Brooklyn Bishop Defends Aggressively Removing Protester from Church Service

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Bishop Lamor Whitehead, pastor of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, is no stranger to media attention.

In July of 2022 his church was robbed mid-service. The robbers took his and his wife's jewelry, which is valued between $400,000 and $1 million dollars.

He also helped negotiate the surrender of a NY subway shooting suspect, after arriving his Rolls Royce.

Whitehead has earned praise and criticism for his lavish lifestyle, but has defended his expenditures in the past.

"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."

This past Sunday saw another event get caught on the churches livestream, when a woman allegedly protested during the sermon and Pastor Whitehead aggressively removed her from in front of the stage.

Whitehead appeared to be calling out the videos that others in the back were taking, before removing the woman and telling his parishioners off-screen, "Grab her, grab her out" repeatedly.

He would go on to address the woman in the back that was being escorted out, "Press whatever charges you want, you're not going to come in my space. I feel threatened."

After a few moments went by, Whitehead returned to the stage and carried on with the service, "Let's get back to the Word of God," he declared.

Police were called for the incident, and both parties were taken away in handcuffs. The woman, who "The New York Daily News" identified as Tarsha Howard, was charged with trespassing and disrupting a religious service.

Voicing his frustrations to the media he explained, "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 told his side of the story during a Facebook Live stream later that day from his Rolls Royce:

"I know that everyone's building a narrative, but it is what it is," he said, "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," Whitehead claimed. "That's when I took action and I grabbed the young woman and I escorted her out.

"She came in the middle aisle and just [started] cussing me out, calling me all types of names, calling me all types of things," Whitehead said.

"She came back storming toward my wife and my 10-month-old baby," he continued. "She went toward my wife and that's when I grabbed her. I grabbed her and took her out of my church. All I could remember was the guys with the guns who put their gun in my baby's face."

Because of the recent robbery, Whitehead was not sure what the woman had planned for her protest, and if his congregation was in danger, "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 of the incident.

Like Pastor Whitehead's previous media encounters, reaction to the video has been mixed. Some have defended his swift action in case the woman had been armed, while others did not believe a man (especially a pastor) should put their hands on a woman that way regardless of the situation.

James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.

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