COLORADO SPRINGS — At least a thousand people gathered at Memorial Park for "Let us Worship," a peaceful protest and worship service.
Pastors from 17 local churches organized the protest to promote peace and unity in a time of unrest and division. The group says it was important to have the event, especially with recent riots happening around the country.
"There is a lot more anxiety than we even know and just seeing the release of everyone dancing and experiencing God in that way. It's really tough right now, and this was a way to give them a venue to where we can come and be free," said Steve Holt, Senior Pastor of The Road @ Chapel Hills.
"I think we have a very divisive society right now and we need to come together. This is a way to come together," said Dennis Wilson.
Pastors brought in worship leader Sean Feucht to host the protest worship service. He created the "Let us Worship" movement to protest COVID-19 bans and limits on church gatherings. He's been traveling across the country holding similar events.
"God put his name in my heart and I knew someone who knew him. I called him and he just gave me the number. It took five minutes," said Holt.
Jonathan and Samone Arnold have been following the movement and don't believe there should be limits on church gatherings.
They came to the event to stand their ground and send a message.
"There is no reason for any government or political figure to try to silence someone's worship at all," said Jonathan.
"People can go out and riot, but we can't come out praise and worship. You can't take that away from us," said Samone.
There were music, dancing, and prayer, but masks and social distancing were not enforced. Pastors say they understand some people may be mad at the lack of safety precautions, but they believe it was a healthy atmosphere.
"Even though, especially near the stage, it was pretty tight. We trust that anyone who came with some kind of immune-compromised system that they understood to not go up there," said Holt.
He says the city needed this event, especially with so much division right now. They hope to do another one in the future.