Easter services held at alternate site after fire that gutted historic Englewood church

ENGLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A congregation in New Jersey came together to celebrate Easter, days after a massive fire destroyed their church.

Worshippers went on with Mass at an alternate site after the fire that gutted the historic First Presbyterian Church of Englewood.

The services were held at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, where parishioners gathered with gratitude that no one was hurt and their church 'of people' remains intact.

The historic 156-year-old church on Palisade Avenue went up in flames Tuesday night.

The fire destroyed the sanctuary just days before Easter.

Pastor Richard Hong inspired his congregation on Good Friday with his words at their temporary home at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Englewood.

He lifted their spirits with a cross pulled from the ashes by firefighters, a reminder that they will be back and that they will rebuild.

"This is the most beautiful discoloration I could imagine. It survived! What is a better example of what we will do then this? We will look different we will be different," Pastor Hong said.

Pastor Hong suspects it was an electrical fire. Fire investigators do not believe it was suspicious.

Parishioners say they are grateful to the community for its support.

"It is a devastation to the whole community for one thing," said parishioner Abby Todd. "The community has come forward certainly, they've been very generous. For me personally, I love that church."
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