Of the dozens of rallies around the state marking the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, the one in Charleston may be the only one to make it on television in another country.

About 150 people showed up for the rally on the U.S. Customhouse steps in the heart of the tourist district. They couldn't help but notice a camera crew moving among them with a microphone boom and video camera.

The prayer warriors also may have noticed a slightly built man on the edge of the crowd wearing a T-shirt that read "Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry" on the front and "a non-prophet organization" on the back. It was Herb Silverman, the well-known atheist and longtime College of Charleston mathematics professor.

The film crew was from Holland. They were making a documentary about Silverman and thought it would be interesting to film the prayer rally and Reason Fest at Gage Hall later that night.

The Rev. Gordon Cashwell of Ministry Without Walls led the rally.

"There is hope for this country," he said. "Our country has gone so far down, but God is calling people to intercede."

Flags were abundant. The basic theme of the rally was that America started off as a Christian nation and needs to return to that foundation. The Day of Prayer dates to a resolution of Congress in 1952.

Several elected officials also were scheduled to offer up prayers, including state House Reps. Wendell Gilliard of Charleston and David Mack of North Charleston, both Democrats, and state Sen. Larry Grooms of Charleston, a Republican.

Prayer rallies were held in all 42 counties Thursday, including a noon rally on the Statehouse steps in Columbia, according to Rick Lindsay, state director for the National Day of Prayer.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.

NOTE: This story corrects an early version regarding the motto on the back of the Secular Humanists' T-shirt.