Clementa C. Pinckney

American politician and pastor (1973–2015) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Clementa Carlos Pinckney[lower-alpha 1] (July 30, 1973 – June 17, 2015) was an American politician and pastor who served as a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 45th District from 2000 until his death in 2015. He was previously a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1997 through 2000.

Quick facts: Clementa C. Pinckney, Member of the South Car...
Clementa C. Pinckney
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 45th district
In office
January 2001  June 17, 2015
Preceded byMcKinley Washington
Succeeded byMargie Bright Matthews
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 122nd district
In office
January 1997  January 2001
Preceded byJuanita Mitchell White
Succeeded byThayer Rivers
Personal details
Clementa Carlos Pinckney

(1973-07-30)July 30, 1973
Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.
DiedJune 17, 2015(2015-06-17) (aged 41)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Manner of deathAssassination
Resting placeSaint James Cemetery
Marion, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseJennifer Benjamin
Alma materAllen University (BA)
University of South Carolina (MPA)
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (M.Div.)
Wesley Theological Seminary
ChurchEmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Senior posting
PostSenior pastor (2010–2015)

Pinckney was born to a large family with six siblings in Beaufort, South Carolina. He began preaching at church at age thirteen and was appointed pastor at age eighteen. He graduated from several universities, including Allen University, and the University of South Carolina. He was also educated at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and the Wesley Theological Seminary.

In 1996, Pinckney became the youngest African-American man elected to the South Carolina General Assembly at the age of twenty-three. While serving in the Senate, Pinckney was an advocate for civil rights. He prominently supported body cameras after the death of Walter Scott, and gained controversy after holding a rally about his death. He also unsuccessfully proposed a bill that would display the Pan-African flag at the South Carolina State House.

Pinckney was also a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston. In 2015, Pinckney was assassinated by white supremacist Dylann Roof in a racially motivated terrorist mass shooting at an evening Bible study at his church. President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy and sang "Amazing Grace" at Pinckney's funeral nine days later.

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