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< Church Closes
Aug 20, 2013 12:39
Category: Religious News

Historic Church Burns

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Six years after a historic downtown Burlington, Iowa, church was destroyed by fire, it's about to reopen.

Workers might complete the finishing touches on First United Methodist Church this week. It was gutted in April 2007. After the blaze, all that was left of the landmark granite church built in 1889 were the foundation and walls. A Burlington man was convicted of arson and is serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison.

Members considered building a new church in another part of town but decided instead to salvage what they could of the old structure and rebuild. Since the blaze, members have been holding a joint-service with Grace United Methodist.

If work is completed this week, the church plans a 12-hour prayer vigil before the first service Sunday morning.