Church and community respond to hate letter with message of love

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Earlier this week we told you about a pastor in Wilmington who received a letter she says was filled with racist language.

“When hate knocked on the door love answered,” community member Rebecca Trammel said.

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Dierdre Parker is a pastor at Speaks Temple AME Zion Church in Wilmington and received a letter filled with hate last week. Now her daughter said her mom wants to send back a message of hope and love.

“Her message is going to be what it’s always been, you know, love. Showing love the way Christ would show love. That is her message, she just wants to be a vessel for that,” Parker’s daughter Tyanna West said.

West came to see her mom for both support and to be with her as she preached this Sunday.



“We all have to come together. If you see someone being picked on you stand up for that person, you know what I mean. So I think that it’s great that we’re all coming together and more people just need to stand up and fight for one another,” West said.

Unlike most services, the pews were filled with strangers and community members who were also outraged by the letter.

“What was said to Reverend Parker wasn’t just said to her, it was said to me. It wasn’t just said to me because I am a black woman. It’s said to my sisters and brothers who are of different ethnicities because it doesn’t matter what color you are or what race you are. We are all made in the image of God,” Trammel said.

Trammel is a member of another congregation, but came to worship with Parker to show her support. Trammel said even though the letter was hurtful she hopes change can come from this.

“The things that divide us [are] just not greater than the love that unites us,” Trammel said.