A flashy religious leader -who was recently the victim of a live-streamed armed robbery during one of his sermons- is speaking up to defend his lifestyle.
Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, the eccentric head of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Brooklyn, claims his high-profile lifestyle made him a target of opportunity.
The Rolls-Royce aficionado and his patrons were robbed of around $1m in jewelry on Sunday, after armed men wearing masks stormed the Brooklyn church.
“How many of you have lost your faith because you saw somebody else die?” Miller-Whitehead reportedly said before noticing the men.
Miller-Whitehead eventually realized what was going on and got on the ground.
“When I see them come into the sanctuary with their guns, I told everybody [to] get down, everybody just get down,” Miller-Whitehead said in an Instagram video. “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or if they were just coming for a robbery.”
The men eventually left after shaking down the congregation.
“They took all of my wife’s jewelry and took all of my jewelry, and then they left,” the bishop said, adding that he was even robbed of his wedding band. “However, these young men didn’t know that cameras were on, and we know what car you were driving.”
The robbery was caught on livestream camera, and raised questions about Whitehead’s lavish ways.
“It’s about me purchasing what I want to purchase. It’s my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase,” said Miller-Whitehead “If I worked hard for it, I can purchase what I want to purchase.”
Several of the items stolen have been inventoried, including a a $390,000 Cuban link chain, $200,000 men’s gold chain, $125,000 wedding ring, $75,000 Rolex watch, $75,000 Cavalier watch, $50,000 men’s wedding ring, $25,000 Episcopal ruby and diamond ring, $25,000 Episcopal diamond ring, $25,000 pair of earrings, $20,000 diamond and emerald cross, $20,000 Episcopal ring, $20,000 Episcopal cross and a $10,000 Episcopal gold cross.
According to the New York Post, Miller-Whitehead had previously made headlines for attempting to negotiate the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, who fatally shot a Goldman Sachs employee two months ago.
The Rolls-Royce-driving preacher ultimately did not play a role, as Abdullah was captured elsewhere.
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