LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The 1st AME Church in South Los Angeles Sunday mourned along with counterparts of their church in South Carolina, still reeling from the murders of nine black parishioners last week.
CBS2’s Louisa Hodge said the parishioners here found comfort and solace in prayer and faith.
A somber Sunday service started with nine chimes ringing out.
“Members of the community can hear these chimes from a great distance,” said one parishioner.
“It’s about people of faith being able to gather, be they Muslims, Christians, Jewish individuals, we need to be able to have the opportunity to go to our churches, our synagogues our mosques in peace and in prayer,” he added.
A reverend read the names and ages of each of the nine victims aloud.
“I think it’s terrible that these murders would take place in a church, where they are trying to serve their God, and somebody comes in there and starts shooting and killing them.” said Michael Ellison-Lewis, a spokesperson for the 1st AME.
Churchgoers were clearly moved by the service.
“It’s time to honor and respect them [the victims],” said James Edward Bragg. “They were in the house of the Lord when they got attacked. We still have to have some forgiveness in our hearts.”
The service was filled with moments of silence, comforting words and healing songs.
The congregation also heard an inspirational message from LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Said one woman, “I wanted my children to be here. It will be very touching. It hits us deeply. So I just wanted to be here.”