Image: Welcome

Williston-Immanuel United Church is a United Church of Christ congregation and an American Baptist Churches in the USA congregation, bringing together the best of two historic American denominations.



We offer a personal welcome to everyone, affirming common values as well as unique differences. Acceptance without conditions, affirmation without discrimination—these are the goals of Williston-Immanuel United Church.

The worship service is a meaningful blend of the traditional and contemporary. There is freedom and encouragement to try new forms of worship and music. A Children's Time is a part of each worship service. Some worshipers dress formally; others dress casually; the choir and clergy wear robes. The experience of worshiping with Williston-Immanuel is not easily forgotten.


The worship space has magnificent architecture, glorious stained glass, a state-of-the-art pipe organ and two grand pianos, plus comfortable pews.


The church's sanctuary and parish house are a modified form of English Gothic. The material used is granite, so fitly joined that the whole structure has been called a poem in stone. Groundbreaking was held on April 28, 1926. Overlooking the sanctuary is the magnificent Rose Window, given to the church in memory of Rinda and Thaddeus C. Lewis of Portland by their three adult children and dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1928.


Accessibility: We offer assistance to worshipers who experience hearing difficulties. A pocket-sized Williams Sound System receiver is available from a greeter or usher prior to each Sunday's service of worship. Also, there are now ADA-approved lavatories on the main floor by the Church Offices and on the lower level, at the front of the Fellowship Hall.


Parking in an Urban Setting: More information can be found here. There is also a bike rack by the Church's rear entrance, and a few do use it.


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Family Promise logoAt our Easter morning breakfast here at Williston-Immanuel we unanimously affirmed our commitment to be a Family Promise host for the coming year. Family Promise is an interfaith hospitality program in which each congregation agrees to host a few families for one week at a time, four weeks a year. Each family in the program has children and a church hosts no more than fourteen individuals at one time. Our first week as a host for Family Promise will begin August 20, 2017!


During our weeks (TBA) our guests will arrive at about 5:30 p.m., eat dinner with us, socialize and do homework in the evening, and then sleep in our Fellowship Hall. In the morning they will eat breakfast and then go to the Day Center, where they will receive help finding work, housing and other needed services to help them become independent. The children go to and from school from the Day Center.


Please join us on Sunday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m. for our volunteer kick off and potluck lunch to see how you might be able to help.





On June 10, 2012, after two years of worshiping together, melding music and Christian Education programming and committees and fellowship groups, times that included much prayer and conversation, eating and laughter, questions and affirmations, Immanuel Baptist Church and Williston-West United Church of Christ dissolved their individual church communities and officially became Williston­ Immanuel United Church. Five years later, we are still celebrating!! Come to an anniversary worship celebration and party beginning at 10:30 on Sunday, June 11.

    Worship Services...


    Memorial Day, May 29 ~ Church Office is closed.

    Sunday, June 4: Family Promise Volunteer Kick Off & Potluck Lunch 11:45 a.m.

    Sunday, June 11, 2017: 5th anniversary of the official and historic start of our merged life as Williston-Immanuel United Church.
    Come to an anniversary worship celebration and party beginning at 10:30 on

    Summer worship begins on Sunday, June 18 and continues through Sunday, September 3.
    Worship: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    Coffee hour: 10:30 a.m.
    Child care: available for infants through grade 3.

    June 17 at 12 Noon: Portland Pride Parade. All church members and friends are welcome and encouraged to march with us as we show our support for the LGBT community and show our PRIDE in our own diversity as a truly open and affirming faith community.

    Jeremy Young will be preaching and covering pastoral emergencies from June 26 through July 10.


    "Have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way...nothing forced or hurried  at the last minute. Take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you might give. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving."

    2 Corinthians 9:7, adapted from Eugene Peterson's THE MESSAGE


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Our Story

Early in the summer of 2011 two congregations in Portland, Maine (Williston West - United Church of Christ and Immanuel Baptist - American Baptist Churches in the USA) each voted unanimously (in officially called meetings for this specific purpose) to "covenant, live and work together as one church, combining the ministries of each in a singular, energetic, Christian mission in the city of Portland, Maine."

This union illustrates a synergy in which the sum becomes greater than the addition of the separate parts. The new church is neither one nor the other, but both and Its merging has brought together the best of two historic, American denominations.

Read more from a recent Portland Press Herald story here or view a presentation of Our Story created by Doug Cruger.

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Come Worship With Us

Williston-Immanuel United Church attempts to be grounded by faith in God, sustained by the love of Christ, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Its mission is to become compassionate, reconciling disciples of Jesus Christ who bear witness to God's love, to people in and out of the congregation. Acceptance without conditions, affirmation without discrimination—these are the goals of Williston-Immanuel United Church.

The Sunday worship service (10:30 am in the fall, winter & spring; 9:30 am in the summer) contains the traditional and the contemporary in a meaningful blend. There is always the desire, freedom, and encouragement to try new forms of worship and music.

We are a welcoming congregation. All are welcome.

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Williston-Immanuel is fellowship, nurture, ministry, and service.

Deborah Davis-Johnson, Pastor

Lydia Hews, Community Liaison

Jeremy Young, Pastoral Intern

Kathleen Scott, Director of Music & Organist 
Denise Calkins, Music Director & Accompanist

Paula Costin, Youth Coordinator 

Victoria Chicon, Nursery Care Provider

 Katharina Roderick, Office Manager

Frank Ashnault, Sexton

Robin Warner, Security

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Email Church Office: office@williston-immanuel.org
Email Pastor: Deborah Davis-Johnson: deborah@williston-immanuel.org

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Friday and Saturday

Williston-Immanuel United Church ~ 156 High Street ~ Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 775-2301


© WIUC. All Rights Reserved.