As Northwest Georgians this morning hear more about Wednesday’s second mostly deadly attack on a public school campus, a man who has had to rebuild a community shattered by similar violence is preparing to meet with local clergy and later those concerned about racial equality.
Tonight’s Hearts United Gathering is focused on “racial healing and reconciliation.” The details are below. But another message coming from the massacre in Charleston — and now in South Florida — begs attention as well.
Today’s events are a start. Now how does this grow in our community?
The Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, who was named pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston after the deadly attack by Dylan Roof killed nine — including the church’s leader at the time, brings a message of “racial healing and reconciliation” to Rome Feb. 15 as part of the Third Annual Hearts United Gathering.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilder Center at Rome First United Methodist Church at 202 E. Third Ave. with the service beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is free but tickets are urged to help organizers know how many will attend. Tickets are available at Heritage First Bank at 501 Broad St., Schroeder’s New Deli, V3, Yellow Dog Antiques and Kroger.
Charles Love and Rex Hussman, two members of One Community United, discussed plans for the meeting as well as a companion gathering that morning during an interview Tuesday on Hometown Headlines Radio Edition on WRGA 98.7 FM. Manning, they said, also has asked to meet with the community’s clergy the morning of Feb. 15. That gathering is set for 9 a.m. at Lovejoy Baptist Church.
“You may not know the name but you might relate to Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.,” Love said, as he recounted the June evening in 2015. “Dylan Roof, during a Wednesday night bible study, he went in and killed nine people including the former pastor. Manning is now the pastor of that church and he is coming to Rome to talk to us about the power of forgiveness.”
The theme is “Racial Healing and Reconciliation.”
“Which is what our organization is about, having a conversation about race,” Love said. “And how we can come to common ground and have a conversation we can all understand and relate to.”
For more, contact Love at 706-290-3437.