1 Week After Church Shooting, Members Recall ‘Mama Jo’

| April 30, 2012

DENVER — Members of Destiny Christian Center gathered Sunday for the first time since their pastor’s mother was gunned down and killed outside the Aurora church last weekend.

Parishioners went to remember and celebrate the life of 67-year-old Josephine Echols.

"We wanted to celebrate a life of someone who really laid their life down for a lot of people and that is a cause of celebration and I think that’s how she would have it,” said her son, De Lono Straham, pastor of Destiny Christian Center.

Sunday's service was held at Now Faith Church in Denver, which has become a sanctuary for members still reeling from the April 22 shooting at the bullet-scarred Aurora church. The Aurora church members said they will worship for the next three weeks at the Denver church.

“Going back to the old building, it’s still kinda hard because you can still see like the bullet holes in the building," said the victim’s granddaughter, Lydia Tolbert. "It’s hard for everyone to go back there."



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