Betty Peebles, or Apostle Peebles, as she was known by her congregation at the Jericho City of Praise, has passed away at the age of 76 Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Peebles was known as a gospel singer and entertainer, and, as a radio personality and pastor, she built a 10-person congregation into a following of over 19,000. According to Hamil Harris of the Washington Post, her Christian community grew into one of the largest congregations in the D.C. area and included the Jericho Christian Academy and the Jericho Christian Community College.
There are many lessons followers and leaders from all faiths can take away from her life and her commitment to her community.
One lesson that a religious leader can take away after looking at Peebles’ life is that you do not have to travel half the world away to find followers and do good. Your community should be your point of focus to build a congregation or followers toward your faith. No matter where you live, there is need both financially and spiritually. Look around you and you will see that if you have a vision and a mission of love and giving, there are others around you who will feel the same way. Peebles only started with a handful of followers, and it blossomed into thousands.
Another lesson to be learned from Peebles is that educating the mind goes hand-in-hand with developing the spirit. With her work in creating colleges and schools with religious roots, she has fostered a population of educated Christians who can go out into the workforce. This educated workforce can bring workers together with faith and kindness and at the same time diminish poverty and raise the standard of living for those in the community. A strong mind tempered with a strong spirituality is a worker quality that many employers are looking for. There are many Christian-based companies out there looking to hire within their own faith
The good pastor would probably give the advice of using your God-given talents to help grow a congregation. She was an entertainer and a radio talk show host. She had the gift of gab and the gift of music. She used those talents to bring thousands into her flock to help spread God’s word. If you are a religious leader, look at yourself in the mirror and find your true talents. For example, if you have no physical talents but you are good on a computer, spread your message through articles, blogs, or podcasts. By using your talents, you will be a natural draw. and people will listen to your message.
Betty Peebles will be missed by her congregation, but her life and her legacy leaves both leaders and followers with lessons that will last forever. Her example in life will be seen as a role model for those who want to spread their faith and educate their community.
Reference: Hamil Harriss. (2010) Betty Peebles, Jericho City of Praise Senior Pastor, Has Died. Retrieved on October 13, 2010 from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postmortem/2010/10/betty-peebles-jericho-city-of.html