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Reprieve Issued for Church Members • Thursday March 6, 2003, Mar. 5, 2003

Three members of the House of Prayer church in Atlanta were given a reprieve on Wednesday when a judge put a hold on warrants to have them arrested.

The hold will expire on Friday at 1 p.m. when the Rev. Arthur Allen and two of his congregants are scheduled to appear at a court hearing.

Allen, as well as Sharon and David Duncan, were deemed fugitives from justice when they failed to turn themselves into police at 4:30 p.m. Monday for allegedly violating the terms of their probation.

All three served jail time after their convictions on charges of aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The charges stemmed from the whipping of two boys in front of the House of Prayer congregation in 2001.

The Duncans are the parents of one of the boys. As part of their punishment, David Duncan served 40 days in jail and Sharon Duncan served 20 days.

The conditions of their release required each to attend a parental counseling course or face additional jail time, authorities said.

The Duncans said they went to an anger management class, but refused to sign a document stating they would only hand-spank their children.

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