Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Three armed robbers broke into a Brooklyn church where Bishop Lamor Whitehead was giving a live sermon, stealing at least $400,000 in jewelry from him and his wife, authorities said.
The bishop, who recently tried to negotiate a deal for the surrender of a man accused of a subway homicide, was preaching at the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry located on Remsen Avenue around 11:15 a.m. Sunday. , when the three suspects with hidden faces entered the premises, the police and the pastor corroborated.
When the criminals appeared on the scene, Whitehead, who was decked out in a clerical collar, burgundy robes with gold trim, and a long gold chain, stopped the sermon and lay back on the floor saying, “Hey, okay, okay. It’s fine,” according to a video circulating on social media.
“When I saw them walk into the sanctuary with their guns, I told everyone, ‘Get down,'” Whitehead said in a video posted on Instagram. “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot my church or if they were coming for a robbery.”
At the time of being on the floor, the thieves can be seen rummaging through the bishop’s pockets, snatching the expensive jewel from Whitehead and his wife.
Another man seen in the video footage was sitting with what appears to be a prayer book and watched unmoved or in shock as the armed robbery unfolded.
The criminals fled the scene in a white Mercedes-Benz and are still being sought, authorities said.
The pastor got up with his clerical collar twisted and leaves the video frame.
On Sunday afternoon, Whitehead took to social media to speak out about the crime at his church.
“I was born without jewelry, jewelry does not make me,” said the Brooklyn pastor after the assault in a live video for his Instagram followers. He said he was “traumatized” after the incident.
“I’m never afraid, and I’m not here bragging or bad mouthing anyone, but you still have these women and children crying,” she said. “That’s not gangster. That’s a layup, like, ‘Oh, I robbed a church.’ You don’t get points for that.”
The bishop declared that the robbery would not affect his future preaching.
“We’re pushing, we’re still doing what we have to do,” Whitehead said. “I’m not a suburban person; I’m from Brooklyn, I’m from the city. I understand the streets. This bishop, I am not afraid.”