UPDATE: Friday, June 26, 3:50 PM EST:
After delivering a powerful eulogy that both memorialized Rev. Clementa Pinckney and called for the removal of the Confederate flag, President Obama lead the congregation in the singing of Amazing Grace.
See the emotional video above.
Friends, family and loved ones will gather early Friday afternoon to pay their last respects to South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney.
Pinckney, one of nine killed in the June 17 shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was also the pastor of the storied African American house of worship. This week, thousands of people waited in line for hours to say goodbye to the pastor and politician at his public viewing in the South Carolina Statehouse rotunda.
During Friday’s funeral service, President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for the pastor, who was a personal friend. Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in attendance.
In an interview just a day after the attack, Obama, who first met Rev. Pinckney during his 2008 presidential campaign, said this about his friend:
“We knew their pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night, and to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.”
Live coverage of the funeral is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Pinckney is survived by his wife and two children. He is expected to be buried at St. James AME Church on Highway 41 in Marion.
This is a developing story.
SOURCE: ABC, PBS