Church rebuilds after election fire

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WWLP/CNN) – Three years after a church burned to the ground - on the eve of President Barack Obama's election - a Massachusetts church has risen from the ashes.

A dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the community's achievement in rebuilding.

"The symbol of an attack on a sanctuary is so profound to begin with, but that it would happen on a night as joyful as the election of the president," said Gov. Deval Patrick. "Then to have so many forces come together to try to rebuild."

The Rev. Bryant Robinson says the fire did not mark their community, in fact, he says the aftermath is a testament of how they have re-energized their faith.

"There's a new vigor in their commitment and in their determination," Robinson said.

Two men pleaded guilty last year to setting the fire and a third man was convicted of the crime earlier this year.

"Because of the burning of the church, people from all different denominations came together to help and rebuild this church," said parishioner Shirissee Morgan. "So, even though it was devastating there still was a union and a bond that happened because of it and we are so grateful."

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