A gunman entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday evening and opened fire in a prayer meeting.
Nine people, ages 26-87, were killed in a racially motivated act. A suspect was detained the next day in Shelby, North Carolina.
The Church of the Nazarene joins with the churches and individuals around the world in prayerful support of the Emanuel AME Church.
South Carolina Church of the Nazarene District Superintendent Eddie Estep released the following letter early Thursday:
Dear South Carolina District Ministry Team:
Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
The terrible tragedy and tragic loss of life that struck their congregation last night during their prayer meeting shocks and saddens all of us. We once again see the stark reality of life in an evil and sinful world and of our desperate need of the Savior, the Prince of Peace.
Our Low Country pastors, some of whom have friends who are part of the Emanuel AME Church, have requested that we pause to pray at 5:00 p.m. today. Let us join together in prayer for the church, and for the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives. May they sense the strong, healing arms of our Heavenly Father and feel the love of brothers and sisters in Christ who care for them.
Warmly Yours in Christ,
South Carolina Church of the Nazarene
Please join the South Carolina District family in prayer for the Emanuel AME Church congregation, families, and community.