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One church opens its doors for Easter after challenging year

After more than a year of being closed Overcoming Believers Church opened its doors for the first time.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Easter Sunday marked day one of reopening for Overcoming Believers Church, shepherded by Pastor Daryl Arnold.

Arnold, who has stood as a mentor for the communities rocked by gun violence, while handlining the challenges of COVID.

“It feels horrible, it’s torture I never thought in a million years that there would be one day I would have to talk and connect with our spiritual family through a telephone or iPad,” said Arnold.

A year filled with a lot of downs.

“We had so many people that were connected to our ministry that died of COVID, their family died of COVID,” Arnold said.

Not just COVID but the ripple effects of gun violence, Arnold officiated three of the four teens' funerals that were killed this year.

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“I believe our entire city is mourning because of the violence that has taken place and just the pain all of us are experiencing,” the pastor said.

Despite how hard the past year has been, on Sunday, there was much to be happy about.

“I believe I see some light when I see young people the Austin East dancers celebrate and lead our worship and see how the people responded with joy and expectation of greatness I believe that things are really going good,” said Arnold.

Not just relying on their “Cyber church” but feeding the spirit in person.

“It was fun watching the people of God eat today to be able to receive the word of God,” Arnold said.

All on Easter Sunday, knowing the trials we’ve faced will only make us stronger.

“It looks like a whole lotta death that’s a bad Friday but if we keep pushing forward and trusting God and put our hands together there’s going to be a good Sunday this city is going to resurrect again” said Arnold.