FARMINGTON — Henderson Memorial Baptist Church and Summit Faith Community will share worship space starting Sunday, Sept. 2.
"Two churches with two worship styles under one roof," is how Pastor Susan Crane of Henderson Memorial described it. The two congregations will separately use the sanctuary for Sunday worship.
Henderson is leasing and sharing space with Summit Faith Community, which has maintained a storefront church on Main Street since 2010.
"It's perfect timing for us," Pastor Ryan Goding of Summit Faith said Thursday as he watched a Signworks crew install a new front lawn sign on Main Street. "We felt this was ordained by God."
The church's lease was expiring but they wanted to keep a presence downtown and close to the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington, he said. Several university students attend services.
A young church with young families, they also needed more space for their children's ministry, he said.
"We're really excited about the opportunities this partnership affords us," he said.
Summit Faith will begin Sunday morning worship in the church sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. and conclude by 11 a.m.
Henderson Memorial will start with fellowship time in the church basement at 9:30 a.m. and hold small study groups at 10 a.m. followed by worship at 11:15 a.m.
Both pastors agreed the space sharing is an opportunity God has given to multiply the mission of Jesus in the community, they said.
Leaders from both churches have met since last spring to negotiate an agreement for sharing the space, one that requires changes and adjustments for both congregations, Crane said.
"We're trusting new life will come out of it," she added.
With a mostly more mature congregation, members at Henderson look forward to the sound of youngsters once again in the American Baptist Church building, she explained.
The lease income will also help offset costs to maintain the large space.
The coordinating team of leaders from both churches will continue to meet once a month to seek ways for the two congregations to gather together through special events, such as potluck meals or holiday worship services, Crane said.
Summit Faith Community uses a nontraditional approach to engaging and encouraging people in their faith, Goding said when the church opened at 189 Main St.
They had already built a "community of faith" or core community through small groups, Bible studies and activities held in homes prior to their opening on Main Street. The church has since grown, he said.
A website, www.summitfaithcommunity.org, offers more information about the church.
More information about Henderson Memorial is available by calling 778-2163.