By 1840, FirstBaptistChurch (in Milltown) had many
members that were living in Calais.
To promote the growth and efficiency of the church, these members requested to
be dismissed from the Milltown church in order to organize a separate church in
Calais. They made this request to the church on December 14, 1841; and the church granted their request.
In all, 51 members of the Milltown congregation became members of the new church,
which was organized on December 29, 1841.
The new church in Calais was named Calais Village Baptist Church. (In the past,
central Calais was known both as SaltwaterVillage and as StillwaterVillage.) Rev. E. D. Very had left
the Milltown church to become our first pastor, and he and the new congregation
strongly opposed slavery. The church continued as a member of the Washington
Association (now East Area Association) of the American Baptist Convention of
Maine. Rev. Very resigned and moved to Nova Scotia
before the congregation had moved into the new church building.
Henry V. Dexter
Pastor No. 2
Served: 1845? - 1854
Pastor No. 5
Served: October 1860 - April 1869
Henry V. Dexter was the first
pastor of CalaisVillageBaptistChurch
after the church building was completed. He attended Colby College and Newton
Theological Institution, and he was proficient in Greek and Latin. Rev. Dexter
assisted pastors of the various Baptist churches in rural communities near
(Rev. Dexter was pastor of the church
at two separate times: first, he served from about 1845 until 1854; later, he
served from October 1860 until April 1869.)
E. B. Eddy
Pastor No. 6 Served:December 1869 - July 1875
E. B. Eddy graduated from Brown University and Newton Theological Institution,
and he had served as a chaplain during the Civil War. Rev. Eddy was also
proficient in geology. He never fully recovered, however, from injuries due to
a railway accident. Rev. Eddy was noted for preaching the fundamental teachings
of the Bible.
J. A. Freiday
Pastor No. 7 Served:September 1875 - October 1876
During the pastorate of J. A. Freiday, a revival occurred in the church. In
all, 60 new members joined during this time. He soon resigned to accept an
appointment as a missionary to India.
Dr. Adoniram Judson Padelford
Pastor No. 8 Served: 1877
A. J. Padelford was educated at RochesterUniversity and Rochester
Theological Seminary, and he earned his Doctor of Divinity degree at ColbyCollege. His arrival in the year
1877 was a significant event for the church and for the city. Dr. Padelford was
pastor of SecondBaptistChurch for 31 years, longer than
any other pastor of our church; during his pastorate, 352 persons were received
into the church by baptism. He also wrote a book, The Morning Hour, which contained a passage of scripture for
devotional reading for each day of the year. For ten years, from 1885 until
1895, he was superintendent of the schools of Calais.
Dr. Padelford served as president of the Baptist Convention of Maine as well.
On July 21, 1908, Dr. Padelford celebrated his 75th
birthday with the church. All 75 children of the church filed into the vestry,
each bearing a spray of sweet peas. In the evening, the adults gave him a gift
of 75 candy kisses and a new wallet with money in it; he was informed that this
money was to go to the church treasury so that the church could be entirely
free from debt. This beloved pastor was delighted to do so.
John Cromwell Hughes Pastor No. 9 Served: September 1909 - September
Hughes graduated from the University of Wales and London and Bangor
Theological Seminary, and he arrived here from a Baptist church in Connecticut. Church and
Sunday School attendance reached their peak during
Hughes’ years; often, the sanctuary and vestry were taxed to their
fullest capacity. He also started a class for men that had an average attendance
of 50. Another room had to be built to house this class, and the church later
built another room atop it. In September 1913, Rev. Hughes resigned to accept a
call to ImmanuelBaptistChurch in Boston, Massachusetts.
Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell
Pastor No. 10 Served: 1913 - 1921
Wallace S. “Wally” Boardman
Pastor No. 11 Served: May 1921 - January 1925
worked diligently among the young people. He focused not only on preaching but
also on doing the work of the church. During his pastorate, a missionary
campaign called the New World Movement brought in over $6,000 – a very
large sum for those days.
Roy M. Trafton
No. 12 Served: May 1925 - March 1929
While Rev. Trafton
was pastor, Sunday School picnics by steamer along the St. Croix River were
Pastor No. 13 Served: July 1929 - December 1932
Rev. Elbert Paul
graduated from AcadiaUniversity in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. A Roger Williams
Club was formed during his pastorate, as well as the World Wide Guild and
groups of Children’s World Crusaders. Despite the depression in 1929,
finances were kept in good shape. Rev. Paul left to serve at the leading
Baptist church in Vancouver, British Columbia.
George W. Davis
Pastor No. 14
Served: January 1932 - 1935
Pastor Davis was young but very short in stature. Nonetheless, he refused
to use a fine mahogany stool that was made especially for his use behind the
pulpit – instead, he preached from both sides of the pulpit. A Junior
Choir was started in September 1932.
Rev. Davis was a strong pacifist; and his young people’s class enjoyed
bringing up the subject of war and peace on occasion, disrupting completely the
subject under discussion. After leaving Calais, he moved to Columbus, Ohio.
Pastor No. 15 Served: August 1935 - September 1938
Ed Goodman was another young pastor, and he
had many new ideas. He undertook the entire management of the Sunday School for a year; however, when the year was over, he was
glad to delegate many of its duties.
Ellis J. “Sam” Holt
Pastor No. 16 Served: November 1938 - October 1942
In 1940, our
church was active in a campaign against Sunday movies in Calais. It was successful
by a large majority.
Ellis Holt wrote the book A Quarter Century
of Change 1954-1979.
Walter L. Cook
Pastor No. 17 Served: October 1942 - November 1945
During Walter L.
Cook’s service, the church decided to start a Baptist summer camp. The
first two camping seasons, 1945 and 1946, took place at the Advent Camp in
Princeton. In these first two years, 54 people accepted Christ. Rev. Cook was
active in visitations, and he prided himself on being able to confine his
regular calls to 15 minutes. During his sermons he also heeded time, preaching
only as long as he felt he could hold his audience. In 1944, the Baraca
Philathea class was organized under the name of the “Out-to-Win”
Philathea class, and it is still active today.
Walter Cook wrote the book The Story of
Raymond J. Bates
Pastor No. 18 Served: March 1946 - January 1954
the pastorate of Rev. Raymond Bates, the church purchased a camp on PennamaquanLake in Charlotte. The lot included
71 acres, an old building, and a hencoop. The price was $1,100.
Raymond Buker, who later became a missionary to a leper colony, made the down
payment on the camp, intending the money to be a gift. Second Baptist wanted to
have the Washington Association (now the East Area Association) take over the
camp, but our church was prepared to pursue the project if the association was
the association took the helm of the camp, and Dr.
Buker was refunded his payment. The camp has had
many successful years and now has a value of more
than 20 times the original cost.
Dr. Bob Ginn
No. 20 Served: May 1959 - August 1964
Dr. Bob Ginn
earned his doctorate at Dallas Theological Seminary. He had a gift for bringing
the Old Testament characters to life.
In 1959, Dr. Bob Ginn started a radio ministry
at the local radio station in Calais; his program went
on the air at on Sundays. The
theme song, “I Have a Longing in My Heart for Jesus,” was sung by Mrs.
Arwood Ginn. After a brief devotion, Dr. Ginn would preach the gospel.
Pastor No. 21 Served: January 1965 - May 1979
Thompson, who had served the Millinocket church for over 10 years, became our
21st pastor. Because he was receiving a larger salary than our church could
afford, we were doubtful that Rev. Thompson would consider leading our church.
Much to the delight of Second Baptist, Pastor Thompson felt called to come to Calais and serve.
The entire community approved of Pastor
Thompson. He was especially appreciated by the hospital, where he responded to
calls without regard to denominational affiliation. In addition, he became the
president of the ministerial association. His wife, Lucy, received national
recognition and became president of American Baptist Women. Under Rev.
Thompson’s pastorate, the church experienced an increase in support and
unification: the Baptist church in Milltown had closed; and the daughter of
Rev. Lyons, its last leader, joined SecondBaptistChurch with her husband
and three children.
Pastor No. 22 Served: March 1980 - 1981
Rev. James Wilce
came from Claremont, California; and his wife was from Augusta, Maine. His wife
had previously served six months in Bangladesh, and they planned to go there as
missionaries as soon as they could get that specific appointment. During his
time with the church, Rev. Wilce was ordained and was instrumental in forming
Brothers and Sisters for Missions in 1981; this ministry is still active and
serving others today. Soon, the Wilces received word that their appointment had
come through. There was a marked growth in attendance and interest during his
Pastor No. 23
Served: November 1981 - ?
Rev. Wakeman’s pastorate at Second Baptist was his fifth
in Maine. He was very
knowledgeable concerning the Bible, and both he and his wife were very well
liked personally. Nonetheless, he did not get the response he desired and
thought it best to serve elsewhere. The Prayer Chain began during Rev.
Wakeman’s pastorate, and this ministry is still active.
Pastor No. 24 Served: May 1984 - August 1988
Rev. Charles Reed
came to Calais after spending five years as a pastor in Aroostook County. He worked
alongside the Methodists, Congregationalists, and Episcopalians on ecumenical
endeavors; and he initiated the Thanksgiving Day dinner that SecondBaptistChurch provides each
year free of charge to the community.
Pastor No. 25 Served: February 1990 - December 1991
No. 26 Served: June 1993 - September 1999
Pastor Chet and
his wife, Barbara, had a calling for youth ministry. Mrs. Garrison restarted
the junior choir, which became known as the King’s Kids. She also became
active in Christian Education, which grew in depth and in numbers under their
guidance. Our Sunday School began to grow as well under their leadership.
Starting in 1994, there was an increase in the
Bible Study attendance. The Christian Education Board also started H.O.P.E.S.,
Helping Other People Every Sunday, which helps to support the Irene Chadbourne
Ecumenical Food Pantry in Calais.
Moreover, Pastor Garrison challenged all of us to grow spiritually. In the 1997
Annual Report, he wrote in his letter to the church, “He had called us to
stand in the gap together in this city for Him,” referencing Matthew 28.
Pastor Chet was also ordained that year, on October
In 1998, Pastor Chet challenged us once again not to be complacent but
continued with, “What has God been doing in my church, my life, and am I
listening to Him?” Pastor Garrison left in 1999 to serve at another
church in Maine.