Pastor Charisse Gibert, Widow of Late Detroit World Outreach Pastor, Presents Proof She Is Rightful Leader of Megachurch

Bishop I.V. Hilliard, senior pastor of New Light Christian Center Church in Houston, Texas (L). Charisse Gibert, and her late husband Pastor Benjamin Gibert (R) of the 5,500-member Detroit World Outreach Christian Center. Inset photo shows DWO elders (from L-R) Pastor Gael Wallace and Elder Marvin Wilder.

Pastor Charisse Gibert, widow of the late leader of the Detroit World Outreach megachurch in Michigan, Benjamin Gibert, continues to stake her claim as the rightful leader of the church as a powerful faction of the congregation’s controversial elder board seeks to squash that claim in court.

DWO elders Pastor Gael Wallace and Marvin Wilder recently charged in a video statement that their late pastor did not want his wife to succeed him at the helm of the church.

“It’s documented and Bishop Ben made it very clear in writing that Dr. Charisse was not the assistant pastor. Her role was defined as assistant TO the pastor, directed by him alone. He explained that she was not bishop when Bishop Ben was away. This is in a written document from him,” Wallace said.

Charisse Gibert did not respond to an earlier request for comment on the dispute, but in a statement she released to church members on March 19 she explained that as the first vice president on the board of DWO, the church bylaws which were reviewed by legal counsel, state that she automatically becomes the leader of the church in the absence of her husband, who died late February.

She said she was advised by Bishop I.V. Hilliard, senior pastor of New Light Christian Center Church in Houston, Texas, and presiding prelate of the Association of Independent Ministries, his general counsel, Pastor Tommy Barnett, Alex Parrish of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn.

“After a careful review of the DWO bylaws and supportive documents, it was established that Bishop Ben exercised his Spiritual authority, as validated in Scripture to select his successor pursuant to the provisions of the DWO bylaws, thus establishing his succession plan,” she said.

Gibert said Parrish reviewed the church’s bylaws and provided an opinion “to ensure the transition process would be done decently and in order.” The Christian Post reached out the Parrish’s office on Thursday but he was not immediately available to comment on the case.


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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Leonardo Blair