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Virginia Bishop dies at the pulpit after Sunday sermon

Bishop Thoroughgood
It saddens us to report that Bishop Barnett K. Thoroughgood of New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ in Virginia Beach passed away this past Sunday shortly after delivering what would be his last sermon.

“You are to live and not die,” Bishop Barnett K. Thoroughgood shouted from the pulpit to his congregation of more than 2,000 members. The sermon focused on living your life.

Bishop Thoroughgood, 62, reportedly preached a bit more at his home church, New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, wiped sweat from his forehead, sat down and then collapsed.

According to churchgoers, paramedics arrived but was unable to revive him.

The news spread quickly when Timbaland, who flew back home to console his mother who was in attendance during the Bishop’s passing, updated his twitter with what had happened to his hometown pastor.

Bishop Thoroughgood was also pastor to recording artists Pharrell Williams, a Virginia Beach native, and Missy Elliott, who grew up in Portsmouth.

In 1970, Bishop Thoroughgood founded the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ and was officially appointed pastor by Bishop David C. Love in 1972.

Bishop Thoroughgood leaves to mourn his wife of thirty-seven years, Mrs. Ernestine Coston Thoroughgood. His three sons, Bertram, Emmanuel, and Jonnathan; One daughter, Mekia Bonita; and five grandchildren, along with many other children they have adopted and helped through the Social Services Foster Care Program.

Our prayers go out to his congregation, family and friends.

We will keep you updated on funeral arrangements.

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