DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Their commitment to prayer hasn't wavered.
Last year, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation threatened to sue the DeSoto County Schools in order to get prayers before football games banned. The district reluctantly gave in, but students and parents are keeping prayer alive.
"DeSoto County4Prayer is still alive," says organizer Leigh Harris. "We're more in a supportive role."
A year ago, Harris and the group Desoto County4Prayer were just getting started, Christians throughout the county uniting in a push to keep prayer at the games.
This year, the group is quiet. "I would say it's good. It's bad. It's a balance of both," she tells abc24.com. "It's maybe because the controversy isn't there or it's hard to organize a whole lot of people to do the same thing."
Harris says interest hasn't waned, rather it's in different hands. "That's what we wanted to do to begin with. It's parents and students. If they lead prayer, start prayer, that's allowed."
"The students are very active," says parent Renee Rucker. "I know my son was involved in a group. They're very, very active and wanted to keep that."
Rucker says it's out of the headlines, but they haven't stopped praying. "It is very important to us down here."
"If people want to pray to God and their belief is in God, they're going to pray," adds Maxine Hearn.
This weekend Harris is planning DeSoto's annual Praisefest. She says it's bigger than ever. There's a DeSoto school connection too.
"It's at the Olive Branch High School, which is amazing because we have tons of space. God has just blessed this event."
And she says the county is different, stronger, than it was a year ago before the controversy.
"I know the football players got down on their knees during a few games," she says. "They prayed on the football field. That was student led."
"There are different things going on to keep Christ in school. It's not the same as it was when we first started."