If you thought the members of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church was going to let the busy work of the devil break their spirits for good, then you have severely underestimated the power of faith.

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For the first time since the June 17 shooting that claimed nine innocent lives at the hands of the accused shooter Dylann Roof, the Emanuel AME Church shed tears and passionate praises to God during a Sunday service.

Via MSN:

It was that same hospitality that allowed the suspected gunman to be welcomed into a Bible study for about an hour before he allegedly stood up, made racially offensive remarks and opened fire in the church known as “Mother Emanuel” because it is one of the oldest black congregations in the South.

“I was so pleased when authorities told us you can go back into ‘Mother Emanuel’ to worship,” said the Rev. Norvel Goff, a presiding elder of the 7th District AME Church in South Carolina, before adding a note of defiance to a service sprinkled with themes of love, recovery and healing.

Despite the heaviness in the air, many stood — some holding small children — to shout their praises or raise their hands toward the church’s vaulted ceiling. For added security, police officers stood watch over the worshippers.

Some congregation members stood to applaud when Goff thanked law enforcement for their response to the shooting.

The welcoming spirit Roof exploited before the shooting was still alive.

And wouldn’t you know it, they’re going to continue to hold the same Wednesday night bible study–the same one that Roof also exploited–like nothing happened.

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Check out some more of the powerful images from the Emanuel AME Church’s restoration service in the gallery below.

Photo: Washington Post Video Screenshot

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