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Not losing faith: Christ Lutheran 10 years after the flood

Similar to the great flood with Noah, Christ Lutheran Church was hit by the Minot flood of 2011.
Similar to the great flood with Noah, Christ Lutheran Church was hit by the Minot flood of 2011.(kfyr)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - MINOT, N.D. – The Bible illustrates challenging times and how through faith, many can overcome them. When Christ Lutheran Church was destroyed in the 2011 flood, many in the congregation found themselves in the midst of what felt like a biblical disaster.

Similar to the great flood with Noah, Christ Lutheran Church was hit by the Minot flood of 2011.

“We had water up to about the middle section of the pews on the main floor, so the ground floor was totally underwater,” said Mike Rystedt, a council member for Christ Lutheran.

After much thought and prayer, the church decided to rebuild. They also welcomed members from Augustana Lutheran, whose church would not recover from the damage.

Former Augustana member, Emily Schaefer recalls the day Augustana was torn down.

“We had members that they went and watched it being demolished. You know they were able to be there, they saved bricks. So, I have a brick, my parents have a brick, people have bricks, and that was really meaningful, but that was tough,” said Shaefer.

The months and years following the flood were hard for many in the community. However, former pastor David Maxfield shared a story about how miracles came from the tragedy in the form of lilies.

“Nobody had planted them. The flood had brought them. But something as simple and as wonderful as a flower like that in the midst of the devastation reminded us that we were not alone,” said Maxfield.

Members of Christ Lutheran reflected on all the good that came.

“We had this opportunity to come here and kind of have a brand-new church family. And it was just what we needed to lift us back up and just remind us that something good is always going to happen,” said Shaefer.

Ten years later, Christ Lutheran is almost fully renovated and ready to bring more to the community.

“We’re moving forward, and we got a beautiful facility, and we are talking about starting a daycare to make use of the nice building we have. Try to fill it up with life,” said Rystedt.

They learned to lean on each other and faith to get through the biggest disaster in the Magic City.

In the new facility, stained glass and a brand-new hall shares memories of Augustana, joining together the two congregations.

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