Ala. church bombing survivor speaks to book club

16th Street Baptist Church as seen from Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Ala.
16th Street Baptist Church as seen from Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Ala.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – A survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing says she’s been focused on reconciliation and forgiveness since the fatal blast.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the Rev. Carolyn Maull McKinstry spoke Saturday to the Women of Purpose Book Club and guests at the Hunter Chapel AME Zion Church, which hosted a pre-anniversary luncheon.

The club’s president invited McKinstry to Tuscaloosa after reading the book, “While the World Watched,” which is based on her recollection of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

McKinstry says she was 15 when the church was bombed and four girls were killed. McKinstry says she served as Sunday school secretary and was carrying attendance reports when she passed the bathroom where Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair and her best friend, Cynthia Wesley, died.

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Information from: The Tuscaloosa News

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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