Emanuel AME Church already was among South Carolina’s most well-known churches long before someone entered the ground floor and shot its pastor and eight others to death during a June 17 Bible study.
But the unspeakable crime ””one that led to an outpouring of support and unity from across the nation ”” has changed the church in ways that are still playing out.
In coming months, the church’s leaders, members and supporters are expected to discuss not only how to memorialize the nine victims on the site but also what repair work is needed. They’ll need to decide how to conduct the repairs to the sanctuary and ground floor, where the crime occurred, while also tending to the spiritual needs of the church.
“Our focus is ”” as it has been since June 17 ”” to make sure those families and their concerns, their immediate needs ”” monetary, spiritual and emotional ”” are met,” said the Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, Emanuel’s interim pastor.