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Allentown Church Reopens After Burning Down Last Year

ALLENTOWN (KDKA)- Songs of worship, once again, filled the Hilltop United Methodist Church on Warrington Avenue in Allentown.

More than 250 people from the church and community gathered for Sunday's service and it was a special one. This was the first time in over a year that a service held in this century-old building.

"We were committed to this community and knew that God had a plan and a purpose for us here," said Pastor Sue Hutchins.

Fire forced the church to close in August of 2014. Roofers, working on repairs, were using a torch on the building when flames erupted.

The church was badly damaged, but even on the day of the fire, church leaders and members remained calm, knowing that they would make it through a difficult situation.

"It doesn't matter if there is a fire. It doesn't matter if there is some kind of catastrophe. God is still here," said Hutchins. "I just knew that God would bring us through and that my  being upset wasn't going to help and people often take their cues from me, so if I was very distraught, then the people would have been more upset."

Now, the church is celebrating new life.

Renovations and repairs cost more than a million dollars. Even some of the youngest worshipers helped to raise money. Logan Wilson collected more than $750 by growing and auctioning off pumpkins.

Church leaders say it's that spirit that held the church together.

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