CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A church in Charlottesville is finally able to have service on the August 12 weekend after having to cancel the previous two years. First United Methodist Church held a special combined worship service Sunday morning for the whole community to join.

Congregation members were unable to access the church on previous August 12 weekends because of the violence of the 2017 Unite the Right Rally and heavy police presence in 2018.

"It's unusual for congregations that are pretty ritualistic to have to change their patterns and so today we're trying to get back into that seven day Sabbath an have worship in our sanctuary,” said Gary Heaton, senior pastor.

After the worship, community members were encouraged to meet one another to help build relationships. There was also time for communion.