After nearly three years some much needed relief has finally come through for a Brooklyn church devastated by Sandy. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Spiritual energy at the Coney Island Cathedral powers this congregation. The building itself had been without electricity for months after Hurricane Sandy barelled through in 2012. Now nearly 3 years later, there's limited wiring...enough to put up some temporary lights to hold services.

"With no air conditioning as it is now, people have been faithful. In the winter it's been cold, people have been faithful. Because people realize how important our houses of worship are to a community," said Waylyn Hobbs, the cathedral's pastor.

NY1 was there when volunteers were gutting the church and distributing supplies to the community. Even when it got no insurance money.  

"Churches help everyone. Regardless of what religion they're from. They didn't ask anyone about their faith. They asked them what they needed. So we have an obligation at minimum to reimburse them for the services they rendered right after Sandy," said City Councilman Mark Treyger.

But getting churches emergency relief money is a challenge. FEMA can't help. It's prohibited by law because of separation of church and state. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is trying to change that.  

"There is a really strong argument we believe that in a case of an extreme weather event where the storm affects everyone including houses of worship that it's reasonable for the government to be able to step in and provide assistance in that situation," said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

Treyger is trying to help on the local level, creating a City Council task force to look at the issue.

Meantime, Treyger and Jeffries just secured funding through a Christian international relief group, Samaritan's Purse, for $280,000.

At the entrance to the sanctuary, there's a sign that says the church is remodeling. But even with no pews, usher Derrick Stroud says it's the uplift that counts, more than the facelift.

"I still feel the work of God, I still feel the power, the presence," he says.