Friday, June 26, 2015
Central Baptist Church To Hold Memorial Service For Charleston Victims
THIS STORY COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS
Janet Russaw, a member of Central Baptist who suggested the service, said the entire community is invited to attend. "We are a community that needs and wants to become united and mourn the loss of nine innocent lives," Russaw says. "We feel like a great place to start is with churches and reaching out to each other."
On June 17th, 21-year old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the United States. Victims include the church's senior pastor and South Carolina state senator, Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
Russaw, who has been a member of Central Baptist for about 15 years, says she has been moved by the tragic events of that day, and felt the need to do something to help others and herself, find peace.
"I think it goes back to the Christian Faith, loving one's neighbors and having a relationship with them," she said. "The way you begin to find your peace is to know one another."
"We're going to pray for the nine lives lost, their families and the church, which lost a pastor," Russaw said. "That would impact your church, any way you look at it. It would leave a hole. "We're also going to pray for its membership, the city, our city, our nation and the world."
Central Baptist is located at 301 Carver Street in the Riverview Community and the service will begin at 6 PM on June 28th. Typically, the church will hold around 300 people and Russaw says she hopes the sanctuary will be standing room only.
"I hope people are standing outside, wanting to get in. I want us to overflow, even if we overflow into the street, to show our love and support," she said. "We want the entire community to come out and be a force, to show the world that our city is full of loving, caring people."
HEAR THE EULOGY GIVEN BY PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR SLAIN MOTHER EMANUEL AME CHURCH PASTOR, REVEREND CLEMENTA PINCKNEY IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA:
AND HEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA LEAD THE MOURNERS IN "AMAZING GRACE:"
BOTH CLIPS COURTESY PBS