Community searches for surviving pieces of Darling Church

Staff Writer

As a cleaning company’s equipment cleared out the burned remains of the Darling Church located between Little Falls and Randall, members of the community looked for pieces that had survived the suspected arson. Dick Thelander, left, who was a member of the church before it closed in 1967, and who has helped continue to tend to the cemetery next to it, and John Gustafson, whose great-grandfather helped build the church when it was formed in 1893, found lumber that had not been burned too badly. Among this was a blackened, but still intact 36-foot beam that had been hand-hewn with an axe, Gustafson said. The Minnesota Arson Reward Project is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this incident. Anyone with information is asked to call the hotline at 1 (800) 723-2020, or the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 632-9233.