Homicide

Funeral set for Charleston church slaying victim, 49, who'd returned to childhood church roots

  • Rain falls as pallbearers exit Emanuel AME Church carrying the casket of Cynthia Hurd as mourners for Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders file inside the church for their funerals Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Hurd, Jackson and Sanders were three of the nine people killed in the shooting at the church on June 17. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP)

    Rain falls as pallbearers exit Emanuel AME Church carrying the casket of Cynthia Hurd as mourners for Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders file inside the church for their funerals Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Hurd, Jackson and Sanders were three of the nine people killed in the shooting at the church on June 17. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Parents of Tywanza Sanders, Tyrone Sanders and Felicia Sanders comfort each other at the graveside of their son Saturday, June 27, 2015, at Emanuel AME Cemetery in Charleston, S.C. According to a pamphlet given at the funeral, Sanders died trying to protect Susie Jackson, his aunt, and Felicia Sanders, his mother who survived the shooting. Sanders' last words were to the shooter, who killed nine people at the church June 17, the pamphlet said. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP)

    Parents of Tywanza Sanders, Tyrone Sanders and Felicia Sanders comfort each other at the graveside of their son Saturday, June 27, 2015, at Emanuel AME Cemetery in Charleston, S.C. According to a pamphlet given at the funeral, Sanders died trying to protect Susie Jackson, his aunt, and Felicia Sanders, his mother who survived the shooting. Sanders' last words were to the shooter, who killed nine people at the church June 17, the pamphlet said. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP)  (The Associated Press)

After much thought and prayer, DePayne Middelton-Doctor decided in January to return to her childhood roots and attend the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. She had attended a Baptist church for years, but she felt the time was right to switch.

Less than six months later, the 49-year-old pastor and mother of four who led Wednesday night bible study will be memorialized Sunday in the historic African-American church in South Carolina where she was killed 12 days ago after a gunman entered the church and fatally shot nine people — all African Americans. Police contend the attack was racially motived.

Dylann Storm Roof, now charged with nine murders, embraced Confederate symbols before the attack, posing with the rebel battle flag and burning the U.S. flag in photos.