Community continues to support Mother Emanuel AME with two new funds

VIDEO: 2 new funds established for Mother Emanuel AME Church

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Mother Emanuel AME Church announced two new funds Wednesday to help support the church and the community following the shooting of nine church members in June.

This now brings the total number of funds to four. The interim pastor at the church says each of those funds has a different mission.

"[The Mother Emanuel] Hope fund is different than what we are reporting on today." Goff said. "The city is most prepared to have, and has been prepared to report to the public as we are doing now."

"It's good that we, from time to time, take time out to let the public know exactly where we are in our healing process," Keith Jones, a trustee with Mother Emanuel AME, said. "As well as keeping them aware of the funds we are receiving."

The Moving Forward Campaign will help support improvements to the church like construction of the elevator, termite issues, and the air conditioning.

Also announced was the Mother Emanuel Reverend Clementa Pinckney Endowment Fund, at $50,000 from the National United Auto Workers' Community Action Program (CAP), to help "lift up the communities."

"Developing the kinds of programs that will last more than a year," Goff said. "To make sure that we address needs and concerns outside of the four walls, and stained glass windows of this church."

"We are looking right now, and developing a plan for more long-term resources and support, as this is going to be a very long road for many people," Dr. Alyssa Rheingold, Director of Clinical Operations at Crime Victims Research at MUSC, said.

The two previous funds established include the Hope Fund which is meant to support the families of the victims who died in the shooting.

The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship fund is a growing fund for children in the Charleston area, to help them achieve goals when it comes to their education.

"We hope that the public, as they've done thus far, will seek the mission of each of the funds, and will see where they want to emphasize," Goff said.

The mission behind some of these new programs will be announced as a more formal plan is put together.

"We here at Mother Emanuel, believe that we have a responsibility to provide good stewardship managing resources that the public has entrusted to us," Goff said.

Additionally, church members announced the number attending Bible study and worship services has increased significantly.

Goff said Bible study usually has at least 150 people in attendance every Wednesday night, while worship on Sunday is left with standing room only.

He said it isn't just the church members who are attending, but also those from other communities outside of downtown Charleston.

"I'm strengthened by Mother Emanuel, and the community is strengthened by it," Goff said. "We do not stand alone. There are many who do not reside in South Carolina or in Charleston that stand with us."

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