CEDAR SUNDAY SCHOOL AND CEDAR CHAPEL

by Ruth Dwelley

August 1948 ** Charles and Althea Nute of Carmel, Maine were missionaries with the American Sunday School Union. They came to this area while doing a survey of rural areas in Washington County.

The American Sunday School Union is an established organization serving in America since 1817. Hundreds of Sunday schools have been started through the faithful ministry of its missionaries. It is an independent interdenominational organization, sound in Biblical doctrine whose purpose is: “'To teach the Word of God and to reach the unreached for Christ”. The work grew and due to its many activities it is now known as ''American Missionary Fellow”, celebrating over 200 years of faithful and sacrificial service. Many Sunday school developed into churches which are serving across America.

The Nutes saw a need for a full time Sunday school in Alexander, especially in the Cedar and Pleasant Lake area. Many children were without a Sunday school and no church in the radius of miles. Transportation was a problem! The Nutes returned to Carmel to wait and pray.

August 1949 ** The Nutes returned to Alexander and discovered a Sunday school being held each week at the Cedar School.

Several mothers recognizing the need had met with Mrs. Wayne (Ruth) Dwelley and made plans for starting a Sunday school. School board members Frank Dwelley, Robert Thistledown, and Floyd Hunnewell were contacted and permission was given to use the school building.

The first Sunday opened with an attendance of 27 children and adults. Ruth Dwelley served as Superintendent and teacher assisted by Mrs. Hayden (Lorrain) Flood and Mrs. Frank (Bertha) Dwelley. Mrs. Harold (Evelyn) Pottle also was a teacher. Mrs. Carter (Agnes) White of Grand Lake Stream, the teacher at the Cedar School, served as organist, and Miss Lillian Varnum was organist in her absence.

CEDAR SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENTS FOR 1949

Maxine Flood Catherine Edgerly Lorna Dwelley

Mary Hatfield Annabelle Hatfield Clifford Hatfield

Lawson Hatfield Steven Hatfield Elsie Hatfield

Freda Hatfield Carol Flood Edwin Dwelley

Faye Flood Fern Strout Roger Flood

Aubrey Dwelley Clifton Pottle George Dwelley

Merrill Pottle Norman Dwelley Freda Worrell

Harley Dwelley Charlotte Worrell Llewellyn Dwelley


CEDAR SUNDAY SCHOOL NEW STUDENTS BY 1951 PLUS LATER STUDENTS

Mavis Dwelley Jackie McArthur Basil Pottle

Lloyd Dwelley Vivian Dwelley Richard Berry

Emma Hatfield Phillip McArthur Kenneth Berry

Donna McArthur


As the work increased, Mrs. Everett (Vio1a) Dwelley, Fern Strout, and Freda Hatfield were added to the teaching staff.

1950 ** Cedar Sunday School was united with the American Sunday School Union

1952 ** Mr. and Mrs. William Hatfield (Muriel Davis Hatfield) carried on the work in the Sunday school during the absence of Ruth Dwelley.

1955 ** Burland Margesson and George Duff, students of Bob Jones University, were called to work during the summer. Evangelistic services were held at the School for six weeks. At the close of the work, 28 candidates were baptized at Pleasant Lake.

1955-1957 ** Clayton Sawyer was superintendent. He and his wife Thursa served for two years. Viola Dwelley, Fern Strout, and Freda Hatfield assisted with the teaching.

August 8, 1957 ** Cedar Sunday School became incorporated and received the state seal. Cedar School had been closed and its students were attending the new consolidated school. Cedar Sunday School, Incorporated purchased the building from the Town of Alexander. First Selectman Pliney Frost was helpful and cooperative in making the transaction.


OFFICERS FOR CEDAR SUNDAY SCHOOL INCORPORATED

Ruth Dwelley ----------------------------- President

Charles Nute ------------------------------ Vice President

Mrs. Kenneth (Mildred) Campbell ----- Secretary

Fern Strout --------------------------------- Corresponding Secretary

Clayton Sawyer ---------------------------- Treasurer

William Hatfield --------------------------- Trustee

Wayne Dwelley ---------------------------- Trustee

Kenneth Campbell ------------------------- Trustee

1958 ** Reverend and Mrs. Norman Gibbs and children Paul and Ruth were called to work in the area. They were missionaries associated with the American Mission for Opening Closed Churches. They conducted services on Sunday and midweek, and continued the Sunday School. They started a Youth Group and a Ladies Fellowship. The Gibbs were respected and held in high esteem by the people. They served faithfully here for five years.

It was during this time that Cedar Sunday School became Cedar Chapel and a sign was posted outside the building. The building received many improvements including a newly shingled roof, and new paint both inside and out.

People from various churches gave spiritual and financial help through the years. These included Charlotte Baptist Church, Pembroke Baptist Church, Holmes Bay Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church of Calais, and later, East Auburn Baptist Church.

A number of the young people who attended Cedar Sunday School and Cedar Chapel went on to Christian high schools and colleges. Several entered the ministry while others have faithfully served.

THE CHURCH LIVES ON IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE

1949-1958 ** Daily Vacation Bible School was conducted for a two week period each of these summers. The first school was conducted by Mary Hatfield, one of our girls and a student of Providence Bible Institute. Her co-worker was a fellow student from the same school. They were associated with the American Sunday School Union. Later Ted Euson, a student minister, had Daily Vacation Bible School. He also was associated with the American Sunday School Union and was serving as a youth worker in Washington County.

Children from various areas attended these schools. Parents and workers joined to make the Daily Vacation Bible school special. A picnic was a treat at the close of each session.

1958 ** As previously reported, Reverend and Mrs. Norman Gibbs came to serve in Alexander under the American Mission for Opening Closed Churches, an independent interdenominational organization whose purpose is to build a small work into an established church.

Norman was a carpenter as well as a minister and made use of his skill. His wife Audrey was a R. N. who served in many ways along with her church activities.

It was during this time that Elbridge and Barbara McArthur donated land bordering the Sunday school building and the Cooper Road. This served as an excellent parking space and was received with appreciation by the corporation.

The Officers of Cedar Sunday School, Incorporated

Cecil Hatfield ----------------- President

Wayne Dwelley -------------- Vice President

Edith Hatfield ----------------- Secretary

Ruth Dwelley ----------------- Treasurer

Cecil Hatfield ----------------- Trustee

Aubrey Dwelley -------------- Trustee

William Hatfield -------------- Trustee

At the August 1958 meeting, Norman and Audrey Gibbs resigned from their ministry as they felt called to move on to Glencliff, N.H.

Services at the Chapel were well attended by people both loyal and faithful, but not ready to make a commitment to establish an organized church. The Gibbs served the community sacrificially and faithfully. In September they moved on to New Hampshire.

1964 ** The Sunday school was conducted for the summer by George Dwelley and his wife Mildred (Campbell). They also provided special music. The church services were conducted by visiting pastors and lay preachers.

In December after Christmas it was voted by the Corporation to close for the winter. Circumstances made this necessary.

1965 ** On Easter Sunday, the Sunday school was opened by Reverend and Mrs. Broker of the North Eastern Gospel Crusade. The Pottle Home on the Cooper Road was rented for a parsonage.

Sunday school was held each week as well as evening services. Later a Youth Group was organized and a mid week prayer service.

A large Daily Vacation Bible School was conducted for two weeks during that summer by Patricia Post and Judy Gerstung. They were both missionaries with Child Evangelism Fellowship of Portland, Maine. This was our first introduction to Child Evangelism Fellowship. Years later we had Good News Clubs in Alexander sponsored by C. E. F. At the close of Daily Vacation Bible School a picnic was held at Davis Beach on Pleasant Lake with over 50 adults and children attending.

In August, Mrs. Broker became very ill. It was discovered that she had advanced bone cancer. Rev. Broker made arrangements to go to his brother's in New Hampshire. Later he and Mrs. Broker stayed with their daughter in Washington, D. C. On Easter Sunday of 1966, Mrs. Broker was called home to be with the Lord.

1965 PHOTO TAKEN BY REVEREND ARTHUR BROKER first row: Norman Davis, Ricky McArthur,

McArthur, and Allard McArthur;

Barbara Williams, Sandra second row: Sheerie Magoon, Rhonda

Ronnie Davis, Joanne Davis, Esther

Magoon, David Davis, Alan Flood,

McArthur, and Mary Williams;

Doreen White, Barbara Lord,

third row: Jane Davis, Vicki Ketchen,

Bonnie Lord, and Ruth Dwelley;

fourth row: Carleton Lord, and the leader,

Davis, Jr., Gerald Cooper, Mavis Dwelley, Hilda

Mrs. Ann Broker

1966 ** Reverend Mason of the Charlotte Baptist Church conducted services at the Chapel on Sunday afternoons. Ruth Dwelley held Sunday school in the mornings assisted by Doris Edgerly and several young people. An annual Christmas program was presented after which the Sunday school was closed for the winter.

1967 ** In June, Linda and Sandra Hatton of Charlotte, students at Bob Jones University conducted Sunday school services. Ernest Campbell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Campbell of Calais, held afternoon Church services. Ernest was a second year student at Gordon Cornwell Theological seminary of South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Ernest and his dad (Kenneth) also had a boys' club organized. The young people enjoyed outdoor sports as well as attending Bible study sessions.

August 23, 1968 ** The Corporation met to discuss the future of Cedar Sunday School and Cedar Chapel. Due to circumstances beyond our control it was voted to close the work, sell the building and property.

August 1969 ** The building and property were sold to Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Keck.

The money from the sale was placed in a bank and was used for the purpose of sending young people to youth camps. Youngsters were sent to the Baptist Youth Camp, Lake Pennamaquan, Charlotte. Others attended Camp Good News at the same location for quite a few simmers. Money was also donated to several charitable funds.

Cedar Sunday School was an Interdenominational Independent work, supported by the offerings and generous gifts of the local folk. It was also supported by gifts from various churches. No money was raised to support the work from other sources.

A NOTE OF INTEREST

Youth rallies were held through the years sponsored by the New Brunswick Bible Institute of Victoria, New Brunswick. The speakers were Rev. Kenneth Robins and Rev. Harold Duff. The boys quartet presented great musical concerts, as did the girls quintet. Several services held at the Methodist Church had a large attendance.

After our chapel was closed, we donated to the New Brunswick Bible Institute our library of Christian books as they needed books.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Freda Hatfield, daughter of Cecil and Edith Hatfield, attended Missionary Training school at Grand Rapids, Michigan. There she met and married Peter Tong of Taiwan, a Missionary candidate with the Christian Reformed Mission. She joined hands with Peter in going forth on the mission field planting churches in Taipei, Taiwan and surrounding areas.

They were blessed with three children, Wendall, Joanna, and Linda. Peter has written and edited numerous Christian books.

After 25 years or more they continue on with the Christian Reformed Mission in Taiwan. Their service is a history in itself. They were worthy servants of the Lord!

Fern Strout, daughter of Lyman and Doris Strout, was one of the first members. She was faithful, with almost perfect attendance until she graduated from high school. She assisted with teaching in her adult years and provided transportation for Sunday school students.

She married Donald Garner of Kansas City, Missouri. They have an adopted daughter, Becky. The family is active at a Baptist Church in Kansas City.

Rev. William Hatfield and his wife Muriel were very supportive. Bill was instrumental in the building and organization of the ''Church of the Open Bible'' at Greenville, Maine. He also served in other areas, building and ministering.

Rev. Aubrey Dwelley and his wife Lillian were also faithful in their support. Cedar Sunday School was one of the mission projects of the East Auburn (Maine) Baptist Church at which Aubrey was pastor for seven years, ministering also at various churches.

Viola Dwelley taught whenever possible, serving in her own quiet way and gave her prayers for support. Her daughter Mavis assisted with teaching and provided transportation for many children.

I would like to mention many others who helped in the Work, but time and energy prevent that. To parents, friends, and students, a word of gratitude, for without you there would not have been a Cedar Sunday School. Jesus said, ''Suffer little children to come unto Me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God” Mark 10:14

Some of the students were called into the ministry, others into teaching or nursing professions, others using their God given talents according to their skills, establishing Christian homes and bringing their families up in the way of the Lord.

Some have fallen by the way-side. However the Word has been taught and only He knows how much has been accomplished and even yet will raise the weaker to do a greater work. The final score will be written in the Book of Life.

Cedar Sunday School was established in Alexander when it was most needed. The closing was not an end but just a beginning. We trust that the goal of the American Sunday School Union has been accomplished, “In reaching the unreached for Christ.”

A TRIBUTE TO ALAN FLOOD

Alan Flood, the son of Bernard and Barbara Flood, started Sunday School at an early age. It was a joy to see him each week, eager and ready to learn his Sunday School lessons and to be of help in every way. He was loved by all who knew him.

Stricken with cancer during his teens, he fought a good fight bearing a testimony for the Savior whom he loved, witnessing to his many friends. Alan shall always be remembered as one of the faithful and co-operative members of Cedar Sunday School.

Called home to be with the Lord on September 11th, 1972 at age 16. We are grateful for his precious memory.

THE WORD WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE

Cedar School / Cedar Sunday School / Cedar Chapel / private home pictured in 2004