The recent heartbreaking massacre of nine African-Americans at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the burning of six churches since has left Black churchgoers alarmed and unsettled.
Amid the crisis, three African-American female pastors in South Carolina say they have received threatening letters telling them that as women they "cannot be head of the man in church, home and the world."
Pastor Mary Rhodes of Society Hill AME Church in Clarendon County said the letter she received on June 10 makes her worry for her safety.
"Whoever wrote this letter has taken the time to find out who I am, which means you may know my children, my grandchildren, and I have no clue who you are,” said Pastor Rhodes to WISTV.com. She said she will continue preaching despite the threats.
A few days later, Pastor Valerie Bartley said she received the same letter. "We have great concern about who is doing this and we pray they will stop," Pastor Bartley said. An unnamed third female pastor from Greater Union Cypress AME also received the note, the New York Daily News reports.
The Clarendon County Sheriff's Office is reportedly investigating the origins of the threats and is sending deputies to stand guard at the churches for ensured protection.
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(Photo: WISTV News10)