Dover Foxcroft Congregagational Church
824 West Main Street
PO Box 328
Dover Foxcroft, ME 04426
The towns of Foxcroft and Dover were opened to settlement about 1805. Originally church meetings were held
in the log house of Abel Turner. There was no established minister at the time, but several people in the town
met occasionally and were ministered to by Rev. John Sawyer from Garland. In the spring of 1814, Mrs. Nathan
Carpenter and Mrs. William Mitchell united with the Garland Congregational Church organized four years
earlier. They rode horseback ten miles south to Garland to attend these church services and became the
nucleus of what was to be called the Congregational Church of Foxcroft and. vicinity. The communion set
encased and displayed in the present sanctuary is from the Garland church and was donated by one of the last
surviving family members of that early church. In 1816 or 1817, Mrs. Carpenter held a Sabbath School in her
home, said to be the first Sunday School north of Bangor.
Rev. Thomas Williams was settled as the first minister and installed January 1, 1823 . Just prior to his
installation, the Garland church met on December 27, 1822, voted that the connection between the 20 members
of the Garland church who resided in Foxcroft, Sangerville, Guilford, and Dover no longer existed, and
separated from the Garland church. Three days later, on December 30, 1822, the Congregational Church of
Foxcroft and Dover was organized. The first church building erected was on Lincoln Street and was destroyed
by fire January 15, 1835, the day it was dedicated. The door lock from that church is the only surviving relic we
The second meetinghouse, located on North Street, was lost to fire on October 21, 1850. The loss of the
building was placed at $2,000 with no insurance and the contents valued at $600. Members traveled over the
state to collect funds to build another church. There were over 200 subscriptions, the largest sum being $4, the
smallest two cents; and a large number of subscriptions were below $1. The original contract (which still
exists) to replace the building shows that Nathaniel Chamberlain was contracted to furnish all materials and
labor as well as furnish and hang a bell of not less than 1,000 pounds for a price not to exceed $2,550. The
present building located on West Main Street was dedicated on October 22, 1851.
During the first century or more in the life of the church, it was customary to hold morning and evening
services and midweek prayer meetings. Attendance in 1850 showed an average of 190 in church and 120 in
Sunday School. As time passed, distractions made their inroads on attendance, particularly the Sunday
evening and midweek services. It was finally voted in 1928 to discontinue the Sunday evening service and that
young peoples' meetings be held in their place.
Throughout the years, extensive repairs and changes have been made to the church and the sanctuary. The
original belfry was removed, the present spire built in 1877, and the town clock added. The Chapel was erected
in 1876 largely through Deacon John G. Mayo's generosity.
The first parsonage was bought from WiIIiam McComb in 1882 and was located on the site of the former Maine
Central Railroad station on Summer Street. The house was later moved to Edes Avenue and was the home of
the late Raymond Goodwin. Later the apartment house across from Mayo Hospital on West Main Street was
used as a parsonage, then the white house next to our parking lot, and finally the present residence was
purchased in 1944.
In 1923, following the union of the two towns in 1922, the name of the church was changed to Dover-Foxcroft
Congregational Church and in 1961 joined with the United Church of Christ movement. In 1927, the church
became incorporated. In 1930, the Universalist Church united with the Congregational Church and was known
as the Community Church. However, many of the Universalists were never in sympathy with the union, and it
was dissolved in 1936.
A Teller Kent pipe organ was purchased for $8,000 in 1929. In 1955, illumination of the steeple was donated by
Rev. and Mrs. Myron Hertel; and in 1963, the six-foot-high aluminum cross the spire as a memorial gift by the
Rev. Donald Davenport. Expansion projects have included a connector in 1980 to join the Chapel and main
church and in 1988 the construction of the new Sunday School Annex and Church Office suite. The latest
addition cost $125,000 and was paid off in five years thanks to chicken pie suppers and profitable annual
The Teller Kent organ was replaced in 2003 with a digital Rodgers Trillium. It can be played with or without the
pipes. The new organ was financed completely by existing endowments and pledges raised at one Sunday
Over the years, there have been 26 ministers. In 2004, the Rev. Ken Dale moved on to a new church after
serving the congregation for 20 years. In 2006, the church's first female minister, Rev. Heather Kurtz, was
called. She began serving the congregation on May 14, 2006 and was installed on November 12, 2006 and
served the church until January, 2011.
Rev. Chad Poland was called in September of that same year and served as its Pastor until February of 2017.
Adapted from a history written by Madelyn Betts
The Congregational Church has a long and rich history here in Dover Foxcroft.
Below are some of the highlights of our story.
We look forward to the years of ministry yet to come; proclaiming the gospel of
Jesus Christ and serving God, those that call the Maine highlands region their
home, and those around the world.