By Nikie Mayo, The Independent Mail (South Carolina).
Nearly two years ago, members of Walhalla Presbyterian Church stood across from their beloved sanctuary, stunned by how fire had ravaged it.
More than 100 firefighters responded the day that a blaze started on the second floor and tore through the roof. The fire in mid-September 2013 was ruled accidental and blamed on faulty wiring. But that ruling didn’t make its damage any less cruel.
Part of the brick walls, the floor joists and some stained-glass windows were all that was left of the building. That day, state Sen. Thomas Alexander, a lifelong member of the church, surveyed the damage and compared what he was seeing to witnessing a death.
On Sunday, members of the congregation opened the doors of their restored — and essentially completely new — church on Main Street. They celebrated a church that has risen from the ashes. And some said that, because of the fire, they now understand the truest meaning of the word “church.”
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