On one of my many trips back and forth between West Central Minnesota and the airport in Minneapolis last year, I noticed a spire nestled in a grove of trees along Highway 10 northwest of Little Falls. It took a few more trips before I had the time to stop and check it out.
A short drive through a well-tended cemetery was required to reach the church itself. Along the gravel lane leading to church was a small brick sign next to metal tower that disappeared into the tree branches. Of course I was curious so I got out of the car to investigate.
I read the inscription on the brick pillar acknowledging the names of the charter members of Darling Immanuel Lutheran Church. There was also a statement that the church was organized on April 3, 1893 and closed May 2, 1967. I then noticed the bell hanging on the tower with a metal cross on the top. There was no reference to history of the bell, but perhaps it was from the church itself.
I continued on up the lane to the church and saw another sign indicating the founding year of the church in 1893. The windows
were boarded up but there weren't many signs of disrepair given its
advanced age and the fact that it closed more than 45 years ago. Like the grounds surrounding it, somebody was still
maintaining the church with care.
At first glance, the building seemed to be made of painted stonework but upon closer inspection revealed it to be metal siding. As I made my way around the front of the church, I noticed the doors were open. More than likely, this place is a target for mischief-makers. It wouldn't surprise me to know someone had been there recently and the caretakers had not yet come upon the intrusion.
I don't know why but the place gave me the heebie-jeebies as I walked around by myself. I guess because of the feeling of isolation of being so close to the highway and glimpsing the passing cars through the trees yet knowing they probably wouldn't see me. I think the open doors of the church didn't help either. There was no way I was going in! Who knows what I would discover in there but I wasn't brave enough to find out. Even the sudden down-burst from the clouds didn't drive me to seek shelter indoors. Instead, I took refuge under a nearby leafy tree until the rain ceased.
I am glad I stopped though. It was an interesting church and I got to see what was hidden in the woods. I wonder how many people go whizzing by at 65 miles per hour and don't even realize it is there?
Linking to InSPIREd Sunday - a weekly meme of religious themed architecture.