On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. Pastors Pinckney and Simmons were both graduates of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 8, 2019. Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, to venerate the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine, and to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.
The ELCA has provided resources to help congregations mark this day. Many of these materials were recently produced for this first year of marking the commemoration; among the others are helpful ELCA websites and documents as well as resources from our ecumenical partners. Review Resources.
An ELCA Prayer Service for Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine will be available for online viewing at 12pm Eastern Time on June 17 on the ELCA website. The service will include leaders from around the ELCA and ecumenical partners, including episcopal leadership from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will preach the sermon. We invite you to join Bishop Satterlee in watching the service live on Facebook.