Founder of Megachurch Leaves Behind a Rich Legacy

By Chris Gordon
|  Thursday, Oct 14, 2010  |  Updated 1:19 PM EDT
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Chris Gordon reports on the woman who founded one of the largest churches in the World.  Her congregation is remembering her for her faith and determination.

Chris Gordon reports on the woman who founded one of the largest churches in the World. Her congregation is remembering her for her faith and determination.

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Many of followers of Apostle Betty Peebles called her "Mom."

But one of the biggest churches in Prince George's County has lost their founder and spiritual leader. Peebles died Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Peebles built Jericho City of Praise with her husband, the late Reverend James Peebles, Jr. He died in 1996.

The church rose from humble beginnings. The original structure was located in the District and started with just 31 members.

Rev. Bobby Henry says it's incredible what she built. The main sanctuary holds up to 11,000 parishioners for each service. "And it's all paid for, debt free. There's no mortgage on it," said Henry.

Over the years, Jericho City of Praise added Jericho Residences with apartments for seniors, and a business development center where companies are locating and creating jobs. And there's a school, Jericho Christian Academy, which serves students from two years old up to eighth grade. All of this was based on the leadership and vision of Pastor Betty Peebles.

"She was a tough lady," said school principal Dr. Karyn Scott, adding that Peeble led by example, calling forth the best in everyone. That's her legacy and what the children learn here and what they will take with them in the future, Scott said.


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