As the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Day, the bell at Zion Lutheran Church in southwestern North Dakota rang clear across the cold prairie. Church members, most living on nearby farms, had gathered to celebrate the holiday with games, food and fellowship. No one there took the celebration for granted.
Several years ago, the 26-member congregation wondered if the church would stand long enough to celebrate its centennial this summer. The building’s foundation had cracks so large that daylight seeped into the basement. “The blocks were crumbling before our eyes,” said Keith Witte, congregational president. “It was either watch the church fold in or do something about it.”
|Preservation North Dakota seeks to save churches like this one that dot the North Dakota prairie.|
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