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Athens Mourns With Charleston Over Church Massacre

The Rev. Claude Ray James, First AME’s pastor, leads a prayer.

Athens First AME Church—the oldest African American church in the city—invited members of other local churches to participate in a prayer vigil on Wednesday for the nine victims of the racially motivated killings last week at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. Flagpole photographer Joshua L. Jones documented the emotional evening.

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Mayor Nancy Denson (front) and local NAACP leader Tommie Farmer.

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Travis Gay, pastor of Athens New Awakening Church, pays tribute to one of the shooting victims, Cynthia Hurd, a 54-year-old librarian.

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Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards remembers Tywanza Sanders, 26, a recent college graduate who died trying to save his 84-year-old aunt, Susie Jackson.

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