ROYALTON, Ill. (AP) — Members of a southern Illinois congregation have a new place of worship more than a year after their 89-year-old church was destroyed in a fire.

WSIL-TV reports ( First Christian Church members in Royalton had been meeting at the village hall while a new church was constructed. The old three-story building had been a fixture in the town until the fire in October 2013.

Minister Darrell McCombs says attendance at the new church on Sunday was many times higher than it was last year. Church member Tom Fisher says the shared experience has brought everyone together and moved the congregation forward.

A grand opening of the new church will be held for the public but hasn’t yet been scheduled.

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