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Church Elders & Late Pastor’s Wife Disagree Over Leadership and Finances

BellaNaija.com

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Charisse Gibert And Elders Disagree Over Leadership and Finances

Photo Credit: Instagram – @bagibert

The widow of Senior Pastor Ben Gibert of Detroit World Outreach (DWO), Charisse Gibert was arrested during a church service, for trespassing in a church where her late husband had been a Senior Pastor for 12 years.

Reports claim that she was fired from her church position (as First Vice President) and plans were already put in place to sell her home by the elders of the church after her husband’s demise.

Charisse on her part had assumed the position of the leader after claiming her husband had made her the ‘first vice president’ before his death. The church lawyer, Henri Harmon wrote in his court filing that she also tried to fire church elders and had handpicked 23 board members including her daughter and brother in law.

The church elders claim that this was an attempt to wrest control of the church finances as they allege that she had unsuccessfully tried to take control of the church bank accounts on March 21.

Charisse believes she is the natural successor to her husband and assumed this position, a decision that has not gone down well with elders of the church.

Charisse Gibert And Elders Disagree Over Leadership and Finances

Dr. Charisse Gibert | Photo Credit: Instagram – @bagibert

According to the Detroit News, the church leaders are trying to deny her of Ben Gibert’s $2m life insurance policy.

According to them, her late husband had not put any succession plan in place. In addition to this, the church lawyer had reported in his court filing that the position of ‘first vice president’ did not exist.

The lawyer said that Charisse created that position in a bid to get the church’s $3m mansion in Northville Township, adding that the church has assets worth $15m.

The elders further argued that even if she was to assume the top leadership position, she had to do that in accordance with the bylaws of the church. They claim her appearance at the church was a violation of a verbal agreement between both parties, warranting the arrest for trespassing.

Although on the surface it seems like a battle for leadership, there are deeper issues which need to be addressed. The Vice President of the Mega Church, Marvin Wilder said: “The dispute is about control and the future of the church, though money and power are always in the background.”

“It’s unfortunate that this has happened and that the congregation did not get to properly mourn Bishop Gibert. It’s a shame that this has marred his legacy. He made significant contributions — I don’t want to belittle them — but they pale in comparison to 82 years. The church doesn’t belong to you,” Wilder added.

The case has been unresolved in court for about 4 months as Wayne County Circuit Judge Annette Berry has not been able to decide who the rightful leader should be. “The question of who should perform as a pastor is an ecclesiastical question, which the court is not authorised to decide” she said.

The court heard that Charisse and others, on March 19, interrupted a church meeting and attempted to take over the live web feed. It also heard that Charisse returned a week later and insisted that she speaks to the congregation.

The case escalated further after American General Life Insurance Co., who is supposed to pay the $2m insurance charged Charisse and the church to court on June 6.

The court heard that Charisse, on March 28, a month after her husband’s death, approached the insurance company, demanding her own share of the money ($950,000), adding that it should not give the church its share.

“I am quite concerned about possible fraud and mismanagement of church properties and funds,” Charisse told the insurance company.

The church also, on May 25, approached American General not to give Charisse her benefits.

The ongoing struggle has affected the membership of the church negatively and there has been a downturn in church revenue.

At the moment, the future of the 82-year-old church remains uncertain and the court does not seem to know how to settle this issue.

Photo Credit: Instagram @bagibert

9 Comments

  1. person

    June 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    hahaha and the worship continued.

  2. Ab

    June 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Shame on every one involved! yall better go fast and hear exclusively from God, but No all they focused on is who did, who said! Shame! ofcourse its all about power, control & money, when it should really be that the church leadership come together, pray and lean on God to show them the rightful leader. Why this woman will think that the fact her husband is dead automatically entitles her to take over is beyond me! Clearly if the others are fighting against you that should surely mean something…oh well. You all sort this mess out and stay out the media!

  3. Kkay

    June 23, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Awful.
    They should ‘continue’ until rapture happens while they are struggling over money.

    Jesus Christ was never after money rather he whipped out those that turned the Temple into a den of thieves.
    The gospel of Jesus Christ is for salvation of souls not money-mongering, extortion, acquisition of worldly mansions and private jets as we see in so many Church denominations.
    An 82-year old Church! Charisse, your late husband was a pastor for 12 years and you want to take over?! That’s not to say the Elders are perfect but do you all pay lip-service to such godly qualities as meekness, respect for constituted authority, serving in true humility? “He who must be great shall be you servant”. “You go to law with one another…and that before unbelievers. Why would you not rather bear the wrong?”

    Dr. Charisse, your husband died without taking a dime with him.
    DWO Elders, same goes for you. Why are you all shaming the name of Christ?

    I would rather give to the needy than any of these Money-money mongering groups disguised as Churches.

  4. Royalty

    June 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Jesus Christ! If there was no monetary gain from churches, we’d only have a handful of them. Today, churches are sprouting up everywhere and sometimes you wonder if it’s the same God, Who is a God of order and not of division, that instructed these pastors to establish the churches.

    Yes, the gospel has to be preached till the whole earth hears it but was God’s intent for places of worship to be set up as another source of making income? If income was to be made, was it meant for only the pastor, his family and some select persons or for the entire members?

    Scandals like this make Christians the laughing stock before the rest of the world. Don’t be surprised that on the last day, that church you can’t do without, that pastor you defend more than you defend Jesus, your own understanding of the scriptures and how you interprete it to suit yourself will be questioned by God. Na that time, your eye go shine.

  5. M

    June 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Alhamdulillah for being a muslim.

    • [email protected]

      June 23, 2017 at 11:06 pm

      Clap for yasef

    • unadite

      June 24, 2017 at 6:46 am

      So Alfas and Muslim leaders don’t fight over position and the benefits that come with it? I live in a predominantly Muslim environment and I know what’s up.

    • Truth Seeker

      June 24, 2017 at 8:59 am

      @unadite true, they just don’t disgrace themselves so viciously like ‘Christians’ in their quest for it.

  6. Didi

    June 25, 2017 at 7:14 am

    The devil has finally gotten his way in this church.
    Bible says ‘the thief comes not but for to KILL, to STEAL and to DESTROY.’
    But thank God the story doesn’t end there.
    Christ says
    But I have come that they may have LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANTLY. Amen.
    It’s not over. JESUS , PLEASE TAKE CONTROL. and save your children from this intense demonic attack on their faith.

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