Ken Graves is the founding pastor of Calvary Chapel Bangor, Maine. He was born in Bangor in 1962, grew up in the area, and left at the age of sixteen to pursue training in the ministry. At twenty-two, he returned to Bangor with a call from God to present the Gospel and build a church in his own hometown. In 1991, a core of about twelve people began meeting in Ken's apartment for Bible study, prayer and fellowship. Today there are between nine and twelve hundred regular attendees who call Calvary Chapel Bangor their home.
In 1996, with the financial support of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, Calvary Chapel Bangor established a full power radio station: WJCX / 99.5 FM, and Ken Graves radio program "Godsword" went on the air. Listeners from all around central Maine started tuning in to the Calvary Satellite Network to hear Ken and a host of other pastors offering up a feast of God's word. The radio station has truly been a powerful tool in preaching the Gospel of Christ, making disciples and equipping people with Biblical knowledge. It has been a tremendous blessing to Calvary Chapel people as well as to the many other Bible believing churches in the area.
In 1992 the Godsword program began airing on television. There was no public access channel in the community until Calvary Chapel appealed to the home office of the Cable Company in New York and God gave them favor. With borrowed video equipment, a low budget show was produced, and Godsword was the first program to air on the new public access channel.
Pastor Ken reports, "Our show, Godsword, had an extremely simple format. I just sat in front of the camera, read the Bible and explained it in simple terms. And people responded to the invitation to come and join us for services."
In 1998 the opportunity to reach more homes by television presented itself. Godsword began airing on a local television station which reaches all of central Maine, a potential audience of over 350,000 people, or one quarter of the state's population.
In addition to the Godsword programs, Calvary Chapel Bangor has reached out to the community in a number of ways as God provides. Seven Oaks Training Center is a Christ centered residential discipleship program that works primarily with men who have drug and alcohol addictions. Blessed Hope is a similar program for women. God is doing great things in the lives of many people who previously knew nothing about the Lord or the Gospel. Many of these people were former law breakers and burdens to society but the Lord has transformed them into productive members of the community.
Calvary Chapel Bangor has also begun reaching out to students in the community. Calvary Chapel Christian School serves over two hundred students from pre-K to twelfth grade, and college Bible classes are beginning to be offered. Calvary Chapel Bangor is in the process of establishing a Christian daycare facility as well as a ministry training school. And it is involved in numerous outreach ministries including helping orphans in Chechnya, and the children of Uganda who are terrorized by the LRA.
God has been faithful and continues to provide for outreach ministries through the generosity of the people at Calvary Chapel. Offerings are received on the Lord's day only and the radio and television audiences are never asked for donations. Where God guides, He provides.
Here at Calvary Chapel Bangor, we are excited about what the Lord is doing. We are excited about the future and the opportunities before us.
Calvary Chapel Bangor Maine, 154 River Road, Orrington ME 04474, 207-991-9555