A new church recently started holding mid-week services in Damariscotta.
Founded and led by Pastor Rene Kingston, of New Harbor, Faith Hope and Love Victory Church of Damariscotta is a non-denominational, Bible-believing church that held its first service March 16. The church meets at the Damariscotta Baptist Church.
Kingston describes himself as a “born-again believer,” having come into the faith in October 2005. Prior to his conversion, Kingston said he was living in a place of darkness.
“Up until that point, my life had been filled with alcohol and drugs,” Kingston said. “It felt like I was in a deep hole, and no matter what I did, I was only getting deeper and deeper into the darkness.”
Kingston’s life changed when his employer invited him to a fellowship breakfast for businessmen. During the meal, a Hell’s Angel spoke about his life prior to finding his faith.
“It was like he was speaking directly to me,” Kingston said. “It gave me hope. After that, my life radically changed.”
Kingston became a member of a Victory Churches International church in New Brunswick in December 2005 and started leading a men’s ministry at the church early the next year. Victory Churches International is an apostolic and prophetic church with more than 2,500 churches around the world, according to Kingston and the organization’s website.
“We follow and believe the teachings of Christ’s apostles, which guide us as we plant churches worldwide,” Kingston said. “We think the best way to reach people in different locations is to go to them where they’re at, and the best way to do that is to plant churches.”
Kingston had served in a leadership role for almost 10 years at the church when he and the pastor began to discuss planting a church in Maine. Originally the vision was to start a church in Bangor, however, plans to open the church in Damariscotta soon fell into place, Kingston said.
“At the time we were talking about this, my wife and kids were living in New Harbor,” Kingston said. “Everything worked out and we were able to plant a church here instead.”
Faith Hope and Love Victory Church meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in a room of the Damariscotta Baptist Church. Kingston said Damariscotta Baptist Church Pastor Marilee Harris has been very gracious in allowing the church to meet in the other church’s space.
“She’s been wonderful,” Kingston said. “Something like this, a non-denominational church meeting inside a Baptist church, is rarely seen in other places. Pastor Harris shares the same vision that we do, which is that people shouldn’t be separated by denomination.”
Kingston said Faith Hope and Love Victory Church is not about religion, but rather focuses on building a relationship between the members and Jesus.
“When people hear the word church, they might think they need to be perfect or act a certain way, but Jesus isn’t for perfect people, he’s here to love and save the people who need him,” Kingston said. “Our slogan is ‘no perfect people allowed.’ We want people to come as they are, and if they change, it’s because they want to, not because they have to.”
“We are a spirit-filled church that believes Jesus still heals and delivers today,” Kingston said. “I’m proof of that.”
For more information, find Faith Hope and Love Victory Church of Damariscotta on Facebook or contact Kingston at 350-2124.