The Westbrook United Methodist Church has had a presence in Westbrook for over 200 years, but recently, it has been a congregation without a church.

Almost a year-and-a-half after selling their church building to Mission Possible for the teen center’s new home, the church is still looking for a place to call home.

Rev. Gary Akeley, pastor of the Westbrook United Methodist Church for the last four-and-a half years, said the congregation made the decision to sell its building on Main Street in 2003, moving out on the last weekend of the year. The church sold the building to Mission Possible in March of 2004, Akeley said.

One of the reasons for selling the building was a lack of parking on Main Street, said Akeley. In addition to the parking issues, he said the church felt the congregation could no longer support the building.

“They had fallen in numbers,” Akeley said. “They had this big church and it was costing them a lot of money. It was getting very expensive to heat and maintain.”

Wanting to use the church’s resources to concentrate more on its ministry rather than building maintenance, the congregation voted to sell the building.

While the church building has been sold, that isn’t the end of the church. Akeley said the Westbrook United Methodist Church still continues to hold services on a weekly basis, every Sunday at 10:45 a.m. at the American Legion Post 62 on Dunn Street.

That building has served the church well for the time being, Akeley said. But now the church is looking for a permanent home for the church that has been a part of Westbrook since the middle of the 18th century. “We are looking for a piece of land or a building that we can purchase that would allow us to have parking,” Akeley said.

Another important factor is that the church wants to stay in Westbrook, Akeley said. “We definitely want to be in Westbrook,” Akeley said. “There’s quite a heritage here. I don’t want to see it end.”

While the church would consider buying an existing building, Akeley said the preference is for a parcel of land where the church could design and build a new building. He said the church wants to build a contemporary style building that will be suitable for the next 100 years.

Akeley said the church has looked at various pieces of land in the city, but has not found one suitable for their needs. Once the church finds a suitable building or piece of land, Akeley said the church would use the money from the sale of its old building as well as holding a campaign to raise more money.

“We are looking,” he said. “Hopefully, someone will come along with land that we can purchase and build our new church.”

For more information on the Westbrook United Methodist Church, call the church office at 854-2654.

Rev. Gary Akeley of the Westbrook United Methodist Church says the church, which has been in Westbrook since the 18th century is looking for a new home. Last year, the church sold its building on Main Street and is currently meeting at the American Legion hall on Dunn Street.


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