His life has been taken, but his voice is not stilled. Give the pocket history lesson above a listen. Below is his official biography, compiled before his death:
The Reverend Honorable Clementa C. Pinckney was born July 30, 1973 the son of Mr. John Pinckney and the late Theopia Stevenson Pinckney of Ridgeland, South Carolina. He was educated in the public schools of Jasper County. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Allen University with a degree in Business Administration. While there, Reverend Pinckney served as freshman class president, student body president, and senior class president. Ebony Magazine recognized Rev. Pinckney as one the "Top College Students in America." During his junior year, he received a Princeton University Woodrow Wilson Summer Research Fellowship in the fields of public policy and international affairs. He received a graduate fellowship to the University of South Carolina where he earned a Master's degree in public administration. He completed a Master's of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Rev. Pinckney answered the call to preach at the age of thirteen and received his first appointment to pastor at the age of eighteen. He has served the following charges: Young's Chapel-Irmo, The Port Royal Circuit, Mount Horr-Yonges Island, Presiding Elder of the Wateree District and Campbell Chapel, Bluffton. He serves as the pastor of historic Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston, South Carolina.Source: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina.
Rev. Pinckney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1996 at the age of twenty-three. In 2000, he was elected to the State Senate at the age of twenty-seven. He is one of the youngest persons and the youngest African-American in South Carolina to be elected to the State Legislature. He represents Jasper, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, and Hampton Counties. His committee assignments include Senate Finance, Banking and Insurance, Transportation, Medical Affairs and Corrections and Penology. Washington Post columnist, David Broder, called Rev. Pinckney a "political spirit lifter for suprisingly not becoming cynical about politics."
Rev. Pinckney has served in other capacities in the state to include a college trustee and corporate board member. In May 2010, he delivered the Commencement Address for the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
He and his wife Jennifer have two children - Eliana and Malana.
The Rev. Pinckney was one of nine victims:
In addition to Mr. Pinckney, the victims were Cynthia Hurd, 54, who served as the regional manager of the St. Andrews branch of the county library; the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49, the mother of four daughters — the youngest is in junior high school and the oldest is in college; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, a coach of the girls' track and field team and a speech therapist at Goose Creek High School; Tywanza Sanders, 26, who had graduated from Allen University as a business administration major last year and was looking for a job; Ethel Lee Lance, 70, who had worked at the church for more than three decades; the Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., a retired pastor from another church in Charleston; Myra Thompson, 59; and Susie Jackson, 87.Source: The New York Times.