Much like New York City’s World Trade Center site that was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the church has become a destination and a ground zero for modern racial strife. It could mark a historic turning pointing in how Americans view race.
Tourism officials hesitated to estimate how many people have inquired about visiting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, but the building has risen nearly to the top of Charleston’s tourist attractions.
The interim pastor, the Rev. Norvel Goff, said members of his congregation were energized by a public sentiment that the church has “an open door to all visitors, regardless of color.”
“It’s become a touchstone for Charleston,” he said. “People from around the world are coming to share their thoughts and how their communities have come together in their own way because of how this community came together.”
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