Hundreds unite at Tampa vigil for Charleston victims

A diverse crowd from many different Tampa Bay area churches gathered to remember the victims.

people from different churches gathered
Hundreds of people filled the pews of Allen Temple AME church in Tampa Tuesday night to honor the Charleston shooting victims.

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Hundreds filled the pews of Allen Temple AME church in Tampa Tuesday night. It’s been almost a week since the deadly shootings in Charleston, SC.

“It’s alright to be angry. It’s alright to be a little uncertain about what is going on, deal with your emotions honestly and then process them and then move forward,” Pastor David Green said. Pastors from 25 Tampa churches gathered during the prayer vigil Tuesday. Many of them prayed, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and TV show Judge Greg Mathis spoke to the crowd.

“One thing we can’t let them take away from us is our worship and going to the house of the Lord because if we do that we are really lost then,” Allen Temple AME member Clara Brasfield said. “We can’t grow if we don’t study. We can’t grow if we don’t pray.I want to go back to growing again.”

During the service the message was clear that despite the tragedy the doors of the church will always be open. Participated recited a Litany written by AME Bishop Adam J. Richardson Jr. to honor the lives of the 9 people killed. It said, “The evil one wanted a race war, instead there came an outpouring of love, sympathy and tears from white people and people of every race.”

Several of the pastors at the Tuesday vigil plan on heading to Charleston later this week to attend the funerals for the Charleston 9. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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