A controversial church leader from New Jersey, who was sentenced to serve 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing the church’s funds, died from coronavirus earlier this month, the church said in a letter.
Jermaine Grant, of Burlington Township, who led the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ church in Harlem, was 44.
He was known to his devout followers as the Holy God Sent Comforter and Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah, but some members who have left the church described him as a cult leader who gained complete influence of his follower’s lives through manipulation and belittlement.
At the time of his death, Grant was awaiting to begin serving his sentence.
“(Grant) was a devoted and committed father and spiritual and religious leader, who dedicated his life to his family, the ICGJC, and helping those in need,” his attorney, Gerald B. Lefcourt, said in a statement.
The Daily News first reported his death.
Raised in the Bronx, Grant dropped out of school at the age of 14 and was drawn to the extremist Hebrew Israelite movement, which asserts that African Americans are God’s true chosen people and are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Grant quickly rose through the ranks of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ. After a reported trip to Israel and Egypt in the early 2000s, Grant returned and told members he was the only appointed teacher of the bible on earth, though former members dispute if the trip actually happened. The leader at the time deemed Grant as “being the Holy Spirit in the flesh,” allowing him to take the reigns of the church, according to Nicholas Johnson, who left the church in 2019 after 20 years.
“(It) was easy for him to get control after that,” Johnson said.
Grant soon casted great influence over the movement across the country.
In 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described Grant as “the man with the most power over the extremist Hebrew Israelite movement.” He preached that black Jesus would return to earth to enslave and kill white people, according to the Law Center, which is why the organization has classified the church as a black nationalist hate group.
To continue reading, click here
Editors note. This post written by Joe Atmonavage and published at NJ.com. Titled changed by Pulpit & Pen
A CALL TO ACTION
Bringing you discernment news and commentary from a biblical, polemical perspective means it is tough out there on social media. We’re constantly getting kneecapped and constrained by tech companies who find our fidelity to the scripture and pursuit of truth to be intolerable, resulting in our reach being severely throttled.
For this reason, we ask you please consider supporting us a few different ways. The first, by liking and following our new Facebook page, our home where we share new posts and interact with our members. The second, by following and retweeting our Twitter page. The third, by signing up for our newsletter below.
And last, through direct support. You can catch our free weekly episodes of the Polemics Report by subscribing at BTWN. If you like what you hear and desire to to hear more, you can get the VIP full-length version for only $5.95 per month on Patreon. Also, you get other freebies for additional monthly pledges.
Subscribe to us on Patreon here and support our ministry.
Stay informed. Subscribe Today.
When you subscribe, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts to ensure that your newsletter doesn’t go into your spam folder.
Enter your email address below…