Our Story

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).

Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.

We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.