How You Can Help Raise Money to Rebuild Churches that Were Burned Down After Charleston Massacre

Glover Grove Baptist Church Pastor Bobby Jones stands outside the church in Warrenville, S.C. on Friday, June 26, 2015. The FBI joined other police agencies in investigating the fire that destroyed the predominantly black church in Aiken County. No one was injured.
Glover Grove Baptist Church Pastor Bobby Jones stands outside the church in Warrenville, S.C. on Friday, June 26, 2015. The FBI joined other police agencies in investigating the fire that destroyed the predominantly black church in Aiken County. No one was injured.

The June 17 shooting at a Methodist church in Charleston, S.C., and subsequent racially-motivated arson incidents targeting black churches touched a nerve with April Horne. 

“Several friends and I were sharing how heartbroken we were,” she said. “We also shared how much we learned from the news coverage during this time, about the extent to which racism continues to impact people’s lives. We were frankly embarrassed by our own ignorance.

So Horne and friends organized an event, to be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Peace United Church of Christ in Rochester. The outdoor event will help Southern churches targeted by racially motivated violence.

“We thought we were better, but after reading a recent Washington Post article on racism, I know we live in a bubble,” said Karen Sandberg, assistant event organizer. “A lot of people don’t think about it, but Rochester needs to do something. I don’t have a solution, but I would like to keep talking about it and show support.”

Event organizers also hope to raise awareness of issues of racism in our own community. In case of rain, it will be indoors. Admission is $5 per person, $20 per family.

“Different service organizations and churches from around town are contributing — it is wonderful,” Horne said. “We have great speakers lined up, including W.C. Jordan, Jr., president of the Rochester Branch of the NAACP and president of the Minnesota/Dakotas State Conference; Word of Life Pastor and Elder Webster Tierre, who is also program supervisor at Family Service Rochester; and Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong, assistant professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.” Rev. Armstrong is also an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Three local bands — the Reunion Band, KnuFunK and Uptown Jazz — are donating their time, Horne said. Poet Mary Moore Easter will be doing readings. Arts-on-the-Go is sponsoring a painting class; people can pre-register for that online, at artonthegorochester.com. Local high school choirs will perform songs.

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Source: Post Bulletin | Rose Korabek, life@postbulletin.com

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