SALISBURY, N.C. -- Thousands of Christians from all across North Carolina sang and pledged their support Monday night for Rowan County commissioners.
"They're now saying they can't pray in Jesus' name. That they have to say a prayer that won't offend anyone. That is ridiculous," said Jim Ollis, a supporter.
Earlier this summer a federal judge ordered the commissioners to stop praying in Jesus' name after an ACLU lawsuit claimed the prayer was unconstitutional.
But Monday's protesters said they're standing up to the ACLU, finding strength in faith and in numbers.
"If enough people take a stand there's going to be a change," said Dorothy Gainey.
"Christians are waking up and reclaiming some of those freedoms that are ours," added Ollis.
While crowds gathered outside, the commissioners inside had no comment on the support. But the attorney representing them said they heard the message loud and clear.
"They are overwhelmingly saying that it matters to us that that tradition is upheld, that we do have that freedom," said David Gibbs with the National Center for Life and Liberty.
The commissioner's attorney said the legal battle between the commission and the ACLU is moving slowly because they're waiting to see what the United States Supreme Court decides on the issue of legislative prayer.
It's taking up a similar case in its next term.