DESOTO COUNTY, MS -- The prayer movement across DeSoto County is moving full steam ahead. Christians in the community have been emphasizing their right to pray since a Wisconsin-based athiest group set off a firestorm a few weeks ago.
abc24.com was the first to tell you about the Freedom From Religion Foundation's complaint about prayers at DeSoto County's football games. Since then county Christians have been looking for every opportunity to pray.
The prayer controversy that started out on the county's football fields has drawn support from Christians all over DeSoto. Now they're hoping to keep those conversations going - not just on Friday nights.
"We're organizing different things with students and parents, we're having more get togethers," says Leigh Harris, with the group DeSoto County 4 Prayer. "We're just excited. People in DeSoto County are excited about the movement that is happening."
One of the ways DeSoto's Christians are showing that excitement: by joining DeSoto County 4 Prayer.
"We have over 3500 people on our facebook page," says Harris. "That's grown over a thousand since the last time we talked. People are still wanting ways to let people know they support prayer."
Harris is one of the founders. She's also in charge of organizing this weekend's Praise Fest in Olive Branch. It's a county-wide day of worship for all Christians. This will be the third year for the event, and this year, they're focusing on prayer.
"At previous Praisefests there has been a lot of praise to our king a lot of excitement," Harris says. "This one we're going to focus a lot on prayer."
Three to five thousand people usually show up, but Harris is expecting even more this year because of what's been happening in the county.
"We're losing our freedom of religion and it's just sad," says resident Joyce Waddell.
"It should be a person's Constitutional right to pray if they want to pray," adds Gary Frazier.
Christians have banded together to fight the Freedom From Religion Foundation's complaints.
"There's just a lot of buzz still," says Harris.
Their excitement hasn't died down, and their prayers haven't stopped.
People of all faiths are invited to the Praisefest. It's Saturday, September 10th, from ten to four in Olive Branch's Old Towne. The Praisefest will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th.