Her church, Hammond Grove Baptist in North Augusta, hosts an annual Watch Night service.
“We’ll pray in the new year,” Hobbs said.
Churches across the area hold the late-night services, complete with music, prayer and often breakfast.
The services are steeped in history and tradition, but their origin is disputed. Watch Night holds a place of special significance in black churches, who tie the observance to 150-year-old Freedom’s Eve celebrations.
On Dec. 31, 1862, slaves and abolitionists gathered in anticipation of the day President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect – Jan. 1, 1863.
That celebratory atmosphere continues in today’s Watch Night services.
“It’s a pretty jubilant atmosphere,” Hobbs said. “It’s a time of celebration.”
It’s also a time to reflect and give thanks, she added.
“We made it through the past year,” she said. “We’ve got great expectation for the year ahead.”