Pilgrim Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bangor is a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a denomination founded in 1936 by missions-minded Presbyterians committed to the inspiration of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, and the mandate to go into all the world with the gospel. Orthodox means “straight teaching”. As orthodontists straighten teeth and orthopedists help straighten bones, so Orthodox Presbyterian Churches seek to teach the straight truth of God’s Word. The OPC was formed because the mainline Presbyterian churches were shifting away from Scripture. The summary of our beliefs is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Pilgrim OPC was formed in 1952 by Christians who desired a church reformed in doctrine and worship. Reformed in doctrine means that we look to the great affirmations of the Protestant Reformation: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone , and in Christ alone. These great statements declare: how we know God, how God befriends us, how we can please God, and how he saves us from sin and its eternal consequences. Reformed in worship means that our worship is according to the principles of Scripture. Each Lord’s Day, in the morning service at 9:25 am and in the evening service at 6 pm, we gather to sing praises to God, hear His Word read and preached from the Old and New Testaments, and pray for the influence of the gospel among us and to the ends of the earth. This worship is the high point of our Christian life and service.
Government of Pilgrim Church
Pilgrim Church is governed by the session, which is made up of the Pastor and five elders. We also have four deacons, who lead the congregation in ministries of mercy. As a particular congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, all of our officers believe the Bible to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Additionally, the officers subscribe to the American Presbyterian Church 1789 version of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, acknowledging that these subordinate standards accurately summarize what the Bible teaches.
Russell J. Hamilton was called to be the pastor of Pilgrim OPC in December 2007. Prior to coming to Bangor, he served as a church planter, for 3 years in Bucksport, Maine, and for 6 years in New Orleans, Louisiana. His pastoral education is from Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (M.Div.). He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is married and has 4 children.
Becoming a Member
Classes are offered periodically to inform and prepare those interested in membership in this congregation. Membership in Pilgrim Church involves attending five classes, an interview with the elders, and by professing faith before the congregation during one of our worship services. A member makes profession of faith by affirming belief in the Bible as the Word of God and in its teaching about salvation; by affirming belief in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; by affirming belief in our own sinfulness and in Jesus Christ our only hope for salvation; by promising to seek to live a godly life; by promising to submit in the Lord to the elders. Members are not required to agree with every theological position held by Pilgrim Church, but they are expected to maintain a teachable spirit and to seek the peace of the church.