Vision - Mission - Core Values - Who We Are
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The church does not have an articulated vision statement at the present time. We will let our new pastor develop this with his leadership team when in place.
To know Christ and make Him known.
The Three Primary Values:
We believe all Scripture to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. As such, the Bible is the basis of all our teaching and conduct, individually and corporately.
We believe our local church is an extension of the Body of Christ. Because we view ourselves as a body, we strive to incorporate a sense of community in everything we do, including but not limited to small groups, serving teams, and fellowship events.
We believe that all members of the Body of Christ are called to service using their spiritual gifts and passions. We intentionally urge church attenders to get out of the stands and onto the playing field, making a significant kingdom contribution.
Secondary Values: [These are examples of core values]
- We believe loving authentic relationships should permeate every aspect of church life.
- We believe grace and forgiveness should be extended to the repentant.
- We believe genuine community is based on truth-telling with grace.
- We believe excellence glorifies God and inspires people.
- We believe spiritual growth is normative for all believers.
- We believe anointed teaching is the catalyst for transformation in individuals’ lives and in the church.
- We believe lost people matter to God and therefore matter to us.
- We believe the church direction and operations should be undergirded in earnest prayer.
- We believe children and youth are vital to the church and should be resourced appropriately.
- We believe that good stewardship of one’s time, talent and treasure brings honor to God and builds up the Body of Christ.
- We believe men and women are equally gifted before God and may serve Him in any capacity within the church.
- We believe Christians are most fruitful and fulfilled when they serve God with their gift-passion-temperament match.
- We believe love for God expresses itself in meeting the needs of the hurting, marginalized and less fortunate.
- We believe that life-change best happens in community.
- We believe the church should be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure.
Statement of Faith
- That the Bible is the inspired message of God to mankind.
- That God is a spirit, existing in the person of the Father, revealed to man in the person of Jesus, and resident in believers in the person of the Holy Spirit.
- That all people sin by nature and by choice.
- That the consequence of unforgiven sin is death and destruction in hell, eternal in effect but not in pross.
- That God willingly forgives the sinner who will accept the death of Jesus as the punishment for sin.
- That Jesus arose bodily from death and ascended into Heaven.
- That Jesus will return bodily to earth to receive His Church.
- That all will be raised bodily and spiritually from death.
- That all must stand before God to be judged.
- That all believers of all time will be joined with Jesus Christ eternally in the ultimate kingdom of God.
- That the chief purpose of the Church is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to urge people to receive it.
- That normal and appropriate response to faith in Jesus Christ promotes godly living.
Who We Are
A place for discovery. Many visitors to our church have significant questions about God. We encourage the exploration of these questions and seek to provide insights utilizing the Bible, Sciences, and Spiritual disciplines.
A place for healing. We all have a story, and we all need to be forgiven and loved. Jesus Christ is the God of the "second chance", and we are here to help you find wellness through God’s ability to restore your heart, mind, and soul.
A place for meeting friends. Church is community and everyone is important. Enter into meaningful relationships with people who care by experiencing the supernatural love of Jesus at Stroudwater.
A place to make a difference. Discover your role in the Global community serving others at home or abroad. We empower opportunities for you to participate in short and long-term programs designed to bring hope and love to those in need.
Stroudwater Christian Church (Advent Christian Church of Portland) was formed as a result of the preaching of a Baptist minister by the name of William Miller (1830s, 1840s), whose message focused primarily on the “Second Coming of Christ” to earth. This emphasis caused many to become concerned about their spiritual condition, and a revival broke out in the northern states where Miller preached. Those who converted under Miller’s sermons desired to maintain an emphasis on the Lord’s return. It is estimated that about 30,000 people were converted during the peak of Miller’s ministry.
The church began as two groups. Originally, they met in two different locations in Portland, Maine: one group in the old Union Hall on Free Street, the other in a building on Congress Street. Eventually the two merged to form the Portland Advent Society in the year 1842. The first building owned by the group was located just off Congress Street and was dedicated on March 27, 1891. Feeling the need for a new facility, the Society purchased land on Park Avenue and began worship in the new facility on February 28, 1909. Here they remained until 1979, when our present structure was erected.
After frustration with an aging facility, lack of parking, and with no opportunity to expand the building, The Men’s Breakfast Group had a vision to look for land to build on in Portland. The property here on Westbrook Street was purchased, the land was cleared by Owen and Connie Wood and Spencer Andrews was contracted to erect the building. Many evenings, after prayer meetings that were held sitting on 5-gallon pails, parishioners painted the interior of the new building.
The church opened a daycare in the basement of the church as an outreach to the community, Noah’s Ark Child Care Center started in September of 1980. After serving the greater Portland area for almost 30 years, and caring for thousands of children, it closed in 2010. The Advent Christian Church of Portland planted a church in Raymond, Maine in 1988. It was later named Christ Chapel. One of the pastors of the Portland Church, Raymond Penney, and several of the families of the Portland church, (Grants, Trimbles, Dudleys, Wormwoods and Hancocks) made commitments to plant that church. Christ Chapel is now located at 237 Northern Pines Road in Raymond and is a member of the Advent Christian Denomination.
Dr. Bill Chadwick became our senior pastor in 1990. The Advent Christian Church of Portland began DBA Stroudwater Christian Church after a vote at the annual business meeting on September 12, 1992.
A new addition, with new offices on the first floor and large gathering space on the second floor was built in 1991 by architect Mark G. Carter with Wilbur R. Ingalls Architect and Design, general contractor and carpenter David R. Weeks and mason Charles W. Allen.
A huge part of the history of the Stroudwater Christian Church is her short-term mission programs. The first trip was taken in 1992 to El Florido on the Baja of Mexico with Mexican Medical Inc. Later trips were added to Nicaragua in 2002 and Guatemala in 2004 until the present. At least one trip (some years three teams) has been taken every year since that first trip.
We also do some local missions here in Maine and in our own community. We have sent a team to Washington County every year since 2011 and have a group of “Helping Hands” that helps out people in need in our own area with painting, construction, plumbing and electrical repair, auto repair, and firewood delivery.
In 2006 there was significant growth in attendance at Stroudwater Christian Church and more seats were needed. We started renting the Cinemagic Movie Theater in Westbrook, Maine, every week setting up and tearing down the theater for service, nursery and children’s church. In 2013, after declining attendance, services moved back to our Westbrook Street location.
Stroudwater Food Pantry is a food rescue pantry that was started at SCC in 2015. There had been a small pantry at the church for years called Andy’s Cupboard but when Doug Horner took over, the food pantry ministry grew substantially. Stroudwater Food Pantry serves around 70 families weekly or 150 people, with approximately 2000 lbs. of rescue and donated food. There is an average of 15-20 people from the church that volunteer their time weekly at the Stroudwater Food Pantry.
After lots of hard work, we have started to build up our numbers again but with a national COVID-19 pandemic and the untimely death of our beloved pastor Bill Chadwick, in May 2020, we are calling on the Lord for strength and guidance in the search for a new pastor and the spiritual and numerical growth of Stroudwater Christian Church. At the present time Tom Peers, an elder at SCC and who has pastored for forty years, is our interim pastor.
Although Stroudwater Christian Church had its beginnings and is officially part of the Advent Christian Church denomination, we function independently as an autonomous local church. Additionally, unique doctrines associated with the Advent Christian Church denomination are not considered major doctrines here at Stroudwater. We operate as a contemporary Christian church holding to evangelical beliefs.