A clash between a local pastor and church board members is nowhere near over -- even after a ruling from a Maryland appeals court.
The court has reversed a decision that removed Pastor Joel Peebles from his leadership position at the Jericho City of Praise. He had been ousted in April.
"I’ve received a termination letter from the church that I was raised in, was born in, married in, went to college in, went to graduate school in," Peebles told supporters outside the church after his termination.
Thousands of members stood by the pastor's side, moving with him when he was kicked out. Now Peebles and those members say they are making plans to return to the church's main Landover campus.
Jericho City of Praise is a massive organization; the church's The main sanctuary can hold up to 11,000 parishioners. Jericho City also includes Jericho Residences (apartments for seniors), a business development center, and Jericho Christian Academy.
The church's longtime spiritual leader, Apostle Betty Peebles, died in October 2010, after which her son, Joel Peebles, took over. However, her will reportedly placed the leadership of the church in the hands of a six-member board, not her son.