State Road History

 

The Advent Christian work in Aroostook County and New Brunswick was begun in 1860 when Moses Corliss came down the Aroostook River by boat and disembarked on land belonging to Job Churchill of Crouseville. He preached there and seems to have started a church. Other small churches began through his efforts including the one in Middle Simonds, New Brunswick, where his son, Benjamin was born. Benjamin followed his father in the ministry and later preached in this area.

Crouseville was the seed plot for other area churches. A group of young  men there began to go out preaching and organized several churches. The young men included Wilmont Crouse, Ross Fox, William Churchill and Fred Flewelling.

Perhaps the most outstanding of this group was William Churchill. He organized nine churches in various places including State Road. He continued a wide ministry until his tragic death on February 17, 1924. He was traveling with his horse, which was trusted to take him where he wished with little guidance. He was apparently dozing when he reached the crossing just above the NOMACCA entrance just as the electric car did, and he was struck and killed.

The State Road Church was begun as neighborhood meetings about 1900 in the Packard Schoolhouse. The building then stood at the top of the hill east of the church (Haines Hill). It was moved to the foot of the hill and made into a house which stood for some time on the Chandler farm.

Elder John Hutchinson of Crouseville and Elder William Churchill were outstanding among the speakers who conducted services. After the death of Elder Hutchinson, the work was continued by Churchill.

On October 1, 1901, people of the area purchased a half acre of land at the corner of the State Road and the Hale Road. The land had been owned by Elijah Easler and was bought for the sum of fifty dollars.

October 7, 1901, an organizational meeting was held under the Rev. William Churchill and eight charter members began the work. The people had no convenient building suitable for church services in the twenty-four miles between Presque Isle and Ashland. The foundation was begun that fall but recessed during the winter and was resumed in March.

The church was dedicated October 12, 1902, with a sermon by Elder E. H. Wyeth of Presque Isle. At the time there were no pews but some were bought in 1903. The building was set just above ground level and consisted of one large room heated by a wood stove at the back with its pipe running the length of the building. A small room filled the back corner where the coat rack was later located. Services were conducted by various ministers of the area including George Osman of Presque Isle, Elder William Churchill, Charles King, Milton Burtt, and Benjamin Corliss. By January 1909 the church voted to pay Pastor Osman not less than $4.00 a service which would be held every other Sunday.

The church records for a long period were neglected and no real organization was active. During the time, irregular services were held with various speakers. They were usually pastors of other churches and included J.S. Woodworth and Elder Wyeth of Crouseville, A.B. Rollins and Frank Tooth of Presque Isle. Elder O.S. French who lived with a son in Fort Fairfield was the author of Subject Concordance on the sleep of the dead and conditional immorality, which is still widely use in our denomination.

In a later period, Frank Davis and Mrs. Susie Davis were serving in the area. Mr. Davis took over work at State Road, sometimes walking the distance from Ashland to hold their service. At times, several small churches were handled in a circuit, such as the one held by Fred Flewelling, which included East Mapleton, Castle Hill, and Ashland. He recalls quarterly sessions always in Crouseville. He served for a time as the conference worker and served State Road as well as other pastorless churches in the area.