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16th Street Church: Never Forget the 4 Girls Killed in the 1963 Bombing

Rudolph said that at first the violence she experienced led her to become angry and bitter, and she turned to alcohol and marijuana to cope. “I started to get just like them,” she said. But with God’s help, she was able to break those self-destructive habits. She told WBUR, however, that she was worried the political climate could lead to increased violence in the future.

Rev. Price opened last year’s memorial service with a prayer of thanks to God for all that he has done for his people: 

Thank you, O God, for a time when we can remember and reflect on where you have brought us from. And we can truly testify that you have brought us from a mighty long way. Thank you God for bringing us through dangers seen and unseen. Thank you for bringing us, O God, from slavery, through Jim Crow, through segregation, through church bombings to where we are today.

Today, as observants placed a wreath of flowers next to a memorial to the girls outside 16th Street Baptist Church, the pastor prayed, “Lord, we pray that again, we would be agents of change, the same way they were changing this nation 57 years ago…In the midst of the pandemic, the protests, and political unrest, some trust in horses, some trust in chariots, but we remember the name of our Lord who brought us this far by faith. May we never forget.” 

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Jessica Mouser is a writer for ChurchLeaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.