"It has been a blessing in disguise, it has been a lot of hard work and a little delay but here we are." Pastor Shelton spoke to his congregation at Grace Community Church of God Sunday, during the dedication to their new church building. Members sang and prayed together under their own roof, for the first time in months since their original church, the East London Church Of God was intentionally set on fire.
"It was a very big disappointment , but as God does he works in ways we don't understand, its been a blessing in many ways," said Pastor Shelton
Church members agree, it hasn't been an easy task, but they say all the hard work has been worth every minute.
"We're able to accomplish a lot more of what we feel God is leading us to do, hopefully we'll be able to reach the whole community," said deacon Neal Mullins.
Despite all the setbacks, the congregation as a whole has forgiven the then 20-year-old Timothy Scott, who was charged for setting the fire in October.
"I'm hoping the judge sentences him to come visit on my front row for the next ten years, I want to reach him. There was no real reason for what happened and we're here for that person," said Pastor Shelton.