Celebrate 200 years of Mother Emanuel at these 5 events happening this week

Design plans for the Emanuel 9 memorial will be unveiled on Sun. July 15


Mother Emanuel - FILE
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The storied roots of the iconic white church on Calhoun Street stretch all the way back to when the congregation was first formed in 1791 by free and slaved African-Americans.

Mother Emanuel joined the African Methodist Episcopal network in 1818, according to a press release from the church. Denmark Vesey, one of the church's founders, was killed after allegedly plotting a rebellion in 1822. The original church was subsequently burned down by an angry white mob.

In the year since, it's served as a hub for meetings held by civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as a general congregational spot that boasts the largest seating capacity for an African-American church in Charleston.

The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

"We could not help but celebrate this bicentennial of the founding of this church with glory and praise," said Mother Emanuel Rev. Eric S.C. Manning. "We have persisted in the face of racial hostility, survived the burning of the church to the ground in 1822; its destruction in an earthquake in 1886; and the horrific murders of nine members of the congregation on June 17, 2015."

"While we celebrate our history each year in July, we feel particularly compelled this year to condemn terrorist acts against people of color and be the place where others may engage in dialogue about achieving racial reconciliation once and for all," Manning continued.

Three years after the 2015 tragedy that saw nine parishioners gunned down during Bible study by a self-avowed white supremacist, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is celebrating its staying power with these five events:

1. Revival Service at Mother Emanuel
Where? 110 Calhoun St.
When? Wed. July 11
What time? 6:30 p.m.
Cost? Free.

A special service with guest preacher Rev. Justin J. Gamble, pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Georgetown, SC.

2. Second Revival Service at Mother Emanuel
Where? 110 Calhoun St.
When? Thurs. July 12
What time? 6:30 p.m.
Cost? Free.

The guest preacher for this evening will be Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston and co-president of the local interfaith advocacy group Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM).

3. Anniversary Banquet at The Francis Marion Hotel
Where? Francis Marion Hotel at 387 King St.
When? Fri. July 13
What time? 7 p.m.
Cost? $50.

Entertainment will be provided by the Seabreeze Band and Show. Contact Sylvia Blake at sblake@emanuelamechurch.org for reservations.

4. 200th Anniversary Worship Service
Where? 110 Calhoun St.
When? Sun. July 15
What time? 9:30 a.m.
Cost? Free.

Right Rev. Dr. John R. Bryant, a retired bishop of the A.M.E. Church, will be the guest preacher.

5. Emanuel 9 Memorial Design Reveal by Architect Michael Arad
Where? 110 Calhoun St.
When? Sun. July 15
What time? 12:30 p.m.
Cost? Free.

Israeli-American architect Michael Arad, designer of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, will unveil design plans for a memorial commemorating the Emanuel 9 at the church this Sunday.

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