CASSELTON, N.D. — As The Rev. Michael Jacobson bowed his head toward the cross and greeted members and guests during the worship service on Sunday, June 28, a somber feeling hit him.
"(We're planning) to say goodbye to this amazing place," he said during his sermon.
Martin's Lutheran Church has stood in its place on Second Street North in Casselton since the 1940s, but on Sunday, dozens of members sat in its pews for the last time.
"There's just something nostalgic of walking into our sanctuary," Jacobson said.
As members sang hymns, some were reminded of things they've experienced throughout their years of going here.
"(I remember)hearing the bell years ago," said Ardene Myers, who's been going to the church for the past 35 years. "That's how we always used to start service, is you always knew if you were too late, because the bell was ringing."
While the bell tower may not work these days, the bell choir helped to ring in a new era of worship, as the congregation is planning to move about a block away from Central Cass High School.
"(The church will) provide a lot of warmth within us," Jacobson said. "We picked out some really good colors, but also (it reminds us) of who we are as Martin's Lutheran Church."
The service wrapped up with people walking out for Communion and circling around the church one last time for the Lord's Prayer, while members said goodbye to 80 years of memories.
"Watching our church grow and being able to reach out to the community and reach out to more people with God's word means a lot," Myers said.
The church will have an outdoor service Sunday, July 5, and pastors plan on starting services in the new sanctuary Sunday, July 12.