Dover Foxcroft Congregagational Church
824 West Main Street
PO Box 328
Dover Foxcroft, ME 04426
207-564-2872
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 have today.

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 Church Fairs.

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 service.

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.
Our History: