BAR HARBOR — The Message Church has found a bricks-and-mortar home on Park Street in the building recently vacated by the town’s water division.
The church had been meeting since last fall in a conference room at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Convention Center. With the move to a more permanent base, founder Jody Patterson said that his group can increase their outreach and community-based activities.
The congregation of two to three dozen began moving into the building at the corner of Park and Ash Street this spring. The first service was held during the first week of June. The building is owned by Chris Swan. Before it housed the water division, it was a Jehovah’s Witness Hall.
Patterson describes The Message as a loving environment and “a church for somebody who’s never been to church, or, somebody who doesn’t like church.” Services are contemporary and laid back, he said, without a lot of traditional ritual.
Patterson is ordained with the Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination. There are many such small churches within the Church of God in northern New England, he said.
The Message currently holds free suppers on Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. and services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Bible studies groups meet regularly.
Mr. Patterson hopes to reach out to the international community of seasonal workers here with services at hours they can attend. He also plans to start a Celebrate Recovery group, which is a Christ-based recovery program, something he feels there is a real need for locally.
All services and church activities are open to all, and Patterson said that if people need a ride to get there, he will personally come pick them up.