The congregation of Big Pembina Lutheran Church met at member Betty Coyle’s home, in Langdon, this past week.
Posted on 3/29/14
By Dee Entzi
The congregation has held meetings, services and Bible studies in member’s homes since losing their church building to a fire on January 17. The cause of the fire has remained unknown. Despite their church building burning down, members say it has not stopped them from being a church and remaining a close community.
“We have not missed a Sunday except for a storm,”
says one member.
Though they have continued on in each other’s homes, they have unanimously voted to rebuild.
“It was like losing one of the family,”
states another member.
“It was really sad,”
states one of the ladies,
“There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that we wanted to rebuild.”
The church was originally started in 1885 out of a members’ home until their very own church building was built in 1903, located 18 miles northeast of Langdon.
The congregation has plans to rebuild in the same location as soon as the weather allows. The plans for the new building are much smaller scaled than the previous building which had two stories. The newer building will also bring some amenities that the previous building did not have, such as running water and restrooms. Though the congregation has been mourning the tragic loss of their church home, they are extremely hopeful for the future of their church. Big Pembina consists of over 40 members.
“It’s a special congregation in terms of their history going back many generations, and it truly is a home where they work together, where they play together, and where they worship together,” states Big Pembina’s Pastor of 10 years, Don Swenson, of Walhalla.
The congregation is looking forward to rebuilding a place for the church to fellowship together again in a spot which holds many memories for several members.
“I think all of this is remarkable because most congregations, when something like this happens and they’re small and elderly, that’s kind of it. And then you’ll hear the such and such congregation closes, this one doesn’t; it revitalizes.” remarked Pastor Don Swenson.
The church is extremely thankful for all of the prayers and support they have received but continue to ask for support in the future as they face challenges and financial commitments ahead.