Church Memories

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

St. John's has been in the community for more than 125 years and the church meant many things to many people. Members of this fire ravaged church came to see the bad news for themselves.

"It's devastating. Shocking. It's just totally wiped out," said Anita Roder, a 37-year member of the church.

St. John's Parishioners snapped photos and relived memories from weddings to funerals to confirmations.

Roder said, "It's really a shame it's gone. A part of the history of sycamore gone."

The history of the church dates back to the late 1800s, but the gutted building was 65 years old. Sycamore resident Hazel Van Dusen has been a member since she was six years old.

"I loved the stained glass windows. That was my home. That was my life," said Van Dusen.

Van Dusen poured over church guides dating to the early 1960s, remembering her days in the church choir, her volunteer work, his sister's wedding and her parents' funerals.

Fifty-seven-year-old Van Dusen visited the church Tuesday morning.

"I cried. That's the only church I've ever known. It's dear to me," said Van Dusen.

With a congregation of more than 700 members, church leaders talked about building a new house of worship. Now they have no choice, but members say it will never be the same. While they can't replace it, members say the memory of St. John's will burn forever in their hearts.


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