Many remember him as an intelligent, meek, and loving servant to both God and humankind. Senator, Reverend, husband and father, those who knew Clementa C. Pinckney keep him close in thought.
“In our hearts and in our minds his memories and his service and the love that he gave to humanity will always remain with us,” said Councilman Gerald Dawson, with Beaufort County.
His life, taken in the 2015 mass shooting at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston.
Friday afternoon, Jasper County named the government building in Downtown Ridgeland in his memory. More than one hundred people from the community showed up to witness the naming ceremony.
Joseph Kline, a retired summary court judge in Beaufort, says Pinckney started his first campaign in his living room, which makes this day all the more special to him.
“I am elated and i’m happy that this day in history cements his place in history for forever going forward the world would know of his contributions to humanity,” Kline said.
Congressman Jim Clyburn addressed the crowd with a short sermon, and remembering when he met Pinckney back in school, “Ever since I knew him,” he said, “He always did what he felt was right.”
“I had the honor of teaching Clementa in the 5th grade. He was a marvelous student,” said Kathleen Wilson, “I told his mom and Clementa in 5th grade that he could be anybody he wanted to be…. and he truly made that come true.”
A legacy that will forever live.
“It had an impact, nationwide, it had an impact, so we hold that dear, that he gave in a sense of himself that others could understand love in a period where hatred was rampant,” said Kline.
Mrs. Pinckney was not able to attend the ceremony, but his father and cousin shared their joy with the crowd.
“Today I rejoice with all of you,” Hilda Stevenson-Stewart, Pinkney’s cousin said.
And she said she’s sure they will meet him again.
“He’s no longer with us, but we know if we serve god and treat people right, we’ll see him again,”