Night watch services have been held in African American communities for over a century. The tradition can be traced back to New Year’s Eve, 1862, which has also been called Freedom’s Eve. During that time African Americans gathered in churches and homes throughout the country bringing in the New Year as they awaited news that the Emancipation Proclamation had become law. That night, midnight ushered in more than a new year. It brought with it freedom. Many churches continue this tradition and hold services every New Years’ Eve.
Here is a list of some churches that will hold Night Watch services tonight, Dec. 31.