Marshfield church breaks ground on new building following fire

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW)-- When the Wesley United Methodist Church burned down last fall, members of the parish didn't lose faith.

That faith was put into action Sunday, as the church community gathered to break ground on their new home.

Last September-- members of the Wesley Church were grieving after a fire destroyed their church that had been a part of the downtown Marshfield history for more than 100 years.

The congregation began a new page in the history books, coming together to break ground on their new home.

"It's hard to lose the church we had, but the church is going to be an awful lot similar,” said Rebuilding Committee Chair Terry Frankland.

The new church will be a single floor, modern building that will expand to new land they bought next to the old lot, but won't lose that familiar feeling.

The rebuilding committee chair said during the ceremony that the day after the fire, it wasn't a matter of if they would rebuild, but when.

“It's been a long process, but it's been a gratifying process,” Frankland said.

Almost exactly a year after the fire, the people of Wesley are back and they're ready to rebuild, gathering here today on the vacant lot where the fire happened. They said that their faith, while it was tested, was what ultimately got them through.

“We were lost, and today we can see how God carried us through,” said Reverend Lourdes Magalhaes.

Members of the community, as well as the mayor and firefighters who responded to the fire were there to sing songs and say prayers of thanks, a far cry from the devastation here last year.

"When we go through difficult times-- is the time that we are closer to God,” Magalhaes said.

Construction will begin next week, and they expect the new church to be open in time for Easter 2020.