November 14, 2019
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Bangor church catering to homeless, ‘hurting’ gets home of its own

Alex Acquisto | BDN
Alex Acquisto | BDN
Crosspoint Church will make its new home in the former Bangor Floral building at the corner of Cumberland and Central streets as a mission church.

The Mansion Church, which bills itself as an inner-city mission church serving the disadvantaged, will soon have a permanent home in the former church building at the corner of Cumberland and Center streets in Bangor.

Leaders of Crosspoint Church, who own and operate the Mansion Church, received City Council approval on April 23 for a zone change at the 61 Cumberland St. property. The five-year-old Mansion Church currently rents space for services on Sundays at the Bangor Masonic Center on Union Street, and office space on Exchange Street. Last January, it became affiliated with Crosspoint, formerly Bangor Baptist Church.

The zone change from Urban Service District to a Government and Institutional Service District will allow the building to be used as a place of worship, according to city documents.

The building was formerly used by the Advent Christian Church, before it moved to its Broadway location in the late 1980s. The parcel was rezoned in 1989 for commercial use, according to city documents. A short time later, the building was purchased by Philip Frederick, who operated his business, Bangor Floral, there for nearly three decades before moving to Harlow Street last September. A Crosspoint Church congregant bought the building earlier year for about $16,000 and donated it to the church, Crosspoint Pastor Jerry Mick said last month.

“We really want to be a part of the inner city and help people who are hurting,” Mick said. Last year, the ministry sought city approval for a zone change for the building at 126 Third St., but ultimately it wasn’t granted due to a lack of adequate parking. Since then, church officials have been looking for an alternative permanent location within walking distance of downtown for its 50 to 70 congregants, many of whom are homeless, have recently been released from jail or are struggling with addiction, Mick said.

The Mansion Church, once it settles into the Cumberland Street building, will likely offer a Sunday morning and evening service with a free meal after each service, said Terry Dinkins, who pastors the church.

Eventually Dinkins, who also serves as chaplain for the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, hopes to offer a food pantry, a place where people can pick up donated clothes, and different Bible study classes out of the new location.

A visitor does not have to attend the preceding church service in order to eat the free meal, but they’re encouraged to.

“We don’t turn people away. We’re just trying to help them and show God’s love whatever way we can,” Dinkins said. “Sometimes it’s just a conversation or a prayer, sometimes it’s just helping someone get some groceries or giving them a ride.”

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