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Historic Charleston Church Holds Bible Study at Site of Massacre

Hundreds of church members and guests packed into the basement room where nine were killed last week.

A week after nine of its members were fatally shot, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is once again holding Bible study in the room where the deaths happened.

More than 100 church members and visitors packed into Emanuel's basement Wednesday evening, seven days after police said Dylann Roof killed the church's pastor and eight other members during the weekly gathering.

A table adorned with flowers and a poster covered with expressions of sympathy sat at the head of the room, in front of a raised lectern to be used by the church's pastor. Armed Charleston police patrolled inside and outside the church, while a string trio played religious hymns in the background.

Interim pastor Norvel Goff was to teach the multiracial crowd about "The Power of Love." Funerals for the slain members were to begin Thursday, with President Barack Obama speaking at slain pastor Clementa Pinckney's funeral on Friday.

The church, long an iconic symbol of African-American culture and religious community in South Carolina, will host a wake for Pinckney on Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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