The tragedy at the Mother Emanuel AME Church shocked our state and deeply impacted our people. Through the efforts of many, a brighter future is emerging from this unfortunate chapter in our state’s history. A consortium of private businesses, individuals, industries, and public sector entities have joined forces to establish a special place for remembrance, reflection and community, the Senator Clementa C. Pinckney Memorial Park. Senator Pinckney was the longtime pastor of Mother Emanuel and was assassinated while performing services at the church. Senator Pinckney’s mother was from Marion and he was laid to rest beside her at the St. James AME Church Cemetery in Marion.
Santee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“SEC”), via its electric generation and transmission company, Central Electric Power Cooperative, presented Senator Kent Williams, cousin of the late Senator Pinckney, with a sizeable donation to support construction of the memorial park. While the 3.2-acre park is physically outside of Santee Electric’s service territory, it is an inclusive public venue that our members and others from around the state can visit.
“While hatred took the lives of Senator Pinckney and members of his congregation, we hope that this park will serve as a positive reminder of what unifies us as a civilized people. Santee Electric Cooperative is honored to support the Clementa C. Pinckney Memorial Park and we look forward to celebrating its opening in the future,” said Rob Ardis, SEC President and CEO.
“Marion County citizens were blessed by our own Rev. Senator Clementa Pinckney, and we will forever remember him as a leader for our county, state and country. A life well lived, leaving a legacy of hope and reconciliation. We want to thank everyone who made this possible by their contributions for this memorial park,” said Rep. Lucas Atkinson.
Senator Kent Williams said, “We are humbled by the outpouring of support that Marion County is receiving from across the state and the nation to develop this park and memorial to my cousin, friend and colleague - Rev. Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. I know he is in heaven looking down and smiling that loving, generous smile of his and saying, ‘that is my home.’”