CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On display at 85 Calhoun Street is an exhibition of selected prayer quilts and other items gifted to Mother Emanuel AME Church from around the world in the last year.
In the days and weeks following June 17th, 2015, Mother Emanuel AME Church received an outpouring of support. Visitors from around the world came to Mother Emanuel to express their condolences and left letters, flowers, candles, artwork, posters, and countless other items in front of the church. The church also received thousands of pieces of correspondence and over 400 quilts. Local volunteers collected these items on a regular basis in order to best preserve them from inclement weather and safely stored them in a facility provided by the City of Charleston.
Organizations including the South Carolina Historical Society, the National Trust, the City of Charleston, Drayton Hall, The College of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation, the Charleston Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council (CALM), and concerned citizens, reached out to Mother Emanuel to offer assistance. And with this gesture and the support of the church, the Mother Emanuel AME Memorial Sub-Committee was formed. The sub-committee’s goal is to offer guidance and assistance as the church develops a permanent archive and to assist in the processing of the many gifts Mother Emanuel has received in the last year.
This exhibition shares a sample of those items with a focus on prayer quilts. Liz Alston, Church historian and Chair of the Memorial Sub-Committee, explains that “a prayer quilt, given in love, is made to warm, soothe, and cover the recipient in prayers. In thanks to those who presented the Mother Emanuel community with gifts, this exhibition presents this selection of items received in an outpouring of compassion and kindness.” This exhibition is presented by Mother Emanuel AME, the Memorial Sub-Committee, the City of Charleston, and the members of CALM.