The historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, is set to reopen for services on Sunday, June 21, four days after a mass shooting killed nine African-American worshippers.
The church will open to the public at 9:00 a.m. local time, with New York pastor Norvel Goff leading the services. The church's pastor Clementa Pinckney was among the nine killed in the shooting by suspect Dylann Roof.
Churches across Charleston will ring a bell in union at exactly 10:00 a.m., as a tribute to the victims.
Scores of people are expected to gather in the church, with many traveling hundreds of miles to participate in services. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is also set to take part in the events.
"I felt the pain and the heaviness of the nine lives that were lost. People were crying, people were upset. It's the same thing that gets perpetuated now. There's nothing new under the sun. White supremacy still exists and it consistently shows and rears its ugly head," a demonstrator, Ansley Pope, told a local news channel.
A cleaning crew reportedly worked on the building to get it ready for Sunday's services. Members of the church entered the building on Saturday, June 20, to oversee the arrangements. Bouquets, teddy bears and balloons are piling up outside the church to commemorate the victims.
The developments come just when a racist manifesto, possibly posted by the gunman himself, emerged online, spelling out his motives of the attack.
The website, now taken down, carried racist images and a 2,000-word message from the alleged shooter, Roof.