8 months later

Mother Emanuel Church names first female pastor in wake of Charleston shooting

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hailing from a small town called Awendaw, Dr. Betty Deas Clark moved back to Charleston, South Carolina following the racially-motivated shooting that killed nine black people worshipping at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in June last year, including state senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney. She’s been the pastor of the house of worship known as Mother Emanuel for four weeks and is the first female to lead the church, a role that she takes pride in, but a title that she won’t let distract from her duties. “I take special effort in acknowledging that I am a female who happens to be the pastor here. But I also try to separate it because I’m called here because of the anointing,” she told Fusion. “While I am a female pastor, I am a pastor who happens to be a female.” Fusion notes that Clark added the word “shero” to written text provided to churchgoers, addressing the “martyrs, heroes and sheroes of the faith.”

Speaking to the lingering pain of the shooting eight months later, Clark said, “It is painful, it was painful, and it will be painful, because it’s a process… It was in the house of the lord. And no one expects tragedy in the house of the lord.”

Read the full story at Fusion.

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