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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
CHURCH LIVES ON IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
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.
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
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
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
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
A NOTE OF INTEREST
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.
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
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.
Donald Garner of Kansas City, Missouri. They have an adopted
daughter, Becky. The family is active at a Baptist Church in Kansas
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.
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.
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.
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
THE WORD WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
Cedar School / Cedar Sunday School / Cedar Chapel / private home pictured in 2004