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. 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 was educated in the public schools of Jasper County. He 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.”
Rev. Pinckney 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, and was a distinguished member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Pinckney leaves behind his beloved wife, Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney and two daughters, Eliana Yvette and Malana Elise Pinckney.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the eulogy at Rev. Pinckney’s funeral on Friday, 6/26.