Summit Community Church, which has long had a presence in Gorham, plans to begin construction on a 22,000-square-foot facility at a former horse racing track this summer.

With a congregation of about 275, the church has outgrown its Scarborough location, the Rev. Travis Bush said, and the new church will be built to accommodate 500.

Summit Community Church will worship in basement here while building a new facility in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Summit, formerly called SouthCoast Community Church, merged with South Gorham Baptist Church in 2018. It still owns the old baptist church building at 53 County Road, but has leased it to Center Point Church. Until its new church is built,  Summit will occupy the basement.

The new building would include a daycare and function center and parking for 125 cars at a 14-acre Cressey Road site owned by Moody’s Co-Workers. The church will take its plans to the Planning Board Wednesday, April 14.

The goal of the church, Bush said, is to build a facility that serves the community. A majority of churches are vacant 90% of the week, he said, and “we don’t want a building that sits vacant.”

Bush and the church were instrumental in “We Love Gorham Day,” a project providing playground equipment at Gorham schools a few years ago.  The church also held a series of “Potluck With A Purpose” dinners in Gorham aimed at raising awareness of and combating human trafficking.

“We felt a strong pull to be part of Gorham,” said Dillan Hesseltine, Summit facilities director.

Great Falls Construction in Gorham is drawing up plans. Hesseltine said he didn’t have a cost figure yet.

The church hopes to start construction this summer across the Bernard P. Rines Bypass from land Shawn Moody sold to Harvey Performance in 2019, Moody said Tuesday. It will be situated across Cressey Road from the Masonic building.

Moody said the church project fits his original vision for the property. He doesn’t want any businesses on the property that would compete with businesses in Gorham Village, he said.

The church basketball court and daycare would be open to the public, and the daycare will be available to parents working at the Harvey plant.  

“They’re wonderful people,” Moody said. “We need people to get together and worship.”

Bush said his congregants travel to services from Lewiston, New Gloucester, Saco, Limington and Windham.

The Second Parish Presbyterian Church in Portland has purchased the Summit building in Scarborough.

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