CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The pews were packed at Mother Emanuel AME Church after the one year anniversary of the church shooting.
Pastor of the Church, Rev. Dr. Betty Deas Clark talks about the commemoration of the loss of nine while celebrating the survival of five.
"Grief and mourning takes on many forms," Pastor Clark said. "So today it was more of a celebratory moment we were rejoicing, but that doesn't mean that two minutes from now a tear won't fall from eyes."
Church members along with several visitors came out for the service today including Nancy Kredel a Charleston native.
"The whole spirit is just quite remarkable," Kredel said.
The pastor's message today was about finding your power and strength through God. She says you can look to the word for peace and assurance.
"This congregation is true to its history very resilient, able to bounce back from many of the hard knocks of life," Clark said.
"Mother Emanuel, as people, have said is definitely a beacon of hope for all of us, and I think it's going to spread even more," Kredel said.
During the service Mayor Tecklenburg sang and played 'Amazing Grace' on the piano. People also shared gifts and donations to the church, wanting to give back. A fraternity organization provided a remembrance bronze marker with an interactive chip.
Linus Brown is with the Mu Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi.
"You can look at the city and they've set an example for the nation," Brown said.
The group says anyone visiting the church will soon be able to scan that chip with an app on their phone or other device. After scanning, it will take you to a page to learn more about the victims, survivors and the church.
Pastor Clark says there's a universal message that can continue to bring people together.
"So how do we spread the word?" Clark said. "Love. Not just by talking about it, but actually showing love. I believe that love, the love of God will bring us together, keep us together and will make us one."