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CHURCH REPLACED: New Home After Devastating Fire

Posted on: 9:08 pm, December 24, 2013, by , updated on: 09:09pm, December 24, 2013

Members of a Martensdale church are enjoying the holiday season with a new building after a fire destroyed their home of worship two years ago.

Flames destroyed Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church at the end of October in 2011, destroying the century old building.

Since then, members have been worshipping at the nearby Assumption Catholic Church in Churchville.

On Christmas Eve, members got to see the new church for the first time.

“It’s really like coming home,” Kim Downs said. “It’s just been a wonderful experience for this congregation. We didn’t think so at the time of the fire. We felt it was fairly devastating to lose our 108-year-old building and all the memories that went with it.”

Organizers say it took a year and a half to plan and build the new church.

Downs say it was mostly funded through the insurance company but the church got a lot of donations – from money to a stained glass window.

“This is my wife Phyllis’s hometown, her home church.  She was baptized here, confirmed here, and we were married here. It just felt right to put the window here. Otherwise it was sitting in our garage in storage,” Virgil Newhouse explained.

The church has about a hundred members.