Hundreds of East Texans gather to remember Orlando victims in Na - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Hundreds of East Texans gather to remember Orlando victims in Nacogdoches

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The prayers continue to come in for the victims in the Orlando massacre -- including prayers from Deep East Texas. 

Over two hundred East Texans gathered to pray in downtown Nacogdoches Monday night.

"I'm just hoping that Nacogdoches shows solidarity. I hope that students who are considering coming to SFA will see this event and see that we have a supportive community in Nacogdoches. And that it's not as bigoted as people perceive it to be," said Libby Peavy, vice president of PRIDE Nac. 

The vigil comes a little over a week after 49 died and 53 others injured in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. And many East Texans still affected by the shooting came together Monday to show love is stronger.

"Tonight we just wanted to show PRIDE Nac, the families and loved ones of the victim's of Orlando that we care... that we are thinking of them," said Kristopher Nichols, president of Psi Chi. 

The two Nacogdoches organizations based at SFA, Psi Chi and PRIDE Nac, said despite being miles away from the Orlando tragedy -- the largest mass shooting in American history -- they still wanted to demonstrate their solidarity with everyone affected. 

Meanwhile others came to the vigil to tell their story. 

"I was really shocked at first. I didn't really know how to handle it. I found out online like most people did. So it was really tough," said attendee JT, from Nacogdoches.

The vigil featured a Nacogdoches-based singer Grant Howarth, prayers lead by Austin Heights Baptist Church's Pastor Kyle Childress and a speech from democratic candidate and educator Stephen J. Wright. 

"We pray for those in Orlando for comfort and strength but we also pray for us here in Nacogdoches," said Pastor Childress, who asked the group of nearly 200 to hold hands during the prayer. 

RELATED: Slideshow of victims of the Orlando Shooting

But prayers and thoughts weren't the only things at tonight's vigil -- organizers had East Texans even record a special message for the victims and their families. 

"We have a GoPro so people can record video messages because we want the community to have a voice," explained Peavy. 

And to add some East Texas flair to the event, the Nacogdoches Quilters Guild also provided handmade quilt for attendees to tie as they prayed Monday night.

"As you tie one of the ties for love, hope and healing," explained Carolyne Moore. 

All of Monday night's activities -- just a simple way to say 'stay strong Orlando.'

If you'd like to donate PRIDE Nac recommends donating here to help the Orlando's victims families.

Mobile users, click here to see images of the victims.

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