44, founder and pastor of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Brooklyn, New York, was preaching when three masked men wearing all black entered the sanctuary brandishing firearms. “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or were just coming for a robbery,” Whitehead said later in a Facebook Live recap video.
On the church service live stream video, an assailant points a gun at Whitehead as the minister laid on the ground, saying, “Alright, alright.” The thief removed the minister’s jewelry, including a Rolex watch, multiple chains, a Bishop’s ring, a wedding band, and a gold cross necklace.
Soon after, an assailant stole jewelry from Whitehead’s wife, Asia, while reportedly holding a gun to their eight-month-old daughter’s head. The three masked figures—whom Whitehead later identified as Black men—fled the scene, and none have been arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD).
According to multiple reports, the Whiteheads were robbed of more than $1 million worth of jewelry. The minister has subsequently offered $50,000 for any information leading to the assailants’ arrest.
A couple of questions came to mind. First, how in the world does a 44-year-old pastor and his wife afford a million dollars worth of jewelry? I believe in paying a pastor well – and I’m thankful for the generosity of MBC – and for the record, I don’t own a Rolex watch, gold jewelry, or diamonds. But a million dollars in jewelry! Incidentally, the other day Connie was going through some old papers and warranties and found the receipt for her engagement ring: $217.30! Fifty years ago in Philadelphia, I was a poor Bible college student working and living off tips as a Bellman at Penn Center Inn. Second, – and this answers the first – I view this “pastor” as a charlatan and con artist preying on naive and gullible people giving their tithes and offerings to support the highly lavish lifestyle of their pastor. There is nothing wrong with wealth and having nice things. But a couple who wears a million dollars worth of jewelry to church is somewhat on the extreme side.
Here’s the takeaway: Be careful to whom you give your money! There are far too many religious leaders in ministry for the money. Second, MBC will always be transparent with our finances. If you ever have questions about how we spend our money – ask! We don’t make a big deal out of it, but we have nothing to hide.