Goose Creek church leads song, prayer vigil

Pastor Dexter Easley (center) leads men from the New Life Christian Fellowship in Goose Creek, who gathered at Emanuel AME Church to pray and sing Monday night. “God stirred our hearts on Father’s Day...to declare that Charleston will be a city of unity,” he said.

An emotional display of song and devotion filled the street Monday evening in front of Emanuel AME Church where nine people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday during Bible study.

At least 100 people stood singing hand-in-hand and swaying in front of a memorial that has filled the sidewalk on Calhoun Street with flowers, balloons and messages of strength. They were led by a group from New Life Christian Fellowship in Goose Creek.

The Rev. Dr. Dexter Easley said his Goose Creek congregation felt compelled Sunday to do something after a Father’s Day celebration. So on Monday, he gathered parishioners, “people of the city,” to unite in a prayer vigil.

“This is the Holy City and we need to show this world something totally different,” said Steve Griffin, a member of the church. “Today’s a new day; today’s a new beginning.”

Griffin encouraged people to “stop seeing color” and to start meditating on good things. Others from the church sang hymns and recited poems. There was also an opportunity for attendees to accept Jesus into their heart.

Harriett Ross of Myrtle Beach said the event was overwhelming and inspiring. She grew up down the street from the Emanuel AME.

“It’s showing unity because we are so caught up in black and white,” she said of the vigil. “We are all descendents of the Father.”

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.