Scantily dressed ladies of the night made up part of a crowd which defended a female woman pastor from the verbal abuse meted out to her by a group of all-male roadside preachers in Port of Spain.
After reading a story in Newsday on Tuesday, Apostle Dr Shereece Holder who lives in the United States contacted this newspaper yesterday to confirm the earlier story. Holder told Newsday a crowd which included prostitutes and the destitute was moved to protect her from the insults of the preachers who cursed and called her a whore.
Based in New Jersey, Holder who said that in addition to being a pastor, she is also a prison officer and mother of four, added that she is in Trinidad on a mission to bring God’s, “powerful message”, to locals. She said the roadside preachers challenged her to state God’s name on Monday, to which she replied, “Elohim”.
“They began to get irate. They told me a woman is not allowed to watch a man in the eye and speak to him. It became very disrespectful. They began to call me a whore. They said I’m a slim Missie Elliot,” Holder said. The preachers insulter her hair weave. “What onlookers saw was a group of men in robes insulting and bullying a woman,” she said.
“A boy, he could have been about 15, was with them and hearing with the men were telling me, he came and said that I was a slut. I told him, ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’,” Holder recalled. She said that as the cursing preachers grew angrier and a crowd formed to defend her, she began to pray.
Holder said a woman in the crowd turned to a policewoman that if she (Holder) is a whore then the female officer is also one as well. As police officers and soldiers arrived and with the angry crowd facing them, the male preachers beat a hasty retreat, jumping into several cars parked nearby and speeding off.
Holder said she used the unexpected turn of events to minister to onlookers. Revealing that she will be returning to the United States this weekend, Holder said she intends to return to continue her ministry.
“We are in the end times. False prophets will rise up. You can look holy, but you are disrespecting God’s handmaiden who is made in His likeness. That is what we are faced with,” Holder said.
Arouca-based Mordecai Ben-Yacoob, a Hebrew Israelite, distanced himself (and others) from the actions of the roadside preachers saying they left the faith and became a splinter group whose conduct Ben-Yacoob knocked.
“I want to call to apologize for the behaviour of the brethren. I’m a Hebrew Israelite also and that’s not the way we behave. I know the guys were insulting and degrading women. I was so upset when I read the article in Newsday that I came to your office to apologise.”
Ben-Yacoob said the true Hebrew Israelites stand for teaching about the Sabbath, the Messiah and the Most High. “Those guys in Port of Spain are not in line with the teaching of the Most High, Yahweh. They are there to insult women and castigate people in all kinds of derogatory manner. When I read your article, I said these men are making Israelites look bad, so I have to apologise as this is not the way Israelites behave. Calling women whores and calling white men the devil…that is not our way,” Ben-Yacoob said.