November 13, 2010

Worship Spotlight: North Pownal United Methodist Church, Pownal

ADDRESS: 851 Lawrence Road, Pownal

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WORSHIP SPOTLIGHT is a weekly series focusing on places of worship in central and southern Maine. Information is submitted by the places of worship. For information, e-mail religion@ or rharmon@


HISTORY: North Pownal United Methodist Church began in Durham, which was originally part of the Bowdoinham Circuit formed in 1803. It included all of the territory from Bowdoinham and Litchfield to North Yarmouth. Within the year, this was called the Durham Circuit and was changed in 1806 to include Durham, Pownal, Danville, Lisbon and Litchfield.

With a growth in both population and spiritual interest, a church was built in North Pownal in 1843 and dedicated in 1844. The trees for the frame of the building were furnished by Samuel A. Tryon. Benjamin Randall traded a cow for one large pine tree from which nearly all of the pews were made.

In September 1940, alterations were started in the structure of the building and it was shifted a quarter turn to face the road. In the months that followed, a vestry was added, a steeple was built and a 32-inch Blymyer bell was installed in the tower.

When the town of Pownal built a K-8 school on Elmwood Road and closed its one-room schoolhouses, the North Pownal church was given the 100-year-old North Pownal schoolhouse. This provided room for Sunday school, bean suppers and other social functions. In 1988, a building project began, removing the old outhouse from the back of the schoolhouse and adding a kitchen and bathrooms.

The 150th anniversary of the North Pownal United Methodist Church was celebrated in 1994. In July 2010, the Rev. Eveline Starbird became pastor.

A women's fellowship group meets in the evening on the first Sunday of each month. The church also sponsors a food pantry and holds monthly suppers that are open to the public.

Upcoming events include the annual Christmas fair on Nov. 19 and 20; the church Thanksgiving dinner at noon on Nov. 21, and a "Hanging of the Greens" service at 9 a.m. on Nov. 27.

Christmas events include a concert on Dec. 12 and the children's Christmas pageant at 9 a.m. on Dec. 19. The candlelight and communion Christmas service will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24.

WORSHIP SERVICES: Church service is at 9 a.m. Sundays followed by fellowship hour. Sunday school is at 10:30 a.m.

PLANS: Supporting community outreach, Bible study, and continuing the food pantry.

CONTACT: 688-4938


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