The brazen attack during a bible study at Emanuel AME Church happened one week ago Wednesday night. Wednesday evening believers gathered once again for their weekly study , pressing on toward hope in the face of a senseless tragedy.
“We’re still saddened by the loss, we still cry, we still grieve, we still have broken hearts, but we serve a God who is able to carry us through,” said. Rev. Norvel Goff.
He lead the bible study at Mother Emanuel Church on Wednesday “because I think it sends the right message,” he said. “No evil in this world can overtake the faith in which we have.”
Goff is the head of the church district and has been named interim pastor. More than 150 people attended the study.
Church spokeswoman Maxine Smith said workers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church puttied over bullet holes in the wall and floor and removed other traces of the attack before inviting the public back in. One visual reminder of the massacre was a table overflowing with roses, lilies and other plants against which leaned a poster covered with expressions of sympathy.
The lesson focused on community. The suspect in last week’s shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, was seen in photos brandishing the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of hate.