MOUNT DESERT, Maine — A local minister has been suspended for three years after being investigated by officials with United Church of Christ.

The Rev. William “Mac” Bigelow was found to have “acted in a manner inconsistent with expectations of ministers,” according to a statement released this past week by the United Church of Christ of Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor. The findings resulted from a “fitness review” of Bigelow, the statement indicated.

Stephen Richards, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, said Tuesday that church officials had no further comment beyond the statement.

According to the statement, Bigelow has been suspended for “a period of not less than three years,” and has relinquished his duties as the minister of the UCC church on Summit Road in Northeast Harbor and the Abby Chapel on Main Street in Seal Harbor.

The church has begun the process of finding an interim minister, which Richards said is the first step toward finding a permanent replacement for Bigelow.

“This is a confidential church matter and will remain so out of respect to all,” the prepared statement indicated.

The Rev. Nick Davis of Ellsworth, spokesman for Maine Conference, United Church of Christ, confirmed Tuesday that Bigelow had been suspended for three years but declined further comment.

Bigelow did not respond Tuesday afternoon to a phone call seeking comment.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....