It was quiet in the 100-year-old sanctuary of Dantzler Memorial United Methodist Church at 7:45 a.m. Monday, but something powerful was taking place.
The congregation of the stalwart church that sits across the street from Moss Point High School has committed to an election vigil.
The members are praying for the country, and they’ve invited other churches in the area to join them, whether they come to this church or pray at their own.
Other churches across the Coast have scheduled prayer vigils as well. St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Long Beach offered a eucharistic adoration from 6-8 p.m. Monday to pray for the country and the election.
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Catherine Morgan was reading Obadiah in the Founders Bible that includes its role in the founding of the United States.
“This country needs help,” she said quietly, sitting in the sanctuary filled with warm, yellow light filtered through the Tiffany stained glass. She is hopeful.
“God will use whoever becomes president for the good of the the nation,” she said. “With Him, all things can be made right. There’s no need to be afraid, he’ll figure it out.”
No person or president is the supreme being, she said.
Morgan took the early shift on Monday because she’s retired and didn’t have children to get off to school. Lisa Burck was scheduled for the next two hours. There will be someone at the church praying all day Monday and Tuesday. They expect people to come and go.
Morgan called it a constant conversation with God.
The church has a prayer basket for written prayers and printouts of formal prayers.
“We realize our country is at a crossroads,” she said. “Polarized.”
She’s never seen it quite like this since she started voting in 1972.
“This country needs help,” she said.
No matter who’s elected, however, her pastor, David Newton, said, “We have significant problems as a nation, and it’s unrealistic to to think one candidate can fix everything.”
He said. “Ultimately it comes back to our families and churches and we as individuals — what kind of lives we lead. Are we contributing ourselves?”
Someone will be at the sanctuary Monday until 7 p.m., and 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Tuesday, while the polls are open. The church is an easy drive off Interstate 10 at 4912 Weems Street, Moss Point.
It’s open for all denominations.
When asked, “What if people come who pray differently from what this church is used to — someone who shouts, sings or prays loudly? Would that be a problem?”
“No,” Newton smiled and said, “That would be fun.”