CHARLESTON, SC – Sept. 11, 2018 – Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church, was recognized recently at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Benefit Dinner, held on September 4 in New York City.

Rev. Manning attended the event alongside Michael Arad, the renowned architect credited with designing both the National September 11 Memorial in Manhattan and the planned Emanuel Nine Memorial honoring the victims and survivors of the 2015 Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church tragedy in Charleston, S.C. The Beach Company’s CEO John Darby currently serves as co-chair of the memorial’s executive committee.

Hosted by Michael Bloomberg with Colin Jost as Master of Ceremonies, the program opened with a Community of Resilience presentation where Rev. Manning was introduced alongside Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma and Shannon Silvestri from the Boston Marathon tragedy. The presentation recognized Rev. Manning’s strength and ability to lead a community that responded to a hateful act with love and forgiveness. In his speech, Rev. Manning highlighted the importance of resiliency and spoke to Michael Arad’s talent for designing poignant spaces that allow for healing and remembrance.

  • Reverend Eric S.C. Manning Quotes: “What is it that allows for us to move from one season to the next? It is hope. Hope for a better tomorrow; hope in knowing that weeping will endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning light.” 
  • “After June 17, 2015 Mother Emanuel Church Family lamented because our family members, church members, and friends were murdered. Every year since then, we have remembered, and continue to heal. Resilience and hope walked with us through each season.”

The planned Emanuel Nine Memorial is currently in the fundraising phase and will be located on the church grounds in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. Construction and maintenance of the site will cost an estimated $15 million. To address the project’s financial needs and commitments, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization to support the mission of the Emanuel Nine Memorial. The Board manages the fundraising, construction, endowment, and outreach for the project.

To contribute to the Emanuel Nine Memorial, please visit: www.EmanuelNine.org.


 About the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board

The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization to support the mission of the Emanuel Nine Memorial. The Board manages the fundraising, construction, endowment, and outreach for the memorial.

 About Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church

The roots of MEAMEC run deep in Charleston and its history is one of perseverance in the face of racial hostility. The church is affectionately called Mother Emanuel because it is the oldest A.M.E. church south of Baltimore.

The congregation first formed in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. In 1818, the church joined the A.M.E. connection. In 1822, the church was destroyed after plans for a slave revolt were exposed. The congregation rebuilt the church and met there until 1834 — when all black churches were outlawed by the state legislature. Undeterred, members continued to meet in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865, when they formally reorganized.

They adopted the name ‘Emanuel,’ meaning “God with us.” At the time, the church was a wooden two-story structure, and was destroyed in an earthquake in 1886. Once again, it was rebuilt. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Mother Emanuel was the location for many of the meetings held by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.  Today, MEAMEC continues to have a national and international reputation for forgiveness and grace.

With seating for 1,200, Mother Emanuel has the largest seating capacity of any African-American church in Charleston. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

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