PLOVER, Wis (WSAW) -- On Tuesday afternoon, more than 100 community members arrived at the Springs United Methodist Church in Plover to say their final goodbye to a building that has been considered an icon in the village for several decades.
Upon arrival at the vigil, the congregation was surprised to learn that the original church bible was recovered from the debris unharmed. This was the second time the bible has survived a massive church fire with their congregation.
"This bible has survived two fires, in two different churches,” explained Pastor of the Springs United Methodist Church and St. Paul's Methodist Church in Stevens Point, Tim O’Brien, “We can't open it anymore because of its age, but I think it's a great testament to our faith that still stands strong. "
The Plover Fire Department says the bible was the only thing the congregation asked them to recover.
The first time the bible survived a fire was in the 1950s, when the original St. Paul’s church located in downtown Stevens Point caught on fire.
“I think this is really something special, truly a work of God,” added Pastor O’Brien.
After the church burst into flames Monday morning, the Plover Fire Chief Deputy, Ken Voss, believes the building is a total loss. Although the brick on the outside of the building is still intact, the inside is destroyed.
"Yes this is a building, yes things can be replaced. But these places have lots and lots of memories,” said Pastor O’Brien.
Members of the Springs United Methodist Church congregation are now asked to attend St. Paul’s Methodist Church for Sunday service and activities until further notice.