Orangeburg gathering seeks healing, peace, hope following student's death

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - In the 1960's Orangeburg's Trinity United Methodist Church provided meeting space for civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins and Thurgood Marshall.

On Tuesday night, the church became a place for dozens to seek spiritual guidance and comfort on other national and local struggles.

The hour-long prayer vigil addressed other matters, among them last Friday's fatal shooting of Claflin student Dravious Terry.

He was killed at an off-campus apartment complex during an incident that led police to charge Terry's roommate with involuntary manslaughter.

Andre Sanders, Jr. is free on $75,000, and his attorney calling the shooting a tragic accident.

The pastor preferred not having our camera inside but said this service was scheduled before the shooting as a way to help the community healing, peace, and hope for many reasons.

One woman attending tonight told us one of her reasons was the loss of another young person to gunfire.

"Most definitely as a mother, I was saddened. It just saddens me that we've gotten to the point now where guns just settle everything that's going on in our community," Patricia Hayes Patterson said. "And we've got to do something about that as well. We've got to do something about guns."

This vigil drew more than 50 people though most of them appeared well beyond their college years.

Four pastors made remarks at the vigil, including one of them quoting a song by the rock group U2 - a song called "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in which lead singer Bono repeats the line, "how long must we sing this song?"

The mayor of Orangeburg, Michael Butler, told the gathering "we will prevail."

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