Heartless, senseless, and tragic are just some of the words local clergy members use to describe Wednesday's massacre at the AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
"It's heart wrenching because we do so much to try to promote safety and security, and yet it seems like an uphill battle," said Rev. Charles Mock, of the Community Baptist Church.
Police say 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into the historic church during a bible study Wednesday night, prayed for about an hour, got up and said he was there to "kill black people." Roof opened fire killing nine people, according to police. "How horrifying could that be and now you're looking at nine people whose lives have been taken away, including a pastor," said Elder Tony Ratcliff, president of African-American Concerned Clergy.
Members of the African-American Concerned Clergy are calling for peace and prayers, to stop the type of thinking that leads to heinous crimes like the one in Charleston. The group is holding an "All Lives Matter" march this Sunday.
"We've heard the statement that 'Black Lives Matter.' With our march, we're emphasizing that all lives matter," said Ratcliff.
Clergy members say the peaceful march is about uniting and changing the perception of how we view each other. "The message is we must work together," said Rev. Mock. "We must put aside our differences, our egos and come together to understand the nature of life these days. Evil is present, but so is good. And when good people come together and make up their mind, there's nothing we can't do together."
The peaceful march will start at East 6th and Parade streets Sunday, June 21 at 6 p.m. It will end with a worship service at Shiloh Baptist Church. The march will go on, rain or shine.