Churches gather to pray for Charleston, South Carolina

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  A Fort Wayne church is hoping to help a South Carolina church in its time of need after nine members of its congregation were shot and killed Wednesday.

The Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church along with the Imani Baptist Temple are hosting a prayer service Thursday night.

A group from Turner Chapel had some members who visited and toured Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina just last week.

AME Turner Chapel Reverend Kenneth Christmon said the women who were in Charleston last week will be sharing about their connection at the vigil.

“This could’ve been any of us at bible study anywhere in this country. And it just happened to have a mark in South Carolina, but it has a direct connection here and even if it wasn’t physically connected to us, we all felt it,” Christmon said.

Pastor of the partnering church, Bill McGill, said Thursday night will be a place for people to gather and mourn together.

“If an individual or a community, a congregation is suffering, we all suffer. And so we have to share in the recovering process together,” McGill said. “We don’t suffer in isolation.”

People are invited to gather at 836 E. Jefferson Boulevard at 6 p.m. for a vigil.

“It’s a day of tears. It’s a day of sadness. It’s a day of how did this happen and why did this happen?” Christmon added.

The prayer service is also an opportunity to collect donations to send to the church. Donations to the local Charleston memorial for the victims can be made at any Fort Wayne Star Financial Bank. The donation should be made to the Imani Baptist Temple account with funds designated to the Charleston Memorial Fund.

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