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THORNDIKE, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Congregations across the state gathered for Easter Sunday, but the Thorndike Congregational Church had even more to celebrate this year. The congregation of 35 finally opened the doors to their new space.

Back in December of 2011 afire completely destroyed the century old building leaving the congregation to pick up the pieces.

Nearly eight months since the groundbreak ceremony the church is able to open its doors and hold its first service.

the church is able to open its doors and hold its first service.

Pastor Paul Press says it has been a learning experience, "I have seen the church come together as one spirit and working together."

Through the help of the community, donations, and a lot of faiththe church rebuilt on the same foundation.

Longtime member Jacquie Ludden knows the hardships that faced the small church, "It was very devastating for me to lose it and I know it was only a building, that's what everyone has told me. But it was much more than just a building to me."

Ludden, however, is ready to make new memories and make the new space a permanent home.

"After a while it will be my second home again. We want our children to grow up in this church. We want them to take over...We want them to continue on and carry our name on at the church," said Ludden.

Church members file into the new sanctuary and reclaim the seats they had before. There is still a lot of work to be done. The steeple needs to be raised and the stained glass windows will need to be put in.

For now, the church plans to rejoice in what progress they have made so far.

Ludden says, "No more moving around. It feels so good, we are in our own home now."

Pastor Press agrees, "It's a great thanks and praise the Lord that we could get it done this quick. And it falling on Easter Sunday makes it more special."

The church will be holding a dedication ceremony in the near future.

If you would like to make a donation or volunteer to help continue the rebuildingprocess donations can be mailed or dropped off at Bangor Savings in Unity.

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