RICHMOND, Va. -- Hundreds of members at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and surrounding churches greeted Sen. Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Sunday morning.
Neighbors cheered as the couple returned to Richmond Saturday night after he appearing at a rally in Miami where Kaine gave his first speech after Hillary Clinton named him has her vice presidential pick.
Friends and church members greeted Kaine and Holton with hugs and applause Sunday morning. Many said they were excited to have Kaine on the Democratic ticket.
"He's just an openhearted person and I think that's just what we need," Alvin Strother, a parishioner, said. "We need the sunshine and not the darkness. He's the type of politician and I think his the type of person who's going to bring that to the ticket, and I'm hoping it shines and I hope we win.”
Kaine, a long-time member of the church choir, sang a couple of solos during the communion song.
"He was wonderful. I didn't know he could sing,” said Beth Przygocki, who attended mass just to see Kaine.
At the end of mass, several visitors spoke, saying they came from other churches or cities to support the candidate.
"We just wanted to come and pray with him as prepares to run for vice president,” Przygocki said.
"The spirit of the church, that's love and affection and as far as I'm concerned that's what this country needs,” Strother added.
The presumptive vice presidential nominee said this church community is truly special for his family.
"Anne found it in the summer of 1984 and we were married in November of 1984. This and our neighborhood are really the center of our lives here,” Kaine said to a group of reporters. He did not take any questions.
Many members of the Richmond community have seen Kaine go from Richmond City Council member, to mayor, to Virginia's governor, then senator to now.
"I almost fainted,” said James Strother about when he heard the news.
He said Kaine’s church will continue to pray for him and stand behind him and his family.
"All of the support he can give him. When he was running for governor, my wife campaigned as much as she could," Strother said. "And she'd do that again to help make him vice president of this country.”
"We needed some prayers today and we got some prayers and we got some support and it really feels good,” Kaine said.
Kaine made one stop after church at the fire station down the street to take a picture with firefighters and thank them.
Campaign leaders said Kaine had a few personal stops to make in Richmond before heading to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Depend on WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for complete coverage starting Monday.