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Nation Mourns Shooting Victims; Interview With Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley; Sunday Morning Service at Mother Emanuel Church. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 21, 2015 - 09:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Jake Tapper in Charleston, South Carolina, where the state of our union is distraught.

Racism has been called America's original sin. And while we like to think that we, as a nation, have come so far -- and, in many ways, we have -- that ugly hatred persists, as we saw on Wednesday night here in Charleston, South Carolina, when a twisted, racist maniac, 21 years old, took a gun into the Mother Emanuel AME Church behind me and committed an ungodly act of terrorism, slaughtering nine people, apparently for no other reason than he is white, and they were black.

It conjured forth memories of September 15, 1963, a church bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls. And while it's true that a friend and contemporary of one of those slain girls would go on to become the face of America around the world, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and in that achievement, to say nothing of the election of President Obama, we do see much racial progress, it is also true that the kind of hatred that killed those four little girls, that hatred remains.

In some places in this country, it is tolerated. In some places, it is even encouraged.

Today, we're going to honor the memory of those four girls and the nine victims from Wednesday night by looking this ugly reality in the eye, and talking about ways that we can rid our country of all the forces that aligned to devastate this community and the nation.

We're going to get to those conversations, but, first, there is news on this developing story.

The Holy City, as Charleston is known because of its many churches and its tradition of religious tolerance, the Holy City gathers this Sunday morning in prayer. We will go inside the Mother Emanuel Church for the first time since the massacre there.

These are live images right now you're looking at of what promises to be a very moving service inside the sanctuary, which has just reopened.

CNN's Martin Savidge has been covering this awful story since the beginning, and he will be inside for the service.

Martin, who are we expecting to see here this morning?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting.

I asked that question of the church officials. I said, who's going to be here today? They said, everyone. And what they meant by that, I think, was not only, of course, the regular parishioners, but, of course, those they have lost, they believe, are going to be with them, and then on top of that, they recognize that this church now, in many ways, everyone across the country is going to attend, either in their hearts or in their minds or in their thoughts and prayers or physically by going in the door.

They can only handle about 400 for the number of people inside. They think they will max out the capacity. Security is tight, not because the church asked, but because, in fact, the community felt that it was wise that they take that kind of secure step.

The service, if you look at it -- and they call this a healing service -- very normal, very typical. And what I mean by that, as outlandish as it might sound, is, they want it comfortable for the parishioners. They want people to feel at home again. They didn't throw anything that's extraordinary.

The prayers are very typical. It will be Father's Day. They will acknowledge that. And there's, of course, no getting around the people who have been lost. And that's going to be the hardest thing. How many parishioners will really show? We don't know. Many say it's just too hard to go back right now. And the absences of those they have lost will be so huge, they're not really sure they can face that pain just yet.

TAPPER: Yes. It still says on the front of the church there Reverend Pinckney...

SAVIDGE: Yes. It's still on the program as well. And...


TAPPER: ... who was murdered Wednesday night, leaving behind two young children on this Father's Day.

SAVIDGE: That's right.

TAPPER: Martin Savidge, thank you so much. We will talk to you in a little bit.

Meanwhile, as new photographs have emerged of the confessed killer, Dylann Roof, carrying the Confederate Flag, carrying a gun, the pictures come from a Web site that was registered to him, also on that Web site, a sick manifesto foreshadowing an attack in Charleston, his target, he writes, because of its high ratio of blacks to whites.

He also says he will take on the fight in this imagined race war. Plus, a new report from the Associated Press this morning says that the shooter originally planned to shoot up the College of Charleston, that information coming from a friend of his, who said he did not take the threat seriously.

CNN's Victor Blackwell is tracking the latest on the suspected terrorist.

Victor, what else are investigators learning?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, we know that local authorities, as well as the FBI, are combing through this Web site entitled The Last Rhodesian, a reference to a country in Africa that no longer exists that used apartheid as its rule of law.


This manifesto, as it's called, rants on for about 2,000 words, in which not only does he reference Charleston as a city that once had a high ratio of blacks to whites, but also the most historic city in the country -- in the state.

And he does not reserve his hatred for African-Americans only. He goes on to rant about Jewish Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic- Americans, and expresses disdain for the country at large.

He writes -- quote -- "I hate the sight of the American flag."

About veterans, he writes, "Many veterans believe we owe them something for protecting our way of life, for protesting" -- "for protecting," rather, "our way of life and freedoms, but I'm not sure what way of life they are talking about."

And what stands out is this perverse casting of himself as a martyr sacrificing himself for some larger cause, in which he says, there's no real KKK, there are no skinheads, so -- quote -- "Someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess it has to be me."

He goes on to talk about having read reportedly hundreds of slave narratives in this state and tries to justify what he did here on Wednesday. Again, investigators are looking through this, the pictures and the writing, to determine more as they build this case against Dylann Roof -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Victor, thank you so much.

This city has been bowed, but not broken. Many are crediting in part the leadership of Mayor Joseph Riley. He's been mayor here in Charleston for 40 years. I spoke with him just moments ago.


TAPPER: Mr. Mayor thank you so much for joining us.


TAPPER: Today, a very powerful day, a very emotional day. You have been mayor here since 1975. What are you feeling? What are you going through right now?

RILEY: Well, my heart is broken, as all the people in our community, white and black.

I mean, people's eyes well up when we see each other. They're hugging, the white and black people holding hands and singing and praying. I mean, this is -- the tragedy of this is unspeakable. And it's just heartbreaking.

These beautiful people right over there at Bible study, and an evil man with this bigoted mind taking their lives, it's -- nothing has happened in this community in my life like this.

I was thinking this morning the closest thing, I think, was the feeling people had when President Kennedy was assassinated.

TAPPER: Really?

RILEY: Everyone -- everyone's heart was broken. And that's -- people -- people are telling me they just can't stop crying in the community, white people, black people. It's -- the heartache is indescribable.

TAPPER: I know you have met with the victims' families. I can't imagine what they're going through. How are they?

RILEY: They're very strong.

And, of course, we know, when you go through loss, you have a reserve kind of built up. But, you know, yesterday, when I spoke to them, we had all the time together with the support systems, which is terrific. And we told them that every -- that all of them have one person or contact, and we're going to take care of them from here on out, as long as needed, everything.

So we have got a great system set up, but I think the -- telling them and reminding them of the love that the people in this community have for them is so nourishing, because they're isolated in their homes, if you will, and worn out.

So they're being buoyed by this outpouring of love and generosity. You know, we have somebody walk in here just a minute ago, gave me a check for $10,000 for the fund. Yesterday, I got a check for $100,000 for the fund. And...

TAPPER: From the Carolina Panthers.

RILEY: The Panthers. Today, from a private citizen, $10,000.

And so that, I think, is so helpful for them, in their grieving, to understand that they are the opposite of being alone, that this community, and I think this country -- I mean, I have heard from mayors and governors from one coast to the other, from Alaska to Florida, and just with an outpouring of heartfelt sympathy.

So, I the -- that's of great help to the families. TAPPER: You have been an advocate for the African-American community

for a long time. Some people used to call you behind your back Little Black Joe, Lyndon Johnson.


RILEY: They did, LBJ.

TAPPER: They didn't mean it as a compliment, but you took it as one.


RILEY: Well, I took it -- I took it as a compliment.

You know, that was a long time ago. And what I knew was, I had to exert leadership that would be tough, because things had to change. And they have changed. And people's attitudes have changed. And the community has grown together in the most beautiful and remarkable way.


But -- but it -- that's part of leadership. See, what you do is, you understand the truth, where people's hearts would really like to go when they get there, and -- and then you take unpopular positions, shooting for that goal, which is the truth and achievement.

So, that's what it was. And it was a bumpy time back then, but I knew we were headed in the right direction. And we got there.

TAPPER: Do you think that this horrific act of terrorism, of racist terrorism, is indicative in any way of the fact that society, and not just one bad person, but society, still has a ways to go?

RILEY: Yes. It's one bad person and some other bad people, I'm sure. And we need to shed light on that. We have got to find out what these hate groups are up to. But...


TAPPER: Was he part of a hate group, or you just mean his friends or...

RILEY: His friends, but whatever, that some -- you know, whether he got something -- what he got from the Internet, and other stuff is coming out. We don't know how accurate that is.

But I think we are -- we are in process in America, in process of understanding each other, and in process of the African-Americans being fully and completely and collectively and overwhelmingly supported and engaged. We have made so much progress.

I mean, the president of the United States is an African-American, and all -- and our community here and everything is done, but I think we -- the dialogue of race, the one -- my main project that will be the most important thing I do is to create the International African- American Museum here. And we're working on it, raising money. It's in design. We got more money to raise.

But 40 percent of all enslaved Africans that came to North America came here.

TAPPER: Right.

RILEY: We don't understand that history.

So, for us to help present it here, to help our country understand, the more we understand the history of Africans being brought here in chains, and then their contributions to America, we still -- we still have some work to do. This is one really bad person. He's not indicative of any broad cross-section of America, but I think it's -- we have to use this moment, whatever it tells us, whatever we -- from this heartbreak, we have got to use this heartbreak in the most positive way, how we can be better, how we can do more, and certainly how we can care for these families.

TAPPER: I know that there's -- I know that today is about healing and about mourning. But, tomorrow, people will go back to work. And maybe tomorrow will be a day for politics and people trying to talk about what needs to be done in light of this tragedy.

You have been an advocate for further restrictions on guns. You have been an advocate for taking the Confederate Flag down from the capitol of the state. What else do you think needs to be done in this state?

RILEY: Well, I think in the state and in our country -- and I will say, we will have, sadly, nine funerals in the next couple of weeks. And so I think the political action could reasonably -- aggressive political action might reasonably and respectfully let those funerals happen.

But, certainly, the Confederate Battle Flag that was once atop the state capitol -- I led a 110-mile march to Columbia, I walked it, to get the flag off the dome. It was the state -- American flag, state flag, Confederate. We got it down.

Then the legislature, to compromise, put it in front of the capitol. And that needs to go to a museum. It sends, at best, mixed messages, and, at worst, for people, hateful people like Roof, it's an affirmation, because they have appropriated something and used it as a symbol of hatred.

So, I think that needs to go into a museum. And I think it will. And then the country is just having a very difficult time dealing with the proliferation of guns. And we have to use this most recent tragedy to keep us working on that. We have to do that. It is insane, the number of guns and the ease of getting guns in America. It's not -- it just doesn't fit with the other achievements of this country.


And it's a small, really small group, well-funded, that keeps this issue from being appropriately addressed. And it's not that people shouldn't -- can't own guns and all of that. It's just that there are so many and the ease of getting them, and there's no accountability. And that's -- those are -- those are pieces of unfinished business.

And what we have now is nine beautiful people, all of them beautiful, wonderful people, prayerful people, studying the Bible, who were killed. If we, in America, can't use this as a reason to address these issues, then, you know, we're not doing a very good job.

TAPPER: We're going to have much more in terms of debate on both the flag and guns, but I know you have got other things to do that are not associated with politics today.

Our thoughts and our blessings are with you and the people of this town.

RILEY: Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate it.

RILEY: Thank you. Thank you.


TAPPER: I want to show you the cover of the newspaper "The Post and Courier" here. This is the cover of the Sunday paper, nine roses, the names of all nine victims. This is what today is about, not that racist terrorist, but about these nine beautiful souls.

We're about to get our first look inside the Emanuel AME Church since nine of its members were gunned down during that Bible study. Today, the church reopens for Sunday services. And we're going to watch live in just a few minutes.

We will be right back. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper, live in Charleston, South Carolina.

We're right outside Emanuel AME Church, called Mother Emanuel around here. It's about to begin its first church services since that horrific massacre of nine of its members inside the church earlier last week.

The moment this morning is about healing and prayer. We might also expect some frank talk about the motives of the gunman, the terrorist who told police he wanted to start, his words, a race war.

Let's talk about this all with CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who joins me here, Russell Moore, who is with the Southern Baptist Convention, and CNN's political analyst and commentator Van Jones.

Thanks, all of you, for being here. Van, I want to start with you, because we were talking about this

earlier. I think one of the most remarkable events of this last week is the families of the victims telling this horrific person, whose name I will only use sparingly, I forgive you.

I don't know that I would have the strength to say that. Is this something that is particular to the AME Church? Is this something about black churches? Is it Christianity in general?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, first of all, you know, I think the whole world was moved by that.

And I think that we have almost come to take for granted just a great moral strength of the black church in this country. First of all, let's be very, very clear. Both ends of the political spectrum have to be challenged by what you're going to see today. You have the secular left, from Bill Maher all the way over, who have been dumping on religion for the past five, six years, saying religion is only about bigotry, it's only about violence. It's only the fundamentalists that are religious.

This is religion today. You're about to see the good part of religious faith, the strength that it can give you to get through unspeakable times.

And you also have conservatives who, when there's ever any violence against America, only respond saying, we got to go to war. You're not going to hear that today. You're going to hear a conversation about how you deal with the worst of the worst, and yet bring out the best of the best. That is the moral strength of the black church.

And it's not just the AMES. I'm a CME. It's -- but part...

TAPPER: CME is a -- you have a liturgical rivalry with the AME.

JONES: Yes, yes, a slight rivalry with the AMEs.


JONES: But I do want -- I do want to say this.

This kind of strength, unfortunately, comes from practice. If somebody comes and picks up a 500-pound box, you say, how can they do that? Practice. Unfortunately, in this part of the country, African- Americans have had a lot of practice learning to forgive racial violence targeted against us. And you're going to see that strength on display today.

TAPPER: Doug Brinkley, tell us about the black church in the context of the civil rights struggles that we have seen.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, you know, the AME Church is considered the freedom church. People like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks were all part of the AME Church.

Because Dr. King did -- ran the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a Baptist, people often think that the civil rights movement was only about the Baptist Church. But, as we just were mentioning, other churches were part of that.

This particular church has just done such an extraordinary history. They have done with -- dealt with tragedy from every kind over decades. So, what you're seeing here is a community and a church healing the country.

I am so proud of the people of Charleston. And I wandered around here last night. I found that wooden cross which is the real symbol of the day, not the Confederate Flag.


BRINKLEY: And people laying flowers down, and praying, and holding and singing spirituals. And I felt very uplifted.

And when I arrived here in Charleston, I was depressed. And it's the power of Christianity today that's -- that's the winning spiritual energy.

TAPPER: Dr. Moore, tell us what you're feeling as you hear the hymns behind us.


I have been struck by the hymns, not only right now in the church, but last night, as I was walking around. Just a few minutes ago, we heard that majestic hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is My God," that says the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him. His rage, we can endure, for lo his doom is sure.

And I think that's the power that we saw and the forgiveness that was given by these families. It's not that they are saying that what happened is OK. And it's not that they're saying there shouldn't be justice. They're saying, we're not going to be enslaved by hatred. We're going to instead turn you over for the dealing of justice by the state, and ultimately the justice of God.


TAPPER: It's so moving.

MOORE: That's what the Gospel is all about.

TAPPER: It gives you -- it gives you shivers just hearing it.

We expect Sunday services here to be under way any moment.

We're -- when we come back, we're going to go inside the church, which is just reopening for the first time since those brutal murders just yards away from us.

Stay with us. We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we are live in Charleston, South Carolina. We're right outside the church, the Mother Emanuel AME Church, where nine African- Americans were murdered by a twisted white terrorist last Wednesday. He told police he wanted to start a race war, we're told.

The church has been the crime scene since that deadly attack last week. The gunman opening fire during a bible study session, of all things. But this morning the yellow police tape has been taken down. The church has been opened. The pews are full. Worshippers are streaming in. Even in this 87-degree heat.

CNN's Nick Valencia is in the crowd. Nick, very emotional, not just for members of the church, but for this entire community.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This has had a ripple effect all across the United States and beyond.

The world's eyes and attention here on Charleston and it seems as though the intentions of the gunmen have not come to fruition, Jake. He wanted to create a race war. He told investigators he wanted to create a division within this community. And in the several days that we have been here, it seems as though it has had the adverse reaction.

You have people here just come walk with me here. This memorial -- this makeshift memorial started as just a bundle of flowers, just beyond the crime scene tape here at the corner and has turned in to this magnificent scene here outside as I'm talking to you.

The church service going on inside. You could hear the crowd out here that has gathered to reflect -- they're (ph) clapping just to celebrate what is happening here. This somber day of reflection, Jake.

TAPPER: That's right -- that's right, Nick. They're getting under way in the church. Let's go inside and take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him, all creatures here below. Praise him above, ye heavenly --

CHOIR (singing): Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


CHOIR (singing): Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The call to worship is found in your worship bulletin. Your worship guide (ph). I was glad when they said unto me, let us go in to the house of the Lord, our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I'd rather be a door keep in the house of my God than to dwell in wickedness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blessed are they that dwell in thy house Lord. I have loved thy habitation, the place where thine honor dwelleth.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord (INAUDIBLE) and sing praises.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us make that joyful noise unto our Lord and Savior, as we lift up hymn number 450, blessed assurance. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. O what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his spirit, washed in his blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight. Visions of rapture now burst on my sight. Angel descendent bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest. I in my Savior am happy and blest. Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

The refrain said this is my story, this is my song, praise him my savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song, praise him my savior, all the day long.

Let us all sing with uplifted voice, blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

[09:35:00] CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine. Air of salvation purchase of God. Born of his spirit washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight. Visions of rapture now burst on my sight. Angels, descending, bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my story.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest. I in my Savior am happy and blest. Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love.


CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.


CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah, hallelujah.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may be seated. As we come now for the morning prayer, to be given to us in our hearing by retired presiding elder John Gillison. He will come and pray for and with us because we still believe that prayer changes things. Can I get a witness?


But prayer not only changes things, it changes us.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph): And as we come on this father's day we want to say have a blessed father's day. But now we come to invoke a prayer of our petitions unto our Heavenly Father. Pray with and for him as he prayed for us.

Many hearts broken and tears still being shed. Through it all we are reminded that we serve a God, who still cares. Come Dr. Gillison and pray for and with us.

[09:40:00] JOHN GILLISON, RETIRED PRESIDING ELDER, AME: May we bow our heads to the word of prayer. O Lord our Lord how excellent is your name in all the earth. Oh thou (ph) whose presence our souls take delight, and in whom we live, move and have our being. Our heavenly father as we come on this father's day we realize that you are the father of all fathers.

We come, Lord, with praises on our tongue and in our hearts. We praise you. We adore you. We magnify your holy and righteous name.

We thank you, Lord, for all of your blessings that you have bestowed upon us, individually and collectively. We come, o Lord, realizing that had it not been for you, where would we be?

We thank you, o Lord, for all of the blessings that are given to us. We thank you for the blessing of life. And the opportunity to serve in this life, to serve humanity, and to serve you. We just thank you, Lord. We thank you for servants that you send our way. To give us guidance. Thank you for those who serve in various capacities in ministries, in the government, in homes, in schools. We thank you for everyone and for what each does.

We realize, our father, that in this life there are ups and downs. We realize that there are dark days, but there are so many bright days. We thank you, oh, Lord, for looking upon us, suffering humanity, and you saw our needs, and you sent your only begotten son, Jesus the Christ, into our midst.

He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. He came into a dark, sinful world. The world is still dark, our father, still full of sin, and we still need you, Jesus.

We ask, o God that you will guide and direct and strengthen those families who have been victimized by that horrible situation. We ask questions, Lord. We ask why. We cannot help it. It is our human nature. But through it all, those of us who know Jesus, as we find ourselves engulfed with sadness and darkness, and as we find ourselves walking through the valley and the shadow of death, for those of us who know Jesus, we can look through the windows of our faith, and we see hope and we see light. And we can hear your voice saying, I'm with you always, even to the end of the world.

And we have come today, Lord, in this holy sanctuary, to worship you and to praise you, because we know that you are with us, and we know that you're with those families. Bless each one of them, oh, Lord.

Thank you for their services rendered. There they were in the house of the Lord, studying your word. Praying with one another, but the devil also entered, and the devil was trying to take charge. But thanks be to God, hallelujah, that the devil cannot take control of your people. And the devil cannot take control of your church.

He tried a long time ago our father. He tried it on your son whom you sent to us. They took him. They insulted him. They drove nails in his hands and in his feet. They crushed thorns upon his head. He died on the cross.

And when he died, o Lord, the devil thought it was over not knowing that you are in charge. And on that third day he arose, and he lives. Christ lives, and because he lives we, too, can live.

[09:45:13] Thank you, Lord, for Jesus who came and told us and gave us a spiritual map that we may find ourselves to a greater and a better place. For we realize, our father, that this is not our permanent dwelling place. We're only here for a short while. And after awhile it will all be over. But thanks be to God, Jesus said, I'm going to prepare a place for you. And when your room is ready, I'm coming to get you.

Our loved ones who were victimized the other evening, they've gone on before us, but we are behind them. We'll be going also one day. And when we get there, oh, what a joyful time it will be. When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that would be. We invoke your presence today, Lord, in the sanctuary. We thank thee for those who are here. Those from various walks of life and in various positions. May we be inspired here, Lord, may a kindle of flame be ignited in our hearts with love. May we realize that there is power in love. And may we love one another, may love take charge.

May we talk about it around our breakfast table and dinner table. Let us talk about love. May we talk about love on our jobs, on the streets, on the buses, wherever we go. Let us talk about love because Jesus loved us. And for God so loved us that he gave his only son.

We pray for (INAUDIBLE) the leader of this worship and who shall proclaim the word. Be thou with him. Be thou with all of us. And when the battle of life is over, may we all hear, well done. Amen.



CHURCH MEMBERS (ph) (singing): I love the Lord, he heard my cries.

TAPPER: We're going to take a very quick break here. When we come back we'll take you back inside other Emanuel AME Church here in Charleston, South Carolina. Stay with us.


[09:52:40] TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN. The police tape is down. The pews are full. Let's go back inside Mother Emanuel AME Church here in Charleston, South Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our scripture reading today comes from Paul's first letter to the church (INAUDIBLE) chapter 5 beginning at verse 16 through verse 28.

And it reads, rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Clench not the spirit. Despise not prophesying. Prove all things hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify your wholly. And I pray, God, your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless until the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all of brethren with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.




[09:49:51] CHURCH MEMBERS (ph) (singing): From all that dwell below the skies, let the creator's praise arise; let the redeemer's name be sung through every land, by every tongue. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Summary of the Decalogue.

Hear what Christ our savior said, "Thou shall love the lord thy god with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and big commandment. And the second is like (INAUDILBLE), "Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

CHURCH MEMBERS (ph) (singing): Glory be to the father, and to the son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall --

TAPPER: We're expecting bells to ring across South Carolina at the top of the hour. We're going to bring that to you live. But first, this very quick break. Stay with us.


[09:59:58] TAPPER: Welcome back.

Charleston, known as the Holy City because its skyline is marked by church steeples, not skyscrapers, as well the tradition here religious tolerance.