Updated: Monday, 10 Nov 2008, 12:14 PM EST
Published : Monday, 10 Nov 2008, 11:57 AM EST
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Members of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ came together for Sunday services after an arsonist destroyed their future church.
"It really hurts even more that we lost something they've been trying to build for a long time," said church member Desiree Smith.
The 400 member congregation had outgrown their church on King Street and was set to move into the Tinkham Road location in the spring of 2009. It was almost complete when it was burned down on Wednesday morning.
Many are saddened to have suffered such a setback. But that sadness has been heightened by the fact the fire was intentionally set, an announcement state and federal authorities made at a news conference on Saturday.
Authorities would not speculate on the motive behind the arson, but members of the predominantly black church fear it was motivated by hate.
"It was the night of the election and might have had something to do with Barack Obama winning," Smith said.
Whatever the reason, there's no disputing the congregation's faith is staying strong. Bishop Bryant Robinson has vowed to rebuild the church.