(BLUFFTON) A call for a statewide prayer vigil in South Carolina is answered by churches in the Palmetto State. The Lowcountry Community Church in Bluffton is one of them and they put a 21st Century spin on the service. Governor Nikki Haley’s call for prayer vigils and church bells ringing was set for noon Tuesday. The governor’s asking for continued strength and healing as South Carolina recovers from Hurricane Matthew. Haley is asking people to pray about Dylann Roof’s upcoming death penalty trial for the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church. That’s where police say nine worshipers were killed by Roof during Bible study in June 2015. The prayer request also includes the murder trial of North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.
Lowcountry Community Church Lead Pastor, Jeff Cranston, posted their vigil on the church’s Facebook page. “We do pray for the State of South Carolina. We’ve got two major criminal cases going on right now, that’s really, charged with a lot of energy, a lot of emotion, and I just pray, we pray that, Father, your will will be done, that justice will be served, and that you will keep this state, even in the midst of all this at peace.” Cranston prayed. He told all of those who signed into to hear his message, “As God brings the state of South Carolina to mind to you today, uh, why don’t you just offer up prayers through the day for our state, thanking God for His blessings remembering to pray for those two trials and remembering to pray for the people still being affected by the remnants of Hurricane Matthew.” said Cranston.
There are a lot of people in the church still dealing with life after the storm. “There’s still of course, here in the Lowcountry, lots of people still affected by the Hurricane. My wife and I are still out of our house and um, there’s still so much clean up as many people know, especially on Hilton Head Island.” said Cranston. He says taking the prayer vigil to social media just makes sense for the congregation at Lowcountry Community Church. “In this day and age, with so many people, um, who are at work and to, try to gather together in the same place at noon, it’s ah, it’s just quite difficult.” Cranston said.
Even though the Bluffton community is far away from the trials in Charleston, Cranston says prayers from his community are important because of the ripples that could roll into the region in the wake of the outcomes of the trials. “Those trials, this is hugely impact-ful on our state and, um, to, to under gird all that with prayer.” Said Cranston, adding with a sigh, “I don’t think we can do enough of that.” said Cranston.