Top Ten Videos to watch

HISTORY Brings 'Roots' Cast And Crew To The White House For Screening
Graduates tossing caps into the air
Freddie Gray Baltimore Protests
Mid section of man in graduation gown holding diploma
Legendary Baseball Player Tony Gwynn's Family Files A Lawsuit Against Big Tobacco
ME.jailhouse#2.0117.CW Montebello City Council has approved use of a private contractor to run the n
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Addresses Police Misconduct At Chicago City Council Meeting
WWII Soldiers Standing In A Flag Draped Sunset - SIlhouette
Students Taking a College Exam
Bill Cosby Preliminary Hearing
Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Louisville, Kentucky
Worried black businesswoman at desk
Tyler Perry And Soledad O'Brien Host Gala Honoring Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 Years Of Ministry
Teacher with group of preschoolers sitting at table
FBI Officials Discuss Apprehension Of Explosions Suspect After Three-Day Manhunt
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons
US-POLITICS-OBAMA
Protests Erupt In Chicago After Video Of Police Shooting Of Teen Is Released
24673281
US-VOTE-DEMOCRAT-SANDERS
Nine Dead After Church Shooting In Charleston
Portrait of senior African woman holding money
Medicare
President Bush Speals At Federalist Society's Gala
Police
Police Line Tape
Senior Woman's Hands
Police officers running
New Orleans Residents Return to Housing Projects
David Banner
Leave a comment

A tragedy still unfolding has thrust “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina into the spotlight, as well as its pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

Scroll down to see a video of Rev. Pinckney recounting highlights of the church’s amazing history.

This historic congregation — one of the first A.M.E. congregations, has seen its share of hardship over the past two centuries, with faith and fortitude seeing it through the darkest days. Here are 10 facts you need to know about the church and its now deceased pastor, to understand Mother Emanuel’s unique place in American history:

1) In 1816 Black members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew over disputed burial grounds and under the leadership of Morris Brown, formed a circuit of 3 churches of people of color affiliated with the newly established African Methodist Episcopal Church. Emanuel’s congregation grew out of the Hampstead Church, located at Reid and Hanover Streets.

2) In 1822 the church was investigated for its involvement with a planned slave revolt. Denmark Vesey, one of the church’s founders, had organized plans for a major slave uprising in Charleston. The plot was foiled by an informant, and Vesey was hanged, along with 36 enslaved people.

3) As a result of the revolt plot, Emanuel AME Church was burned, and laws were passed in a number of southern states restricting the movement of Black people.

4) Parishioners rebuilt the church after fire and worshipped there until 1834, when South Carolina outlawed all-Black churches.

5) The congregation had to continue worshipping underground until 1865, when the church formally reorganized. It was then that the name “Emanuel” ( meaning “God is with us”) was adopted.

6) Richard Harvey Cain, who served South Carolina as a Republican representative to Congress from 1873–1875 and 1877–1879, had led Emanuel after the Civil War. During his tenure the church was “one of the strongest political organizations in the state.”

7) Today Emanuel A.M.E. is the oldest AME church in the South.

8) It houses the oldest Black congregation south of Baltimore.

9) The current church building is a Gothic Revival-style structure built in 1891.

10) The current pastor is Clementa “Clem” C. Pinckney, who is a Democratic state senator in South Carolina. Born July 30, 1973 in Beaufort, S.C., he has served in the state senate since 2000, and before that he served in the state house of representatives. His wife is Jennifer Benjamin and his 2 children are named Eliana and Malana.

USA Today is reporting that Pickney is among the casualties of a mass shooting at Mother Emanuel A.M.E.

Hear about the inspiring history of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in the words of the late Rev. Pinckney, in his introductory remarks in the video below:

SEE ALSO: Multiple Victims In South Carolina Church Shooting, Suspect In Custody

SOURCES:

USA Today

U.S. House of Representatives: History, Art and Archives

National Park Service: Charleston Historic, Religious and Community Buildings

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church: “Mother Emanuel” A.M.E. Church History

Gettysburg College: The Vesey Revolt

On Borrowed Ground: Free African-American life in Charleston, South Carolina 1810-61

South Carolina Statehouse

Also On News One: