Prayers for peace: Dozens gather at Chattanooga church to honor Charleston shooting victims

Staff photo by Doug Strickland Bettye Johnson, left, bows her head with others during a prayer vigil for the Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the Wiley United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. The vigil was held for victims of last week's shooting at the church in Charleston, South Carolina, which killed 9 people.

Lawanda Prater sat on an old wooden pew Wednesday night thinking about how similar her church is to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., where nine people were gunned down in a prayer service last week.

"The windows and pews I see in pictures of that church where those people were shot remind me of here," she said as she sat with one arm on the edge of the pew. "They even have similar carvings on their pews like these here. I felt compelled to come and pray for them tonight."

Prater was one of more than 50 people gathered at the historic Bethlehem-Wiley United Methodist Church in downtown Chattanooga to remember the lives taken a week ago at Emanuel.