We welcome you to the web site for Columbia Street Baptist Church. We are one of Bangor's historic downtown churches committed to ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. The stately building of Columbia Street Baptist Church stands today at the head of Cross Street as a strong witness to the power of God and his gospel in the lives of ordinary, dedicated Christians. In May 1845 a few young people from the First Baptist Church of Bangor opened a mission in Grey's Hall ( known as "Old Bethel" ) on Broad Street to minister to the "destitute" and "tough" waterfront area of Bangor, then known as "the largest lumber-shipping port in the world." A description of Old Bethel reads: "The 8 years during which this church worshiped in the bare old hall, with its straight backed, unpainted wooden benches, its uncarpeted floors, and whale-oil lamps, were most fruitful in good results." On September 12, 1845 the mission was organized as a church, with 27 members. Rev. Charles G. Porter of Frankfort was the first pastor. By 1846 Mrs. Porter wrote to her mother: "It will rejoice you to hear of our prosperity -- we have a congregation of 200 to 300." It was time to look for a new building. On June 15, 1854 the public dedication of "the new and spacious sanctuary" known as the "Free House" on Columbia Street took place. In large letters on the front of the building the words "FREE HOUSE" assured that all seats were free -- no rental charges would be made. Over the years the church edifice and worship facilities have been renovated and improved by special gifts and the faithful stewardship of the church family. Some of the changes are included here.
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