Prayer march through Charleston set for Sunday

Forgiveness is a key component to Reverend Anthony Thompson’s ministry.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 9:56 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2022 at 8:09 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Forgiveness is a key component to Reverend Anthony Thompson’s ministry. In 2015, Rev. Thompson publicly forgave the man who walked into Emanuel AME and gunned down his wife Myra, and eight others.

“When I forgave Dylann,” Rev. Thompson says, “the burden of hate and anger and the sadness I felt about my late wife Myra, I mean I was burdened. When I forgave him, God released me from all those burdens. What I do know is that when you go to God with it, and you forgive the person, then you’re no longer the victim, he will grant you that peace.”

Through his pain, Thompson authored a book “Called To Forgive.” His gospel of forgiveness has taken him all over the world, but it was an event in Stone Mountain, Georgia, that really had an impact on him.

“The Great-great grandson of the Presbyterian preacher who started the KKK [was] asking us to forgive him and his family for what occurred, forming the KKK. And everybody was just crying tears of joy,” Rev. Thompson said. “And I thought to myself, if God can do it here in Georgia, then he can do the same thing in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Thompson came back home to South Carolina and founded a group to carry out his mission, One New Humanity Charleston.

“This is the mission of One New Humanity Charleston,” he said, “by the grace of God, to encourage people, to forgive, to repent, to reconcile for the purposes of breaking down the walls that divide us.”

There are two events planned for Saturday and Sunday in downtown Charleston. A revival is planned for Saturday at St. Johns Reformed Episcopal Church on Anson Street starting at 5 p.m.

The second, the main event, is a prayer processional the following day. It will start at 2 p.m. down at the Battery and end at Marion Square with the marchers pausing along the way to pray at six significant landmarks. Thompson says the purpose of this event is to bring people together.

“Different cultures, different denominations, different races, diverse group of people. Young, old, middle age, people of all class people of all status seeking the lord about what we can do, to see each other as one. So, we’re not saying come and be a Christian or come and be a part of a religion, we’re saying come and see what God has for you,” Thompson said.