(Washington, D.C.) Bishop-Elect Deborah K. Webb, Overseer of Living Rivers Ministries, was consecrated and installed as the first female bishop in the Temple of Praise International Fellowship of Churches, Incorporated on Sunday, July 31, 2022, during her Episcopal Consecration Service held at 5 p.m. (EST) at the Temple of Praise church, located at 700 Southern Avenue in Southeast in Washington, District of Columbia.
Several hundred parishioners, episcopal clergy leaders, her family, and friends traveled from across the nation to witness the historic Episcopal Consecration Service for Bishop-Elect Webb, a ministry trailblazer. The Temple of Praise church followed Covid-19 safety protocols and live streamed the service the from the sanctuary. The Chief Consecrator was His Grace, Bishop Glen A. Staples, Presiding Prelate of The Temple of Praise International Fellowship of Churches Incorporated. The Co-Consecrators were His Grace, Apostle Willard Saunders, Jr., Presiding Prelate of New Destiny Fellowship International and Her Grace, Apostle Nike Wilheims, Presiding Prelate of Grace Empire Ministries.
The College of Bishops recommended Prophetess Deborah K. Webb be elevated to the office of bishop—the highest position in the church. Before the public service, Bishop-Elect Webb was inducted into the College of Bishops in a closed ceremony in an Episcopal Chamber, with bishops, presbyters, and deacons in attendance. This closed ceremony was witnessed by her family as well. During the ceremony, the first vestment was granted to the Ordained for episcopacy and the bishops present endorsed all credentials. The seals of the Church, the Apostolic Primate and the Episcopacy were affixed to the documents during the solemn ceremony.
The Official Bishop Consecration Program expressed the sacred significance of this appointment. It stated, “the elevation of this woman to the sacred and holy office of Bishop in the Church is an honor that is a signal and most respected by our Church. The labor becomes unlike any assignment they have ever had in the past.
The bishop rises above the office of shepherd of sheep into the ministry of shepherds. Pentecost has come into this present age. The woman who is placed before this Holy Assembly have been tried and proven worthy for the office to which she has been appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Shepherd of the Church. This day, she becomes Bishop Ordinary in the Lord’s Church. This woman has been given Episcopal Oversight of the Flock of God, and respect for her is required of us who behold her from this day forth.”
From the pulpit, Bishop Staples looked directly at Bishop-Elect Deborah K. Webb, the congregation in the sanctuary and those watching online that “Some do not like what we are doing here today and if they ask you why, send them to me. I’m Louise Staple’s son, I’m Lula Bell Huff son, they were both Pastors. It’s time, it’s time. We have a female Bishop over here in SE, well qualified, anointed and filled with the Holy Ghost. Some folks appoint themselves and that means they have no witnesses to verify that they are qualified. But you are…your voice, your voice. It is important. First time I heard you I knew that you were a woman of God. She knew she belonged too; she is already powerful.
I talked to my Bishops (he was referring here to Bishop T.D. Jakes and Bishop Sherman Watkins), and they both say what I am doing is right. There are many of us who are not doing this. I’m doing it not just because it’s right but because I think it is necessary. I was raised in a house of female preachers.
It is important for you to be consecrated because this office brings so much pain, grief and issues with it, a person must really know God can do anything and you know that he’s able. You know him and can help others
because you know God can do anything! You already know that. This is history. You are well qualified to do the work.”
As a Co-Consecrator, Her Grace Apostle Wilheims thanked “Bishop Glen. A. Staples for his courage and love for God above all else.” She congratulated “the mint fresh Bishop D.K Webb for having paid the price.” She concluded,” I bless you immensely because now other women in your Reformation can rise too.”
At the conclusion of her Episcopal Consecration Service, Bishop Deborah K. Webb gave her pulpit remarks. She said “I am honored, humble and grateful to God and my Bishop Staples for this assignment and elevation. I have never tried to do with a title what I couldn’t do with my name, so as long as my name was making an impact; I didn’t fret about the title. I am one of the charter members of my organization and watched numerous men be consecrated Bishops ahead of me. That didn’t bother me nor trouble me because I knew and still know who I am. I celebrated my brothers, supported my Bishop, and continued to do the work. My Bishop had enough guts and grit amid opposition to stand and say I am now making history and consecrating this well qualified, anointed woman to become the first woman Bishop in our Reformation after 20 years of existence.”
The history maker continued, “I am grateful to God for this historical event. I want to encourage my fellow female laborers in the Gospel and say you too will hear, “It’s time” because when God gets ready, He will make man move. We have been marginalized, minimized, mortified, and endured the embodiment of misogyny in this sacred arena. But we must yet remain faithful and true to our call and conviction to serve Christ and upbuild his kingdom with or without your rightful title. God says he will make our name great, not our title, so go be great in the earth!! Don’t fret over your rightful title neither fight for it because when it is time, there will be a vessel in the earth who has the guts as my Bishop did to say I am of the opposite gender but I acknowledge the anointing on this woman’s life and will consent to lay hands on her welcoming her into a College of Bishops. Sisters, throughout the annals of time, as my Bishop shared over two thousand years ago, we have been qualified to preach, teach, share the good news! Women were the first ones to run and tell everyone the “good news” that he was risen! Keep sharing and spreading the gospel, the ‘good news’ that we serve a risen savior who died for our sins and is soon to come! For this cause we labor! Shalom!”
One of the most cherished statements shared with the newly minted Bishop Webb came from the son who serves alongside her as the Senior Pastor of Living Rivers Ministries. Pastor Ricky Banner, who she affectionately calls “Pastor B’ proclaimed “today, July 31, 2022, “Her Story was indeed made! Congratulations to my mother, my friend, and now my Bishop!”
About Her Grace, Bishop Deborah K. Webb:
Bishop Webb was born in North Carolina and migrated to the DMV at a young age, where she began her journey to destiny. Always bright and inquisitive, she had a propensity to soak up knowledge and excel academically, even in her formative years. Returning during the summers to her maternal grandmother; continued to shape her moral compass and hard work ethic. Her true desire was to become a physician to “help people.” Undertaking dual studies in high school as a student practical nurse and advanced studies student was grueling yet rewarding. She graduated with honors and was one of five choices as Valedictorian of her class.
The school officials had what they called an unprecedented situation and chose one of five and two Salutatorians. She was chosen with highest honors as the Nursing student.
Upon graduation, she began her career with the intent to continue her studies and pursue her dreams. Life interruptions happened and she found herself some years later; reentering college on the campus of Howard University proclaiming chemistry as her major. Strolling through the “yard” of HU one day is where she attributes her life changing encounter with God began. Born and raised as a discipled Baptist believer; she had never experienced a “private conversation” with an unseen person. Unbeknownst to her, she had officially entered the school of the prophets with God himself as her teacher. She heard a voice say to her “you are going to be a doctor one day, but not the kind you desire; You will work for me.”
Life’s ebbs and flows demanded a collegiate break and during this period she took a brave step and broke from family tradition by converting to Pentecostalism in 1982. Her conversion occurred after being filled with the Holy Ghost which propelled her journey to fill a hunger and thirst for more of God and learn how to prophetically follow his lead. Once again, she had an encounter in a “private conversation” with who she knew now to be the Holy Spirit telling her she would evangelize and preach the gospel.
Her reluctance was relentless to answer the call for many reasons to include great trepidation. Also, there weren’t any women preachers in her family nor many around that she could glean from, and she felt ill-prepared. However, the tutelage of the saintly mothers helped to mold and shape her for the journey. Also, the preaching and teaching of her Bishop, the late Dr. John Lamb with the oversight of leadership under the late great Apostle Smallwood E. Williams; began a trajectory in her life she could have never imagined. God also sent her a personal angel and mentor in the person of the late great Bishop Stella V. Mack.
With a pioneering spirit, she answered the call in 1989 and became one of the founders of a local assembly. With that same spirit, to date she has assisted and aided in planting fifteen churches to include one in Ghana. In one of the church plants, she served as the Senior Pastor and in her latest launch; her eldest son serves as the Senior Pastor. Reputed as an “eagle eye prophet,” she has accurately prophesied to thousands over the years as she labors in prayer and intercession for others to include celebrities around the globe.
She returned to academia and earned her Master of Divinity degree and is currently pursuing her doctorate. In the marketplace, she toiled many years alongside physicians before delving into academia to help shape the minds of others pursuing allied health careers. She has trained thousands over a thirty-year career in post -secondary institutions serving as an Establishmentarian, Director, Department Head, and/or Adjunct Faculty. Moreover, she is a board eligible Professional Chaplain with specialties in trauma and mental health. Prophetess has served on numerous civic and social organizations boards and has been a community activist for decades in hopes of helping improve lives and communities, especially in the impoverished areas.
In addition, she is the author of a book entitled “Dark Shadows: My Covid-19 Experience.” However, she believes her greatest accomplishment has been raising her two sons as a single parent and guiding them to know their purpose in life and to love God. Prophetess has served in multiple capacities in the body of Christ and local assemblies. Her life is a living testament to the grace and mercy of God and his sovereignty. Surrendering to the sovereign will of God has caused much suffering and sorrow but has yielded greater joy and fruit from her labor! In her times of relaxation, she immensely enjoys football. As an avid Redskins, now Commander’s fan; she has been a diehard for decades. She is a proud mother to Ricky and Deron as well as an exuberant grandmother to Jeremiah. Bishop Webb labors for “an audience of one” that she may always please Him!
About The Chief Consecrator, His Grace, Bishop Glen A. Staples, Presiding Prelate Temple of Praise International Fellowship of Churches Incorporated:
Bishop Glen A. Staples – known around the world for his oratorical gifting and anointed ability to teach the Word of God in such a profound, provocative, and prophetic manner serves as Senior Pastor of The Temple of Praise (formerly known as Anna Johenning Baptist Church). Located in Washington, DC – the Temple of Praise and its more than 14,000 members is known across the world for invoking the call to high praise and worship. Bishop Staples also serves as Presiding Prelate of the Temple of Praise International Fellowship of Churches, Inc., and oversees more than 400 churches worldwide. Covering more than fifty covenant Pastors including Apostles and Bishops in the D.C. Metropolitan area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Atlanta, and Ohio, as well as two hundred churches in India, three in Nigeria and the Bahamas. Bishop Staples has licensed, ordained, and installed more than 125 active in-house Pastors, Elders and Ministers. His love for nurturing Pastors in church development and sustainability, has lovingly earned him the title of the “Pastor’s Pastor.” Bishop Staples also serves as 2nd Vice-Prelate of Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly where Bishop Sherman Watkins is Presiding Prelate and Bishop TD Jakes serves as Vice-Prelate.