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Creflo Dollar, arrest, brings his family at the center of media frenzy

Creflo Dollar

Last week, media outlets across the nation began a flurry of reports about 50 year old Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar. Dollar was arrested after his 15 year old daughter called the police alleging that he had physically abused her.

His daughter told the sheriff’s deputy that she and her father argued after he told her she couldn’t go to a party.

According to a police report, she then went on to say that her father charged at her, put his hands around her throat and begin to punch her and hit her with his shoe. The deputy noted that there was a scratch on her neck.

The deputy also interviewed Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter, who said her father grabbed the younger girl’s shoulders and slapped her in the face and choked her for about five seconds. She said her sister tried to break free, but did not fight back. When her father threw the 15-year-old on the floor, the older girl ran to get her mother.

The deputy also spoke to Dollar’s wife, Taffi, who said she did not see the fight.

Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta, with 30,000 members in the Atlanta area and a ministry of satellite churches across the U.S. After the incident, Dollar addressed his congregation, at the World Changers Church International, denying the allegations of choking her. IT should be noted that he did however, admit to the police that he tried to restrain his daughter.

“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” Dollar said Sunday in his first public appearance two days after police charged him with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.
“The truth is that a family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional,” he said. “And emotions got involved and things escalated from there.”

He said the mark on his daughter’s neck had been there for about 10 years and was caused by a skin condition, eczema.

“The truth is she was not choked, she was not punched. There were not any scratches on her neck,” Dollar said. “But the only thing on her neck was a prior skin abrasion from eczema. Anything else is exaggeration and sensationalism.”

Before beginning with his sermon, he ended his address to the congregation on the matter by saying, “I will never put any fault on my children, as Jesus would never put any fault on me.”

Pastor’s mother shot, killed after Sunday church service

When members of the New Destiny Christian Church heard the sounds of a car crash in the parking lot Sunday afternoon, 68 year old Josephine Echols, a registered nurse and mom of the pastor, was among the first to step outside to see if anyone needed medical help.

Unfortunately, she was met outside with a gunman who would ultimately shoot and kill her near her Aurora church Sunday afternoon.

Aurora Police say the shooting happened at the Destiny Christian Center, located 10600 block of East Bethany Drive.

According to Yolanda Marant, the media contact for the church, the shooting happened towards the end of service Sunday, sometime after 2 p.m.

“Our drummer was waving for a couple of people in our service to come out,” Marant said about the end of the service.

She says the drummer waived for the off-duty officer and the pastor’s mother to come outside.

Marant told 9NEWS the drummer, an off-duty police officer and the pastor’s mother were outside and then the congregation heard, “get down.”

“I’ve never been in any kind of trouble. I’ve never heard a series of shots,” Marant said. “Three shots back to back. All of a sudden, people were told to get down. We hit the floor, our kids were on the floor. [We told] everyone not to go outside.”

The congregation hid in different rooms.

Marant said, “Only God protected us.”

Aurora Police say the shooting suspect and the pastor’s mother were shot and taken to a local hospital.

According to Echol’s son, his mom was shot five times before his cousin — an off duty Denver police officer — shot and killed the gunman.

“They both people were rushed to the hospital. When they were transported, they were in serious condition,” Officer Frank Faina, spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department said.

The pastor of the church, De Lono Straham, tells 9NEWS his mother, Josephine Echols, lovingly called “Mother Jo” by church parishoners, passed away on Sunday evening.

Police say the suspect also died.

Officers say the suspect was shot by an off-duty Denver Police officer, who is a member of the church and is the pastor’s cousin.

The shooter was has only been described as being a young man.

“It literally just happened,” Marant said. “We’ve never seen the young man before in our lives.”

The church released the following statement Sunday evening:

“Please keep Pastor Delono Straham, the Straham family and The Destiny Center in your prayers.”

This story is courtesy of 9NEWs

Mary, Mary premieres Reality Show tonight on WeTV

Make sure you catch gospel duo Mary, Mary premiere of their new Reality Series tonight at 10pm on WETv!!

Check out a sneak peek below:

[Preview] Oprah sits down with Whitney’s family, daughter, in Exclusive interview

One thing is for certain, primetime or not, Oprah has no problem with snagging the big interviews.

She is well respected and trusted by most of the leading celebrities in the business. Given her close relationship with Whitney Houston, it comes as no surprise that she will be the first [and probably only] one to talk to those closest to the late singer, about how they have been affected by her death. Check out the trailer below!

Will you be watching?

Nick Cannon reveals cause of recent health scare

America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon visited ABC’s “Good Morning America”, revealing the cause of the multiple hospitalizations he has faced since the top of the year.

Cannon who recently resigned from his morning radio show in February, citing health concerns spoke of his rare auto-immune condition and the changes he has been making since finding out what has been happening to him.

“The technical term is lupus nephritis,” he explained. “It’s a rare form of lupus that’s just attacking my kidneys. They thought it was just kidney disease and then they were trying to figure out why my immune system was attacking my kidneys and that was sort of the root of it all.”

Cannon revealed that he was surprised by the diagnosis, especially since he was initially diagnosed with kidney failure while on a family vacation with his wife Mariah Carey and their twins Moroccan and Monroe.

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Lupus is unique to it’s carrier, meaning that no two cases are alike, which makes it all the much harder to find a cure.

Did you know that African American women are up to three times as likely as white women to get lupus? However, Lupus does not discriminate, people of all ethnicities and races.

African American women tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms than white women.

Fans of songstress Toni Braxton, who follow her show Braxton Family Values that airs on WeTV, have become well aware of her battle with Lupus over the last few seasons.

We wish Nick Cannon the best of luck!

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