St. Louis church to reopen after arson

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A St. Louis church tagged with graffiti and set on fire re-opened its sanctuary for service Sunday morning.

It’s been six months since Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church was intentionally set on fire.

The pastor and church members said they were not going to let an arsonist stop them from worshiping.

Pastor Titus D. Irving of Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in the Walnut Park East Neighborhood says it brings joy to his heart.

As the doors reopened Sunday morning,  "We have a community we have to serve and we were determined not to let them move us," said Irving

Investigators say the church was targeted with racist’s graffiti and burned by arsonists causing approximately $200,000 in damage inside the sanctuary.  We are told when police arrived they  found the church on fire and a rear door forced open.

The pastor said security cameras showed two or three men outside of the church gate, but they evaded the camera when they got closer to the church.  The damage was so severe, insurance adjusters recommend tearing the building down and starting over.

But through their faith, members of the church never gave up and the doors of the church are back open." God has just blessed us abundantly. We are super excited about being here," said Minister Shirley Little.

The FBI and police are still searching for the suspects.