Called to forgive The Charleston church shooting, a victim's husband, and the path to healing and peace

Anthony B. Thompson

Book - 2019

"After the murder of his wife during the Charleston church shooting, Anthony Thompson chose to privately and publicly forgive the shooter. Though many questioned his reasoning, this act of forgiveness radically changed his community. This poignant account shows how forgiveness can affect people's lives, local communities, and even the nation"--

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2nd Floor 241.4/Thompson Checked In
Bloomington, Minnesota : Bethany House Publishers [2019]
Physical Description
255 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Anthony B. Thompson (author)
Other Authors
Denise George (author)
  • The unthinkable tragedy
  • The aftermath
  • Dylann Storm roof: a homegrown American terrorist
  • The decision
  • A mighty long journey
  • Missing Myra
  • A community and nation react
  • Honoring Myra's wishes
  • The deadly dis-ease of un-forgiveness
  • The path to healing and peace
  • Epilogue: my letter to Dylann.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., gives a stirring and powerful account of the 2015 massacre of nine people at Charleston's Emmanuel Church, including his wife, Myra. Thompson focuses on his controversial decision to forgive Dylann Roof, the gunman who was motivated by racial hatred and wrote in his journal weeks after the killings: "I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed." Thompson delivers a compelling argument for the healing potential of forgiveness, showing that, though Roof hoped to incite a race war with his killings, he instead brought unity to Charleston. Thompson makes an eloquent and intelligent case for Christian forgiveness, and his account of his pain, anger, and recovery as the spouse of one of the murdered brings emotional immediacy to the story. An added strength is Thompson's discussion of other examples of mass violence and responses to it, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a 2006 Amish school shooting, and the 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. This riveting and optimistic account of coping with violent tragedy in a humane, honest way is highly worthwhile for any reader. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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