CHARLESTON, S.C., June 25 (UPI) -- Nine churchgoers were killed by a man who confessed he wanted to start a race war. Those nine people will soon be buried by their loved ones in Charleston, S.C., beginning Thursday.
Ethel Lance, 70, and Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, were to be buried Thursday, the first of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting victims to be laid to rest.
Lance was a member of the Emanuel AME Church for most of her life and served as the church sexton. Previously, she worked at Charleston's Gaillard Auditorium for 34 years before retiring.
With five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Lance was "the heart of the family."
"She was beautiful inside and out," granddaughter Najee Washington, 23, told The Washington Post.
Lance's funeral at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church was at 11 a.m. and she will be laid to rest at the Mother Emanuel Cemetery.
Her grandson, Brandon Risher, gave the eulogy. He said his grandmother "was a victim of hate, but she can be a symbol of love.
"Hate is powerful," he said. "But love is more powerful."
Coleman-Singleton, a speech therapist and girl's high school track coach, affectionately known as "Tookey," was a minister on staff at the church, serving Holy Communion and baptizing children.
Coleman-Singleton "loved everybody with all her heart," her son Chris told CNN, adding that hate wouldn't have a chance if everyone loved the way she did.
Funeral services for Coleman-Singleton began at 2 p.m. at the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said it was "heart-rending" to know that she "won't be a life-long mentor to her students."
On Friday, shooting victims the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49, and South Carolina Sen. Clementa Pickney, 41, who was also a pastor at the church, will be laid to rest. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy at Pickney's funeral, where more than 5,000 people are expected.
Funeral processions for Cynthia Hurd, 54, Tywanza Sanders, 26, Susie Jackson, 87, were scheduled for Saturday.
Daniel Simmons, 74, will receive funeral ceremonies in Charleston and Columbia beginning Tuesday. Funeral plans for Myra Thompson, 59, are still developing.
The Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for inflammatory demonstrations, said it was planning to hold picketing events in Charleston. Westboro has continuously posted remarks including "God Sent the Shooter" when referencing the Charleston church murders.
As a response, Charleston officials passed a city ordinance late Tuesday to ban protesters from coming within 300 feet of funeral services.
"We're there!" Westboro said on social media as it posted an article about the start of the funerals in Charleston.
This past Sunday, bullet holes were cut out from the walls of the Emanuel AME Church so it could hold its first service after the shooting.
Dylan Roof, 21, reportedly confessed to gunning down the churchgoers near the end of a Bible study session on June 17.
The murders have reignited a nationwide discussion on racism in America. Many have called for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's state capital, Columbia.