Help Charleston heal from church massacre

As lawmakers, family and friends look on, the South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard carry the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney to lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Columbia.

Story highlights

  • Faith leaders calling for prayer across the U.S.
  • Charleston mayor starts Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to help victims families
  • Mourners turn to social media to honor the dead

Atlanta (CNN)Charleston, South Carolina is in mourning after a mass shooting in which Dylann Roof allegedly killed the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight churchgoers during a June 17th Bible study at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as "Mother Emanuel").

Help support victims' families, local initiatives

Charleston's Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. has set up the "Mother Emanuel Hope" fund . The fund will help family members pay for funerals, counseling and other financial needs. Donations can be online, by texting 'prayforcharleston' to 843-606-5995 additionally you can walk into any of Wells Fargo's 6,200 banking locations now you can also make a check out to "Mother Emanuel Hope Fund" and send it to the address below:
    Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
    C/O City of Charleston
    P.O. Box 304 Charleston, SC 29402
    The Lowcountry Ministries -- Reverend Pinckney Fund will be administered by the Palmetto Project, a non-profit dedicated to improving lives in South Carolina. These funds will be used to support local initiates serving Rev. Pinckney's church , vulnerable populations and youth projects he was passionate about. You can donate online or by mailing a check to:
    Lowcountry Ministries -- Reverend Pinckney Fund
    c/o The Palmetto Project
    6296 Rivers Avenue #100
    North Charleston, SC 29406

    Honoring the victims

    Emanuel AME, a pillar in the Charleston community, is the oldest AME church in the south. Religious leaders, of all faiths, are calling for prayers in honor of the victims.
    Sandra Bridges lays a card at the makeshift memorial Charleston on June 18.
    "I pray that everyone affected by this horror will feel the comforting presence of our Lord surrounding them during this difficult time," said Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston on Thursday.
    Richard Norris, the Bishop of the affected district of the AME Church has called for prayer amongst believers across South Carolina.
    "This is not only a tragedy for Emanuel and not only a tragedy for the AME church, but it is a tragedy for the nation," said John Richard Bryant, Bishop of the Fourth District of the AME Church.
    The church pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who is also a state senator, was killed while delivering a sermon. Those who knew him say he was a peacemaker.
    Social media is a buzz with support and even acts of kindness remembering the lives of victims.
    Myra Thompson, who was killed while teaching the Bible study class at Emanuel, was a woman who loved the Lord, according to those who knew her.
    "Her every objective was to please him in all that she did. She was teaching Bible study when she was killed," said Bishop Alphonza Gadsden.
    The Rev. Sharonda Singleton, a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School, was remembered with a "Night of Prayer".
    Cynthia Hurd, a librarian with Charleston County Public Library for 31 years, was also killed in the shooting. Charleston County Council Chairman J. Elliot Summey said the St. Andrews Library, will now be called the "Cynthia Hurd Regional Library".
      26- year-old Tywanza Sanders the youngest victim killed in the Emanuel AME Church massacre, took his last breath trying to save his family.
      To support the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church directly, you can make a donation to the church's general fund.