Woman alleges Durham church owes her money
Posted March 27, 2013
N.C. — Four years after her baby was violently shaken by a babysitter, Kristie Hammonds is still waiting for a miracle cure.
She thought she had found her miracle in Pastor Sheryl Brady and The River Church in Durham, but when their financial help ran out, she took issue.
Hammonds told WRAL News in December 2009 that doctors had given up on 8-month-old Christiana, so she took her to the altar. A widely circulated YouTube video shows a comatose Christiana appear to grow alert as Brady prays.
The River congregation followed up with a collection to provide Hammonds with a car, household supplies and rent for a year.
But after Brady moved in 2010 to take a job at a church in the Dallas area, Hammonds accused the church of keeping some of the funds designated for her daughter.
Steve Sims, current pastor at The River, said the congregation is saddened by the rift. He provided detailed financial records that show they raised just over $7,000 and actually spent more than $12,000 to help Hammonds.
Hammonds lives with her mother, in Monroe, N.C., where she helps with Cristiana's care.
"It's been four years, and I don't really see much of a change. She still can't talk, she still eats out of her stomach. She's totally care disabled," she said.
"She just cries out and lays there. By us not knowing what's wrong with her, it's kind of hard for us to help her out."
Hammonds is certain the church raised more money than they gave her, and she would like that money to go toward Cristiana's care.
"I want a better life for my baby," she said. "I do want her to walk and talk. She's been deprived of everything and I think she deserves a better life."
The babysitter who injured Christiana, Tammy Evans, is facing one count of intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury. Her case is still pending.