GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) – The interim pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston has been awarded South Carolina’s highest civilian honor for his work in helping the community heal following the massacre there in June.
Multiple media outlets report that Gov. Nikki Haley surprised the Rev. Norvel Goff when she awarded him the Order of the Palmetto during an appreciation dinner Friday in his hometown of Georgetown.
Haley praised Goff’s leadership following the June 17 shootings at the historic black church. The nine victims included its pastor, Sen. Clementa Pinckney. A 21-year-old white man is charged with their murder.
At the dinner, Goff was also presented a painting of each of the nine victims, for him to take to the church known as Mother Emanuel.