Video: Confederate flag removed

Video: Confederate flag removed from South Carolina Statehouse grounds

It’s a great day in South Carolina. Today the Confederate flag was removed from the Statehouse grounds. Many thanks to those York County legislators who voted to remove it: Representatives Raye Felder, John King, Ralph Norman, and Tommy Pope, and Senators Creighton, Coleman and Robert W. “Wes” Hayes.

That flag has been a symbol of heritage, of hate, and of everything in between. We need state symbols and actions which bring us together instead of dividing us, and these legislators have demonstrated their ability to work together for all people. Our state will no longer be boycotted by groups which have been worried by the divisiveness of the flag’s placement, and the flag has been removed to the Confederate Relic Museum, where it will eventually be displayed. Thanks again to our strong legislators.

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Video: Pipe Organ Convention begins in Rock Hill

Next week, over 300 organists will gather for the 2015  American Guild of Organists Southeastern Regional Convention, organized by Tim Belk and our AGO officers. The opening concert will be in Rock Hill, SC, on July 1, at 8:00 p.m. Click the convention brochure image to watch the video, hear the organist, and get more detail; and go to the Convention website for more public concert information. Tickets from


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Ring Your Church Bells for Charleston

My church bell will be ringing. I hope yours will be, too.

from the Charleston Convention and Visitors website


Charleston’s historic houses of worship will ring their bells simultaneously starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 21.

More than three centuries ago, Charleston, S.C., was founded on the principle of religious tolerance. As a result, we live, work, and raise our families in a historically strong and welcoming community. We now call upon our collective strength to renew Charleston’s unity and compassion in the wake of the nine shooting deaths at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this tragedy. We are grateful for the quick and vigorous response from law enforcement. As we help lift one another other up in the wake of this heartbreaking event, our arms are open to all.

Charleston is often referred to as the “Holy City,” a place where church steeples—not skyscrapers—dot the skyline. This Sunday, our bells will ring loudly and proudly to proclaim our community’s unity.

Charleston’s historic houses of worship will ring their bells simultaneously starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 21.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in the #CharlestonUnited show of solidarity by standing respectfully outside participating churches and ringing personal hand bells if so desired.

We invite churches across the United States and around the world to chime in solidarity with Charleston! It matters not your denomination, only that you have faith in compassion and unity for all people. Ring your bells on Sunday, June 21! Don’t have a church steeple to rally around? It doesn’t matter! Get a hand bell. Download a chime bell app for your smart phone. Make a joyful noise!

As of June 19, Charleston’s participating churches include:

Bethel United Methodist Church57 Pitt Street

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 120 Broad Street

The Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming Street

First Baptist Church, 61 Church Street**

First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, 53 Meeting Street

The French Protestant (Huguenot) Church, 136 Church Street

Grace Episcopal Church, 98 Wentworth Street

Mt. Zion AME Church, 5 Glebe Street

The Old Bethel Methodist Church, 222 Calhoun Street

St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5 Clifford Street

St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 405 King Street

St. Michael’s Church, 14 St. Michael’s Alley

St. Philips Church, 142 Church Street

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 30 Race Street

The Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting Street

The Summerall Chapel, 171 Moultrie Court

**youth and adult hand bell choir in lieu of steeple bells


Other confirmed participating churches include:

Blessed Sacrament in West of the Ashley, S.C.

Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Corpus Christi in Baltimore, Maryland

Daniel Island Fellowship in Daniel Island, S.C.

Grace Chapel in Rockville, S.C.

Hibben United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Rockville Presbyterian Church in Rockville, S.C.

Stella Maris on Sullivan’s Island, S.C.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown, N.Y.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C.

St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Goose Creek, S.C.

The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Rock Hill, S.C.

Tell Your Friends & Family!


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“What’s the Connection? Charleston and Black Lives Matter”

“What’s the Connection? Charleston and Black Lives Matter”

A Live, Online Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Jocelyn D. Briddell, Executive Director of Scarritt Bennett Center

When: Friday, June 19 at Noon CST


Last night’s tragedy at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has deeply saddened many of us across the country. The fact that African American people while in prayer were murdered in their own church is unconscionable. Emmanuel AME Church has been a bedrock of social justice since 1787. From the organization of the ill-fated slave rebellion by Denmark Vesey to the Reverend Honorable Clementa C. Pickney who embraces his spirituality with community activism while serving in the State Legislature of South Carolina. This violence must end.

Tomorrow join us for “What’s the
Connection: Charleston & Black Lives Matter,”
 a panel discussion including local theologians and activists in which we respond to the violence in Charleston and explore the connections between the Charleston shooting and larger social movements for racial justice.

When: Friday, June 19 at Noon CST


If you are unable to join us for the live conversation, the conversation will be recorded and available on the Scarritt Bennett Center YouTube channel.

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You are invited . . .

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Chamber Supports Referendum

The York County
Regional Chamber of Commerce
sent this to all members today:

Please exercise your right to vote…


on the

Rock Hill School Bond Referendum


Some of the many reasons the Chamber supports a yes vote: 

Public schools and facilities are vitally important to economic development

The School District must continue its reputation of providing outstanding academic opportunities and quality facilities for its students, and

The $110 million in general obligation bonds will be used to address urgent needs related to School District buildings and other facilities, and…


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NAACP Supports Rock Hill Schools Referendum

Today the general membership of the Rock Hill Branch of the NAACP unanimously adopted the following resolution.

A Resolution expressing NAACP support for the Rock Hill School Referendum

WHEREAS the Rock Hill Schools and the NAACP have mutually compatible goals of success for all students and;
WHEREAS the Rock Hill Schools have worked for equity in programming and;
WHEREAS use of the facilities in the proposed projects list will continue to further the goals of the NAACP;
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the NAACP endorses the Rock Hill Schools Bond Referendum to be held May 5, 2015, and recommends that all voters give a “YES” to the referendum.

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Supt. Pew’s School Talk about Referendum Plan

Superintendent Kelly Pew discusses Bond Referendum with Tony Cox, Associate Superintendent of Administration, and Brian Vaughan, Director of Facilities Services.

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NAACP Education Panel

Come out and get to know local higher education institutions and their leaders!

NAACP Panel Education Discussion

To develop relationships between NAACP and local education organizations, with the intention of eventually working together to achieve mutually beneficial goals

Dr. Marc Tarplee, Chief Business Officer, York Technical College
Dr. Kelly Pew, Superintendent, Rock Hill Schools
Dr. Debra Boyd, Interim President, Winthrop University

This Saturday, Apr. 25, 9-10am

Bannon Hall of St. Mary’s Church at 902 Crawford Road in Rock Hill.

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Video: Will my child’s school get improvements?

On May 5 the Rock Hill School Board presents a referendum to the taxpayers of the district: Should they borrow through a bond sale to pay for school improvements?

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