Theodore Henry Durant was born in Toronto in 1871. He and his family emmigrated to America and settled in San Francisco. At the time of his horrific crime Theodore was a 23 year old student at Cooper Medical college in San Francisco, assistant superintendent of the sunday school at the 21st Street Emmanuel Baptist Church and also a member of the California Signal Corps. It is believed he suffered from manic depression and was noted for strange behaviour. It was said that in the early 1890s Durant would visit the brothels in San Francisco’s commercial street. He brought with him a sack or small crate containing a pigeon or chicken and at the high point of his evening with a prostitute he would cut the birds throat and let the blood trickled over his body. Not necessarily signs of a stable personality. In 1895 Durant met Blanche Lamont at the Polk Street electric trolley stop. They seemed to be very close, whispering in each others ears and playfully tapping each other. They both got off at the same stop and walked towards the church where Blanche worked as a Sunday school teacher. She lived with her aunt, Mrs Tryphenia Noble. The last person to see Blanche alive was Mrs. Carolina Leak, who saw Blanche and Durant entering the church together. George King, a church choir director and organist who was practicing on the organs at the time, testified that Durant came downstairs around 5 p.m. looking pale and shaken, he asked King to go to the store to get some medicine. A few hours later Mrs. Noble came looking for Blanche. Theodore Durant told her he hadn’t seen her but would stop by later on that evening to drop off some books. He did come by later that evening and suggested that Blanche might have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The next day Durant tried to pawn some womens rings and a package with some more rings was received by Mrs. Noble, sent by George king the choir director. She finally reported her niece missing three days later. Police questioned Durant because he was the last person to be seen with Blanche, but also because a young woman stated she had seen him nude in the church library. Unfortunately police did not have a body nor incriminating evidence to prove murder so Blanche remained listed as a missing person. During this time Durant was also spending a lot of time with Minnie Flora Williams. On April 12th 1895, days after Blanche’s disappearance, Minnie told her friends that she was going to a church member meeting. A few minutes later Williams was seen in a heated discussion with Durant at the in front of the church. It was loud enough to alert a man named Hodgkins, who was passing by, to stop and intervene. Later Hodgkin’s testified Durant’s manner was not of that of a gentleman, but the pair eventually did calm down and entered the church together. At 9 p.m. Durant went to the church elders house for the previously mentioned scheduled meeting without miss Williams. The next day the women of the church were decorating for Easter Sunday when one of the ladies discovered a horrifying, mutilated female corpse inside a cabinet. The police were called and the body was identified as Minnie Williams. The church was searched for any clues and for Blanche, which they strongly suspected was somewhere on the premises. Eventually police searched the belfry of the church and found Blanche Lamont mutilated with her head wedged between two boards. By this time however Durant had left town to join his Signal Corps unit. He was apprehended the next day and charged with the murders of Blanche Lamont and Minnie Williams. His defense tried everything from lack of blood on his clothing to disputing the weight of Blanche, stating Durant couldn’t possibly carry her up to the belfry. Nothing would work though and he was sentenced to hang. Durant never confessed to the murders, denying his guilt til the day he was died, which was January 7th 1898 at San Quentin prison. Pictured above are: Blanche, Minnie, Blanche with her students, the church, Durant and some illustrations from newspapers of the time. Source Wikipedia
Original caption: “Stevenson Greeted by Choir After Services, Delaplane, VA. Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson is shown leaving Emmanuel Episcopal Church today as he was greeted by members of the choir. Parishioners also assembled to talk with him and shake his hand.” September 16, 1956
Temporary installation in Emmanuel Church West Hampstead for the upcoming exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral. This installation is only half the actual length. The finished installation is over 9 metres.
Mass shooting in Charleston, SC at Emmanuel AME Church. Nine have been reported dead and many others were injured. This is the oldest and predominantly Black Methodist church in the Southeast area. There is also a bomb threat being reported at the Courtyard Marriot across the street. The suspect is at large currently! He’s described as a white male in his 20s. No other information has been released to
“Church” by Jacqueline Woodson from Locomotion (2003).
A year ago today, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Myra Thompson, and Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr. were murdered at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church.
The man who killed nine people in a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina has been charged with a federal hate crime – along with several other counts, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday.
Dylann Roof, 21, was previously charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for the killings at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and could face the death penalty if convicted. Those are state charges.
On the evening of June 17, Roof allegedly attended a Bible study at the church and sat with the group for an hour before opening fire, killing three men and six women.
According to a witness who survived the attack, Roof told the African-American churchgoers, “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.”
After the shooting, a photo from Roof’s Facebook page surfaced, where he is seen wearing a jacket with flag patches that represent two white-rule-era African states: apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia.
A few weeks before the shooting, Roof complained to a friend that “blacks were taking over the world” and “someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” the Associated Press reported.
Another friend, Dalton Tyler told ABC News that “[Roof] was big into segregation and other stuff. He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”
Roof is currently being held without parole. Prosecutors have not said if they will seek the death penalty against him.
UPDATE: The full federal hate crimes indictment against Dylann Roof
If you are a New York City resident who has an outstanding warrant for minor offenses and violations and not going to your court date, the consequences can affect your ability to get jobs, student loans, or affect your credit score. There is a program next weekend called Begin Again, created by the district attorney’s office, in collaboration with Legal Aid and Emmanuel Baptist Church to help vacate warrants quickly. If you have outstanding warrants or know someone who does, hit me up so I can give you the info
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and I pray justice can be served. I’m so tired of these cowardice criminals shooting at the innocent, shooting at those who can not defend themselves. If it’s not school children then it’s people praying in their place of worship. Something has to be done. Guns may not be the primary issue, but we are unable to regulate every gun owner and the people surrounding them. Just ridding of guns as a whole could have possibly saved these people’s lives. It takes time and traceable research to build a bomb. And a knife could have easily been taken from his reach, you can’t stop a flying bullet. I pray one day myself and other’s safety won’t come into question for simply breathing. We may not be perfect but, America HAS to do better!!!
A benefit for Bead for Life will be held Oct. 28 from 11:30am to 12:30pm at Emmanuel Church. The event will feature handmade, high-quality beaded jewelry created by impoverished Ugandan women who are lifting their families out of poverty. This effort has been featured on NBC Nightly News, in O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Family Circle and other publications. New jewelry designs have been recently added to the collection along with Musana earrings and other products, including an exfoliate, Shea Sugar Scrub, and a moisturizer, Shea Body crème. Door prizes will be awarded during the event.
Bead for Life (BFL) is a socially responsible global organization with a philosophy that people want jobs rather than handouts. Working with women, all of whom were living on less than $1 a day in extreme poverty, BFL’s 300 members support almost 5000 others to climb out of poverty. These industrious women make vivid beaded jewelry out of recycled paper and every dollar they make goes to critical things like sending children to school, paying for health care and saving to build a home. The beaders’ work has been sold at thousands of home parties and businesses and community-sponsored events around the world. All net profits from BFL sales are invested in projects that fight extreme poverty.
The event is free and open to the public and free parking is available on Dearborn Street. For information call the church office, 847-0675 or Meghan Dutton, Bead for Life community partner, 662-6640.
Could we not argue that America is about freedom whether we live it out or not? But it really is about freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s what church is all about: freedom to worship and freedom from sin, freedom to be full of what God intends us to be, and to have equality in the sight of God. And sometimes you got to make noise to do that. Sometimes you may even have to die like Denmark Vesey to do that. Sometimes you have to march, struggle and be unpopular to do that.
Pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine people murdered Wednesday night in a mass shooting at the historic Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (via Vox)