St. James AME Church in Memphis pays tribute to Charleston - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

St. James AME Church in Memphis pays tribute to Charleston

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Sunday morning's service at Saint James AME Church was filled with song, praise, and prayers for the Charleston shooting victims and their families.

As other AME churches around the country paid tribute to Charleston, Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, held its first service since the shootings.

"It's family. It's like your mother, your father; it's that close. We feel that close as a connection," Saint James church member Earline Duncan said.

It is a connection AME members say will not be broken by the evil of Dylann Roof, who was welcomed into bible study before investigators say he started killing. St. James members said despite the murders, their faith compels them to forgive him.

"We don't have a choice," Duncan said. "The lord said forgive me when we pray. We pray forgive him as I forgive others. If I don't forgive him, I can't be forgiven."

Many in law enforcement said Roof's actions were a hate crime. The message at Saint James, and at churches around the country, is that love will be stronger than hate.

"The evil one wanted a race war," Pastor Robin Henderson said. "Instead, there came an outpouring of love sympathy: tears from white people and people of every race."

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