Updated 07/12/2010 11:33 AM
Bronx Churched Damaged In Fire Reopens
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A Bronx church that was gutted by a fire late last year is welcoming back parishioners.
The Glory of Christ Church in Parkchester opened its doors Sunday for a special service, revealing a newly-restored interior.
Police say last December, vandals spray-painted the walls with satanic symbols and gang slogans before deliberately torching the building.
"God's people have pulled together and here we are. Good will always overcome evil, as long as we never give up," said Glory of Christ Church Pastor Raymond Talevera.
"These past seven months have been unreal and the fact that we're back is a sense of accomplishment, a victory of what was intentions of evil," said one parishioner.
While they worked to rebuild, church leaders relied on the generosity of other neighboring churches to hold their services and worship, all this while navigating problems with contractors and the insurance company.
But, longtime church members like Vivian Dindial say the whole ordeal has brought the community closer together.
"We just became on happy family," she said.
So far, no arrests have been made. However, parishioners say they've already forgiven the vandals.
After all, they say their prayers were answered now that they have a brand-new church, and the tragedy helped them tap into their faith and gave them a priceless gift – by bringing the congregation closer together.