Hope Community Church | A Brief History
Hope Community Church began out of a home meeting in Cape Elizabeth in the summer of 1831. By 1832, regular “conferences” had developed into two groups known as the Eastern and Western Branches of the Cape Elizabeth Church. In 1853 the branches had each grown sufficiently to divide into separate assemblies. We retained the Cape Elizabeth name, and the Western Branch became the Scarborough Free Baptist Church, which is now at Eight Corners in Scarborough, ME. Their association as “branches” continued until at least 1883.
The current church property, with its original building, was purchased in 1840. In 1937 the church was incorporated as the First Free Baptist Church in South Portland, and in 1948 it became a part of the Conservative Baptist Association of America. In 1952 we became The First Baptist Church in South Portland. A separate Christian Education building was added in 1961 to provide more space for a burgeoning Sunday School. The original church building served many generations until it was replaced in 1974 with a brand-new sanctuary joined to the C.E. wing.
Over the years, this church’s doctrine has centered upon the importance of the Bible as the Word of God, and salvation through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection alone. A program from the centennial service states “This church joins the great host of Evangelical Christians throughout the world in affirming our adherence to the cardinal doctrines of the historic Christian faith.”
This Church has had a passion for missions for many years. Since 1949, missionaries have been sent from this church to fields on every continent. In the past ten years, several individuals from our church have participated in short term mission trips to places such as Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Poland, and New Orleans, and we currently have one member serving full-time with his wife in Spain.
On November 29, 2020 we officially changed our name to Hope Community Church. As it always has been, our desire is to bring the hope of Jesus to our community and our world.