On the heels of the three-year commemoration of the Emanuel 9 tragedy, Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church today announced five planned events to celebrate the church’s historic 200th anniversary.
“We could not help but celebrate this bicentennial of the founding of this church with glory and praise,” said Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church. “We have persisted in the face of racial hostility, survived the burning of the church to the ground in 1822; its destruction in an earthquake in 1886; and the horrific murders of nine members of the congregation on June 17, 2015.”
As the 200th anniversary approaches, Mother Emanuel continues to open its doors as it has for decades to welcome all individuals to join us in worship and become more unified in the church’s service to mankind and each other.
“While we celebrate our history each year in July, we feel particularly compelled this year to condemn terrorist acts against people of color and be the place where others may engage in dialogue about achieving racial reconciliation once and for all,” said Manning.
The church invites the public to attend the following events:
· July 11, 6:30 PM – Revival Service at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church (MEAMEC), 110 Calhoun St.
A special service with guest preacher Rev. Justin J. Gamble, pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Georgetown, SC. Reverend Justin J. Gamble was born in Marion County, South Carolina and a member of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in the Penderboro Community of Marion County. He was licensed to preach in 2007, at the age of 15, and ordained in 2011 upon the request of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Georgetown, where he presently serves as the Senior Lead Servant. Gamble graduated from Marion High School in 2009 with honors. He completed studies at the former Cathedral Bible College, Myrtle Beach, and Morris College School of Religion Extension Program in Conway and Morris College in Sumter. He is currently a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. through its online program majoring in Christian Ministry with an emphasis on Church Leadership.
· July 12, 6:30 PM – Revival Service at MEAMEC, 110 Calhoun St.
The guest preacher for this evening will be Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC. Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, is also Vice President of Religious Affairs and External Relations for the National Action Network (with offices in New York and Washington, DC). Rev. Rivers is a preacher of the gospel, a civil rights professional, and community organizer. He has served as a guest preacher at churches in 23 states from Florida to California and Hawaii. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilberforce University in Ohio. Rivers was ordained at the Olivet Baptist Church of Christ in Fayetteville, GA by the late Dr. Howard W. Creecy, Sr. He is pursuing his Master of Divinity at Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, SC. Rev. Rivers is co-president of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) and was a founding member of the organization in 2011. CAJM is an inter-faith, inter-religious group of 25 congregations in the Charleston area committed to congregational work for justice to address the root causes of poverty and injustice, through the empowerment of marginalized people.
· July 13, 7:00 PM – Anniversary Banquet at The Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St. For reservations, contact Sylvia Blake at 843.722.2561 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $50. Entertainment will be provided bythe Seabreeze Band and Show (Howard and Carolyn Brown).
· July 15, 9:30 AM – 200th Anniversary Worship Service at MEAMEC, 110 Calhoun St.
Rt. Rev. Dr. John R. Bryant, a retired bishop of the A.M.E. Church, will be the guest preacher. Bishop John Richard Bryant was Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. Bishop Bryant was elected and consecrated the 106th Bishop of the A.M.E. Church at the 1988 General Conference in Fort Worth, TX. Bishop Bryant received his B.A. in 1965 from Morgan State University, a Master of Theology in 1970 from the Boston University School of Theology and was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow receiving his Doctor of Ministry from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1975. Bishop Bryant has pastored three churches: Bethel A.M.E Church, Fall River, MA, St. Paul A.M.E Church, Cambridge, MA, and Bethel A.M.E Church in Baltimore, MD.
· July 15, 12:30 PM, Emanuel 9 Memorial Design Reveal by Architect Michael Arad at MEAMEC,
110 Calhoun St.
Michael Arad creates designs that bring people of diverse backgrounds together. He is a partner with Handel Architects in New York. Prior to winning the international design competition for the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center in New York in 2003, Arad worked as an architect with the New York Housing Authority. His design, sketched in the raw, was one anonymous entry out of 5,200 submitted from people from 63 countries, but it impressed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation with its powerful and austere eloquence. “Reflecting Absence” (the title of the memorial) used simple elements of water, trees and open space to convey the incomprehensible voids left after the terrorist attack, while also expressing peace, comfort and hope. The time, care and attention he and his team, including landscape architect Peter Walker, gave to the concerns and wishes of the families of 3,000 plus victims, was an instrumental part of his process. Arad earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH in 1994 and a master’s degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA in 1999. Arad has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. He is an Israeli native and grew up in Israel, England, the United States and Mexico.