Hundreds gather in Raleigh for Orlando shootings vigil

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh church opened its doors Monday night for a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of Orlando's nightclub massacre.

A few hundred people filled Pullen Memorial Baptist Church where the names of all but one of the 49 people killed in a shooting at Orlando's Pulse Nightclub were read aloud. Authorities had not released the name of one of the victims.

"They're part of me," said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Petty of those killed or wounded in the shooting at the gay nightclub. "They're part of my family. They're part of my struggle and my journey."

Here is the latest list of victims in the shooting.

Petty said her church has been a welcoming and safe place for the LGBT community for more than two decades.

Lorraine Johnson of Apex attended the vigil alongside her fellow LGBT friends, expressing the shooting felt personal because she said she lives her life with a sense of fear.

Read more about the shooting.

"It wears on me to keep having to say, well they're Americans too, they're people too, let's remember that these people in this bar were people too," she said of the victims. "Why are we having to say that?"

Faith leaders encouraged the crowd to stand united in the face of violence and hate.

Farris Barakat took the podium, empathizing with the families of the Orlando victims and sending a message of hope.

Barakat's brother Deah, Deah's wife Yusor and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, all Muslim students, were shot and killed in their Chapel Hill apartment in 2015.

"Pray for humanity," he said. "We shall overcome. We're gonna come together. We are not this."

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship also held a gathering in Durham.

The Unitarian service was led by lead minister the Rev. Deborah Cayer and student minister Jacqueline Brett, with two guest speakers from the organization Muslims for Social Justice.

WATCH: a short video clip from the Unitarian service
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Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship held a service in Durham.

More than 50 people attended the service. The participants sang hymns, shared reflections on the tragedy in Orlando, and lit a candle for each of the victims. The ministers also shared prayers from a revised Jewish prayer book, with inclusive text written by and for LGBTQ.

"Nightclubs have historically been a place where LGBT folks can gather in safety for support and to have an attack like this it causes concern. It's an attack on everyone's dignity, everyone's sense of safety," said Shawn Long with Equality NC.

LGBTQ Center of Durham plans a vigil Tuesday at 8 p.m. at The Bar at 711 Rigsbee Avenue in Durham.

The Town of Chapel Hill also announced Monday evening that it would have a "Community Gathering of Solidarity" to be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Carrboro Town Commons.

"The event will allow us to grieve, to lift one another up and to demonstrate that we are, indeed, stronger when we stand together," said Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, in a statement.

Sandhills Pride is holding a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Pinehurst Village Green.


ABC11's Stephanie Lopez contributed to this report.

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