THE GOOD-WILLED CHURCHGOERS KILLED IN CHARLESTON
The relatives of the Charlotte, NC shooting victims are people of great and profound faith. They exemplify what it means to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Their willingness to forgive and pray for the soul of the person who murdered their loved ones stands in stark contrast to politicians who almost immediately politicize this horrific event to advance their misguided agendas.
Compare these heart wrenching, Christian-based statements of love and forgiveness with the demagoguery of our President only moments after the tragedy:
Republished from DailyMail.co.uk by ELAINE O’FLYNN
REVEREND CLEMENTA PINCKNEY
Clementa Pinckney, 41, was the beloved pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the country’s oldest black churches, and had been a state legislator for 19 years.
He has been remembered as a ‘giant’ and a ‘legend’ by his peers.
Just one year after graduating from Allen University in 1995, Pinckney became, at 23, the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina Legislature. In 2000, he was elected to the state Senate.
He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and studied at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
A native of Beaufort, Pinckney began preaching at age 13 and was first appointed pastor at 18. He was named pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2010, according to the state Democratic Party.
‘He had a core not many of us have,’ said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who sat beside him in Senate chambers. ‘I think of the irony that the most gentle of the 46 of us — the best of the 46 of us in this chamber — is the one who lost his life.’
He is survived by his wife and two children.
REVEREND SHARONDA COLEMAN-SINGLETON
Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, was a part-time minister at Emanuel AME Church and worked as a speech pathologist at Goose Creek High School, where she was also the girls track coach.
Principal Jimmy Huskey said she was so dedicated she was at work before 8am and typically didn’t leave until 8pm.
‘She had a big smile,’ Huskey said. ‘Her No 1 concern was always the students. She made a difference in the lives of children. She cannot be replaced here at this school.’
The mother of three had run track herself as a student at South Carolina State University, helping lead her team to a conference championship.
Also a speech therapist and ministerial staff member at the church, she was hailed as an ‘excellent role model’.
‘We love you, Coach Singleton,’ the team wrote on its Facebook page. ‘Gator Nation is where it is today because of your leadership. You have our thoughts and prayers.’
Her son, Chris Singleton, who is at college, wrote on his Twitter page after the shooting: ‘Something extremely terrible has happened to my mom tonight, please pray for her and my family. Pray asap.’
On Instagram, he shared an image of his mother beside the Reverend Pinckney, and wrote: ‘In this pictured are two new Angels in the sky. One of them happens to be my mommmy.
‘It’s funny how I always told you that you went to church too much. You would laugh it off and say, “Boy you can never have too much of the Lord.”‘
Ethel Lance, 70, was a Charleston native who had been a member of the church for most of her life.
She retired after working for more than 30 years on the housekeeping staff at the city’s Gaillard Auditorium.
She had served as a sexton at the church for the last five years, helping to keep the historic building clean. She was also a lover of gospel music.
‘She was a God-fearing woman,’ said granddaughter Najee Washington, 23, who lived with Lance.
‘She was the heart of the family, and she still is. She is a very caring, giving and loving woman. She was beautiful inside and out.’
‘Granny was the heart of the family,’ her grandson Jon Quil Lance told The Post and Courier.
‘She’s a Christian, hardworking; I could call my granny for anything. I don’t have anyone else like that’.
Lance had five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Susie Jackson, 87, was a longtime church member and sang in the choir.
She and Ethel Lance were cousins.
Jackson had recently visited her son and grandchildren in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tim Jackson told Cleveland television station WEWS that his grandmother was a loving, giving woman with a great smile.
‘It’s just hard to process that my grandmother had to leave Earth this way,’ he said.
‘It’s real, real hard. It’s challenging because I don’t believe she deserved to go this way.’
Susie Jackson, who was fond of playing slot machines, was scheduled to go on a church-sponsored bus trip to Chicago on Sunday and was looking forward to going to the top of the Willis Tower, said Jean Jackson, an associate member of the church.
The youngest person killed in the attack was Tywanza Sanders, who graduated from Allen University’s division of business administration in Columbia last year.
‘He was a quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education,’ according to a statement from Allen University.
‘He presented a warm and helpful spirit as he interacted with his colleagues.
‘Mr. Sanders was participating in the Bible Study session at Mother Emanuel church at the time of the shooting.’
His social media pages also indicate he worked at a barber shop.
Sanders posted his last Instagram picture before the meeting last night.
‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,’ it read, quoting Jackie Robinson.
Whether she was working with college students or Charleston’s poorest residents, DePayne Middleton-Doctor wanted to be in a position to help people.
So co-workers weren’t surprised when she decided to become a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
‘She was a woman of God,’ said Joel Crawford, who worked with Middleton-Doctor at Southern Wesleyan University’s campus in Charleston. ‘She was strong in her faith.’
Middleton-Doctor, a 49-year-old mother of four daughters, just started her job as an enrollment counselor at the university in December, said Crawford, who worked with her as a student services coordinator.
Before that, Middleton-Doctor had been employed for several years by Charleston County, where she helped administer grants aimed at helping the county’s poorest residents with problems they couldn’t otherwise afford to fix such as repairing roofs or septic tanks, said J. Elliott Summey, chairman of the Charleston County Council. He said she left her county job in 2005.
Crawford said Middleton-Doctor often went to midweek prayer meetings at Emanuel AME Church as she worked toward becoming a minister.
On Facebook, her sister paid tribute to her ‘beautiful Songbird’.
‘I will truly miss you my love,’ she wrote. ‘Your beautiful personality, your laughter, your smile, and your love for everyone.’
Cynthia Hurd’s brother took some comfort in knowing that his sister died in the church she grew up in and loved.
Hurd, 54, was the manager of one of the busiest branches of the Charleston County library system. In her honor, the system closed all 16 of its branches Thursday, the day after her death.
She grew up in Charleston, and her mother made sure they went Emanuel AME Church on Sundays, Wednesdays and any other time it was open, said her brother Malcom Graham, a former state senator from North Carolina.
‘I wasn’t surprised on a Wednesday night she was there,’ Graham said Thursday.
Hurd’s husband is a merchant sailor currently at sea near Saudi Arabia. Graham was trying to help him get home.
When Graham spoke to his sister last weekend, she said she couldn’t wait for her 55th birthday on Sunday, he said.
She was also looking toward retirement after 31 years of library work.
‘Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth,’ the library said in a statement.
‘Her loss is incomprehensible, and we ask for prayers for her family, her co-workers, her church and this entire community as we come together to face this tragic loss.’
Myra Thompson, 59, was also killed at the church, her daughter confirmed but would not comment further.
Thompson was the wife of Rev Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston.
Archbishop Foley Beach wrote on Facebook: ‘Please join me in praying for the Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA Church in Charleston, his family, and their congregation, with the killing of his wife, Myra, in the Charleston shootings last night.’
Thompson’s daughter is reportedly a prominent figure in Atlanta’s Big Bethel AME Church.
DANIEL L SIMMONS
Daniel L Simmons, 45, a retired pastor from another church in Charleston, also died.
He attended the church every Sunday for services and Wednesdays for bible study, his daughter-in-law said.
Unlike the other victims, he was rushed to hospital but he passed away on the operating table, the coroner said.
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