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That We'd Become One
“God is not African American. He’s not white or Latino or Asian. And the children of God come in all nationalities, all colors.” The Rev. Jimmy Gallant Reflects on the Emanuel Shootings.
By Joy Hunter, Director of Communications, Diocese of South Carolina
On June 17, 2015, the night of the racially motivated massacre at “Mother” Emanuel AME, the Rev. Jimmy Gallant, Vicar of St. Andrew’s Church, Charleston, was leading a Bible Study at his own parish, just seven miles away.
Volunteer Archivist Helps Catalog Items at Memorial Site
Letters, Cards, Prayers and Love
By Barbara Orrell-Jones
Shortly after the horrific shootings occurred at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, I received an email asking for volunteer archivists to help preserve the mementoes left at the memorial site in front of the church. It was a privilege to join this small group of volunteers who regularly visited the site to gather and box up items dropped off by mourners. We left the wooden signs, wreaths, candles, flowers, and hundreds of sweetgrass roses but took away anything that might be harmed by the elements.
Our job then was to photograph, file and box the items so they would be available for future reading. Our intent is to preserve the artifacts so they can be displayed at memorial events for the nine victims.
Only Through Christ Can We Be Reconciled
The Rev. Dr. Dallas Wilson, Vicar of St. John’s Chapel on the Eastside of Charleston, and his wife, Janie D. Wilson, MABC, were in California at the time of the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church massacre.
They grieved for the families of the victims and fielded calls from the mayor, the police chief and countless others around the country in response to the shootings.
When they returned to Charleston on Tuesday, June 23 and saw the outpouring of emotion, they were somewhat guarded.
St. Paul’s Worships with Baum Temple, AME Zion, in Summerville
On June 18, I rose to discover the horrific news of the Mother Emanuel shooting in downtown Charleston. I was appalled to learn of the racial hatred and bigotry that motivated such an unadulterated act of evil. And, I was saddened to realize I did not have one African-American friend with whom I could reach out and pray, come together and mourn, or stand alongside in unity. I had acquaintances, especially among the clergy of this Diocese and in Summerville. But it dawned on me that the racial divisions that remain in our state were not going to be healed until true and meaningful relationships began to be built.
Crisis Chaplains Respond Following Emanuel Shootings
With 26 years as a crisis chaplain under his belt, the Rev. Rob Dewey, Sr. Chaplain at Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, has seen more than his share of tragedy. He was called to serve following 9/11. Still, he was not prepared for the mass shooting of nine individuals attending a Bible Study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, June 17, 2015.
“I struggled greatly with this because of the evil,” says Dewey, choking up, when asked about the shooting, a month after it occurred. “I went into a kind of trance. It’s easy to preach about good and evil on Sunday morning – but when you experience it, it’s a different thing. It’s not good.”
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