Lightning strike blamed for fire that destroys western Minnesota church

June 8, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A church whose congregation dates back 144 years caught fire over the weekend in rural western Minnesota during a thunderstorm and was destroyed.

Bethel Lutheran Church caught fire early Saturday evening about 11 miles south of Battle Lake, Minnesota.

No injuries were reported.

The Rev. Todd Hylden believes lightning caused the blaze. The church has about 150 members.

Worship services were held Sunday in the parking lot next to the charred rubble of the church, whose congregation was formed in 1876.