The historic church in South Carolina where a white gunman murdered nine black worshippers held its first service since the massacre on Sunday, an emotional gathering celebrating the lives of those slain.
Hundreds of congregants, some tearful, packed the Emanuel African American Episcopal Church for a service led by visiting clergy because the congregation's pastor was among those killed by a white supremacist said to have been trying to ignite a race war. The service offered the still-grieving community of Charleston the opportunity to mark what many argued was its triumph in thwarting the shooter's aim to foment hatred.
Celebrants at Emanuel AME church, meanwhile, said the accused gunman – 21-year-old Dylann Roof – had also failed miserably in his quest to break their spirit of love and faith.
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