On July 4, 1765, 11 years before Independence Day, several members of the 1734 Presbyterian Church at Fort Noble, on Fiddler's Reach, withdrew from that church and gathered our Congregational Church at a meetinghouse beside what is now the Newtown Cemetery on Arrowsic Island. As more church members began to live on the mainland, complaints soared about having to row through dangerous ice flows on the Kennebec River in the winter to attend worship services. Our present sanctuary was completed in 1802 on land donated by Mrs. Mary McCobb, who resided in what is now the 1774 Inn.
The structure has been updated over the years in response to the changing needs to the community. Most recently, a wheelchair access area was added, making our sanctuary fully accessible. A successful capital compaign brought us our Linden Tree Meeting House in 2007. This addition gives us more space to carry out our mission and has become a wonderful gathering place for the community.
Other recent highlights from our history include a youth fundraiser, which collected over $6,000 to purchase an "Ark" for Heifer Project International in 2008, and several drives to benefit community partners, including the Bath Area Food Bank, Food Pantries for Area Schools, Grace Street Ministries, New Hope for Women, and the Midcoast Coalition to Welcome New Mainers, which serves asylum-seekers and refugees. We have hosted free public suppers to feed the hungry, movie nights, community groups and Lobster on the Lawn. Our ongoing Concert Series with renowned musicians gathers the community here to enjoy good music and fellowship. Our 1802 Fund was recently established to carry into the future the good work God has begun in our time. In 2013, after two years of prayer and study and process, the church voted to become part of the Open and Affirming (of LGBTQ persons) Covenant in the United Church of Christ.
Our 250th Anniversary in 2015 was a year-long celebration of our past and our commitment to the future.
We also celebrate our connection to our wider Christian family. We are part of the The United Church of Christ (UCC), a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).