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Natural causes claimed church founder

Autopsy shows what husband says he knew all along

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An autopsy has revealed what Bishop Robert C. Cosby says he knew all along: His late wife, Rosemary "Mama" Cosby, founder of the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, died of natural causes in January 1997.

After performing the autopsy on Rosemary Cosby's exhumed body, Dr. J. Wallace Graham ruled she died of heart failure at her vacation home in St. Cloud, Fla.

Results from the autopsy have not silenced suspicions of Rosemary Cosby's daughter, Rosalinda Cazares, who believes Robert Cosby had something to do with the death. Cazares said authorities in Florida are still investigating her mother's death.

"Her heart was A-1 and she was in good health," Cazares said.

Cosby called such accusations "ludicrous and ridiculous" and said the entire ordeal of having to retrieve his late wife's body from the Salt Lake Mausoleum was like "putting salt on a wound — it just burns and hurts."

The autopsy is the latest chapter in a lengthy history of resentment and accusations between Robert Cosby and his faithful followers and Cazares and her supporters.

Cazares says Robert Cosby forged his late wife's signature to obtain ownership of businesses, properties and houses Cazares says are worth millions of dollars. The battle over Rosemary Cosby's estate is still pending in 3rd District Court.

Family members on Robert Cosby's side say Rosemary Cosby was not the millionaire Cazares seems to think she was.

"Mama always said she was not rich, she was blessed," said Debbie Cosby-Brainich, Rosemary Cosby's daughter.

"We struggle to make it just like everybody else," Robert Cosby said. "She (Cazares) never knew any of the business, nor did she want to know."

Before her mother's death in January 1997, Cazares led the church's choir. After Rosemary Cosby's death, Cazares left the church and took part of the Faith Temple congregation with her. Two of her children, Denise Jefferson and John Cosby, both remain loyal to Robert Cosby's congregation.

Rosemary Cosby left Indianapolis in 1961, with four children and the belief that God had called her to Utah. After walking and catching rides to Utah, she began holding meetings in her home. In 1968 she built the Faith Temple, 1510 S. Richards St.

Twenty years her junior, Robert Cosby joined the Faith Temple congregation and married Rosemary Cosby when he was 22 years old. The two acted as co-pastors up until Rosemary Cosby's death, establishing another Faith Temple church in Indianapolis in 1982.

"(Rosemary) is the one that taught me," Robert Cosby said. "I don't know anything else. Everything I knew I learned from her, so if I am doing it wrong they have to accuse her."