PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) — In response to the church massacre in Charleston this week that left nine dead — including the church’s pastor — local faith leaders are holding Sunday services in their honor.
Deacon Alvin Green of the Congdon Street Baptist Church knew the slain South Carolina Emanuel AME church reverend, also a state senator, Clementa Pinckney, for over 20 years. The two were Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers in Charleston.
Deacon Green first heard the news of the shooting after his own bible study Wednesday evening. “Disbelief, just overall devastation,” Green told Eyewitness News. “My phone was off and by the time I got back home, I had three messages.”
When asked how Pinckney was as a preacher, Green said “more of a teacher, a methodical laid out sermon — never hurried, never rushed.”
Deacon Green and fellow deacon, also Rhode Island’s only African-American state senator, Harold Metts, planned a Sunday service in Providence in honor of the victims, before Green leaves for Charleston for Senator Pinckney’s funeral.
“I think he truly represented all the people, and that’s what I’ll remember about him,” Green said.
Emanuel AME church also planned their own service Sunday, which Metts attributes to being “christian.”
“You can not be defeated by evil,” he said.