Governor Haley surprises Emanuel AME pastor with award - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Governor Haley surprises Emanuel AME pastor with award

GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) – In a small Georgetown rec center, Governor Haley surprised Emanuel AME interim pastor with the the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state. 

Haley praised Goff for everything he has done following the deadly shooting at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston.

“Emotionally, mentally, physically as draining as this was on a lot of us, never did he make a family feel like they deserved less than the family he had dealt with in the funeral the day before,” explained Governor Haley.

In front of all his hometown friends and family tonight, Reverend Doctor Norvell Goff, heard nothing but praise from the highest places.

“Elder Goff is someone that healed Charleston. Elder Goff helped us heal the state. And Elder Goff will go down in history as being the person that really healed the country,” Haley said.

The Georgetown native took the reins of Emanuel AME church in June, following the deadly shooting that killed nine churchgoers.

Since then, Goff has inspired the community, his church, and the families of each of the victims.

Friday night, his hometown honored him, and so did the governor he's worked with ever since that tragic night.

While the Governor poured on the kind words, Goff shifted the attention to others when given the chance to speak.

"Even though you may not get all the phone calls and the cards, I want you to know you've found some new friends,” Goff said.

The pastor then thanked the community members who raised him and told them the work isn't over.

He says it's time for South Carolina to write a new chapter, and everyone deserves a seat at the table.

It's something he will continue to work for as interim pastor of Mother Emanuel, and says he can't thank everyone enough for all the support.

“I’m very appreciative, and I think once again, it shows that when we come together as humanity, we can do great things,” Goff said.

At that ceremony, local leaders also presented nine paintings to the pastor, for him to bring back to Emanuel AME.

Each painting was of each victim in the deadly shooting, so they will always be remembered inside their place of worship.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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