Thursday, November 27, 2014

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PA Church Reopens After Fatal Shooting

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: PA Church Reopens After Fatal Shooting
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COUDERSPORT, PA -- The First United Presbyterian Church of Coudersport in Pennsylvania reopened its doors Sunday.

It was closed for more than a month, after its organist was shot to death inside the building.

"The one act of violence has not controlled us, we remain strong, and faithful, and God's light continues to shine it was not put out," said Reverend Evon Lloyd, First United Presbyterian Church.

53-year old Darlene-Sitler was shot and killed during Sunday service on December second.

Her ex-husband, 52-year-old Gregory Eldred has been charged with first degree murder in connection with her death.

Sunday, the congregation lit a candle in Sitler's memory.

"Darlene was a joyous, generous, enthusiastic, exuberant person...for her to be with her Church family, and doing what she loved when she died, was horrific but it was a gift, and for this congregation to support her in that, gives me a lot of comfort," said Rev Lloyd.

People of all faiths turned out to find comfort as well.

"It's the beginning, it's sort of a rebirth, the darkness doesn't over come the light, and this is our chance to show the world that the church, and the power of Christ triumphs over evil," said Rob Leete, Coudersport.

"I'm just glad that we can all come back to our church and not let that evil man keep us from our church," said Maxine Shear, Coudersport.

As part of her message to the congregation, Reverend Lloyd expressed her deepest appreciation for the continued support from those around the globe, as well as from other area churches, and community members here at home.

"A violent evil act does not have the last word, God's love and grace has the last word and the love and grace has been overwhelming from every corner," said Rev Lloyd.

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