- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island church deacon who grew up in South Carolina and was a longtime friend of slain pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney says he “truly represented all the people.”

Alvin Green, a deacon of Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence, said he first heard that Pinckney and eight others had been shot and killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on Wednesday night after attending his own bible study group at Congdon.

Green told WPRI-TV (http://bit.ly/1eBfHtm ) in an interview that he felt “disbelief, just overall devastation.”

He said he last saw Pinckney, his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother and a friend for almost 20 years, in April and had heard him preach at Emanuel. He described Pinckney the preacher as “more of a teacher,” saying he gave “a methodical laid out sermon - never hurried, never rushed.”

“I think he truly represented all the people, and that’s what I’ll remember about him,” Green said.

Green and fellow Congdon Street deacon and Rhode Island state Sen. Harold Metts were holding a service Sunday to honor the Charleston victims. “You cannot be defeated by evil,” Metts told WPRI.

Green plans to attend Pinckney’s funeral on Friday.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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