North America

General Vice President visits Emmanual AME Church after tragic shooting

Delbert Baker says the service in Charlestown South Carolina was one of the most meaningful services he's attended.

Delbert Baker/ANN Staff

After the tragic killing of 9 people in Charleston in the U.S. state of South Carolina, Delbert W. Baker, General Vice President of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, visited the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Sunday and conveyed respect and condolences. 

The victims, including the church's senior pastor and state senator, Clementa Pinckney were killed by a gunman during a prayer service inside the church. 

Baker said it was one of the most meaningful services he recalls attending. He said, in the midst of the pain there was the the evident power of forgiveness and love. There was a stubborn and redemptive theme outlined in Psalm 30:55 "Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." 

He recalls three recurrent messages that emerged from the service and from talking with the pastoral team. First, God is our strength and He gives us a loving and keeping power. Second, we will not let hate or violence interrupt or dampen the study and sharing of the Word. Third, our nine members did not die in vain--God will bring about justice and make sense of their sacrifice. 

Thousands of people of all faiths and racial backgrounds were outside of the church before and after the service.