Reopening a Church: Dorchester Community Church, NH
Church buildings in New England are closing. About 10 years ago, one study of New England churches predicted over 1,000 church buildings would be closed within a decade. Of course, this prediction was made long before anyone thought of COVID. Under Vermont and New Hampshire statutes, when a church votes to dissolve or abandons its property and assets, these revert to the ownership of the founding denomination. ABC-VNH have received several properties over the last ten years. Sometimes properties are in such condition, our only option is to sell. On other occasions we receive a property, which can be used for worship and the re-planting of a Christian community.
Last year, we were notified by the NH Attorney General’s office that we had received ownership of the Dorchester Community Church building. Two remaining members turned over the keys to the ABC-VNH office. As of this last Easter Sunday, we rejoice that Roger and Betsy Wotton unlocked the doors, having placed some signage about the community, welcomed 19 people to worship! The enthusiasm was such, that an initial plan is to hold worship in this church building once a month, while Roger and Betsy continue to grow a “dinner church” in the wider community. Our gratitude to Roger and Betsy for accepting this new mission in a community of only 400 people. We ask God to bless this new ministry, and anticipate the Holy Spirit is already at work in a small village. Please pray for this new ministry.