On Wednesday evening at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the South there was a shooting that ended up killing the pastor and the members of his church. We grieve the the senseless loss of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and his parishioners: Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Singleton and Myra Thompson.
Police say Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, near the heart of Charleston's tourist district. Eight died at the scene; a ninth died at a hospital. Authorities were shocked not only by the killings but that the violence occurred in a house of worship.
"People in prayer Wednesday evening. A ritual, a coming together, praying, worshiping God. An awful person to come in and shoot them is inexplicable," said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.
Six women and three men were killed, including the church's politically active pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
To Give: The Mother Emanuel Hope Fund has been established. The fund will be used to help cover the funeral costs of those killed in the tragedy and to benefit the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where the shooting occurred. To help the church and pay for the funeral costs of those killed, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley worked with Wells Fargo to set up donation centers at their branches. For those who wish to donate online, donations can also be made to the church directly through PayPal on their website.
The music community has responded to this crisis:
"We don't know why things like this happen but God can mend our broken hearts and help us through our dark days. #PrayforCharleston"- Erica Campbell
"Plane landed, turned on my phone, and my heart dropped to the floor. Charleston... This is an unbearable loss of lives and innocence." - Taylor Swift
"It is hard for me to understand such anger and hatred toward any living creature, but especially toward the children of God who had gathered in a place of worship to express their thanks to Him. It seems, as a whole, that the human condition is not getting better over time. All I can say is, 'Help us, Jesus.'"
- Bill Gaither
"Woke up to the horrid news. What can be said? Shooter doesn't deserve our curiosity. Absolute terrorism. Charleston is in my heart today." - Josh Groban.
"Evil can penetrate everything in this world, even the walls of our churches. But that will not extinguish our worship and it will not drive us underground, but instead make us sing even louder. I wish I could hug the families of those who have lost loved ones, I don't have any words, but I do want them to know they are not alone."
- Brandon Heath
"There are no words for the deep sadness & heartache I feel for the families and friends of those lost in the Charleston shootings. Praying for God's comfort & peace to "bind up" every broken heart."
- Steven Curtis Chapman
"I am heartbroken for the church and community of Charleston. I am praying for them, and specifically the families, for God to comfort each of them. I also am continually praying for the nationwide revival, which we desperately need to bring true and lasting change."
- William McDowell
"I am deeply, deeply hurting for those affected by the tragedy at Emanuel AME church and the city of Charleston, SC. Going to church, you never expect this kind of thing to happen. You think of Church as one of the safest places to be. In a split second, someone's anger changed that. Lord, help us. My prayers, love and condolences go to the families, church and the city of Charleston. I pray that the love of Jesus brings comfort as only He can."
- Jason Crabb
"Praying for the victims and families of such an unimaginable crime. In this time of grief, I pray that Emanuel AME Church and the city of Charleston feel our love and know they don't walk through this heartbreaking tragedy alone."
- Tamela Mann
Tags : erica campbell Taylor Swift Steven Curtis Chapman bill gaither Brandon Heath josh groban Tamela Mann Jason Crabb william mcdowell dylann roof charleston shooting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Clementa Pinckney