FRIENDS OF THE CHURCH ON THE HILL

 

By deed dated March 15, 1798, Joseph Drisko conveyed  the land for the Church to Moses Plummer, Elias Norton and Barna Coffin, “a Committee for building the meeting house on the west side of Pleasant River in said Addison”, the “committee in behalf of the proprietors of said House”.  The 1798 Deed conveyed “fifty square rods of land on which said meeting house now stands” for $16.25 “so long as the said land is appropriated for use of erecting a house for the public worship of God”. 

In 1825 the Addison Baptist Church was established as the Union Evangelical Society.

During a heavy gale wind in 1839 the first church building on the site of the Church on the Hill was destroyed. That same year a new and larger church was built on the same site. The original contract to build that church dated January 16, 1839, with the building specifications glued to the contract, is still intact in the church records.

In 1848 the church, which occupied the site of the present Church on the Hill, became a Baptist Church, and from 1848 to 1951 that site was, primarily, used by the Addison Baptist Church.

In June 1860 the second church on the site of the present Church on the Hill was struck by lightning and totally destroyed.

With funds raised through contributions from the townspeople the present Church on the Hill was erected circa 1860 with the understanding that the building would be available to all denominations, although the Baptist Church had the first right to its use because that church raised the most money to build it.

By an informal quitclaim deed dated September 25, 1895, six grantors conveyed a certain lot to the "religious society owning the church located in Addison on what is called the Hill". This deed was recorded on October 14, 1942, in the Washington County Registry of Deeds.

Baptist services were held there until 1951 when the church was closed.

There was occasional use of the building between 1951 and its revival in 1975. In the 1960’s a hot air furnace was donated and installed underneath the church.

Around 1975 the Weslyan Church of Beals, acting under the Baptist name, reopened the building and held non-denominational services there. After two or three years when the Weslyans found that support for the Church on the Hill was depleting the resources of their church in Beals, they withdrew their involvement with the Church on the Hill.

The Baptist Church then organized the Church on the Hill as the Union Evangelical Church and conducted services there for several years.

On June 7, 1996, the present building was entered in the National Register of Historic Places as the Union Evangelical Church also known as the Church on the Hill.

For several years ending in 2006 the building was used by the Assembly of God for regular services.

On May 22, 2007, citizens of Addison gathered to form a group dedicated to the repair, restoration and preservation of the Church on the Hill. On September 13, 2007, that group became organized as a non-profit corporation of the State of Maine under the name of the “Friends of the Church on the Hill”. The purpose of the Friends’ corporation is to repair, restore, protect, maintain, preserve and make available to the public the building and surrounding land of the Union Evangelical Church, constructed around 1860, located on Ridge Road in Addison, Maine, known as the Church on the Hill.

 The Friends persuaded the Maine Attorney General to bring a lawsuit which succeeded in having title to the property transferred to the Friends because the Church on the Hill was a abandoned church and was wasting for lack of custody. In 2010 the last of the Assembly of God congregation signed the property over to The Friends of the Church on the Hill organization. Now the group can apply for grants to restore the church for non religious community use. The Friends of the Church on the Hill meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month. For more information contact Arleta Grant at 483-2923.

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