Our visionary, the beloved Bishop James R. Peebles, Sr., went home to receive his greatest metal of honor from the King of kings and Lord of lords on September 21, 1996. We can truly say as we were reminded often, Bishop wasn’t worried about his soul; he fixed it with Jesus a long time ago. Bishop Peebles left his church family a comforting word through prophecy. “I’m still at the helm. Jesus is guiding me as I am guiding you. The Lord took me higher so that I could navigate from above.”
Bishop Peebles was educated in the public schools of Jackson, North Carolina. He graduated from Howard University School of Dentistry. In 1958, he was licensed into the Ministry of the Gospel and was ordained in 1960. He received a Doctorate of Divinity from the Wilbur Waters School of Divinity in 1994.
At age 19, Bishop met the greatest woman God could ever bring to a man, Betty Jean Poindexter. They always laughed at his first words ever spoken to her. He walked up to her and said, “I’m going to marry you!” In 1955, this dream came true. He was joined in Holy Matrimony to his wife of 41 years. He always told his wife that he went to the candy store and asked for the sweetest thing they had and they gave her to him. Out of this union they had three sons, James R. Jr., John R. Sr., and Joel R. Sr.
God created Bishop Peebles with a tender heart to soothe the multitudes which He would place under his covering. Broken hearts and ailing spirits were calmed at the sound of his warm loving voice. God anointed Bishop to reach out and touch those normally unreachable and inspire them to release their sadness, and pain, and receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
On September 16, 1989, our pastor, the Reverend James R. Peebles, Sr., was elevated to Bishop over the Jericho Ministries. There were many renowned Apostles, Bishops, Pastors, Elders, Reverends, Ministers, Deacons and State and local officials in attendance. Archbishop Benson Idahosa of Nigeria served as God’s Messenger during the consecration day service.
Bishop bore fruit in his labor. He set up the Jericho Church with six members; secured a loan for land; occupied the first church; burned that mortgage; marched into the second church; launched JCTC/C; purchased the church center and parking lot; built and moved into the third church; was elevated to Bishop; burned a $4.5 million mortgage after three years; and purchased 82 acres of land to receive the Jericho City of Praise and its 8,000 members.
The congregation marched into the Jericho City of Praise on Sunday, December 28, 1997 – thus fulfilling the vision of the Bishop. The Campus includes a sanctuary seating 10,000, a chapel seating 250, an administration building, a college building and an education building.
Everything our Bishop put his hands to prospered. Our Bishop would always tell us, “Don’t get on the fast pace road! Stay quiet! Listen to leadership and God will guide you to assured victory…” Let us therefore follow Christ as our beloved Bishop did that we, too, can say…
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (II Timothy 4:6-8)