By Michael Abeyta

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – Easter Sunday gave the members of Ascent Community Church in Louisville an opportunity to start anew.

“That’s the hope that we need right now. That’s the victory that a lot of us need,” said Lead Pastor Bill Stephens in his sermon.

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The lead pastor is one of 26 families at that church who lost just about everything in the Marshall Fire. Hundreds of other church members were displaced.

“I never would have thought that that would happen. Of course we didn’t but it did,” said Stephens.

He says that even though the flames were extinguished months ago, it’s still a daily struggle to return to normalcy for the community.

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“People in our community are still tired and like I said in the sermon they feel a bit buried by all of it,”

He is one of those people who at times feels buried beneath the weight of it all. He says he revisits the loss frequently not only physically to dig through debris looking for remnants of his old life, but also mentally and emotionally. This Easter, he decided it is time to move forward.

“The other day I just finally said you know what Bill enough,” the pastor said in his sermon.

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Sunday he told his congregation that with a new Paschal season comes a new opportunity to begin again and he like so many that were in attendance, is ready to give his life and trust over to God once again.

“That’s part of the richness of God’s love,” he said “That he is going to give us the joy and it’s going to be in the heart of pain that we go through as well and that just makes me draw closer to God.”

Michael Abeyta