United Christian Church is in Lincolnville Center, Maine between Camden and Belfast. We are affiliated with the United Church of Christ, and all faiths are welcome here. Lincolnville celebrated its Bicentennial in 2002, and the church is nearly as old as the town. The buillding is on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only two in Lincolnville.
The church building, originally known as the Lincolnville Center Meeting House, was erected between 1820 and 1821 by Captain Joshua Lamb, Jr. Descendents of Lamb still attend here.
The Federalist style building retains a number of interesting original features, including boxed pews with doors (below), an upper pulpit in the balcony (left side top ), and a "reverse floor plan" such that both pulpits are on the front wall between the two entrance doors (below, right). This is one of only two such churches in Maine.
People were rarely late more than once, after entering to see the faces of the congregation, rather than the backs of their heads!
Much later in the church's history, a patterned tin ceiling was installed. Besides the new Rodgers Trillium organ, the church contains a working 1821 pump organ, as old as the church itself but not original to it. This old instrument has been restored and retains a beautiful tone. It is played on occasion by adventurous organists.
As of August, 2005, with the addition of the Parish Hall, the congregation has been able to enter from the rear of the church as well as the front; and in the winter we use the rear entrance exclusively. The original structure has been disturbed as little as possible, and most of the back of the church has been restored from earlier changes.
As Lincolnville's population rose and fell over two centuries, so too did the size of the congregation. For almost fourteen years prior to 1999, the church was open only April through December, Palm Sunday through Christmas. In January of 1999, with the arrival of Pastor Susan Stonestreet, we were able to open our doors all year. Since then church membership has nearly tripled, as Lincolnville's population has exceeded its 1850 high, and others from surrounding towns found us. The congregation increases considerably during the summer months, as our "snowbirds" return and we welcome visitors from many parts of the country.
photos by (1&2) Jean Pierre Fecteau; (3) Susan Stonestreet