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5 things to know about Sen. Clementa Pinckney following his assassination in Charleston

clementa
Photo source: EmanuelAMEChurch.org

Sen. Clementa Pinckney was a servant leader in Charleston

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney was one of nine Black people shot and killed by Dylann Roof during a racially motivated attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Before being killed by a racist sociopath, Pinckney accomplished many outstanding things in life.

Here are five things to know about the deceased congressman.


He was a family man

Pickney, 41, was married to Jennifer Benjamin in 1993 after meeting his wife while the two attended separate colleges in the South Carolina area. They have two daughters.


He was the youngest Black person to be elected to South Carolina’s legislature

At age 23, Pickney was elected to South Carolina’s legislature in 1996. After earning his master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina, he was elected to the state Senate in 2000.

He was named a future leader by Ebony magazine

In 1999, he was named one of 30 leaders of the future by Ebony magazine. He was also named one of 20 Under 30 by Savannah Morning News.

He has served as pastor since the age of 18

Ministry was always a huge part of his life. He began preaching at age 13 and became a pastor by 18. He became pastor of Mt. Horr AME Church at 26 and was named the pastor of Emanuel AME in 2010.

He was a vocal leader who fought the injustice of Walter Scott’s death

Pickney was one of several leaders who spoke out against the death of Walter Scott by the hands of a White police officer. He also co-sponsored a bill that would push for all cops to have body cameras.

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