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Published October 21, 2013, 06:43 PM

Valley City church: From worship Sunday to picking up ruins Monday

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Just Sunday, members of the church were inside singing songs of worship and celebrating their usual Sunday fellowship.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Just Sunday, members of the church were inside singing songs of worship and celebrating their usual Sunday fellowship.

But Monday, they're finding strength in their congregation, already working to pick up the ruins.

Cyndi Hill- Faith Lutheran Organist: "Makes me wanna cry."

The Sunday worship at Faith Lutheran Church brought a baptism, confirmation classes and a lot of music, with Cyndi Hill sitting behind the organ for it all.

Hill: “It's been here a long time. I've started playing here in ‘77."

But Monday morning, Cyndi is playing a different tune; one full of sadness and memories of only the day before, now burned to the ground.

Hill: "Shocked; I couldn't believe it."

Tory Hart- Church Council President: "It's heartbreaking to see anyone have a fire, then to be at our church."

The organ is quiet, the church is empty and ashes are the only signs of its remains.

Hart: "It's the place where everyone met on Sunday."

Gary Retterath- Valley City Fire Chief: "As you get into the sanctuary, it actually charred the pews."

Fire crews estimate the damages at more than $1 million, but members say you can't put a price tag on the strength of the congregation.

Hart: "I don't think the physical church is the church. It's the people and the faith, and that part I believe will be the strongest part of our church."

Hill: "It's my family. This has come to be home to me and a lot of other people."

Now, members are driving by, hoping to see something the blaze did not touch.

But despite all of the holes, charred walls and broken glass, there is hope in the light that's left.

Hart: "The Church will go on."

…And a song of faith that will continue to play.

Hill: "Pray for us."

The state fire marshal is on scene and assisting in the investigation, still trying to figure out where and how the fire started.

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