On Sunday, the First Lutheran Church in Lorain began again.
Members of its congregation prayed and worshiped for the first time inside their brand new church after a fire destroyed their old building more than three years ago.
Members of the First Lutheran Church in Lorain are beginning services inside their new brand building after old church burnt down in 2014. pic.twitter.com/8Zf3i1KDWz
— Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw) November 19, 2017
The old church served as a cornerstone to the community for more than 100 years.
While members only have memories to hold onto, they're grateful to be together again under a new roof.
"This is a time for looking forward," Rev. Jimmy Madsen said.
The new church, across the street from the old location, is a state-of-the-art building complete with a food pantry and education wing.
The church's new pastor, Rev. Rosalina Rivera, said they plan to expand upon both departments and to hopefully set up community partnerships.
For long-time member Jane Cooper, the new building won't be the same.
"It doesn't have the memories for me," she said.
That's because Cooper spent nearly her entire life at the old church, where she was the first person to be baptized. It's also where she and her husband married, as well as both of their daughters.
But through it all, she's just proud of her community for sticking together through hard times.
"I think that's a testament to their devotion to the church. So I'm glad to see that," Cooper said.
Sharon Kopronica, also a long-time member, said the new start is bringing people together again.
"I've seen people I haven't seen in a long time and that makes me feel good," Kopronica said.
Click here for more information about the First Lutheran Church.