New York Daily News: BROOKLYN – It wasn’t quite a resurrection, but a Brooklyn bishop who was arrested on extortion and wire fraud charges says he is back from the brink.

A day after “bling” Bishop Lamor Whitehead was charged by federal authorities of scamming a retired parishioner out of $90,000 in retirement funds and lying to the FBI, he took to his Instagram pulpit to plead his case and preach his innocence gospel.

“Just because you are arrested doesn’t make you guilty,” Whitehead said in the video posted Tuesday morning. “We live in America, and you are innocent until proven guilty.”

Bishop Lamor Whitehead is pictured in Brooklyn on Friday, July 29, 2022.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead is pictured in Brooklyn on Friday, July 29, 2022 – Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News

Just 24 hours earlier, Whitehead, who preaches at a Canarsie church, was in federal custody, accused of extortion, wire fraud and making false statements, charges that could land him in jail for 20 years if he is convicted.

But Whitehead, who wiped tears away as he stood before a judge in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday, came back swinging on Tuesday, telling his followers to keep the faith.

He reminded social media viewers of the doubt that surrounded him after masked gunmen who were caught on camera robbed his church in July, stealing close to $1 million in jewelry from him and his wife.

“Don’t make the same mistake that you made when my church was robbed,” Whitehead said in the video. “The world went against me, you guys, the media, social media, you guys turned me from a victim to a villain.

“Everybody said I set up the robbery. Everybody was 100% sure I set up the robbery, and then when they caught the two of the three of the men that robbed my church, everybody got quiet. I need y’all to give me an opportunity.”

New York Daily News front page for July 26, 2022: 'Oh No, They Got Me' -Gun at baby's head in church heist, pastor tells News
New York Daily News front page for July 26, 2022: ‘Oh No, They Got Me’ -Gun at baby’s head in church heist, pastor tells News – New York Daily News

Whitehead, 45, pleaded not guilty to the federal charges and was released on a $500,000 bond.

His travel was restricted to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and he was ordered to surrender any passports and travel documents.

Judge Lorna Schofield told him he was to have no contact with any of the alleged victims or witnesses and said Whitehead cannot open any new lines of credit without permission from pretrial services.

But Whitehead cautioned the media and the public against casting stones, calling himself “a man of excellence and a man of integrity.”

“If I wasn’t a man of God, the enemy wouldn’t be fighting me,” Whitehead said in the Instagram Live clip. “The words that are uttered from my mouth are straight from God. You can ridicule me, you can call me all types of names and you can say what you will say about me, but you’re going to remember this bishop. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Y’all drunk it already. Don’t drink it again.”

Whitehead, who heads the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry, counts Mayor Adams as a close friend.

On Monday, Adams issued a statement calling the charges against his pastor pal “troubling,” but said he wouldn’t comment further on his case until it’s resolved. During a Tuesday press conference, the mayor declined to answer questions about whether he had spoken to Whitehead.

Whitehead’s eventful year included an attempt in May to orchestrate the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, the man accused of fatally shooting Goldman Sachs researcher Daniel Enriquez on the Q train.

Lamor Whitehead leaves Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York.
Top Feature Photo: Lamor Whitehead leaves Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday, Sept 28, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York – Barry Williams/for New York Daily News

In September, the Gucci-wearing, Rolls Royce-driving preacher was briefly handcuffed after a clash with a woman during a Sunday service at his Remsen Ave. church.

Last month, the bishop filed a $50 million lawsuit against a New York City hip-hop radio station and one of its hosts for calling him a “drug dealer” on the air.

Whitehead served five years in prison after he was convicted in New Jersey of being involved in a $2 million identity theft scam. He was released in 2013.