God has allowed BeFree Community Church to make an exciting turn into the 21st century. We get to represent Jesus Christ and live out His core teachings to love God, love others, and live on mission for him together in New Hampshire. We are praying God will continue to lead us in new directions for His purposes and glory.
After a number of men and women came to faith at a Billy Graham Crusade, several families decided to start the Barrington Community Church. In 1954, a hurricane toppled trees all over the area, which provided a free supply of wood for the construction of a building. This group soon affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and became the Barrington Evangelical Free Church. The church grew and expanded its footprint. In 1993, Chris Clinch became Senior Pastor.
In 2002, God directed us to an opportunity in the crossroads community of Alton, NH, strategically located as the gateway to the Lakes region, only 30 miles from the state capitol, and with 30,000 people living within a 20-mile radius. Sam Huggard and a handful of key families put down roots, a core group was established in 2005, and public worship gatherings began in 2006. Over the years, God has blessed BeFree Alton as a growing witness for Christ there. In 2016, Sam transitioned to become the District Superintendent of EFCA churches for New England. In July of 2017, Ben Ruhl was called to become BeFree Alton Lead Pastor.
In 2005, God directed us to an opportunity in Dover, NH, a thriving city of 30,000 people with a median age of 35, located within a population area of 250,000, and in close proximity to the University of New Hampshire. Lead Pastor Jamie Hemphill, a former Dover resident, moved back into the neighborhood in 2006, and over the course of four years, a core team of Christ followers with a heart for Dover established a new church there meeting in home groups. Weekly worship gatherings began in September 2009, and God has blessed BeFree Dover to reflect its community with many singles and families getting connected there to grow in loving God, loving others, and living on mission for Christ.
In 2014, God began to make it evident there was another community into which we should launch a new church. Newmarket is a vibrant town of 9,000 people with a median age of 33 years. Lead Pastor Brendan Jorgensen, who was part of the Dover church plant, began to connect with others at BeFree Dover who felt moved by God to start a BeFree Newmarket. They launched into home groups and then began weekly worship gatherings in August 2016.
In 2015, God provided an opportunity in the community of Somersworth. This energetic, hard-working community nestled along the border of Maine is the "smallest" city in New Hampshire. Lead Pastor Tim Monahan is a Somersworth native and moved back into the community in 2015 with his wife and two children. Over the course of two years, they were mentored by the Alton and Barrington campuses as they established home groups with a Jesus way of life for their community in Somersworth. Starting in September 2017, they began weekly worship gatherings.