Call to Prayer for Our Sisters and Brothers

We, the people of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church, are shocked and saddened at the violent acts perpetrated upon our brothers and sisters at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. While any form of violence against any person or people for any reason is unacceptable, we are further grieved that racial prejudice appears to be the motivation for the attack. Our Social Principles state that “racism plagues and cripples our growth in Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself” (Book of Discipline, paragraph 162).

We are told in scripture that all people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and that in the fully realized state of humanity made known to us in Jesus Christ, all of the categories we use to divide ourselves, including race, gender, and socio-economic status all fall away, and we become one as God intended (Galatians 3:28).

 We urge all people to pray for the nine victims of this shooting and their families, for the people of Emmanuel AME Church, for the shooter and his family, and for the Charleston community. We renew our commitment to stand against the evils of racism and prejudice in all forms. We look forward to the day that violence, hatred, and death will be no more when God’s Kingdom is fully realized on earth.


 Bishop William T. McAlilly, Nashville Episcopal Area

 Rev. Stephen Handy Chair, African American Church Strategic Team

 Dr. Beverly  B. Madron, Chair, Tennessee Conference Commission on Religion and Race

 Rev. Matthew L. Kelley, Chair, Conference Committee on Church and Society

4 Comments on “Call to Prayer for Our Sisters and Brothers”

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  3. Richard Martin says:

    The shooting was a tragic event, and no doubt there are more questions than answers. It’s a reminder of how dangerous of a world we live in. Everyone is vulnerable to violence! We have to be aware of our surrounding . Christians are under attack all over the world, America is not exempt! I feel people with Handgun permits should consider bringing there weapon in the Church to at least have a chance to defend the members should a occurrence as this arrives in our community. Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the tragedy that happened and may God surround those folks with Angels. God bless them and God bless our country. We need it more than ever!

  4. James Ellington says:

    Amen. Maybe one day we can all live in Christ and realize how much we are alike instead of how different we are. My heart and prayers go out to all whos life was altered by this terrible incident.