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 "Striving to be
the model church
of Northern Maine"


Established in 1943

The History of The Houlton Church

  Houlton is a small town of about 5,000 people on the Canadian border in Northern Maine. The church of Christ was first introduced to this  area in the early 19th  century by an old traveling preacher by the name of Angus Dolbeck. He traveled by horse and buggy from town to town in Southern Aroostook county bringing the restoration of New Testament Christianity to this area. Brother Dolbeck who came teaching, singing, and baptizing. established groups of New Testament Chrisians in many towns. One such campaign was held in Albian, Maine in 1922 which lasted several weeks and had 41 baptisms. Brother Dolbeck's physical support consisted only of food and lodging and an occasional collection of a few dollars from those he came to save. His real reward will come from a much higher Source. The only remaining evidence of his years of sacrifice are he churches in Danforth and families who have moved elsewhere.
  Brother Dolbeck died long before my time but knowing of his life and work has been an inspiration and motivation to me. His ministry was in great contrast to the luxurious and limited lives of many preachers of today, some of whom even have unlisted phone numbers.
  Two preachers who worked in Danforth after brother Dolbeck, were:  Harold Thomas and E.R. Davis. These two men I have known since my teen years in bangor, Maine.  They both serve churches in the Midwest as Elders and are supporting my work in Houlton financially to this day.  They have been a great source of encouragement to me.
  The church in Houlton was officially organized and started by Marvin Martin who taught school in Hodgdon. In 1950 Marvin and Jewel Martin moved to Hodgdon, Maine. They established the Church of Christ in Houlton and began meeting in the American Legion Hall. Later Marvin coordinated and diligently worked with many others to cut the logs and construct the church building which is located on Main Street in Houlton, where Christians still gather every Sunday to worship. His dedication and willingness to spread the word of God, forever touched and changed the lives of many all over the workd. With and inate ability to know when others were hurting. he had a special gift of reaching out in humble service.
  Marvin and Jewel befriended my family when we were living in poverty while I was young and growing up in Maine. They unselfishly helped my mother who was trying to raise seven children with no income, before there was welfare. He was one of the reasons why I came to Houlton and  I am honored to work where he worked. In recent years Marvin expressed concern that the church of Christ in Houlton for which he and many others had made great sacrifices, was on the verge of going out of exisence. After only a few months in Houlton Laura and I realized that what he feared would have certainly happened if we had not come here when we did. (I will explain this more fully later in my book: The History of Church of Christ in in Houlton). This book will be offered FREE on this web site very soon. We both feel that we were led by God to work at keeping this church alive. This confidence has kept us strong during periods of stress and discouragement.
  When we finished restoration of the church building during our third year, Marvin was invited to come and speak at our open house. He came by plane at his own expence, all the way from San Diego, California. Friends of his came from all over Northern Maine. We had 70 in attendance - the most we have ever had.
  Marvin and Jewel spent 10 years in the Houlton area before moving to San Diego where he taught school and served as an Elder in the Church. They were married for 63 years when he died on April 9, 2001. He supported our work financially and his frequent letters of encouragement and his humor are greatly missed. Jewel continues to write to us and send financial support. Marvin Martin and Angus Dolbeck are two of my personal heros and I look forward to seeing them again.