JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Coast Baptists united in prayer with thousands of other Christians across Mississippi Monday, as they prepared to head to the polls. It was an unprecedented Election Eve prayer celebration in our capital city of Jackson.
More than 2,000 Mississippi Baptists and Christians from other denominations filled the sidewalks surrounding the state capitol for a moment of faith and reflection.
"We're all Christians, so we're all brothers and sisters in the same family," said Lynn Whichard. "So it's not a stranger. I'm holding a hand with a brother or a sister, so it made me feel really, really great."
Whichard and eight other members of Handsboro Baptist Church in Gulfport joined in the prayer vigil. They prayed for their communities, state, nation, and the world as they prepared to cast their ballots Tuesday.
When asked what she was praying for right before election day, Taya Gooch replied, "That whatever God wants, it happens, and our country is the way He sees it."
Organizers said with so much hatred and persecution of Christians around the world, it was time to come together, not to talk about who to vote for, but rather, to ask for God's guidance.
"Our nation's government is so integral to the future of the world that we feel like we should pray for this election, that God will lead us to vote in the direction He wants us to vote," said William Perkins with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
After the vigil, the crowd gathered in front of First Baptist Church in Jackson for an uplifting praise and prayer celebration.
"I will ask that you go and vote tomorrow for the unborn. Go and vote for families. Go tomorrow and vote for the destiny of our nation," said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.
"It makes me excited! It fills me with hope that people can gather for this. There's no controversy going on here today as everybody gathering in oneness. I'm glad I made it," said Pastor Joey Bennett of Handsboro Baptist Church.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention hosted the event, which ended with separate prayer rallies for men and women inside the church.