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Community Members Hold Prayer Vigil Near East Harlem Explosion Site

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Community members held a prayer vigil Thursday morning for the lives lost in the East Harlem explosion.

Pastor Thomas Perez’s Spanish Christian Church was decimated along with the neighboring building on Park Avenue and 116th Street in Wednesday morning’s suspected gas explosion. He said five of his congregants died and one is still missing.

PHOTOS: East Harlem Explosion | The Day After

“It’s God’s will, although we won’t understand his doing, but we have the peace he gave us and we just trust it’s going to be better,” Perez said.

Clergy members of all different faiths gathered at the private vigil near the explosion site to show support for the injured, the dead and the still missing.

“We just came to pray for them, to support them. We also came for Spanish Christian Church, for Pastor Perez to let him know we love him, we support him,” Infinity Church Pastor William Devlin said.

As firefighters continued sifting through the debris, Perez declared this is not the end of their church.

“With the blessing of the Lord and the help of all the gentleman and the churches around, we’re going to rebuild the church again,” Perez said.

Churches across the city plan to take up a special collection for the Spanish Christian Church this Sunday.

Meanwhile, clergy members said they plan to visit the injured in hospitals on Thursday.

Seven people were killed and more than 60 injured in the explosion. At least five people are still missing.

The Red Cross is also assisting dozens of residents who were displaced by the blast.

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