ALL they did was attend Weekly Bible Study. THAT was all they did. For THAT, and being born BLACK, they were CONDEMNED TO DIE.
Prayers to their families.
Remembering the Charleston church shooting victims
A gunman opened fire and killed nine people during a prayer service on Wednesday at a historic African American church in downtown Charleston. Their stories are below. Read our coverage of the shooting.
By The Washington Post
June 18, 2015
Read entire stories at link above.
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton 45 years old
By Arelis Hernandez
All her life, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton pressed toward a goal.
On a New Jersey high school track, she chased the finish so well that she sprinted her way to an athletic scholarship to South Carolina State University.
As a speech pathologist, she pursued higher academic degrees to better help those who came to her wanting to be heard.
But few things motivated the 45-year-old mother of three more than answering the upper calling to spread the gospel.
And it came as no surprise to Coleman-Singleton’s family that she lost in her life in the place where had she spent most of it. In the house of God, Coleman-Singleton was a leader, a motivator, and a teacher baptizing children, serving communion and encouraging her fellow believers.
DePayne Middleton Doctor 49 years old
By Monica Hesse
DePayne Middleton Doctor had a powerful voice, an alto belt that could fill a church and bring out calls of praise from her fellow parishioners when she soloed in the choir. In one online video of a performance at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Doctor, dignified in maroon choral robes, began the hymn “Oh, It Is Jesus” in a low whisper and ended in a soulful, shattering exultation.
She was the mother of four daughters, she had warm brown eyes and a small gap between her front teeth, and she was 49 when she died in church.
“My beautiful Songbird,” wrote Laurie Middleton, who appeared to be Doctor’s sister, on Facebook Thursday morning. “This is a hard one to swallow.”
Doctor was “warm and enthusiastic,” said Todd Voss, the president of Charleston’s Southern Wesleyan University, where Doctor worked as the admissions coordinator for the learning center. “DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning,” Voss wrote in a statement issued by the university. Doctor had received a graduate degree in management from SWU, and spent her career as a grant writer, a consultant, and a manager with the Charleston office of the U.S. Census.
Cynthia Hurd 54 years old
By Fredrick Kunkle
Cynthia Hurd dedicated her life to public service.
As a librarian with Charleston County for 31 years, that meant introducing children to new books and showing adults how to navigate the worldwide Web or prepare a resume.
As an officer of Charleston’s public housing authority and the president of a nonprofit organization, it meant fighting for affordable housing and helping low-income, mostly African-American children visit their own city’s historic district. As a participant in Women Build, a program of Habitat for Humanity, it meant she wasn’t afraid to get dirty.
Above all, she loved connecting people to the world at large, colleagues said — but she also wasn’t above loving a stylish pair of shoes.
“She had a fierce shoe game,” said Kim Williams-Odom, a library branch manager who said Hurd, also a branch manager, mentored her career. “She was definitely a stylish lady.”
Hurd would have turned 55 on Sunday, according to local news reports. The Charleston County Public Library closed all its branches Thursday in her honor.
Susie Jackson 87 years old
Susie Jackson, 87, was the eldest of those who were killed during the Wednesday service. She was a longtime member of the church and a member of the choir and the usher board, her grandson, Tim Jackson, told a Cleveland television station. “It’s just hard to process that my grandmother had to leave Earth this way,” he said. “It’s challenging because I don’t believe she deserved to go this way. It hurts to process.” He said she has just visited family in Euclid, Ohio, for a family event. “Just her being here about two weeks ago gave us a chance to see her smiling and laughing and saying hi to the grandkids.”
Ethel Lance 70 years old
By Jacob Bogage
Ethel Lance was practically always at her church, members said. She was a long-time sexton there, spending weekdays cleaning the grounds and nights at classes, with social clubs or in worship or Bible study. She worked as an usher during Sunday services.
“We’re holding on and holding together and supporting each other the best way that we know how right now,” said Tim Brown, a member of the church who coordinates the college outreach committee.
Lance, who was 70, was a constant presence around “Mother Emanuel,” as members call it.
“A dear and sweet woman who worked very hard at the church,” Brown said.
Clementa C. Pinckney 41 years old
By Todd C. Frankel
Clementa C. Pinckney was busy Wednesday, not unusual for a man who was both a respected reverend and state senator in his native South Carolina.
He began the day at home in Ridgeland, with his wife and two daughters, before driving to the statehouse in Columbia two hours away. He had a 9:30 a.m. Finance Committee meeting. They talked about scholarship funding. He left early to make it to North Charleston for a speech by Hillary Rodham Clinton at a community college. Then it was off to his congregation in downtown, the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, for the regular Wednesday night Bible study.
Pinckney, 41, was leading the Bible group when a gunman opened fire inside the church. Nine people were killed, police said, and Pinckney was among the dead.
“This is just devastating, to lose such a respected man” said state Sen. Larry Grooms of Charleston, who served with Pinckney for 15 years. “The whole thing is unbelievable.”
Tywanza Sanders 26 years old
By Thad Moore
Tywanza Sanders was a year out of college when he was killed in Wednesday’s shooting, remembered by his alma mater as a quiet, warm and committed student.
Sanders, who was 26, earned a degree in business administration in 2014 from Allen University, a small, historically black university in Columbia, S.C. He was 26, according to Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten.
“He was a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education,” the university said in a statement. “He presented a warm and helpful spirit as he interacted with his colleagues.”
Sanders was working as a barber and attended Emmanuel AME’s Bible study often, said Michele Gray, a friend, in an interview with WMBF, a Myrtle Beach, S.C., TV station.
“You would never forget that big ol’ smile that he always had on his face,” Gray told WMBF. “Just to think I’ll never see that smile again in person is very heartbreaking.”
Daniel Simmons 74 years old
Daniel Simmons was a pastor retired from another church in Charleston who worshipped every Sunday at Emanuel AME and visited on Wednesdays for Bible studies, his daughter-in-law, Arcelia Simmons, told ABC. Simmons was alive when emergency crews reached the church, but died later at The Medical University of South Carolina, said Charleston County coroner Rae H. Wooten.
Myra Thompson 59 years old
Myra Thompson, 59, was was the wife of Reverend Anthony Thompson, a vicar at Holy Trinity REC in Charleston.
She was a graduate of Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. and a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
“We are asking all of our members to pray,” said Ella McNair, a spokesperson for the Washington-based sorority’s national president, Dr. Paulette C. Walker. “To pray for peace and compassion and to give our love and support to each other and to the Charleston community at large”