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Keeping the faith
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Times photo: Anthony Wahl A dwindling congregation rallied to rebuild following a 1965 fire that destroyed the Washington Reformation United Church of Christ, Monticello, and membership has grown since then. The church will celebrate its 135th anniversary on Sunday.
MONTICELLO - To hear Dorothy Wild tell it, Washington Reformation United Church of Christ has always been the kind of close-knit community where just about everyone is related to each other - and often "both ways. "But like a charred prairie that grows back green and lush the next spring, it took a fire to renew the spirit of this 135-year-old congregation.A strike of lightning burned the church to a pit of ashes in October 1965, leaving only the steeple bell and a pair of gold-plated vases. The congregation faced a painful decision: build up from scratch, or fold.