- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska church will hold its final service in January after serving the community for 125 years.

First Christian Church in Fremont is closing because of a lack of attendance and a downturn in donations. The church building is now up for sale, according to the Fremont Tribune (http://bit.ly/1MnIqua ).

Records indicate that the church was formed in 1891, and it initially had 19 members. The decision to close has saddened many current church-goers.

“Everything good in my life happened in that church, from being baptized to meeting friends in the youth group and Sunday school classes,” said elder and board member Caren Lillie, a member for 60-plus years.

Lillie said nearly every member of her family has been married in the church. She and her husband John wed at the church in 1966, and funeral services were held there when he died in 2008.

Lillie knows many people have fond memories of the church. Recently, a man in his 50s called wanting to know when the final service would be, because he said First Christian was where the foundation for his spiritual training began.

“There are a lot of people who still have good feelings from what happened to them in their life there,” she said.

Church member John Hull said members will need to find a new church after Jan. 10, when First Christian Church hosts its final public service. Fremont has a couple dozen churches that are more than happy to accept new members, he said.

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Information from: Fremont Tribune, http://www.fremontneb.com

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