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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Amahl and the Night Visitors

Kathleen Scott, director and producer of the production writes: "A very special Christmas tradition from the 1950's will be revived here at Williston-Immanuel United Church this December. "Amahl and the Night Visitors" is a magical story sparkling in its simplicity, universal in its appeal. The best news for parents and grandparents of children, is that the show is extremely family friendly as seen through the eyes of a young boy. The story is very entertaining. How can you go wrong with an eccentric funny old king, processions, dancing and a miracle to top it all off?"
Amahl and the Night Visitors was written for TV and aired on Christmas Eve in 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors is a retelling of the story of the Magi from the point of view of a poor young shepherd boy named Amahl. Amahl is disabled and lives with his widowed mother near Bethlehem–they have lost everything and are about to go begging. Amahl is known for making up fanciful stories, so one night when he tells his mother about seeing a giant star with a tail of fire, naturally she doesn't believe him. Later that night, much to their surprise, their humble home is visited by three kings, seeking shelter during their trek to follow the star. The kings bring all sorts of treasure and gifts to give to the child they seek. When everyone's asleep, the desperate Mother tries to steal some of the kings' gold but is caught during the attempt. What happens next is a gift far greater than gold!

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


© 2014 WIUC. All Rights Reserved.