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Three charged with carjacking gospel singing icon
Updated 5/20/2012 8:06 PM ET
DETROIT -- Four days after he was robbed and carjacked outside a Detroit gas station, the Rev. Marvin Winans took the pulpit Sunday morning amid cheers and applause.

Even as his accused assailants readied for a court hearing in Detroit, the 54-year-old pastor told the congregation that he never was afraid during the assault Wednesday, even as other men stood inside the station without coming to his aid.

Nor is he angry, he told the congregation at Detroit's Perfecting Church.

Rather, he said, "I'm sad."

Recalling the robbery in detail, he said a young woman gave him a ride back to his church after the incident, remarking to him that he had given so much to the community.

"I looked at her and I said 'I'm just sad … to think we have reared young men to prey -- p-r-e-y -- on people that they think are weaker,' " he said.

Scheduled to be arraigned were Phillip Givens and Christopher Moorehead, both 20 and of Detroit, and Brian Keith Young, 18, of Clinton Township, Mich. They are charged with carjacking, conspiracy to carjack, unarmed robbery and conspiracy to rob not armed. Winans said he knew of no connection to the men and that he was a random victim.

Winans, a prominent pastor and gospel musician, gave a eulogy for Whitney Houston in February. His newest recording "Let the Church Say Amen," is currently a top gospel pick, according to Billboard.com.

While Winans was pumping gas at a Citgo station, a young man approached and "engaged him in conversation about the music he had on the radio," Detroit police Inspector Nick Kyriacou said.

When the young man suddenly told Winans that gas was spilling from his tank, the minister turned toward his SUV and the young man sucker-punched him from behind and pushed him down. He was punched and kicked on the pavement, Kyriacou said.

His finger was broken in the attack, but he was not seriously injured. His assailants fled in the pastor's luxury SUV with his $15,000 gold-and-diamond-encrusted Rolex watch and a wallet containing $200, police said.

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 was later found next to an abandoned house and Winans told his congregation Sunday morning that most of his belongings had been returned.

Speaking with reporters before the morning service, Winans said he would reach out to his assailants. And he called on the city's young men, fathers, business owners and others to take personal responsibility and see their "self-worth" and their role in the larger community.

"The city is fixable, and it starts with the men of the city, in particular the black men," he said. "And I … want to urge all of you men who hear me to go and get your sons. I'm not bitter. I'm not upset. I'm saddened by what has taken place. But I'm also inspired. We have to make a change in this city."

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(Contributing: Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press.)

Posted 5/20/2012 1:00 PM ET
Updated 5/20/2012 8:06 PM ET
Pastor Marvin Winans was assaulted and carjacked Wednesday afternoon.
David Guralnick, AP
Pastor Marvin Winans was assaulted and carjacked Wednesday afternoon.

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