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Dorset's First English Church to undergo facelift, upgrades

First English Lutheran Church in Dorset will have the front stairs repaired and energy efficient windows installed. The church was built in 1936 with local field stone. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

First English Lutheran Church in Dorset is undergoing renovations that will save the historic building.

Gordon Kath, an elected trustee, has a long history with the church. His father, Rev. Gerald Kath, was the preacher in 1956. Gordon left the area and worked in the Twin Cities for a few years before moving back in 2003 with his wife.

"The church was built in 1936 with all local field stone," Gordon said. "It's been an active, thriving, church for many years."

Over the years, First English Lutheran has started to show wear and tear, with leaks and rotting wood in the tower. The front steps are beginning to crumble.

"We decided we didn't want to lose the church," Gordon said.

He and the other trustees, Jim Thiesfeld, Jerry Avenson and Bill Singelman, decided the congregation needed to step up.

A new roof is being put on and the front steps will be fixed next spring. Heartland Contractors and Downare Roofing are working on the project.

Other additions will include energy efficient windows and tuck pointing and washing of the outside walls.

"The church should be good for another 50 years when we're done," Gordon said.