UPDATE: In August of 2014, Grace Church Bangor (formerly Abundant Life Church) closed their doors indefinitely due to financial constrains.
*** The article below was originally published in October 2013. ***
In a new series where I will feature a specific Bangor Area church or Christ-based ministry, Counter Culture takes a look at the church formerly known as Abundant Life for the last 25 years. Located on outer Broadway, they have recently changed their name to Grace Church Bangor.
I reached out to senior minister of the church Russ Hewitt for more information on this transition, and the reasons behind the change.
Why the name change?
Russ: Our church has already changed in substantial ways in the last several years. Abundant Life Church’s motto was, “Eastern Maine’s Worship & Revival Center”. That struck many of us as presumptuous and even arrogant. For some time now, we’ve had a different focus than “revival center”, and this change is reflected in Grace Church Bangor’s motto, “Learning to Follow Jesus Together”.
In short, we who attend Grace Church Bangor know that we have changed, but we keep running into people in the community that don’t know this. By changing our name, we are making explicit the fact that we are a different church, with a different approach to ministry.
What message do you want to convey to people who may consider visiting your church?
Russ: We have 5 descriptive statements that convey what we’re about —
1. Grace Church Bangor is a church for all kinds of people, because when Jesus walked the earth, all kinds of people walked with Him.
2. We love people who have questions about God. We have questions too, and we’re all seeking answers together.
3. We’re casual in style, gracious in relationships, passionate in worship, and absolutely captivated by Jesus Christ.
4. We encourage men and women to serve in all areas of the church according to the gifts God gives them.
5. We understand Jesus Christ to be the exact representation of God’s being, so we interpret all of Scripture in light of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
How does Grace Church Bangor serve — or plan to serve — the Greater Bangor community as a whole?
Russ: Our regular services are at 10am Sunday and 7pm Wednesday.
We operate Life Academy Daycare, a very well respected child-care facility. We are in the process of expanding enrollment now for infants through age 5, and a before/after school program. We also have small groups that meet by semester for men, women, college/young adult, and often have topical small groups.
We will continue to operate our food pantry, and beginning this month, we will have a monthly community dinner on the third Saturday of each month from 5 – 6pm.
More info is available on the church’s website gracechurchbangor.com — and on social media —