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Ousted Landover pastor says he can return, church not so sure

Thursday - 9/20/2012, 11:52pm  ET

Dimitri Sotis, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Former megachurch pastor Joel Peebles, Sr., who was removed from his position at Landover's Jericho City of Praise church back in April, says the Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled the church must allow him back.

Peebles made the announcement via text message Thursday night.

However, Jericho City of Praise spokeswoman Denise Killen tells WTOP that the church has "no knowledge of that. All the information we have is that it's going back to the lower court. Joel Peebles is not here."

A spokeswoman for Peebles says it's their legal understanding the ruling allows the pastor back in the church as well as the ability to preach there.

On April 18, 2012, Peebles was removed from his position as lead pastor at the church by the administration's board members over financial disputes and ideas surrounding how the church was run.

Jericho's decision created a great divide in the 4,000-member congregation, with a large portion of them deciding to stick with Pastor Peebles as he continued holding services in high school cafeterias and hotel ballrooms.

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WTOP's Ari Ashe contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)