DIXFIELD – Everything seems to have fallen together. And if the trend continues, the town’s newest church, the First Light United Pentecostal, will throw open its doors to members and others in October.

“It’s hard for a church to grow in a conference room, but a building established in the community gives more of a comfortable feeling,” said Phillip Tarr, pastor of the church.

For the past four years, the newly established church has met at the Rockemeka Grange Hall in Peru or the conference room of the Ludden Memorial Library in Dixfield.

Three years ago, the church bought a four-acre, flat parcel that borders the Androscoggin River and the Maine Department of Transportation garage. Once that was paid off, Tarr said the land was used as collateral for a loan to construct the 40- by 60-foot building.

When it is finished, more than $75,000 will have been spent, not counting the cost of the land.

Although the church leadership uses FTS Construction of Lewiston occasionally, much of the work is being done by church members here as well as others from several area Pentecostal churches.

The circumstances that lead Tarr to the eventual site – he was looking at one almost across the road from it – he considers divine intervention.

He saw a small wooden cross lying beside Route 2 had been dropped by a walk-athon or bike-athon participant several years ago. On it was an e-mail address to contact to report the location of cross. He reported it, he said, and then decided to ask the property owner if he was willing to sell.

“I saw that as part of a sign since we were thinking of another piece of land,” he said.

From there, everything just fell into place, he said.

The local Pentecostal church has a membership of about 20 people, but with the new building, he expects that number to grow.

So does Assistant Pastor Tim Fosdick, one of the many volunteers working on the building’s construction.

“A lot of people don’t like coming to public rooms,” he said.

The new church will have enough space to seat 75 people, and house a bathroom, Sunday School room and pastor’s office. And if the congregation grows, the building can be expanded on the east side.

Tarr, a 1978 graduate of Dirigo High School who drives a truck full-time for Midwest Price, and his wife, Diane, have two daughters. Carrie Sage who is a site manager for linguists with World Wide Language Resources in Iraq, and Jessica Smith, whose husband, Donald, also volunteers his talents to build the new church.

“This place will be a hospital for the community for physical, mental and spiritual healing,” he said.

He said local community members as well as members of area Pentecostal churches will help celebrate the first service held in the new building.


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