Prayer vigil for Charleston shooting victims held in SLC

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jun 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-20 00:12:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A gathering of faiths in Salt Lake City at the Calvary Baptist church offered prayers for those lost in the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

"We're here because we care.  As pastors and ministers we represent the families of this community and we love one another," said Pastor France Davis from the Calvary Baptist Church.

A different religious leader stood at the podium to memorialize each of the victims.  They all rose when it came time to offer a prayer for the accused shooter, Dylan Roof.

"You can't meet violence with violence and expect to win.  At the same time the greatest show of power is showing that you don't have to be violent to overcome," said Robert Merrills, Associate Minister at Calvary Baptist.

Part of the discussion at the vigil centered on race and the continued existence of racism in America.  For some sitting in the pews, it's a message they not only take to heart, but a message that challenged them to take action.

"I talk about it in my circle of friends a lot but I think making a point to talk about it more in my professional circles is super important," said Niecie Jones, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Several of the speakers encouraged people to take this moment in time as a personal call to action to address the issues in their own communities, mentioning issues ranging from race, to healthcare and hunger.