ADDRESS: 879 Sawyer St., South Portland

DENOMINATION/AFFILIATION: As Conservative Baptists, we belong to WorldVenture, formerly known as the Conservative Baptist Association of America. The biblical purpose of this church is to connect people to Jesus Christ, nurture them in their faith, and mobilize them to reach others for Christ. The purpose is to know Jesus Christ and to make Him known.

HISTORY: On June 30, 1780, the church began with home meetings as a Free Will Baptist congregation and was named the Free Will Baptist Church in Cape Elizabeth. The Rev. Benjamin Randall was pastor. From that time until 1853, the church was composed of two branches that met separately in the eastern and western parts of town, but reported jointly to the Quarterly Meeting of the Free Will Baptists. In approximately 1853, it became a separate congregation called the Cape Elizabeth Church. The northern part of Cape Elizabeth separated from the town of Cape Elizabeth in 1895.

The current property, with the original building, was purchased in 1840. In 1937, the church was incorporated as the First Free Baptist Church Association of America. The last change came in 1952.

A separate Christian education building was added in 1961, and in 1974, the original church building was replaced with a new sanctuary and joined to the education wing. Attending the dedication of the new sanctuary were former pastors: the Rev. W. Carter Johnson, the Rev. Winthrop Robinson, and the Rev. Robert E. Bell. Since that time, the church has enjoyed the pastorhoods of the Rev. James Miller, the Rev. Kenneth Monihan, and the Rev. David Spencer. For the past six years, the Rev. Philip C. Andrukaitis has served as pastor.

For almost 157 years, the church’s doctrine has centered upon the importance of the Holy Bible as the word of God, and of salvation through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. The congregation is a mix of Mainers, those from other states, and some from foreign lands who are bonded by a belief in the gospel of Christ. Sunday school for all ages and weekly programs further unite the congregation.

Regular activities include Easter and Christmas choirs, hosting the South Portland National Day of Prayer, participation in the South Portland Memorial Day parade, vacation Bible school and a fall kickoff. In November, wrapped shoe boxes filled with toys, candy, stuffed animals and a gospel message are sent to needy children across the world through Operation Christmas Child. In the past seven years, approximately 1,158 boxes have been assembled.

Members help support 14 Christian outreach partners and organizations around the world and host New England Bible College. There are programs for young children during the school year, and older students have separate Bible studies and special events.

The OWLS — Older, Wiser, Lovable, Seniors — meet regularly for activities such as weekly dinners, brown-bag lunch and Bible study, a music ministry at the veterans’ home, or bowling. Once a month they serve at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen.

Men’s fellowship meets for Bible study every other Friday and once a month for breakfast. Members will attend the “Iron Sharpens Iron” National Men’s Equipping Conference at the First Baptist Church of Portland on June 5. All-church fellowship dinners are held monthly and the annual picnic will be July 25.

WORSHIP SERVICES: Service are a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, and all are welcome. Sunday worship service is at 9:30 a.m. Coffee time is at 10:45 and is followed at 11 a.m. by Sunday school for all ages during the school year. Junior and senior high Bible studies meet Tuesday evenings during the summer months. A prayer and praise service is held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and is a combination of hymns, Bible study and prayer.

CONTACT: Phone 799-4565; e-mail [email protected]; online www.spfbc.com.