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St. Luke Community United Methodist Church is making a comeback.

It’s been two years in the making after COVID-19 closed the church’s doors and last year’s winter storm caused water damage.

It didn’t take long for 500 people to pack into the pews inside St. Luke Community United Methodist Church on Sunday for a morning of praise and worship.

Senior Pastor Richie Butler welcomed families in the newly renovated sanctuary, many of whom have only watched him virtually.

“This is our first Sunday back, and most importantly, for me, this is my first Sunday at the senior pastor of Tt. Luke preaching to the people in our space,” said Pastor Richie Butler, Senior Pastor of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church.

The congregation spent the last year and a half at Highland Park United Methodist Church, after the winter storm caused problems.

“There was a burst pipe in my office,” Butler said. “And it flooded throughout the church, and particularly in the sanctuary.”

This is the first in-person sermon, but the church was always there.

“The church is not a building,” Butler. “The church is the people. We’ve just been activated. We left the building and we’re activated in ministry and making a difference in the community.”

Renovations are still being made during the week.

During the height of COVID-19, the church held vaccine drives and food giveaways in its parking lot as repairs were being made.