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Church Members Say Faith Will Help Them Rebuild After Massive Fire

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Members of a church that burned Friday night, attended services Sunday morning.

Due to the damages at the church, the service had to be held in an open lot next to the burned building, but the flames that destroyed the century-old church could not silence the spirit of the faithful.

May 30, 2014: A fire at NW 14 Terrace destroyed a home and damaged a church.  (Source: Gaby Fleischman, CBS4)

May 30, 2014: A fire at NW 14 Terrace destroyed a home and damaged a church. (Source: Gaby Fleischman, CBS4)

“We are here to join in faith in love in prayer,” said Associate Minister Oscar Taylor as he helped with the services Sunday morning.

“So we are out here giving God praise thanking God for what he has done for us,” said Bishop Errol James.

For members of Christ Church of the Living God in Overtown, the building, now charred and broken, is filled with memories.

“It’s like a home to me,” Rose Barnes told CBS4’s Maggie Newland. “I basically grew up here, I got saved here, I got married here, my kids were christened here. I got ordained as a missionary here.”

Friday night fire tore through the church, after flames spread from the house next door at 219 NW 14 Terrace .

“I called the bishop and I said, you’d better pray because your church is on fire,” said Reverend Garland Davis, a guest pastor at the church.

Dozens of firefighters worked for hours to put the fire out, but in the end, little was left to salvage.

“We are very sad, we are very sad to know what happened to our church,” said Bishop James.

“But as I tell people, the church is here,” said Barnes, pointing to her heart. “This is a building, but the church is here, so this is just a minor back step for us, but we’re going to come back stronger than ever.”

It’s that faith and determination that led church members, just two days after the devastating fire, to hold Sunday services on an empty lot nearby.  Prayers and songs of joy filled the open air in Overtown.

“That’s what the faith is about in calamities or in any fight you can’t run you have to stand up and do what you have to do all you have to do is do it in faith,” said Associate Minister Taylor.

With faith, members promise to rebuild the church they’ve called home for so long.

“The Lord is ever, he makes ways for everybody and he will continue to make a way for us,” Bishop James.

“This might just slow us down, but we’re going to come back,” added Barnes. We’re going to come back as pure gold.”

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