ADDRESS: 1729 Congress St., Portland

DENOMINATION/AFFILIATION: American Baptist

HISTORY: Stroudwater Baptist Church was originally Stroudwater Religious Society. The Quimbys of Portland started Sunday school meetings at Quimby Hall in Stroudwater in 1875. The couple felt the children in Stroudwater Village needed religious instruction and began the Sunday school. Regular worship service began in 1899 with the Rev. Hartley. The Stroudwater Religious Society was formed at that time for worship and Sunday school instruction.

The religious society began to seek affiliation with an established denomination. After prayer and research, the Stroudwater Religious Society approached the Northern Baptists. They believed the Northern Baptists offered the most independence for a local church body. They secured affiliation with them in 1917. In 1972, the Northern Baptists became the American Baptist Churches USA.

Stroudwater Baptist has been serving the Stroudwater community as well as Greater Portland for more than 100 years. During World War II, the church had the largest Boy Scout troop in the Pine Tree Council.

In recent years Stroudwater Baptist has become a multicultural, multi-ethnic evangelical church. It has a growing population of refugees from Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Other members of the church are from El Salvador and Russia, as well as the primary community from Greater Portland.

MISSIONS: A missionary group from within the Stroudwater community of faith, The Breakfast Club, has provided a public roast beef supper on the second Saturday of each month for more than 12 years. The proceeds from the public dinners are used to help local families with oil bills, rent, electric bills and other expenses. The resources have also helped provide mission trips to Central American countries.

Stroudwater Baptist helped the Eastern Baptists of Cuba start a small church in a village outside of Santiago, Cuba. It helped with reconstruction in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Georges, built missionary dormitories in Bluefields, Nicaragua, broke ground for a health clinic in a small village outside Managua, and assisted in reconstruction in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The church is planning a trip back to Nicaragua to assist in building a community center in the town of Rama.

WORSHIP SERVICES: Sunday school for all ages is at 9:15 a.m. and a worship service is at 10:30 a.m., with a nursery and children’s church provided. There is a free breakfast on two Sundays a month at 8:30 a.m. Call or check the website for specific dates. Call for a ride to church in a handicapped-accessible van.

FUTURE PLANS: Stroudwater Baptist and Central Square Baptist in Deering Center are considering the possibility of a partnership in ministry for both neighborhoods.

CONTACT: 773-2211; www.stroudwaterbaptist.org