So much talk about the shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, in Charleston, South Carolina: violence, race, madness. So much coverage about the shooter: terrorist, hatred, demons.
What about the victims? We pray for them and their families.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Rev. Clementa Pinckney: Four generations of AME pastors are on his mother’s side of the family. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina. Senator Pinckney’s seat at the South Carolina statehouse was covered in black on Thursday.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
Cynthia Hurd: A librarian and manager at St. Andrews Regional Library. “Cynthia… spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth.”
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Tywanza Sanders: Recently graduated from the Division of Business Administration at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina. He died while trying to save his 87-year-old aunt, Susie Jackson.
He restoreth my soul:
Myra Thompson: Wife of reverend Anthony Thompson, a vicar at Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church.
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Ethel Lee Lance: A sexton, who had worked at the church for more than 30 years. Jon Quil Lance said his granny was “the heart of the family.”
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Susie Jackson: An 87-year-old who was looking forward to a large family reunion in mid-July. Her nephew, Tywanza Sanders, died when he tried to save her by diving between her and the shooter. Jackson’s cousin, Ethel Lance, was also a victim of the attack.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor: Mother of four daughters. She sang in the church’s choir and spoke at the pulpit. Her family posted, “Our hearts are troubled, but our faith remains steadfast, trusting and believing in God’s power to mend our broken hearts.”
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton: Mother of three, reverend at Emanuel AME Church, and high school track coach. Sharonda always ended a conversation or a message with “love you cousin.”
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
Rev. Daniel L. Simmons: A 74-year-old who attended Bible study every Wednesday. He was the former pastor of several AME churches and a war veteran. His family posted, “Although he died at the hands of hate, he lived in the hands of love.”
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23)