The three Baptist churches, targeted by an arsonist, are celebrating this Easter with a new hope.
With songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and prayers, congregants of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church celebrated one of the most important Christian holidays.
“With the resurrection, the resurrection was a new beginning for the church. So just having a place to worship after all that has happened, is a new beginning for us,” said the church’s pastor, Rev. Gerald Toussaint.
As congregants celebrated Easter Sunday in a new building, they reflected on the pain of the past, while looking forward to that new beginning.
“Sometimes something occurs in our lives that makes you say ‘why me.’ But even through all that we’ve been through, one thing I can say is that we still have joy,” Rev. Toussaint preached during his sermon.
Members clapped and cheered, as he spoke about the resilience of this church’s people.
“The same spirit is there. You have the same God in the same place, he’s everywhere. We can worship him any place we’re at,” said church member, Leshaunda Randle.
She grew up in Opelousas, going to Mount Pleasant every Sunday where her grandfather was a pastor and now her uncle Rev. Toussaint.
Now living in Mississippi, it’s her first time back since the fire and she’s amazed by all the support from across the world.
“It just makes us feel that the world is not as bad as people claim it to be. That there are some good people in the world that care enough for us to do the things that they have done,” said Randle.
Rev. Toussaint says the church has already started their new chapter with plans to rebuild. And he’s thankful to all those who contributed to the Go Fund Me, which has now reached more than $2 million. If you want to help, click here.
“It’s important that we’re still together. The building is burnt but the church is alive and you can see today that the people are happy,” he said.
To see our stories about the churches, click here.