June 17, 2020 marked the five-year anniversary of the massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC
By Brenda Nelson, Regional Program Coordinator for our Associate Ministry
As we pause on this day of remembrance of our fallen brothers and sisters, who following the horrific mass shooting during Bible Study at the Mother Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 have become known as the beloved Emanuel 9, we remember and celebrate their lives and legacies, and their corporate legacy for justice.
As I sit in solitude on this day, I sense the “winds of change” that have continued to this present moment. The “winds of change” to eradicate symbols that revere racial hate and divisiveness; The “winds of change” for the execution of justice and equity across the spectrum; and The “winds of change” allowing us to witness as we did in the aftermath of June 17, 2015 that “Hate Won’t Win” (#HateWontWin).
Even as I reflect on this day of remembrance, I also reflect on my gratitude for the blessing of God’s amazing grace. I was present at “Mother Emanuel” on that tragic day and departed about 30 minutes before the shooter’s arrival and his joining the Bible Study that was in progress. A moment in time that has forever changed my life, and serves as my witness to the sovereignty of God.
So on this day amidst my grief and that of so many, I see God’s glory.
We pause in remembrance and celebration of the lives of the Emanuel 9.
The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Beloved Pastor
The Reverend Daniel Simmons, Sr.
The Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
The Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Mrs. Myra Thompson
Mrs. Susie Jackson
Mrs. Ethel Lance
Mrs. Cynthia Graham-Hurd
Mr. Tywanza Sanders
Forever in Our Hearts…