Haley announces day of statewide prayer vigils

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced Tuesday a statewide day of prayer vigils scheduled just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Haley set the date of the vigils as Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving.

In a statement from the Governor's Office, Haley, working with community faith leaders, called for everyone, regardless of faith or denomination, "to pray for continued strength and healing across the state and give thanks for the state's blessings."

"Faith, prayer and helping our neighbors is what got us through a challenging time last year, and those things will get us through these two trials and the aftermath of the hurricane," Haley said. "In South Carolina, we know how to have compassion toward each other, count our blessings, and remember that we are one state, one people."

The vigils come as two high-profile trials continue and as residents in the Pee Dee are continuing to recover from Hurricane Matthew.

The state trial of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer charged in the April 4, 2015, shooting death of motorist Walter Scott is underway, and a competency hearing is set for Thursday in the federal trial of Dylann Roof, who faces 33 charges in the June 17, 2015, shooting deaths of nine at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston.

FEMA has already approved more than $58 million in financial assistance to victims of Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina.

Prayer vigils will be held in individual places of worship at noon on Tuesday with bells ringing in observance of services across the Palmetto State.

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