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Rain causes facade to collapse at First Congregational Church in Detroit

DETROIT – Its Romanesque and Byzantine influenced architecture has stood along Woodward Avenue in Detroit for 123 years, but Thursday's rains caused part of the historic First Congregational Church’s facade to come crashing down.

"I just thank God nobody was hurt in the process,” Dr. Cindy Rice said.

Rice is the congregation's newest pastor and she's a dynamo. Rice got on the phone with the church's insurance company immediately and restoration crews were out front blocking the area off.

This isn't just a church, but a historic site as well. It has an interactive Underground Railroad museum. Congregationalists are an offshoot of Puritan settlers in this country. In the 1800's the church's members helped slaves escape across the Detroit River into Canada.

The interior of the church is breathtaking and ornate. Rice says keeping it that way is an everyday job.

The congregation has already repaired and replaced the roof, the boilers and some of the stained glass.

"One of the things we say at this church is God is good all the time," Rice said. She's committed to keeping this building in shape for the next generation.

First Congregational has a whole weekend of events scheduled, including a wedding. The bride won't be walking through the front doors, but the show will go on.

If you'd like more information on First Congregational Church you can read up on its history here.

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