The Honorable Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney CHARLESTON - Funeral Services for The Honorable Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney will be held Friday, June 26, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the T.D. Arena at the College of Charleston, 301 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina, with burial in the St. James A.M.E. Church Cemetery, 5344 Highway 41, Marion, South Carolina. Senator Pinckney will lie in state in The Rotunda of the South Carolina State House, Columbia, South Carolina, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. He will also be viewed on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the St. John A.M.E. Church, 2740 Tillman Rd., Ridgeland, SC. A family visitation will be held Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, 110 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC. Leevy's Funeral Home, Columbia, SC is in charge of arrangements. The Honorable Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney, was born on July 30, 1973, the son of Mr. John Pinckney and the late Theopia Stevenson Aikens of Ridgeland, South Carolina, and was educated in the public schools of Jasper County. He departed this life on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, along with eight other saints of God, studying the Word of God at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. The Honorable Reverend Pinckney graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina. While at Allen University, he served as freshman class president, student body president, and senior class president. Ebony Magazine recognized the Honorable Reverend Pinckney as one of the "Top College Students in America." He earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina and a Master's of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. The Honorable Reverend Pinckney was actively working on a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. 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. He served the following churches: Young's Chapel A.M.E.-Irmo, SC, The Port Royal Circuit-Beaufort, SC, Mount Horr A.M.E.-Yonges Island, SC, Campbell Chapel A.M.E., Bluffton, SC and also served as the Presiding Elder of the Wateree District. He was serving with distinction as the pastor of the historic Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina at the time of his untimely death. The Honorable Reverend Pinckney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1996 at the age of twenty-three. In the year 2000, at the age of twenty-seven, he was elected to the South Carolina State Senate. He was the youngest African-American in South Carolina history to be elected to the South Carolina State Legislature. He represented Jasper, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, and Hampton Counties. As a community servant, he served on the Board of Directors of Southern Mutual Church Insurance Company and was a distinguished member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The Honorable Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney leaves behind: his beloved wife, Jennifer Benjamin Pinkney; daughters, Eliana Yvette and Malana Elise Pinckney; his maternal grandmother, Gracie S. Broome, of Mullins, South Carolina; his fathers, John Pinckney and Lyneair Aikens, Sr., both of Ridgeland, South Carolina; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Frank Bejamin and Cleo M. Benjamin, both of Jackson, South Carolina; six siblings: Ralph Stevenson, of Lacey, Washington; Carmelleana Dupont, of Ridgeland, South Carolina; Kenya (Arica) Pinckney, of Grafenwoer, Germany; Lyneair (Lynea) Aikens, Jr., of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Johnette (Dexter) Martinez, of Irmo, South Carolina; Marvin Aikens, of Savannah, Georgia; one brother-in-law, Eric (Leila) Benjamin; his grand aunts Lee and Louise Pollins, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his grand aunt and uncle, Donald and Emma Stevenson, of Ridgeland, South Carolina; four long-time friends who were as close as brothers, the Reverend Dr. Kylon Jerome Middleton, the Reverend Chris Vaughn, the Honorable Reverend Joe Neal, and the Honorable Gerald Malloy; a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Published in The State on Jun. 24, 2015.