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Roanoke churches pray for peace, unity on MLK Day

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - People across the country remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. In Roanoke, churchgoers gathered to at Mountain Zion A.M. Church to pray for peace.

"I am disturbed about the amount of violence that happens in Roanoke, in Virginia and all over the United States," said Rev. Amy Ziglar, Mount Zion A.M.E Church.

On Monday, Ziglar opened her church's doors from 7 a.m. to midnight to allow the public to pray for peace.

"We are praying for violent activity to stop" she said.

2015 was a violent year in Roanoke as nearly a dozen people where killed. Residents said they are praying for peace in 2016.

Sounds of praise roared through Saint Paul's United Methodist Church on Monday. Dozens came to honor Dr. King and reflect on the civil rights leader's legacy

"A sense of pride in our community, a sense of pride in what Martin Luther King was standing for and what he was trying to accomplish for us," said Aaron Webb, Roanoke resident.

Some churchgoers said they would like to see the community come together more often and serve as positive role models for younger generations.

"We need to celebrate him {Dr. King} throughout the year" said Richard Chubb, Roanoke resident. "What he would say today is for us to get together and trust each other."

Through church services, many hope to strengthen ties in the community and work hand and hand to reduce violence.