A bishop in Des Moines, Iowa is coming under fire after a video of him making detailed death threats to an unknown person started circulating online, WHO-TV reports.
In the video, Bishop Jeremiah Reed of the Des Moines Apostolic Temple claims that someone has been calling him in an attempt to “mess with him” — but that it would be in this person’s best interest to stop.
“We’ve got telephone calls,” he said in the video, “and I am holding folk back. Ain’t nobody that big in the world that cannot be hunted down. I got folk that will hunt you, put you in the cornfield, or drop you in the river with a weight on you, or cut your tongue out and leave it on your chest.”
“That’s the kind of connections I have,” Reed continued. “I want people to know that I’m not a playboy.”
He went on to recall an ostensibly unrelated — but nonetheless menacing — story about a man who had “been calling this city, saying he talked to a hit-man. They brought me his picture, and they say, ‘here, he ain’t fit to live.’ He said he didn’t believe in the God of the Bible, because he was God. When his momma died, he cussed God and was shot down.”
A former member of Reed’s congregation who wished to remain anonymous likened the church to an abusive relationship. She told WHO-TV that “I always think to myself, this is like a woman who that’s being beaten by her husband and she wants to get away and she can’t.”
“There was never a time when I went and sat in the congregation and felt comfortable,” she added. “If you are a shepard of the sheep you are supposed to build them up not tear them down. Just to hear that stuff who would want their kids or their loved ones to sit up under something of that magnitude.”
According to the church’s website, Bishop Reed has been ministering for over 45 years, although he only founded the Apostolic Temple in 2003.