ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — As Black Lives Matter protests continue throughout the region, several church denominations united Friday evening near the Hawkin’s County courthouse to pray before Saturday’s scheduled rally at 5 p.m. in downtown.
Those in attendance Friday evening prayed for the upcoming event along with the safety of law enforcement.
News Channel 11 spoke to East Rogersville Church’s pastor, John Butler, who said church members have spent years gathering at the area beside the courthouse to spend their evenings in prayer.
Friday night’s event, according to Butler, served to show the community that the church remains united throughout the political climate.
“We just decided as the church that we need to come together before the protesting and counter-protesting came on to begin to pray and to show our community that the church was united, and we’re here,” Butler said. “We’re doing things a little differently than the world is.”
Butler said that Rogersville is usually a peaceful town; however, he has noticed tensions rising.
“There’s some things that happened a couple of weeks ago, and since then, things have escalated,” Butler said. “What’s happening is we have groups from the outside coming in to protest and counter-protest, and it really has nothing to do with the people here.”
Protesters are expected to arrive near the Hawkin’s County courthouse on Saturday at 5 p.m.
This is a developing story. Stay updated on-air and online at WJHL.com.