SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There were no countdown clocks or champagne toasts at the Civic Center Saturday Night. But there was a New Year's celebration, and it was more meaningful than most.
"Every New Year," said Ronnie Frierson, who attended Saturday's faith-based event with his wife, Phyllis, "we seek to be with God at the first of the year instead of going out and partying and all that stuff. God comes first."
Thousands of people once again chose faith to help them transition from one year to the next at the Overcoming by Faith annual end-of-the-year event.
Pastor Ricky Temple led the group in prayer and in hope that 2017 exceeds 2016 in every way.
"At the end of the year, everyone makes promises of what they want to do," said Pastor Temple. "So, this is our end-of-the-year plan and celebration to say we're going to make the future better by doing specific things to make the world better, make our community better. It's a real time of celebration."
Overcoming by Faith does that year round with ministries to help the homeless, the hungry and the underprivileged.
The church's New Year's Eve event gives people an alternative way to offer resolutions and rededication.
"There are a lot of events going on in Savannah and this is definitely a positive event," said Pace Goodway, who attended with his wife and three children. "And we want to start the year off in a positive way and this is definitely a good place for the family."
"Before, I've been out in the world partying and everything and the year didn't go the way I planned," added Frierson. "But I found, the more time I spent with God, especially at the beginning of the year, things just seemed to open up for me and flow for me. It's a blessing to be with him, so here we are.''
While there was no hangover from this celebration, those there said there will be a lingering effect.
"It's wonderful. When you can celebrate life, when you can help people, that's worth living and that's what we're about," said Pastor Temple. "Our goal is to find more ways to reach more people and that's why we exist."
"We just pray that 2017 will be way better than 2016," added Kristy Frierson, Pace's wife. "That's what I'm believing for, greater things, forgetting those things that are behind and pressing forward."