Tragedy at St. John's, Charleston
Grace and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

With deep sorrow, I’m writing to share the news of a tragic incident that occurred yesterday in the parking lot of St. John’s, Charleston during Manna Meal’s daily operations.

During yesterday’s lunchtime meal, a fight broke out in Hunter Hall. A city employee and the Manna Meal staff acted quickly to remove the instigator from the building but the fight resumed in the parking lot. In the course of the fight, a young man named Jack Cummings died; he was a beloved child of God and a guest of the Manna Meal feeding ministry.

This incident is shocking and unsettling for all involved and our prayers are with the guests and staff of Manna Meal and with the congregation and staff of St. John’s. Counselors are present at Manna Meal today to offer support and care for the community. I was present at Manna Meal today and offered prayer alongside members of Manna Meal, St. John’s, and Diocesan Staff. 

Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. This is holy work; it can also be difficult work. In the coming weeks, I’ll be inviting leaders and stakeholders in our community into conversation about how we can address the mental health and homelessness crises here in Charleston and beyond. This is not a solution, but it is a concrete action we can take as we heed Jesus’ call to us.

May Jack’s soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. 

Yours in Christ,
+Bishop Matthew