[p. 61]WELD AND CARTHAGE BAPTIST CHURCH.
FROM a short history of this church, written in 1847 by Isaac Barrett, we glean the following facts. The town of Weld was formerly known as Number 5, and very soon after the settlement of the place it was visited by our Baptist missionaries and converts were made. At the close of a series of meetings conducted by Elder Lemuel Jackson and Elder Thomas Wyman, the brethren, being anxious for the prosperity of the cause of Christ, felt desirous of being formed into a church. A council was called consisting of delegates from the churches in Livermore, Jay and Greene, and from the Second Bowdoin church, and a church consisting of twenty-one members was organized, July 5, 1809. The Articles of Faith of the Bowdoinham Association were adopted.
The following month, Elder Lemuel Jackson was invited to become pastor and, accepting the charge, served the church for about two years. September 4, 1811, Amariah Reed was ordained. How long he served the church as pastor the history does not state.
The first five years after the organization were years of revival, and the membership increased to sixty-one. From 1814, there was no special religious interest for twelve years. Elder Mayhew and Elder Low visited the place in 1826 and there was a great revival, sixty-three being hopefully converted and added to the church by baptism. Elder Mayhew continued with the church and preached for them for about one year. With this exception the church had no pastor until 1837, when a call was extended to Rev. Luther Perkins, who became pastor and served the church until June 1, 1845, when, at his own request, he was dismissed from the pastoral care of the church.
[p. 62] In the Spring of 1843 there was another revival and four were baptized and two restored. In 1844, Rev. Ransom Dunham came for a short time and labored with the church. As a result of his labors eight were added to the church by baptism.
It would seem that these converts were not all of the best quality, or else the church was more strict in their discipline than are many at the present time. As the historian adds:
"Within five years from the revival in 1809, eighteen of the members were excluded, and within eight years from the revival in 1826, twenty-nine of the sixty-three were excluded." He adds further : "This church has experienced many refreshing seasons. God has at times visited us by His Holy Spirit and called home some of his wandering children and in these seasons there have been many added to the church. We fear, however, respecting some of these that 'Christ was not formed in them the hope of glory.' How cautious ought churches to be in receiving members!" At this time, 1847, the church numbered thirty-four members.
From 1845 to 1856, Elders Nathan Mayhew, Ransom Dunham, and Stillman Wyman supplied the church with preaching at different times. Elder Mayhew died March 12, 1855, "in the triumphs of faith." January 7, 1855, Rev. Asa W. Cummings visited this field, coming from West Sydney, and quite a religious awakening took place. May 31, 1856, he was called to the pastorate of the church, which office he filled with great fidelity until 1878, when he was compelled to resign the pastorate on account of ill health and June 6, 1879, he passed to the church triumphant. Quite a number was added to the church during his pastorate but church discipline was so zealously applied to the membership that the church hardly held its own numerically.
From the close of Brother Cummings' pastorate in 1878 to the coming of Rev. G. W. Colby in 1896, there seems to have been no regular pastor installed; but the church was served by a number of supplies, namely: Brother E. N. Pierce, who had not yet been ordained; Rev. S. S. Wyman and Rev. W. E. Morse. Rev. S. S. Wyman died March 25, 1889, after having served the Lord in the ministry many years.
Rev. G. W. Colby was pastor two years, from 1896 to 1898. Evangelist J. W. Hatch came to his assistance, and, as a result [p. 63] fourteen members were added to the church, but quite a number of the converts went elsewhere.
Just prior to Brother Colby's coming, the state missionary, Nathan Hunt, spent some time on the field and gathered four or live into the church. Brother Irving Hathaway, who afterward went to South America as a missionary and died there, came and spent two months with the church.
F. M. Clay, a licentiate, followed Brother Colby from 1898 to 1900. Two were gathered into the church at this time. Rev. G. A. Chapman became pastor in 1900 and faithfully served the church for three years or until 1903. This same year he was followed by Rev. George F. Jenkins, the present pastor, who, as one of the results of the campmeeting at Berry Mills last Summer, baptized three into the membership of the church. The membership of this organization at the present time is twenty. Such is a brief history of the Weld and Carthage church, but the complete record of its faithful members and pastors is "on high"