Charleston Shooting: Church Reopens For ‘Healing’ Service – NBC News
CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The historic church where nine people were shot dead reopened its doors early Sunday, with thousands lining up to attend an emotional service less than a week after a massacre that shocked the nation.
It was the first worship service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church since Dylann Roof, 21, sat among a Bible study group and opened fire, saying that he targeted them because they were black, authorities said.
Every Charleston church and about 100 more across the country rang church bells Sunday morning at 10 ET as a symbol of solidarity with Emanuel AME — affectionately referred to locally as Mother Emanuel.
Individuals all over the world were encouraged by Charleston city officials to “make a joyful noise” at that time to support Emanuel AME and the mourning Charleston community.
Police have called the shooting at the historic black church a hate crime. The FBI is examining a 2,444-word white supremacist screed posted to a website that may be linked to Roof.
The names of the nine people who lost their lives were read by the Rev. Norvel Goff Sr. in the middle of the service.
“Now is a time for us to focus on the nine families,” he said.