The congregation of St. Thomas United Baptist Church attended a special healing ceremony Sunday at the community centre across the street less than a week after their church caught fire.
About 250 people attended the service, mostly dressed head to toe in white.
“That’s only a building across the street,” Pastor Wallace Smith Sr. said during the service. “We are the church.”
Ceremony in works before fire
The church caught fire on Wednesday and officials believe it was caused by a faulty motor that ran the air exchange.
The service was planned before the fire to acknowledge the families from the community touched by gun violence.
“There was a lot of shooting and a lot death last year. Kind of tragic and a lot of young men lost their lives and a lot of families still grieving and still hurting,” Wallace said.
The congregation is mostly dressed in white to mark the Healing nature of today’s service. Choir’s got the crowding singing about love. pic.twitter.com/4E38qK1Kqi
Wallace said the fire wouldn’t affect his sermon much, but he planned to provide a bit of an update on the situation.
“There’s a lot of smoke damage, there’s a lot of water damage and there’s quite a bit of fire damage in the back end so we’re not sure how long we’re going to be out. I’m thinking three months, maybe more,” he said.
Maureen Smith, who has lived in North Preston her entire life and has been a part of the St. Thomas United Baptist Church for 40 years, was one of the hundreds of people in attendance at the service. She said she was grateful to have the healing time.
‘I feel blessed today’
“I feel blessed today to be here and to be a part of this today and I know that people are leaving this place today being refreshed, being healed, being delivered and being set free by the almighty God,” said Smith.
St. Thomas Pastor Wallace Smith Sr. says: “That’s only a building across the street. We are the church.” Hallelujahs sing. @CBCNS