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Published on August 10th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff Awarded Order of Palmetto

Pictured Gov. Nikki Haley presenting Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff with the Order of the Palmetto Award

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley honored Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff on Friday during an appreciation dinner in his honor for the work he’s done in helping the community heal in the wake of the Emanuel AME shooting.

“God laid his hands on this man because not everyone could have done what this man did,” Haley said of Goff.

Haley presented Goff with the Order of the Palmetto Award for his work in the days and weeks after the June 17 shooting.

Goff has been instrumental in the healing of the community both inside and outside the church, serving as Mother Emanuel’s interim pastor and delivering hours of worship in the aftermath of the shootings.

At a special dinner, friends and neighbors gathered to express gratitude for his work after the shootings in helping the families of the victims, the Emanuel AME community, and the greater Charleston community.

Haley laid on the praise for Goff, but those who know him best say he’s still the spunky, energetic football player, and a Tiger of Howard High.

With a big smile and a full heart, Goff greeted old friends and fellow Tigers in the place where he started.

“He was always studious, had good grades. Would always make you laugh.. always had a smile, always had a smile and an encouraging word,” said Janette Graham, the president of the Howard High School Alumni Association. “I watched him play football and do other activities around the school. He was always involved in helping the kids and everything.”

Though Howard High is no longer around, its spirit lives on.

“This is gratifying. This is to show that regardless where you go in life you always could come home,” Goff said.

For Goff, life carried him to Charleston on the heels of a great tragedy where he presided almost every funeral for the Emanuel 9. At his side every time was Haley.

“As draining as this was for a lot of us, never did he let a family feel they deserved less than the family he had dealt with in the funeral the day before,” Haley said.

And that, the governor says is to the credit of those who raised him in Georgetown.

There was also a special presentation honoring the nine Mother Emmanuel victims during the program. An artist presented Goff with nine portraits of the victims that will be donated to Emanuel AME.

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