Bishop shot during N.H. wedding preaches forgiveness

BOSTON MA. – OCTOBER 30: John Choate, son of wounded Bishop Stanley Choate, speaks on behalf of his family while updating the condition of his father on October 30, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts at Tufts Medical Center. (Staff Photo By Jim Mahoney/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The Pentecostal bishop shot while officiating at a New Hampshire wedding earlier this month remains in critical condition but “preaches love and forgiveness,” his son said Wednesday.

“We want to stress that New England Pentecostal Ministries does not know the man accused of shooting my father, nor was the shooter a member of the ministry,” John Choate, the eldest son of Bishop Stanley Choate, said at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where the elder Choate is being treated for “multiple,” “life-threatening” gunshot wounds.

“What I can tell you is the bishop constantly preaches love and forgiveness and demonstrates kindness by helping anyone he could, always trying to do the right thing,” his son said. “He is truly a man of peace and integrity.”

Choate thanked the doctors and nurses at Tufts, and the community and first responders of Pelham, N.H.

“We are grateful to those who helped attend to our father, giving him a chance to survive,” he said. “… While he has made slow progress, he has remained in critical condition since the incident.”

Bishop Choate, 75, was officiating at a wedding at New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham on Oct. 12, when police say Dale Holloway walked into the church, shot him in the chest and the bride, Claire McMullen, in the arm, and struck the groom, Mark Castiglione, with a gun.

Guests tackled Holloway, 37, and kept him restrained until police arrived.

Holloway, who had been released from a Massachusetts prison less than a year ago, was ordered held without bail on attempted murder charges after waiving his appearance in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

He was then ordered held in preventative detention on a charge of assaulting his public defender, Michael Davidow, during a jailhouse meeting at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester, N.H.

Davidow was treated for a “serious head injury” in the intensive care unit at an area hospital, according to court documents.

Choate is the second clergyman affiliated with New England Pentecostal Ministries to be shot this month. Minister Luis Garcia, Holloway’s stepfather,  was shot to death on Oct. 1 in Londonderry.

Authorities are investigating whether the two shootings are connected.

A celebration of life honoring Garcia was to be held at the church after the wedding.

Choate’s family is raising money to help pay for the bishop’s medical expenses with a campaign on Go Fund Me.