Local religious leaders outraged over South Carolina shooting

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) -- The tragedy in South Carolina has shaken religious leaders across the Bay Area to the core. At San Francisco's Third Baptist Church, Reverend Amos Brown is Senior Pastor. 


"Bigotry and racism are costly. It's cheaper to be peaceful. To be loving," Brown said.Brown, who is also president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, held a news conference with two rabbis from Temple Emanu-El to call for change, including greater gun control. 

"And we should stop bowing to the National Rifle Association," said Brown.

"We have a problem, an idolatry of power, and idolatry of the gun. An idolatry of weapons that was not intended by the constitution," Rabbi Jonathan Singer added.

Reverend Brown says his church will be stepping up its security. Congregation Emanu-El has long used metal detectors to prevent this kind of violence. 


"Our hearts were broken when we heard this news this morning. And we know that it can happen anywhere in the country, anytime," said Rabbi Beth Singer.

At Souls Restaurant in East Oakland, a monthly meeting of AME Church leaders, that just happened to come the day after the shooting at the Charleston AME Church. 


"Their pastor has been taken, most of their ministerial staff has been taken," said Pastor Harold Mayberry of First AME Church in Oakland.

Mayberry visited that Charleston church many times and knew Pastor Clementa Pinckney who was killed. 


"He was a wonderful person! A great human being, a caring person, one who just loved the church, loved the community and loved God," he said.

The meeting took place underneath portraits of African-American pioneers, including Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Pastor Mayberry said South Carolina, where the shooting happened, still openly honors the Confederacy and its history of slavery. 


"The very fact that they continue in this century to fly the Confederate flag speaks to the mentality of some of the leadership of that state," said Mayberry.

Pastor Mayberry said his church on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, has security, but only to a point. He said there will be no metal detectors because he wants everyone to feel welcome.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories