After more than 130 years providing religious services to residents in the Portland area, Clark Memorial United Methodist Church is being sold to an undisclosed buyer.

Attendance at the church, on the northwest corner of Forest and Pleasant avenues near Woodfords Corner in Portland, has dwindled to the point where it is no longer financially possible to keep the property, said the Rev. Dr. Margaret “Dodie” Sheffield.

“There is too much overhead,” she said. “It needs more maintenance and upkeep than the congregation can handle.”

The church and its adjacent community center and parsonage were listed for sale in November for about $600,000. Sheffield said the sale is still pending, and that she could not disclose the buyer or say what he or she intends to do with the property.

“To some extent, we don’t know (the buyer’s plans),” she said. The church is surrounded by a mix of commercial and residential properties.

Clark Memorial began as a small chapel completed in 1857, originally known as Methodist Episcopal Church, in what was then the village of Woodford. One of the church’s members, a prominent Woodford physician named Dr. Eliphalet Clark, co-funded the construction of a major addition that made the church what it is today.

The addition was completed in 1882, a year before Clark’s death, and the church ultimately was renamed in his honor.

Suzanne Roberge, a member of Clark Memorial’s congregation and an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Portland, is representing the church in the sale transaction. Roberge said it is possible the deal could close as early as June.

The congregation has diminished over the years from roughly 200 members to about 50, Roberge said. According to Sheffield, the average attendance recently for Sunday services has been about 25.

Sheffield said cultural changes in the U.S. have hurt many churches, with fewer members of the younger generation choosing to attend regularly.

“It used to be that a church was a place where most people would go on a Sunday morning,” she said.

A Gallup poll conducted in 2014 found that Maine ranks behind only Vermont and New Hampshire for the lowest percentage of weekly church-goers among the 50 states. Just 20 percent of Mainers polled said they attend weekly, according to Gallup. Another 14 percent said they go to church at least once a month, and 65 percent said they don’t attend at all.

Surveys have found that the share of U.S. residents who say they attend church weekly has held steady at about 40 percent for the past few decades. However, some more recent sociological studies have determined that, when polled, many Americans exaggerate the frequency of their church attendance.

Sheffield said the onus is on church leaders to come up with more innovative ways to attract members of their communities. That is exactly what she plans to do after Clark Memorial sells its permanent home.

“We are going to continue as an entity – we just aren’t going to be in that building anymore,” Sheffield said.

The congregation may rent a space for its weekly services while seeking other ways to engage the local community, she said.

“Congregations need to start thinking outside the box,” Sheffield said. “We’re still kind of exploring what that will mean.”