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Mother Emanuel AME plans to donate over $1MM to Mother Emanuel Nine families and survivors

Emanuel A.M.E. Church plans to donate over $1MM to Mother Emanuel families
and survivors

Charleston, S.C. -Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) has
indicated it is ready to start distributing the funds from donations made to
the church in honor of the tragedy there the night of June 17 when nine
parishioners, many of them acting in official ministerial roles, were
tragically gunned down during a Bible study.

The Moving Forward Fund was established by Mother Emanuel to methodically
account for donations sent to the church. Total donations came to
approximately $3,400,000. The church has designated four categories: the
Mother Emanuel Fund, which the historic church plans to use for physical
plant improvements in keeping with the shared vision of the church members
and the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney; a Memorial Fund, set aside to
create a living, physical memorial tribute to the victims and their
families; and the Mother Emanuel / Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney Endowment Fund,
for future scholarships and community outreach. The church received notice
of the wishes of the donors, whereby approximately $280,000 was designated
for the Mother Emanuel Nine fund to be donated to the estates of the victims
whose lives were lost on June 17.

As noted in past releases, the majority of the funds were made to the church
itself. Notably, the church has decided to contribute a significant portion
of the funds received that were designated for the church. The church will
donate approximately $1,135,000 to the estates of the families of the
victims and the five survivors. As Mother Emanuel makes its contributions to
the families of the victims, it will donate those assets through the City of
Charleston’s Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, totaling approximately $1,415,000 to
disburse according to a process they have established for fair and equitable
distribution. Additionally, the sum of approximately $80,000 was received by
the church that was meant for the City’s Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, and will
be transferred there.

Reverend Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr., interim pastor for Mother Emanuel and
presiding elder for the Edisto District, added, “The church, in its
benevolence has made what we feel is a tremendous gift out of honor to the
victim’s families and the survivors too. We continue the healing process,
but this marks a passage in that healing inasmuch as we are close to where
we can apply these kind and generous donations to tangible needs within
Mother Emanuel, plan a fitting memorial to our fallen and faithful nine and
their families, conduct more formidable community outreach, and of course,
as well as at every step of the process, honor the victims, their families
and now the survivors too.”

Leon Alston, chairperson pro tem of the board of Stewards for the church
noted, “Our compassion and caring continue to go out for all of those still
suffering from this loss. We are comforted by the decision to extend our
financial reach and have the families and survivors of the Mother Emanuel
Nine continue to know they’re not forgotten.”

Due to pending legal action a firm date for final distribution of the funds
has not been set. The lawsuit necessitated additional examination and
evaluation of the donations, also suspending disbursement of the funds. “The
pending legal action precludes the distribution of any funds by Mother
Emanuel until such time as the financial records are inspected. The church
anticipates distribution once that inspection has been finalized,” according
to attorney Wilbur Johnson.

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation was first formed
in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. At first they were members
of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church, but in 1816 they left their
white counterparts in a dispute over burial grounds. At the time, the church
was 1,400 members strong. They rallied behind the leadership of Rev. Morris
Brown (who later was elected the second Bishop of the A.M.E. Church) and
organized under the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It is
referred to as “Mother Emanuel.” Emanuel A.M.E. Church is a fixture in
Charleston. With seats for 1,500, it has the largest capacity of any
African-American church in Charleston. It was added to the National Register
of Historic Places in 1985. Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is
the oldest A.M.E. church in the south.

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