Many houses of worship in Minot, heavily damaged in the Mouse River flood, have sought temporary quarters as they clean and repair their sanctuaries.
Christ Lutheran Church, at 501-17th St. NW, saw flood waters inundate the basement and the entire first floor. Only the altar itself was spared. The pews which had water on the seats themselves had to be discarded.
Parishioners and friends were finally able to get into the church July 30 to begin the cleaning. The congregation, which has been meeting with Bethany Lutheran Church for services, held its annual outdoor service Sunday at the Scandinavian Heritage Park.
The Rev. David Maxfield, left, assisted by Vicki Flagstad, distributed Communion to members of Christ Lutheran Church in the stave church at Scandinavian Heritage Park July 30.
The Rev. David Maxfield, senior pastor, said just the costs of cleaning and rewiring will run into several hundred thousand dollars.
Members of Bible Fellowship Church, 1720-4th Ave. NW, thought they might preserve some furnishings by putting them up on top of the stage, Pastor Duane Deckert said, but the only items high enough to escape the waters were one piano and the copier.
His congregation, including several families who also were hurt by the flood, meet at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1615-2nd St. SE, at 4 p.m. Sundays.
First Lutheran Church, 120-5th Ave. NW, has three buildings to restore: the church and parsonage which each had about a foot of water and sewage and the education building with the parish hall, where 3 to 4 feet of water invaded.
"We have the buildings cleaned and sanitized," a church official said, "and we're looking at what to do next."
In the meantime, First Lutheran's congregation has arranged with Zion Lutheran, 1800 Hiawatha St., to meet there for worship. A temporary church office also is housed in the Zion church.
Northland Harvest Church, 140 Souris Drive, near the State Fairgrounds, sustained heavy flood damage on its lower floor, Pastor Larry Borud said, with 6 1/2 to 7 feet of water on the main floor. However the congregation has completed tearing out debris, including from the basement. In the meantime, they are meeting at the Vegas Motel at 10 a.m. Sundays for fellowship, with services at 10:30 a.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 321 W. University Ave., just across University Avenue from Minot State University, suffered 4 to 5 feet of water on the sanctuary level, the Rev. Michon Weingartner said. The basement also was filled with flood water.
"Our bishop (Mark Narum) paired 'wet' and 'dry' ELCA congregations," Weingartner said, "and our host, Bread of Life Lutheran Church, has been a wonderful blessing to us. North Dakotans are resilient and we will continue to do what needs to be done."
FEMA officials said Monday they did not yet have a record of how many houses of worship were damaged in Minot and the area.