Board of Trustees 2019-2020
Alexandra Gillespie, Vice President
Joe Hammer, Treasurer
Sandy Oliver, Vice President
Russel S. Reynolds Jr.
Christie Ray Robb
Virginia G. Valentine, President
James R. Houghton
Christ Church was established in 1892, on the eve of Dark Harbor's coming of age as a summer community. The Church was soon found to be too small, so the trustees developed plans to increase its seating capacity while preserving as much of the original design as possible. The enlarged church opened in 1904 and has not changed materially since. In the style of the day, the architect blended medieval, Gothic, and shingle-style features to create what is now viewed as a classic example of a New England coastal version of a British country church.
The founding articles of incorporation specify that the church entity is a religious society to be known as "The Trustees of the Church at Dark Harbor, Islesboro," governed by an independent self-perpetuating board of trustees. The articles were signed by John Turner Atterbury, Jeffrey R. Brackett, William Ingham, William Ellis Scull, and Dexter Tiffany. It continues to operate as an independent summer chapel, welcoming worshipers of all faiths.
The Rev. Frederic B. Kellogg, minister at Christ Church in 1943, said this about the church at the end of its first 50 years:
"Fifty years ago today this Church was founded. Through War and Peace, in good times and bad, the people of Islesboro have worshipped God in this place every summer for half a century. It would be far beyond my power to express what this Church has meant, but we all know what a particular place it holds in our life here. The founders of this Church knew that a summer vacation would be hollow indeed if there were not a Church in the midst of it, and the men and women whose names we can read on these walls, as well as we ourselves and those who are unable to be here this summer, know that they were right."
Christ Church today is blessed with outstanding ministers and a strong, active Board of Trustees who are deeply committed to keeping Christ Church vibrant and meaningful. Attendance is growing, especially among families with young children who help pass the plate, hand out service brochures, and read lessons. The Church and Rectory are well maintained, and a beautiful enlargement of the cemetery has been completed. Progress throughout the Church has resulted from the passion and commitment of volunteers who keep everything going.
The Christ Church sign on Pendleton Point Road includes these words, in large letters:
“All Are Welcome.”
These words flow from the founding documents in 1892 which created Christ Church as a fully independent organization. They permeate not only our literature but our behavior. Christ Church welcomes all people into its midst, regardless of religious and personal beliefs.
While improvements and accomplishments during recent decades may be viewed as desirable progress along a timeline, it is more meaningful to think about what people have felt at Christ Church over the past 123 years when they attend services, or sit in silent contemplation while enjoying the Church’s serenity and beauty. Their feelings cannot be measured, but they have surely included love, comfort, togetherness, safety, closeness, sense of family, and peace, and we hope greater understanding of what spirituality means and how it can help us cope with the challenges and ambiguities of the human experience.