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CHARLESTON, S.C. – 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.