New Year's Eve most often is associated with revelry and partying, but for some Christians, it marks a chance to come together for special worship services.
Among the New Year's Eve gatherings will be Watch Night services in some predominantly black churches in Topeka.
Watch Night services date back 151 years, starting on Dec. 31, 1862, when many black people met in their churches and homes on what has been called "Freedom's Eve," waiting for news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law.
At the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, 1863, all slaves in Confederate states were declared legally free.
Some churches continue this tradition with Watch Night services, which in many cases have taken on a more religious tone and also have become more multicultural in nature.
Among Watch Night services this year will be one starting at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, 1162 S.W. Lincoln. Communion will be served during the service.
Source: The Topeka Capitol Journal | Phil Anderson - firstname.lastname@example.org