In heat rising well above 100 degrees on Sunday, 12,000 Christians gathered on the steps of the California Capitol building in Sacramento to pray and worship together.
The event was organized by Sean Feucht, a California-based worship leader who has been leading open-air worship events across the nation since July to inspire hope in the midst of the pandemic and to encourage the Church to be strong in the midst of government shutdowns.
At the end of July, Feucht invited California Governor Gavin Newsom to join him on the steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento to pray with him. Governor Newsom had forbade churches from worshipping over the summer, inspiring Feucht to begin these “Let Us Worship” events. There are no reports that the governor responded to the invitation or showed up at the event last night.
Last night’s 2-hour event, livestreamed and still available on Facebook, took place directly in front of the Capitol building. A team of worshippers led the crowd in several worship songs. Speakers led everyone in prayer over California, for racial reconciliation throughout the United States, and for a nationwide religious awakening.
At one point during the event, Feucht led a prayer for those who wanted to give or re-dedicate their lives to Christ. Several in the crowd raised their hands to join the prayer.
Feucht reported that 12,000 people attended the event.
Official Capitol Hill police estimate was 12,000 tonight in Sacramento!!! 😭😭😭😭
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) September 7, 2020
One of the worship leaders captured video of the 12,000-strong crowd shouting in celebration:
The events have attracted criticism from media due to violating current government orders against large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But Feucht said during the event that not a single case of COVID has been traced back to any of their gatherings in 20 cities.
India Ruckle, 20 years old, attended the event because she “wanted to feel normal again and to find hope and believe that there were other people longing for community and worship.”
“I feel like these events are important because they spread the word and good news that there is hope in Jesus,” Ruckle said. “These events are His light in the darkness that surrounds our world. These events show people who are unafraid and spread bravery and courage to those who have lost hope.”
Haley, a 25-year-old who attended the event, said that she felt she belonged with those who worshipped last night, and that the worship gatherings give people the opportunity to come together. “It lets all walks of life in no matter where you’re at in your life and the possibility for God to show up is too great.”
Salvations, miracles, and baptisms have been a regular occurrence at these worship gatherings.
Feucht’s next worship event is tonight at Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington. The last time he hosted an event in Seattle, those gathered experienced great resistance from ANTIFA members, counter-protesters, and others who wanted to disrupt the gathering.
Seattle announced that Gas Works Park would be closed over the weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but Feucht plans to move forward with his worship plans.
Feucht released a recap video of last night’s event in Sacramento this morning: