Church histories will be focus of society meeting


AUBURN — The history of two Auburn churches will be the topic for the meeting of the Androscoggin Historical Society. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, in the society’s headquarters on the third floor of the County Courthouse, Court and Turner streets. The public is invited to attend without charge.

Betty Dexter will discuss the history of the United Methodist Church and Douglas Hodgkin will present the history of the Court Street Baptist Church. Both are active members of their churches.

Among questions they will answer are why, simultaneously in the period from 1859 to 1861, did the Methodists and both of the Baptist denominations create Auburn churches through secessions from the Lewiston churches of each denomination; and why were there two brands of Baptist churches locally. Both speakers will illustrate their talks with slides.

Dexter was born in Greenville and is a graduate of Rockland High School. She has degrees from the University of Maine and Boston University School of Theology. She taught school in India and was an elementary grade teacher in the Greene and Auburn school systems.

Hodgkin will base his talk on research for his book, “Baptists of Court Street, Auburn, Maine,” which was published last year. A native of Lewiston and a Lewiston High School graduate, he has a bachelor of arts from Yale University and master of arts and Ph.D. from Duke University. He is professor emeritus of political science at Bates College.

In retirement, he has written several books on local history, including “Frontier to Industrial City: Lewiston Town Politics, 1768–1863” and “Historic Lewiston: The Grange at Crowley’s Junction.” His most recent book, “The Lewiston and Auburn Railroad Company 1872–2009,” is being published this month.