CHARLESTON, SC, U.S.A.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR
PASTOR, MOTHER EMANUEL A.M.E. CHURCH, CHARLESTON, SC
06/17/2015, CHARLESTON, SC
The Honorable Reverend Clementa Carlos “Clem” Pinckney was born July 30, 1973 in Beaufort, SC the son of Mr. John Pinckney and the late Theopia Stevenson Aikens of Ridgeland, SC. He was educated as a child in the public schools of Jasper County. Pastor Pinckney graduated from Jasper County High School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allen University in 1995. Ebony Magazine recognized the Honorable Reverend Pinckney as one of the “Top College Students in America.” He earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina in 1999. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Southern Seminary. Reverend Pinckney was pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Wesley Theological Seminary at the time of his death.
He was a member of the South Carolina Senate representing the 45th District from 2000 until his death in 2015. He was the youngest African-American in South Carolina history to be elected to the South Carolina State Legislature.
Reverend Pinckney was a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. On June 17, 2015, Reverend Pinckney was murdered in a mass shooting at an evening Bible study at Mother Emanuel Church.
In June 2015, the family of Pinckney to honor his memory, established the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation to support poor families in the South Carolina Lowcountry region. Jennifer Pinckney, his wife, Senator Gerald Malloy and Reverend Kylon Jerome Middleton, Ph. D., Pinckney’s best friend, established the foundation to support educational, health, pastoral training, and charitable causes. In July 2015, Mother Emanuel Church, in response to donations of more than $3 million established The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund, which was created to support education scholarship for church members, victims of the shooting and their extended families.
Reverend Pinckney answered the call to preach at the age of thirteen and received his first appointment to pastor at the age of eighteen. He loved the Lord, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the people of God.