Although Maine has a reputation of being hardened to the Gospel, with Portland in particular listed as one of the most post-Christian cities in America, God has been moving through these FEC initiatives, especially through small-group and relational ministry. In fact, Moss Brook Community Church in South Paris, Maine grew out of several small groups of believers who had a passion for their friends who were far from God. Today, Mike Booker, Moss Brook pastor, looks out at a congregation of 200-plus people, with 60 – 70% trusting Christ as their Savior in the past 10 years.
FEC’s Portland, Maine, church plant, formerly known as The Hill, has gone through several changes in the past few months. Perhaps most obvious is the new name: Neighbors Church, along with a move to a more central location in the Westbrook neighborhood. In addition, after looking for more ways to be relatable and sustainable, Eric Wood, church planter, became the president of Team Irish Performance Training Center, a non-profit fitness center. In this position, Eric plans to rebrand the center as Recon Fitness and create a business environment that brings the community to Jesus in a natural and authentic way. In essence, Recon Fitness will provide the missional cover necessary to build a bridge between the city and the church as they continue to serve immigrants, addicts, and homeless people in the community.
Says Eric, “We continue to work multiple jobs. We continue to grow together as family. We continue to do a weekly Bible study and meal with our immigrant friends from Kennedy Park. We continue to serve about 120-150 homeless/addicted friends with a block party weekly. We continue to meet, wrestle, and fight as a small neighborhood church. We continue to hustle, trusting that the Gospel will break through, Jesus will be exalted, and our hearts will be refreshed by His gracious and steadfast love.”