ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Blacks and whites joined hands in prayer in Albany today to remember the victims of the Charleston Church shooting and to pray praying for peace in our community.
Saying that "unspeakable evil" like the murders in Charleston could happen anywhere, many Albany church leaders attended today's vigil, praying for racial peace.
Saying that his church is a sister congregation to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bethel AME Reverend Ernest Davis said hate and fear cannot stop them. "Even in the midst of tragedy the doors of the church must remain open."
The people then gathered hand in hand around the pulpit, praying for the victims and South Georgia's communities.
Many ministers from downtown Albany churches attended to show support.
Albany First United Methodist Church Assistant Minister Rebecca Rutherford said "It's a tender moment and we're prayerful for them. And we're hopeful for reconciliation in this country."
Many who attended said they wanted to help, through prayer. Ella Murray said "That we all feel their pain. For the victim's families, for their community, for their pastor. Everyone. Because when one hurts, we all hurt."
Nate Lehman said "How can you feel good to ever have to do something like this. But I feel honored to be a part of it."
Organizers said the vigil shows Albany rising above racism and hate. First Mount Olive Baptist Church Reverend Gary Sanders said "By today as you saw the inter-racial and the integration of the gathering today. It showed that we are pushing past that, and just looking toward what we believe in."
Prayers that Albany and South Georgia grow from the tragedy in Charleston.
No one in the prayer vigil or the many people we talked with mentioned the accused killer. This was a service to honor those killed and pray for their families.