AME followers try to heal after church shootings and church fire

AME community tries to heal after church shootings and church fire

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two weeks after the deadly shooting at Emanuel AME Church, the AME church community is trying to heal.

Now in addition to the church shooting members have to deal with a fire that destroyed Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville.

"This has been quite devastating on families and the healing process will not happen overnight," said Coastal Crisis Chaplain Reverend Herbert Temoney.

Temoney also is pastor of St. Luke AME Church, the same church where the funeral was held for shooting victim the Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr.

He says members of the AME community are trying to heal by keeping the faith.

"Traditionally we've always been a faith practicing church and we believe highly in our faith."

Senior Coastal Crisis Chaplain the Reverend Rob Dewey says the greater Charleston community has played a huge role in the healing process for AME followers.

"We've been blessed by a lot of great leaders, folks like Rev. Goff have made just an unbelievable difference in this situation," Dewey said.

Temoney says the community support by so many attending the funeral services for all nine victims has helped the families and the AME church.

"There were no denominational barriers," he explained. "There was just concern, faithful people extending their love, care and support to hurting people."

Dewey says as the healing process continues, we must remember the victims.

"We need never to forget these martyrs that gave of themselves as they were studying God's word."

Temoney says it is God's word that will get the AME community through this.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times such as these."