Leaders break ground on park to honor slain Charleston pastor

Senator Clementa Pinckney
Senator Clementa Pinckney
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 1:44 PM EDT
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MARION, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster helped break ground Thursday morning on a park to honor one of the Emanuel 9.

Amazing Grace Park - The Clementa Pinckney Memorial will serve as a memorial to Pinckney, the state senator and lead pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston.

State Sen. Kent Williams and Pinckney’s widow, Jennifer Pinckney, were also on hand for the ceremony. The $3 million, three-acre park and recreation area will honor and celebrate Pinckney’s legacy. It will feature accessible seating areas and facilities, native flowers and foliage and walking trail, providing a venue for gatherings, festivals, concerts, weddings, and local activities, according to a news release.

Adjacent to the park visitors will enjoy a visit to the Marion County Museum featuring a memorial exhibit honoring Pinckney, plus local Swamp Fox history.

McMaster called the future Marion park “a great tribute to a man who had a large impact on our state, a perfect example of the heriage and culture of South Carolina.”

Pinckney was one of nine killed in a June 17, 2015, shooting at the church after a Bible study.

The park will also feature a playground with sensory interaction and historical significance and a custom art installation, “The Ascension” featuring a group of copper and steel angel wings, close to 13 feet at their highest point, designed by nationally acclaimed artist Jim Weitzel.

The park is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021.

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