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Shelbyville Church Celebrates Easter in Restored Building - John Dunn

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -- Easter Sunday is often a time of renewal and restoration. Those words have a profound meaning for a church in Shelbyville where members can claim a victory over vandalism.

It is the most sacred day for Christians around the world. Churches were full on Sunday as people celebrated Easter. St. William Catholic Church members in Shelbyville not only remember the resurrection, but also the restoration of the building. "Definitely just shocking to hear what had been done, and then to see what remained of the vandalism," says parish council chairman Dan Strasser.

Exactly two months ago police say two teenagers broke into the church and started tearing things apart. There was paint on the carpet and walls. Glass was smashed throughout the building, and even the eyes of the Virgin Mary had been removed. "It was just sad to see that somebody would do that to any building, but especially a church," says Strasser.

Church members say they have forgiven the suspected vandals who were caught the following day. The focus turned toward cleaning and making repairs. "Regardless how bad something may look or may be, I'm a believer that Jesus Christ will help us, and we will come through and be just fine," says parishioner Henry Cooley.

People all over the country offered to pray for St. William's. Volunteers and professionals stayed busy replacing and repairing. "And the outpouring of support was so welcomed, and such a blessing just to have that support from everyone around," says Strasser.

This Easter Sunday is an opportunity to give thanks for a savior and for a building.

Church members tell us the families of the young men who were charged with vandalism in this case have apologized to the congregation.

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