With bowed heads and heavy hearts, people gathered at Surgoinsville middle school to pray for change.
"We've had several of these prayer groups, we see God working and we just need to thank him for what he's done," says organizer Alice Snodgrass.
It was a "Stand in the Gap" rally and they focus on drug abuse in Hawkins County.
Steve Collett was a guest speaker at the event, he tells News 5, he's sharing his story. "I was a drug lord for all my life and my goal now is to reach lost people because I know who changed me, I know who defeated the beast that tormented my life," says Collett.
But drugs were not to only focus at the rally, they're also remembering victims from Friday's shootings in Connecticut. "It's a tragic thing, a terrible thing, but we also have to know God is in control."
As people reflected on what happened, one man asked all of the school aged children to gather on the floor as he prayed for the victims and their families. "I don't know that I can do anything or say anything that can console them, but God can."
Organizers say they're praying for the community and the entire nation during this Christmas season and beyond.