Controversial pastor Arthur Allen dies after house fire - New York News

Controversial pastor Arthur Allen dies after house fire

Posted: Updated:
Firefighters worked to put out a blaze at an apartment on Lookout Avenue on Monday. (Photo by Charles Holmes/myfoxatlanta) Firefighters worked to put out a blaze at an apartment on Lookout Avenue on Monday. (Photo by Charles Holmes/myfoxatlanta)
The Rev. Arthur Allen of House of Prayer (WAGA file footage from 2011). The Rev. Arthur Allen of House of Prayer (WAGA file footage from 2011).
ATLANTA -

The Rev. Arthur Allen Jr., the controversial pastor of the House of Prayer, has died after a house fire, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office.

Firefighters said there were between 10 and 15 people in the house, located on Lookout Avenue, when fire broke out on Monday. Firefighters said that Allen told those in the house to get out quickly as he remained behind to get dressed.

Allen, 81, was unconscious when firefighters found him in the house, according to officials. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead of suspected smoke inhalation.

A firefighter suffered first-degree burns while battling the blaze, according to the Atlanta Fire Department.

A dryer is the suspected cause of the blaze, according to fire officials.

Allen made national headlines after being accused of child abuse more than a decade ago.

Allen's troubles began in 2001 when two boys showed their teachers bruises they got after a beating. The state immediately took 49 children of the House of Prayer into custody.

Then another young member of the church came forward and threatened to sue Allen. That member said that he was beaten every time he went to church from the time he was 9 years old.

Allen responded, "He was given corporal punishment because he had sex with a young woman in our church, and we don't want a lot of babies."

Allen was later charged and convicted of child cruelty. He spent 90 days in jail.

After violating probation, Allen went on the run for five months. He was finally arrested and sentenced to two years in jail. When he was released, he said he still supported the use of corporal punishment to discipline children.

"If I see them doing wrong, and it calls for me to give them a spanking, I'm going to do it," Allen told his congregation.

In 2007, Allen was arrested on a kidnapping charge. He was accused of hiding a child whose father left the church. He served two weeks in jail.

Some neighbors said that Allen helped a lot of people in the community and that he will be missed.

Neighbor Rick Johnson says in recent years, Pastor Allen bought several homes in this community where church members stayed.

Johnson said, "Anybody who would buy into a rundown community and build it up, that's helping."

Other neighbors like Kenard Harris, who is raising his step son Jayden. didn't agree with Reverend Allen's approach.

Harris told FOX 5's George Franco, "It's just too tough on a kid like that age and all I feel it wasn't really right."

Church members at the scene Monday evening said the reverend's teachings will continue.

One church member said, "We're still holding to the teachings but other than that I don't really have much comment to say at this time."

Funeral plans for Reverend Allen were still pending Monday night.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:43:26 GMT
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
  • Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:37 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:37:30 GMT
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
  • Governor to sign controversial gun bill into law

    Governor to sign controversial gun bill into law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:13 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:13:44 GMT
    Governor Deal will sign the controversial HB60 into law in Ellijay on Wednesday afternoon.
    Governor Deal will sign the controversial HB60 into law in Ellijay on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:23:11 GMT
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:43:53 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices