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Monday, August 24, 2015

Another Lutheran Church Closing

August 21, 2015 6:06 pm  •  
CALEDONIA — It’s the end of an era for Redeemer Lutheran Church, 4649 Lora St.
Next Sunday, the church will be holding its last services.
They used to bring in extra chairs on holidays to fit everyone, said Doris Kidd, the church’s secretary.
It’s been years since they have had to do that, Kidd said of the church, which is one of about eight Lutheran churches in the area that are part of the Missouri Synod.
“Churches across the board are having this kind of problem. The church is not as important as it used to be,” said Kidd, who has been a church member almost 60 years. “It used to be a social center, too. There were picnics and potlucks … It’s hard to have them when you don’t have a lot of people.”
Over the years, membership has declined steadily, she said. Older members died and their children chose for job reasons to go elsewhere, she said.
“It’s a sad fact, but that is the way it is,” said Kidd, who is retired.
Shirley Martens, secretary for the church council, said the church was founded in 1933 and started in a Douglas Avenue storefront.
That same year, land was purchased on Lora Street, she said. Later they built a small building for worship and school and then in 1951 they began construction on the current church.
She said the church was put up for sale and they have an accepted offer, although she didn’t know exactly what the building would be used for.
“Any time a church is dissolved, it’s a very sad thing,” Martens said.
Kidd also said the closing is hard to take.
“It’s like a kick in the gut,” she said. “But you have to realize it’s just a building, God is wherever you are and worship.”
The last services will be held Sunday, Aug. 30. The last regular service will be at 10 a.m. and there will be a final closing service at 2 p.m.