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Photos by Rachelle Klemme Parishioner Harris Bendix kneels at a pew at Messiah Lutheran Church, which will have its closing service Sept. 9. Bendix was baptized and raised in the 130-year-old church, and his ancestors were charter members.

A history of faith

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One of the area's oldest churches will close its doors next weekend due to declining membership and attendance.

Messiah Lutheran Church at 601 Jefferson St. S. will hold its final service and communion Sept. 9 at 10:30 a.m.

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"There's a special Lutheran ceremony for the closing of a church, where the different pieces of worship are physically removed from the church as part of the service," congregation president Don Niles said. "I know that's going to be terribly difficult."

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