BANGOR – A church in Lee is facing closure following its disaffiliation with a large church organization.
The land where New Beginnings Church of Lee sits was donated by Lester Delano in 1981.
“In WWII, I flew 55 missions against the Germans. I was out of north Africa, so I figured I owed the Lord something,” Delano said at a press conference on Friday.
Earlier this year, church members voted to disaffiliate from the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
CMA officials have filed a lawsuit looking to take ownership of the land and buildings.
“On their by-laws, they state if we cease to be a church or cease to teach and preach what they administer and we have to shut the door because of low attendance, they’re going to claim the assets and land, even though it was deeded to the Church of Lee,” said Searle Crocker, the chair of the board at New Beginnings Church of Lee.
Church members say they blame the CMA for their shrinking congregation.
“Because of the stress involved with CMA, they left,” said Roger Ek, a spokesperson for the church’s board. “They’d like to come back. As soon as we get this settled, they plan to come back. We’ll have a Sunday school with children. It will be like it used to be.”
We reached out to CMA for comment and heard back from their legal representation.
“Agreements were entered into between the local church in Lee and the Christian and Missionary Alliance. It is those agreements we’re seeking the church in lee honor,” said Berney Kubetz, a litigation partner at Eaton & Peabody. “We’ve tried to have discussions. We made a number of proposals and have had no substantive response.”
The church’s attorney, Brett Baber, said they hope to deliberate in early January.