Welcome to The Harbor Church. Our church movement began over one hundred years ago (c.a. 1889) when Queens River Baptist Church in Usquepaug recognized an opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with children just three miles down the road near the Kingston train station. Within eight years, the Sunday School outreach had transitioned into a church plant. In 1897, the budding congregation decided to build a new church they called “The Chapel.”
As lives were changed and the church continued to grow, it took on the name “First West Kingston Baptist Church” (c.a. 1920) and then in 1937, incorporated to “West Kingston Baptist Church.” In the early 1970’s, due to the preaching of the gospel and a work of the Holy Spirit, the church experienced a significant increase in the numbers of those who placed their faith in Jesus for salvation. Out of necessity, as well as with a vision for the future, a new and much larger church building was built and then dedicated in 1975.
Through the years, as it faithfully weathered passing physical and theological storms, the church continued to impact lives with the gospel and eventually blossomed into the culturally and generationally relevant and thriving church that it is today.
In the spring of 2016, as it was experiencing even further growth as well as a wonderful sense of unity, the church felt led to strategically change its name to “The Harbor Church” so as to better connect with those in our surrounding communities. Today, it can be best described as a vibrant multi-generational Christian community reaching out to the people of South County with the good news of Jesus Christ.
While we do acknowledge, appreciate and value our Baptist heritage, we technically aren’t a Baptist church but rather better fit into the category of a non-denominational church. Even though we have changed our church name, you can rest assured that we still hold to and teach the exact same biblically based, theologically sound, and conservatively leaning doctrines and truths that we have since our church was first started in 1889.
Our worship services are God-centered, Christ-exalting and Spirit-led. You can feel comfortable attending knowing that the people in our church have come from a variety of different denominational backgrounds such as, but not limited to: Catholic, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Reformed, and of course, Baptist. “Refreshing”, “warm,” “engaging,” “freeing,” “relevant,” "genuine," and “life-changing” are some of the typical words that visitors, guests and regular attendees use to describe our worship services
Come as you are! You'll see a lot of casual attire as well as some who like to dress up. Either way, we’re not dressing to impress, but rather to be impressed upon by the Word of God through the Holy Spirit.
Yes and no. Both services are actually formatted to be identical in every aspect. The only differences between the services have to do with numbers and composition. For whatever reason, it seems to be that there are more people at the 11am service. One reason for this is that we provide Shuttle Bus transportation to URI college students for the 11am service (Seriously, what college student do you know who wants to get up early any day of the week- especially on a Sunday?) What this means is that almost all college students who attend our church go the 11am service. Attend whichever service you feel more comfortable and best fits your schedule; it’s been our experience that God’s presence is with us at both of our services every single Sunday.
Our worship team (full band) starts us off with a set of contemporary worship songs. After that, there’s a pastoral prayer time followed by some brief announcements. From there we pray for the children who are going off to Children’s Church. After a short meet & greet time, we collect the offering while listening to a song that help set our minds and hearts to hear the message. In case you're wondering, the sermon is usually between 25 to 30 minutes long. We end each service with a final worship song and a closing prayer. Our worship services typically run about one hour and fifteen minutes long.
Our church is a wonderful mosaic of young and old, college and career, single and married (and divorced), and lots of families. Actually, although we do have many dozens of college students (and an interesting blend of teens to grandparents), our largest demographic is families. Specifically, we have a large and continually growing number of twenty (or thirty) something parents with small children. Last time we counted, we had well over one hundred children from babes in the nursery all the way up to high school students.
The first Sunday of the month, at both services; simple as that. BTW, as an alternative, we offer gluten-free communion bread.
Of course you can! We allow coffee in our sanctuary – provided that you put a lid on your cup and try not to spill. If you run out of coffee and need a refill, we provide quality coffee (not your typical “church coffee”) for free.
Our pastor preaches from the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible. (That’s the version that shows up on the overhead screen as he preaches.) However, a lot of people in our church use the NLT, NIV, NASB, and NKJV translations. We don’t over-focus on which translation to use as much as we do on interpreting the Word of God correctly, understanding the original intent, and finding out how it applies to our lives today.
We provide a clean, safe, secure, and fun-filled environment for children from birth to 5 years old (not yet in K). You can relax and engage in our worship services, knowing that your child is under the care of a staff that is well trained, background-checked, experienced, friendly, and most of all, loving.
Our main parking lot is located behind our church. We also have an overflow parking lot that is on the side of the church. Please feel free to park in whichever lot you prefer.
Our main sanctuary and restroom are handicap accessible. For your ease of use and safety (if using a wheel chair, walker, etc.) please use the red ramp located at the left front side of the church.
We encourage everyone to use our two main double doors doors located at the front of the church. However, if you park in the lot at the back of the church, please feel free to use the back door. While not a main entrance, the back door is certainly the easiest and most convenient to use, especially when it's freezing cold, raining or snowing.