Eau Claire church destroyed by fire looking to rebuild

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A church that burned down in Eau Claire almost two weeks ago is moving forward.

The Plymouth United Church of Christ on Moholt Dr. is planning to rebuild.

The church as a whole, the congregation and the sanctuary, is a total loss and Pastor David Huber says the damage could be close to $600,000, but the church as a whole hasn’t lost hope as it is looking to its future.

This was the scene less than two weeks ago at the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Eau Claire. Today, it stands in ruins, but the church will be back and running.

“The thought is to rebuild, to continue going and remain Plymouth Church,” Pastor, David Huber, said. “Keep on being who we are and stay here in town.”

Pastor Huber says the building is covered by insurance and money shouldn’t be a problem when rebuilding. The blue print for the building has yet to be made, but Huber expects they will start tearing down the building next week. The church says they have received overwhelming support from the community.

“The incredible outpouring of support from other churches in town, from the Mosque at Altoona, from Temple Sholom, the Jewish temple here in town offering space, offering help; a lot of neighbors coming by offering their condolences as well and wishing us well,” Pastor Huber said. “People all over the world I’ve been hearing from.”

“The fact that this tragedy happened to us, yet all of our neighbors, full of homes full of people, sleeping at night, were totally untouched,” Deb Zeahms, the church’s congregational moderator, said. “To me, that is something to look to with happiness and joy that our tragedy didn’t end with tragedy for somebody else.”

Even though the fire may have destroyed the building and almost everything inside, a couple local students put the situation in a better light.

“Two young boys came and they stopped their bikes and they were telling how sad it was, what happened to our church; they asked if we were going to rebuild,” Zeahms said. “I said, ‘Yes, we are.’ They turned their bikes and a kid did an over-the-shoulder look at me and said, ‘Don’t worry. You’re going to come back stronger than you were before.’”

The Plymouth United Church of Christ parishioners are currently having joint services with church members at Truax United Church of Christ in Eau Claire.

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