ADDRESS: 917 Harpswell Neck Road (Route 123)


HISTORY: In June 1749, Harpswell — including the Neck, Sebascodegan Island and “other small islands” — was set off from North Yarmouth by the Massachusetts General Court as a distinct and separate precinct, and in 1758 was incorporated as a town.

In 1765, the total population of Harpswell (exclusive of Indians) was 836, 300 more than Brunswick.

The original parish was established in 1751 as “Second Parish of North Yarmouth.” A church was organized in 1753, and the Rev. Elisha Eaton was ordained as its pastor.

Under Eaton’s leadership, construction of the original meetinghouse was begun in 1757 and completed in 1759 or 1760. This meetinghouse was in continuous use until 1844, and is still standing today. It has square pews, and its high pulpit and old galleries remain intact. The congregation worships there in June each year.

In 1843, a new parish was formed by several individual church members who combined for the purpose of building a new meetinghouse. During the spring and summer of 1843, the church was built and the dedication of the new meetinghouse was held on Sept. 28, 1843.

The Rev. Elijah Kellogg was called as pastor on April 25, 1844, and installed on June 18, 1844. That affiliation lasted, though not without interruptions, until Kellogg’s death on March 17, 1901. The Harpswell Centre Congregational Church was renamed in his honor and is now known as The Elijah Kellogg Church, Congregational.

In 1965, church members contributed their skills and labor to increase the size and functionality of the present meetinghouse. A lower level was excavated and built to include classrooms and a fellowship area with a full kitchen.

In October 2001, a new and expansive Fellowship Hall was dedicated. The exterior was carefully planned so as not to detract from the integrity of the original historic structure. The Fellowship Hall and its meeting rooms have given the church a greater visibility and more active presence in the community.

Along with increased church programming and use, the building has served as host and gathering place for the Harpswell Community Nursery School and a variety of nonprofit and service groups.

The congregation supports local food banks and hosts several community events, such as blood drives, concerts and an annual Vacation Bible School in early August.

A barn sale is held in June, and a Christmas fair takes place during the holiday season. There are also monthly cribbage games and potluck suppers.

The popular annual chicken barbecue will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today and features live music.

WORSHIP SERVICES: 10 a.m. Sunday. A prayer meeting is held from 9:10 to 9:40 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month, and Bible study and discussion groups meet regularly.

CONTACT: 833-6026;