The Island Christian Church in Port Jefferson will soon be under a new name, Harborview Christian Church.
The well-known church at the corner of East Main and Prospect streets hung a banner from its porch declaring its name change. Rev. Pete Jansson said the church is splitting off as a branch of Island Christian, with the other, much larger site in Northport.
“It’s a step of faith,” the reverend said.
He said when the two branches of the church went up, it was said that if the two became too distinct they would have to look into separation. The Northport branch is a much larger campus and congregation, with many more church programs for multiple age groups and other, larger events. The smaller church in Port Jeff, he said, had become distinct in both its activities and number of churchgoers.
The church hung the banner off its porch to get residents used to the name before becoming a fully separate church starting the first Sunday of January 2020.
Splitting off also has some disadvantages, namely the church having to fully pay its own bills, meaning more dependence on the donations of churchgoers instead of having the backing of the larger branch.
“We’re dependent on paying our own bills,” Jansson said. “But we feel God is moving us in that direction.”