It was standing room only in Candler's Wesley Teaching Chapel for a prayer vigil on June 19, where members of the Candler and Emory communities joined together in unity to remember the nine victims of the June 17 attack on the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Law enforcement officials are investigating the shooting as a racially motivated hate crime.

Prayers and scripture readings were led by Assistant Dean of Student Life and Spiritual Formation Ellen Echols Purdum and Associate Dean of Worship and Music Barbara Day Miller, along with Candler's spiritual life coordinators and second-year MDiv students Angela Johnson and Karen Sawyer. As nine candles were lit honoring the nine victims, Purdum spoke their names aloud.

"We pray especially this day for the souls of our brothers and sisters who have died through violence: Cynthia, Susie, Ethel, DePayne, Clementa, Tywanza, Daniel, Sharonda and Myra, and for their families, friends, colleagues and church communities," she prayed.

"Take away the arrogance and hatred which infects our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth."

Those present at the vigil also wrote prayers and condolences in a journal that will be sent to Emanuel AME Church.

Candler faculty members and alumni have written and been quoted in published pieces about the shooting at Emanuel AME Church. Read more below.

Robert M. Franklin, Jr., James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Charleston's Moral Leader an Inspiration for All"

Teresa L. Fry Brown, Professor of Homiletics, quoted in Religion News Service: "Emanuel AME Church: The latest victim of violence against black churches" 

R. Lawson Bryan 75T 85T, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, quoted in United Methodist News: "Clergy ties help Alabama pastors address tragedy"

Dalton Rushing 08T, Senior Pastor, North Decatur United Methodist Church, Decatur, Georgia, The Inside Out Life: "Five Things I Will Not Do Because of the Massacre at Emanuel AME"