WHO WE ARE
We, the people of the First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ, declare ourselves to be a gathered body of Christians, ever open to the voice of the Still Speaking God. In the spirit of those who worshiped here before us for over 200 years, we strive to witness God’s love and Jesus’ example in the wider community. To that end, we engage and support all people, whoever they may be and wherever they are on their spiritual journey, in worship, fellowship and service.
Open and Affirming Congregation
We intentionally and joyfully welcome people of every race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, physical and mental ability, socio-economic situation and faith background into the full life, ministry sacraments and leadership of this church. We celebrate and support family in all its diverse forms and recognize and bless all loving and committed relationships. Together, we will strive, in the words of the prophet Micah, “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.”
Our Spiritual Community
The First Church in Belfast UCC enjoys a spiritual community that includes:
(Local) the Greater Bay Area Ministerium – a local group of Christian Churches that collaborates in service and community
Pastor – Rev. Joshua Fitterling
Office Administrator – Heather Wren
Religious Education Director – Beth Haynes
Custodian – Kent Burnham
Music Director – Amy Kercsmar
Nursery Attendant – Brenda Warman
Moderator – Kenn Ortmann
Vice-Moderator – Deb Woodbury
Leadership Positions. Please contact the Church Office at 207.338.2282 to be directed to Leaders in Music, Spiritual Development, Social Action, Community Care, Trustees, Stewardship, Building & Grounds, Ushers, and the Diaconate.
The history of the First Church in Belfast spans over 200 years and counting! This history is as storied and rich as the history of Penobscot Bay. Founded in 1796 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the church has been a spiritual landmark for many. Watch the Messenger Newsletter for historical Church information. You can also find out more at the Belfast Free Library.
Belfast Congregationalist Church was gathered by 7 men.
1796 – 1820
Presbyterians and Congregationalists share worship space
The First Church Meeting House, constructed by Samuel French, in the style of Asher Benjamin, is built and dedicated. It is unheated.
A Paul Revere Bell is hung in the belfry – the first bell in town.
The Division. Church membership divides due to different approaches to church government (Congregationalists believed in the complete autonomy of the local church; Presbyterians did not). For a hundred years, separate groups are housed in two separate church buildings – the First Parish Church and the North Church.
The Town Clock, built by Timothy Chase and Phineas P. Quimby, is installed in the belfry of the First Parish Church.
The Church acquired the Stevens Tracker organ between 1848-1849. The organ is still installed and occasionally used today. The organ was pumped by hand prior to electricity. Initials and even a sailing ship were carved into the wood near the organ by young organ pumpers through the years.
Maine law changes so that women can now be members of religious societies and parishes. This change occurred at the request of men of the First Parish society (one of the First Church groups), and as a gesture of recognition to the Young Ladies’ Sewing Society which raised enough money to purchase a parsonage for the First Parish in 1856.
The Reunification Begins. The First Parish Church and the North Church are reunited under a federation, which lasts until they are legally incorporated together in 1925 as The First Church in Belfast. The reunification is legally complete in 1938.
Parish House (adjacent) dedicated; the North Church building is sold.
The First Church in Belfast is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The First Church in Belfast UCC enters into a public covenant of welcome as an Open and Affirming congregation, which welcomes into full church life and ministry people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and their families.
The First Church in Belfast celebrates its bicentennial.