(WUSA9) -- City of Praise Family Ministries' Bishop Joel Peebles & Pastor Ylawnda Peebles issued a response on Friday to the Prince George's County Circuit Court Ruling. It read:
"We are pleased with today's ruling that requires the defendants to comply with the court ordered depositions on the case. We are confidant that our case has merit and will continue to pursue justice, as we exercise the next step within the legal system. Meantime, we shall focus on the opportunities of the future, including reconciliation, continuing the primary mission of this church to heal families and communities, and bringing about positive change."
Friday, a hearing was scheduled for six members of Jericho City of Praise to resolve their refusal to attend depositions. We are told that the six were assistants to church co-founder Apostle Betty Peebles before her death in October 2010. Those six people fired her son, Pastor Joel Peebles, in April 2012, claiming to be the board of trustees of the church. The board of trustees said, in part, that Pastor Peebles' firing "...was necessary to protect Jericho and move forward, while remaining in compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)3 religious organizations."
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Congregation members then filed a lawsuit stating that the six members were never elected as trustees per Maryland law when the church was formed in 2012. A lengthy court battle continued with the six filing a motion to dismiss the case and the congregation members filing a motion to oppose the motion to dismiss.