In January of 1991 Wes and Sue Pastor packed their (then) four children into the family station wagon and drove from Philadelphia to Burlington, Vermont. They believed God was calling them to plant a gospel-preaching, church-planting church in the Burlington area.
In September of 1992, after a year of recruiting and months of preview services and small group Bible studies, Christ Memorial launched its Sunday morning services under the auspices of the Baptist General Conference. They met on the Champlain College campus with seven couples, a smattering of singles, and as many children as adults - all told, under 50 people. By the end of that year, there were about 60 committed attendees.
In January of 1993 Christ Memorial moved to Angell Lecture Hall on the University of Vermont campus (and the fifth Pastor baby was born). In March of 1994 with a congregation of about 125 we began renting a former church in Williston. In December of 1995 CMC purchased the property and performed some necessary upgrades. At the time there were about 190 attendees.
The vision of Christ Memorial Church has always been "to see God display His power by saving sinners through the proclamation of the gospel by all of its members to His eternal glory" (I Cor. 2:1-5). That gospel-driven vision has borne much fruit. Since 1992 we’ve seen well over 100 solid conversions, resulting in restored marriages and harmful, sinful lifestyles redeemed. We've also experienced several mini-awakenings lasting from one to three years, each of which produced in the neighborhood of 30 professions of faith.
The original vision was also to be a flagship church-planting church that would be the hub of a training center for future church planters. That vision became a reality with the establishment onsite of The NETS Institute for Church Planting in 2000. Since then Christ Memorial has given birth to daughter churches in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Cameroon through our relationship with NETS. Lord willing, we will be part of many more church plants for decades to come.
By God's grace, Christ Memorial has grown over the years. Today about 400 people gather in our sanctuary each Sunday. We’ve added an executive pastor and a youth pastor to our pastoral staff. We’ve expanded and improved our property and, by God’s grace, we paid off the mortgage at the end of 2008.
And Christ Memorial continues to grow. In 2005 70 dedicated participants at CMC left to help launch Redeeming Grace Church in Georgia, Vermont. Though this move took about 15% of our congregation, our sanctuary is once again full. A number of our ministries have experienced record growth this year. And God’s Spirit is working in our congregation, with both adults and youth coming to faith and being baptized every year.
The story of Christ Memorial Church is still being written. We desire to be used of God to promote His kingdom throughout Williston, throughout Vermont, throughout New England, and throughout the world. We pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ will always be the lifeblood of this church and of all that we do.
And we invite you to become part of the story.