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Betty Peebles, Jericho City of Praise senior pastor, has died

Update: The full obituary has been posted.

Betty Peebles, the senior pastor of the Jericho City of Praise, died at a Baltimore hospital Tuesday night. She was 76 and had cancer.

Apostle Peebles, a longtime gospel artist, educator and radio personality, led a congregation that has grown from 10 people to more than 19,000 members -- making it one of the largest congregations in the Washington area. The church sits on a sprawling $36 million campus in the shadows of FedEx Field in Landover, where it also operates Jericho Christian College and the Jericho Christian Academy.


Apostle Peebles often talked about the humble beginnings of the Jericho City of Praise in a public housing complex in the Kenilworth Gardens section of Northeast Washington. It was in a small cinder-block structure there that she and her husband, the late Bishop James Peebles Sr., and their three sons built a Washington-area institution from scratch.

-- Hamil R. Harris

Are you on Twitter? How has Betty Peebles' death affected you or your community? Tell us in a reply by using #BettyPeebles on Twitter.

By Emma Brown  | October 13, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Washington DC-area people  | Tags:  betty peebles died; betty peebles obituary; betty peebles jericho city of praise; apostle betty peebles  
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Rest in peace, Betty Peebles. You are not of my faith, but clearly you loved your God.

Posted by: gm123 | October 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

As a member of Jericho City of Praise, this is a great loss. My prayers are with Pastor Joel and family. As a great Leader, person, mother, mentor and woman, your mothers life should be celebrated. She was one of kind.

Posted by: tcmobley | October 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Jesus is THE LORD". Thank you for being a willing vessel to teach the word of God. Your LOVE of the Lord Jesus and Father GOD brought me to be saved and guided me to have a relationship with GOD not a religion. You are already dearly missed. Paster Joel, may GOD's word come forth and will be done in all of the future of Jericho. Prayers of peace that surpasses all understang to you, first lady, children and close family/friends.

Posted by: Grateful | October 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The Saints are marching in. What a beautiful vessel for God. RIP Diva

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 13, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Saints are marching in. What a beautiful vessel for God. RIP Diva

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 13, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I will never forget the time when her husband passed and Jaime was coming from the homecoming and passed away as well. What a blessed family.

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 13, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if she will take the Bentley or the Rolls Royce to heaven with her.

Posted by: PepperDr | October 13, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to be a fly on the wall when she explains to the Apostle Peter how she was an apostle.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | October 13, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Momma, you were an inspiration to all that truly knew you. It was because of you that I and my family found the true and living savior. I know that you are now in heaven with my mother, your husband and your 2 sons, praising God together. Your church family will miss you dearly.

Posted by: blessme2 | October 13, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

What an awesome woman of God. Surely her crown awaits her. I have been inspired so many times, just listening to the Radio broadcast. My heart was broken when I heard the news of her passing. But we must remember that all of us have a date with destiny. For it is appointed unto man once to die.......God has chosen another of his Flowers from His Beautiful Garden. Pastor Joel, your First Lady and the Jerico City of Praise Family, our prayers are with you. God bless. The Praise Temple Church of Christ, Washington, DC. 20011

Posted by: margiequarles | October 13, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Apostle Peebles will be missed sorely, but God's WORD which she consistently fed to her flock every Sunday and Wednesday will continue to encourage, correct and convict. She taught her congregation how to understand God’s Word for themselves because sometimes—and more and more these days—you can’t always reach a preacher and you have to go to God for yourself.

Apostle Peebles walked, preached, and taught with such humility. She was always punctual on Sundays for the start of the services that she preached. The work that she has done in the Washington metropolitan area and beyond--as Senior Pastor of the church since the passing of her husband—clearly speaks for itself and will speak for many years to come.

I salute her. I celebrate her life, a life that was well-lived. It was a life that strived to honor her God despite the obstacles and sacrifice. Apostle Peebles has gone from labor to reward, and she has been released from the pain—that in the last few years of her so constrained her physical body. She’s free…She’s free to soar with the angels that she always spoke about and verbally acknowledged--who would visit her during the Sunday services….Only when you walk with Lord, study the Word of the Lord, and listen to the Lord, can you have eyesight to behold and see such wonders…

There are so many lives that are better because of how God spoke through Apostle Peebles.

Posted by: smj612 | October 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: LADYLITTLE | October 13, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

We at Redemption Ministries Inc would like to send our condolences to the family and church. A great saint has joined the heavenly host. Pastor Aaron Harley

Posted by: aaronm12341 | October 13, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

pepperdr and medogsbstfrnd, you need to show some respect; someone just died. and instead of leaving sarcastic and disrespectful remarks, how bout you leave your condolences or dont say anything at all. i know we all have a right to speak freely but come on! would you want someone speaking like that about your family or friend? i think not. my deepest sympathy goes out to the entire jericho city of praise family and the peebles family as well.

Posted by: sweetmona727 | October 13, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

After seeing such opulence bestowed on a preacher, I was reminded of Matthew 19:24

"And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Something to remember as we build monuments to ourselves like the one in Landover and live in wealth from the pockets of the poor.

Posted by: nolib1 | October 13, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Precious nolibi1, may I share with you, the monuments and wealth that you mentioned in your comments are being used as a roof over someones head, to feed and clothes the least among us. Have you personally visited the Pantry that donate food and clothing, have you visited the senior citizens home? PepperDr, she won't need a rolls in heaven because the word of God declares that she will be able to move at the speed of thought. Ms.dooby please try to forget that her husband passed and and Jamie was coming home from the homecoming and died as well, please try to forget that because that is definitely not true. Check your facts before you mislead someone. Make sure when you go out to witness to the drug dealers, or hollywood millionaires, (because I know you do witness), that you don't turn them off because they are driving their Bentley, or living in a monument, because God can use them too. Be Blessed.

Posted by: fortunejr1 | October 13, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Apostle Betty Peebles was a true servant of God,a great mother, a dynamic preacher,teacher, and educator.I will never forget her, Bishop, Jamie and Johnny or the lasting impact she and her family has had in my life. My life forever changed at the age of 12 coming to Jericho on Douglas Street. The word became "ALIVE", within my life.My heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Joey,Yolanda,Pam,Yarnetta,their families, and The Jericho City of Praise. Jericho will always be home to me. You all are in our prayers.

Posted by: llgrant123 | October 13, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"He has made every thing beautiful in his time...." Ecc 3:11

God has made a beautiful woman by the name of Apostle Betty Peebles. A woman who loved God and showed us how to walk by faith and not by sight. A woman who taught us the word. I want the family to know that this woman has made such a tremendous difference in the lives of others.

I love you Apostle Peebles! And I will always remember that "Jesus is Lord"

Posted by: ekg20784 | October 13, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ just to coreect the undignified person with the sad comment The twelve Apostles were not the only ones exclusive to becoming apostles if that were true everyother position in this scripture would not apply to today's time. I was not a member of Jericho but however everytime I came there I felt God's love through Pastor Betty and her church family my thoughts and prayers are with you all, just know God is "Greater" because there is nobody Greater.

Posted by: phavour36 | October 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

APOSTLE: One Sent on a mission; One who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system!

Praise God for Pastor Peebles, we love you and your family and will miss you. We pray for the continual work of God in the Earth through the Peebles family!

Heaven is enjoying it's new resident! See you one day in that great eternal place, my mentor!

Posted by: roxannebs | October 14, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow!! I spent the early years of my childhood at Jericho when it was on Douglass Street. That's where I meet Jesus. I remember the choir singing "I hear the sound of the Army of the Lord" while Betty Pebbles played the piano. I know she is having a great family reunion. She will be missed!

Posted by: danielleBell | October 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

To the Peeble Family, may God continue to bless you.

I want to share this testimony with you. When I was first diagnosed 8 years ago with breast cancer, my sister who is a faithful member of City of Praise, said come we are going to go by the church for prayer and to get some anointing oil. But the Holy Spirit directed us to the parking lot at Mitchellville Plaza, for my sister to place a call directly to Mom Peebles at home. We both were surprised that we actually got her on the phone. My sister told Mom Peebles that I had just come from the doctor with the news of cancer and Mom Peebles asked her to put me on the phone. Mom Peebles prayed over my situation for healing and to this day I have been cancer free! Giving all the praise to God for his Angel Mom Peebles. I was sadden when I got the messages of her passing. I'm going to really miss knowing that this Angel physical present will no longer be here on this earth. I know that her spirit will live on forever in so many lives!

Posted by: yvettekinard | October 14, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

...As Mom would always say" Glory to God, Glory to God when I see Jesus Amennn!"You as my spiritual mom afforded me and my Alexis great opportunities, such as, allowing me to spear head your first, Women's confference and other things as you and Bishop birthed out of me the ministry that God placed in me.Giving me your own choir robe when the order for mine was missed, prayed over me till the wee hours of the morning as I was dying kept praying me back to life. Many,many wonderful things I could say about you, words are just not enough so I will just say "THANK YOU". MOM Thank you for making sure I stayed rooted and grounded in the unadulterated word of God, whether at your,home at church or Chesapeak seafood. You were always there for me.You are now where you longed and lived to be.I remember Iris would always say Ma your not gonna leave me here..she meant that thing.I will always LOVE YOU! Grace be with you Joey, Yolanda and family carry on as she would have you do. Know that you CAN do it.Love you ALL Jericho But you know that!Elder Sherrell Eley

Posted by: dats2real | October 14, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Momma is in a place of peace and love and prayers go out to your family Pastor Joel,First Lady Yolanda and to our church family Jericho City of Praise.

Posted by: tishwhit | October 15, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Momma is in a place of rest and peace, and one day we will see her again. My prayers of love, strength and peace go out to you and your immediate family Pastor Joel, First Lady Yolanda and to our church family Jericho City of Praise.

Posted by: tishwhit | October 15, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY I thank God for my special gift here on Earth,Apostle Betty.Being an attentive mother and under shepherd,she fed us well by breaking down The Word so we may devour it. She taught us to taste and see that The Lord is good. I remember when I was hospitalized in 2003, , unknowingly to me so was Apostle Betty. When saw each other again, she stated to me that she had gone to another level in The Lord and so had I. Now Apostle has reached her goal. All Praise and Honor and Glory to our God. Apostle I'm sure your robe fits you well. PASTOR JOEL AND FAMILY MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU--REMEMBER THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH AS APOSTLE WOULD "SAY KEEP LOOKING UP FOR OUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH." MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS JERICHO CITY OF PRAISE

Posted by: rubydee50 | October 16, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I was in shock when I heard that Bette Peebles had went home to be with the Lord. I only attended her church a few times, but grew to love her. The first time I attened and heard about all she was going through and still preached from her wheel chair. I said to God "I want to be like her."She has been a great inspiration in my life. I will pray for the family that God brings them comfort,peace and the knowledge that he called her home because she full filled her duties on earth. She has joined the Angels to watch over us down here. Apostle Peebles will be missed by all the lives she touched whether big or small. God bless the family

Posted by: snglenhappymom | October 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Fortune Check your facts I was there, Stop being spooky ok

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 19, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Words cannot express what many are feeling at this time. During a tramatic time in my life,I was a member of Jerico during a rough time, I called Mom Peeples from work and she walked me through the ordeal. Not only did she walk me though,but she made me realize that I had to lead my enemy to Christ in God's timing. The blessing she has been in my family's life can not be express in a comment. I am a better woman, mother, sister and friend because of a great woman of God. Thank God for her ministry.

Posted by: denisekingjames | October 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

My prayers are with the Jerhico family
this is for sweetmomma 727, this is for you we all have to answer to god and if you really go by the bible woman are not suppose to be preachers in the pulpit. It is a shame to go to the mega churches and they lock the doors when time to have offerring that is a fire hazzard and looking at your W2's taking out people's salary. I guess you can get rich History repeats its self Like Rev Ike, he will give you a number to play, go to the cadlliac dealer says you attend to his church. Their are false prophets and real ones. Church is suppose to be about God and how to live right not how much money big of house, if you want to live in her senior housing you have to be dam near rich 1082. 00 per month you can pay that in a regular apartment. God said vengence is mind :

Posted by: glancer1 | October 19, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

good morning to my kings and queens. whoever didnt like ma betty. that is you who cares. who cares what type car she rode in or materialistic stuff. she was human just like us. the pastor peebles was a lovable, she would give the clothes off her back, she was gangsta, she was a educated sister!!! She was a role model to me. whatever she did in dark that was between god and her and whatever you do is between god and u. feel me. ppl dies everyday. we shouldnt be here fighting with our words. pastor betty lived her life. she said dueces to the world. she is in heaven now. we need to focus on our mirrors which is ourselves. i am out!!!! write about runtellthat.

Posted by: cookierosea813443 | October 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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