Denominations come together one year after Emanuel AME church shooting for Ecumenical service

Published: Jun. 17, 2016 at 4:05 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2016 at 2:23 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Friday is the one year anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME church shooting.

Several denominations came together on Thursday evening for a final practice before the Ecumenical Service to remember the victims, and honor the survivors and church members.

The special service that will take place Friday morning at TD Arena. It's bringing people and churches together.

Minister of Music and organist at Emanuel AME, Wayne Singleton says the church reached out to the Tri-county for 300 voices for the service.

"Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, AME, Methodist, United Methodist  we wanted everyone to feel like they can participate and contribute to this Ecumenical Service," Singleton said.

There was a strong response from the community

"We just want to make a difference to minster to those that are hurting," Singleton said," "Our goal is to promote healing, maybe we'll sing a song that will touch someone and make them feel better about the entire situation."

The church is still healing after a gunman walked into bible study on June 17 and shot and killed nine church members. Five others in the building survived.

"As the months went by it got better, the church family is getting stronger, we're actually still not there yet but we're striving to get stronger," church percussionist, Cronyn Wright said.

Wright says it's like one big church family how everyone is coming together for the one year anniversary of the church shooting. He still thinks about his mother-in-law and how she was going to be in bible study that night.

"They had a meeting and she was going to stay for bible study, but she wasn't feeling well and she left," Wright said.

Singleton was redirected that night too.

"I was on the way to the church early in the evening and then I decided to go home," Singleton said.

They say the support from the community has helped them along the journey this past year.

"We think about it everyday, every time we come into the church we always think about it, but we're feeling better," Singleton said.

"We just thank the community for the calls and coming to visit and praying for us and praying with us," Wright said. "We welcome anybody with open arms so anybody can come here and worship with us."

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