Historic Estonian Church gets Renovated

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The Estonian Evangelical Martin Luther Church is the first Estonian church built in the United States, and today it stands as the only one in the state.

Built in 1907, the building has fallen into extreme disrepair. But thanks to a group of Estonians from Chicago, it won't look that way for long. The team has volunteered to spend their Summer working to restore the church.

Bill Rebane, director of the restoration project, said they've already raised over $2,000 for the project.

"It's a monument to freedom to all those who have died under the yoke of communism during World War II," said Rebane.

Rebane started making plans for the project when one of the founders of the church asked him to renovate the historical building.

"He pleaded with me," said Rebane, "To help and maintain the church and restore it for all Estonians in America... So that's kind of the purpose of it all."

The church has been abandoned for more than 30 years now, and when it's finished Rebane wants the church to serve as a window into Estonia culture. He plans to re-open it one day as a place of worship for all denominations.

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