Grace UMC History

The Grace United Methodist Church has stood at 193 Union Street in Bangor Maine for over a hundred years. Grace History includes re-dedication service Bangor waterfront. It has had many years of active service to the community. Grace UMC History goes back many years when it had evolved from a Methodist Church that was located on the Bangor waterfront.

The Church structure today looks quite different than in did when it was first built. After being hit by lightening at least twice, it has had three different steeples. The original steeple was tall and pointed at the top. Then the steeple was replaced with a more ornate one and then it was struck by lightening again and now has a rounded crown-like steeple.



This is the original Steeple of Grace UMC as it appeared in this 1895 picture.

Grace had a different steeple in 1895.

Grace had a different steeple in 1895. This is the original one! Steeple #ONE It was replaced by the second addition.


When did the church change it’s Steeple and why? Now you know the rest of the story. God wanted Grace to have this one! You might say God gave Grace Church a makeover. We do like how it looks. It is easier to find at the corner of Clinton and Union St. in Bangor Maine. The church still is very active with many missions going on. It feed the hungry and cares for the less fortunately of our neighborhood and community. Please help us to continue this great work. You can pray with us or donate to our fund to help those in need.

  Sunday Services are at 10:00 AM all year long.gracetoday Please Join Us this Sunday. God Bless You.

More Church History is here.  After pastor Rev Sid Buzzell, Rev Ron Walden came to Grace.  Grace Church was involved in Shalom Zone Click on link for an interesting article. Ron was pastor of Grace until June of 1997 when he retired. Then Rev Grace Bartlett (first Woman Pastor)  came to Grace and continued a program initiated by Ron Walden called Shalom Zone Communities. Bartlett worked on a “Visioning Process” for the church as there was some friction among members about the Shalom project. There was however talk of an annual neighborhood block party sponsored by the church. That might have been a great idea. Bartlett was pastor of Grace UMC for more than five years. Because she’s also a sculptor, Bartlett taught classes at Bangor Theological Seminary on incorporating the visual arts into worship services. She left Grace and moved to Portland to work more as an artist and less as a minister. “Clearly that’s not what God had in mind.” By 2008 she had returned to ministry as a Congregationalist and an assignment in Brewer where she still is in 2015. Following Rev Bartlett at Grace UMC were others such as Rev Kathy Macedo who had graduated from seminary in 2004 in her 50’s and awaited her assignment through the United Methodist system that would place her somewhere in New England.”So I went to Grace United Methodist Church in Bangor, Me.,” she said, noting that it was difficult to leave the house the family had lived in for 28 years in RI. In June 2009, Macedo was ordained.”It is a long process in the Methodist Church,” she said. “Licensed pastors have to have a master’s degree in Divinity to be ordained.” Macedo enjoyed her five years of ministry in Maine but when the congregation decided that they could only support a part-time pastor, she awaited another assignment. Now she is at another Methodist Church in MA. Then came Rev Robin Sprague who is now in Ellsworth and one or two other supply ministers. Then later about two years ago, our present pastor, Rev Gretchen Casey arrived.

 The re-dedication of Bangor Methodism ceremony of Oct 31 1993  was held on the Bangor Waterfront. Here is what transpired.

Praise God from whom All blessings flow. Praise him, all creatures Here below. Praise him above, Ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

On a chilly Sunday afternoon, Oct. 31, area Methodists raised their voices in praise to God during the rededication of the marker on the site of the beginnings of Methodism in the Bangor area. The Rev. Sid Buzzell, former pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, led the brief service.

United Methodists in Bangor and Brewer are served by three churches: Grace United Methodist Church on Union Street in Bangor, First UMC on Essex Street in Bangor, and First UMC on South Main Street in Brewer. Actually, I consider North Brewer Church one of us. They are very active and have even helped with our community Meals, the street pastors and donations to our thrift shop. Lets call it four churches serving Bangor – Brewer to be fair.

They all have roots that go back to Summer Street

“In the year 1814 — 179 years ago — the Rev. Benjamin Jones formed the first class in Bangor,” Buzzell said. Jones was known for the great number of conversions which resulted from his labors. “This was the man who laid the foundations for Methodism in Bangor,” Buzzell said.

“History tells us it was a venture of faith,” Buzzell said. “People in general were not crying out for the gospel of Christ. They were busily engaged in changing a wilderness into settled farms and small communities.” (What is so different today)

Bangor was first a charge or mission of the Hampden Circuit. The Bangor Circuit was formed in 1826.

The Summer Street Methodist Episcopal Church was actually located at the intersection of Union and Independent streets. In 1837, the “primitive edifice” on Summer Street was abandoned for a brick structure on Pine Street. In 1881, the pastor was the Rev. N.G. Atwell. That congregation moved to Essex Street in the 1960s.

As Buzzell described it, “From the first Methodists here, a group split off and formed a Brewer church, and later another split became what is now known as the First United Methodist Church. In 1854, the Old Meeting House Society had grown and a new building was started on Union Street. It was completed and dedicated in 1855 — now Grace United Methodist Church.”

Rev. Sidney E. Buzzell
(July 25, 1925 – August 24, 2010) 

BANGOR- Rev. Sidney E. Buzzell, 85, died August 24, 2010, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He was born in Guilford, July 25, 1925, son of Harold and Ethel (Strickland) Buzzell.

He attended Guilford schools and then graduated from Sangerville High School, class of 1943. Following high school Sid enlisted in the US Army, HQ Battery 692nd Field Artillery. He served as Staff Sergeant in the European Theater, having landed on Utah Beach in 1944 as part of the D-Day Invasion.

After returning home from the war he and his father owned and operated H.E. Buzzell and Son Market in Sangerville until 1969. He served as a supply pastor for several years while he attended Boston School of Theology becoming ordained as a Methodist Minister in the early seventies. Sid served in several parishes in central Maine, including East Corinth and West Corinth Methodist Churches, Grace Methodist Church in Bangor, and Guilford United Methodist Church, retiring to Bangor in 1993.


Story about the Rural Roots of The United Methodist Church

Grace had a different steeple in 1895.