By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — Two days after the roof collapsed at Heritage Lutheran Church, the congregation held Sunday service in the parking lot.

The roof over the attached gymnasium collapsed Friday, and the entire building is now off limits.  It’s not yet known if too much snow, a design flaw, or a combination of the two, is to blame.

Laura Ronay and her family were on vacation when the gymnasium roof collapsed. Sunday was the first time they saw the damage.

“Shocking, it was shocking,” said Ronay, a parishioner at Heritage Lutheran.

For 35 years, Ronay’s family has celebrated some of their happiest moments here.

“I was baptized here.  My kids were baptized here, and I have a baby on the way and that baby will be baptized here,” said Ronay.

So, it was only natural to be there as the church copes with its worst moment.

“This is our family, so we were going to be here without question,” said Ronay.

Likewise, Jane Fahning, another parishioner at Heritage Lutheran, said she didn’t think the damage would be as bad as it is.

“It was much worse than I anticipated.  I didn’t realize how badly the north wall had fallen out,” she said.

During the 15-minute service, Pastor Karl Anderson had one message for his parishioners.

“I had a lot to say, but it’s cold outside, so just a few minutes to say it,” he said. “We lost a gym. We didn’t lose a congregation, a gym is gone.  We’re not gone.”

When the roof came crashing down, it also may have triggered one unexpected outcome, a stronger congregation.

“We’ll get through,” said Fahning.

Pastor Anderson said they hope to be back in the church by next weekend. Right now, the building is still considered too dangerous to allow people inside.

Comments (4)
  1. DaveM says:

    What an absolutely stupid headline.

  2. insignificant says:

    absolutely stupid is right,like the church(assembly) is just the building instead o the people…what does the writer of the article imply,that the roof collapsed ,now everyone head home and worship satan now?…lol

    1. markH says:

      To many thinking and reasonable folks, the god of the Bible may well be Satan himself. The god of the Bible is ruthless, murderous, commands killing of innocents, and allows the innocent to pay the debts of the “guilty.” Perhaps the only thing to seek comfort in is the extreme likelihood that the entire enterprise (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) is a man-made fabrication, meant to enslave minds and garner wealth and power in the material world. Peace.

  3. BobAnderson says:

    Perhaps you should actually read the bible, as clearly you have not. The bible was the first to demand freedom from the whims of a dictator, the first to set physical punishment limits, first to say no crime shall be passed on to other family members, and many other first which have lead the world in a positive direction.

    What the bible does contain is wisdom, but you have to read it to understand that. The biggest problem you have is you cannot divide the fallible religion and the infallible word of god. Religion is of man and makes many mistakes, yet god is pure and his words are just.

    God tried to make things simple for people like you, that’s why he did the 10 commandments, to keep things straight for those who are so confused. Read them sometime and you will see that god made it pretty clear what he wants. God even did 10 so that you can use your fingers to count them.

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