Coastwide vigil draws 300 to Little Rock Baptist Church in Gulfp - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coastwide vigil draws 300 to Little Rock Baptist Church in Gulfport

Worshipers pray during a Coastwide vigil Wednesday night at Little Rock Baptist Church in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX) Worshipers pray during a Coastwide vigil Wednesday night at Little Rock Baptist Church in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Wednesday night's rain caused a last-minute change of plans for the Coastwide prayer vigil to support those affected by the murders in Charleston, South Carolina. It was supposed to be at Milner Stadium, but at the last minute Little Rock Baptist Church opened its doors for the ceremony. And it wasn't long before the sanctuary was filled with a diverse group of worshipers.

The greetings were sincere. The warmth was comforting. The handshakes became hand holds.

"It has brought so many people together, all of the churches that have come together, all of the denominations that have come together and it's just a wonderful thing to see it," said Gerry Pryor of Gulfport. "I was born and raised in Gulfport and back in a day, you didn't see this that often but now you see it a lot."

Gary Black of Biloxi said the vigil was an opportunity to turn bad until good.

"We want to take advantage of this unfortunate act to unify and hopefully pray for the wellness of the families that are affected as well," he said.

When asked if there is a solution, the Rev. Tommy Gammill, pastor of First Baptist Church of DeLisle, said as he held up his Bible, "Yes. It's in this book. And we've come to talk to him tonight."

And there was more than talking. There was plenty of music and praying from the 300+ people who came to participate.

The event was organized primarily by Grace Temple Baptist and St. James Baptist. About 22 churches along the Coast were represented - each pastor having a turn to give thanks and praise.

Said one pastor: "We thank you, Father, that there is no black church; there is no white church; there is only your church."

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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