Marion Christian Church holds celebration of its distant past and recent recovery

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 10:54 PM CDT
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Marion, Iowa (KCRG) -Members of the Marion Christian Church are celebrating 180 years since the church started in 1843, but they’re also honoring a much more recent milestone.

They are unveiling a $1,800,000 restoration and shwocasing how far the church has come since the 2020 Derecho.

“So a large tree went right through the roof of the education building and created a wind tunnel which blew out the stained glass windows in the sanctuary so there was a lot of wind damage and water damage throughout the church building,” said Co-Pastor of Interim Ministries, Rev. Gary Sneller.

This destruction had a big impact on members of the church such as Melynda Chrisman who has been a member of the church for 10 years.

“Looking at that and thinking oh why what what does that mean for our church what does that mean for the future what does that mean and it was a lot of questions and you know everybody’s trying to weed out their own houses and yet going oh but my you know my church home has been hurt,” she said.

Rev. Sneller said members of church came to support the church after the Derecho.

“Members of the congregation gave so generously that we were able to pay for all of the expenses for recovery without having to take out a loan,” he said.

Co-Pastor of Interim Ministries, Rev. Tammy Cameron Buseman said many members of the church put in a lot of hard work to fix the church.”

“The generosity of people’s time and talent ohh yes that was a huge part of our rebuilding effort as well to roll up their sleeves painting and helping tear things out or put things back in,” she said

The church also used this as an opportunity to change and improve the area.

“We were able to reconstruct our rooms so that we could use them more flexibly with classes and meetings so we could change the configuration of some of our classrooms,” said Rev. Sneller.

Rev. Sneller finished by saying this ordeal has brought everyone closer together.

He said “This is a resilient congregation that we took what the storm gave us and we have come through that difficult time I think stronger as a congregation.”

At 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, September 17th the church will hold a special anniversary worship service followed by a luncheon, both are open to the public.

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