WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published May 29, 2011, 06:11 PM

Final Sermon is Heard as a Church Closes its Doors

People in Churchs Ferry are saying goodbye to a building that's been around more than a century. As floodwaters inch closer, the community celebrates the history of their church.

People in Churchs Ferry are saying goodbye to a building that's been around more than a century.

As floodwaters inch closer, the community celebrates the history of their church.

Sunday, May 29th was the last service.

It's a place where people like Ramona Slettin and Louise Nelson have worshipped for years.

"All four of our kids have been baptized and confirmed in this church," member Ramona Sletten said.

"This feels like home, maybe that's what it is, it's the homey feeling," church member Louise Nelson said.

What is usually a congregation of 20 parishioners swelled to more than 100 as Zion Lutheran Church held its final service before floodwaters reach the front doors.

"It's not enough we had to lose our farm, but we have had to lose our church, which is heartbreaking," Sletten said.

As people file in, they were greeted for the final time by a Pastor who's been around for 15 years. As the organ plays, emotions are seen on the faces of those who've heard this music every Sunday

"They've been struggling to hold this church together since the town was bought out in 1999, but they've been faithful to come back from places like Devils Lake and the area," Pastor Richard Budd said.

Now members take part in the last communion to be served, last hymns to be sung, and the final sermon to be heard.

" It's a great loss to the community even though we have been split by the water, losing our land and homes," Sletten said.

As the pews empty and the congregation says goodbye. there is hope to find a new place to call home every Sunday.

"You have to move on and realize that it doesn't do any good to dwell in the past you have to react to what's going on now and plan for the future," Nelson said.

"We never thought this would happen, never though the powers that be would even let it happen to tell you the truth," Slettin said.

The ring dike protecting the church will be left to flood and mementos inside eventually sold.

Tags: