September 7, 2016 - 12:26am
A Congolese refugee fled his home country to escape a violent civil war. Papy Amani is now an unofficial leader at All Saints Church for the refugee community.

In the front pew of All Saints Church, Papy Amani stands with his Bible in hand. Sunday mornings here are filled with the sounds of Congolese men and women dressed in colorful garb, raising their voices in joyful praise.

"Hosannaaa, Hosanna eyyyyy Hosannaaa, Hosanna eyyyyy."

Such joy was hard to find where Amani came from, he said. Papy (pronounced pah-pay) Amani is the unofficial leader of the rapidly growing Congolese refugee community in Syracuse.

“The way I used to live was miserable,” he said. “There was no hope. Not even food to eat. No peace.”

February 14, 2016 - 1:13am
The snow didn't stop those with a sweet tooth from going to A Taste of Chocolate at the Columbian Presbyterian Church in LaFayette on Saturday.

Chocolate is one of the few things that could get 100 people out to Columbian Presbyterian Church during a Saturday snowstorm.

Tom Redmore, an elder at Columbian Presbyterian Church in LaFayette, started A Taste of Chocolate six years ago after trying to come up with a new fundraising idea and seeing how much money people spent on Valentine’s Day every year.

June 22, 2009 - 10:55pm
The downturn in the economy has challenged houses of faith in Central New York.

Pastor Mark Ferry of West Genesee Hills Baptist Church in Camillus, N.Y., discusses how the economic decline has affected his congregation, the church activities, and the distribution of donated money. The church remains one of only a few in their area that can still afford to pay and keep a pastor.

“We actually ended behind budget $19,000 this year,” said Ferry. “We actually cut $17,000 out of the budget last year, so to see us $19,000 behind this year is significant.”