Just four short days after a gunman opened fire in Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the historic house of worship has reopened it's doors for Sunday service.
With church members, visitors and members of the Charleston community in attendance, the congregation showed it's strength this morning, as it has many times before, while mourning the loss of nine members and honoring them through praise, worship and unity.
South Carolina's governor and Charleston's mayor sat front row. Rev. Norvel Goff started the service off saying, "This is our house of worship. The doors of the church are open, praise be to God."
While reflecting on the pain inflicted on the congregation by the violent and senseless act of Dylann Storm Roof, Rev. Goff went through the bevy of emotions that everyone has been feeling, including anger, and asked how people should respond to moments like this. “Do we respond by being afraid? Or do we respond in faith?”
But despite increased security and additional visitors, Mother Emanuel's Sunday service was a fairly normal one full of love, support and compassion for the church community as they prepare to rebuild once again.
On Thursday (June 18), the gunman was apprehended and is currently jailed and being held on $1 million bond.
Peep the diversity of the flock at today's service in the Instagram video below.
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(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)