About 80 Members of the Vicksburg Community gathered for a vigil to honor the victims of the South Carolina, shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Two other AME churches, Travis Chapel and St. James, participated in the observance. Reverend Arnita Spencer is pastor of Bethel. She says they are deeply saddened by the shootings and that Emanuel and Bethel are alike.
"One of the members said that could have very well been us. Same kind of scenario here. Small group gatherings, varying in age and doors of the church are just always open and historical church. What effects one church effects us all," said Spencer.
Established in 1912, Bethel is the oldest AME church in the state. Herman Brown, the church treasurer, says its important to recognize the pain and sorrow the victims' families face.
"Well I was coming out to pray for the people in Carolina, who lost loved ones and ask that God would comfort them and help them out," said Brown.
Angela Brown says she's here to promote unity. "My prayer is that people would have a mindset for change and their mind will change to the point of ending racism and we're all as one," said Brown.
Three officers were present at the vigil. Reverend Arnita Spencer says they will be getting security.