OXFORD — Parishioners, family and friends of Pastor Lloyd Waterhouse packed Grace Fellowship Church to celebrate his 90th birthday Saturday afternoon.

The surprise party was organized by family and friends. Waterhouse, duped into thinking he was attending a baby shower, almost turned around and left. According to his family, Waterhouse has lived quite the life. 

Despite being diagnosed with leukemia in 2017, Waterhouse, an avid outdoors enthusiast, finds time to go out fishing and trapping with his friends. Waterhouse is also still an active pastor, preaching sermons at local nursing homes.

“Pastor Waterhouse has touched many lives in his 90 years,” daughter in-law Betty Ostrander wrote in an email. “He has performed weddings, baptisms and funerals, so many that he lost count. If you mention the name Pastor Waterhouse, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know him or know of him.”

Pastor Lloyd Waterhouse walks into his surprise birthday party at the Grace Fellowship Church in Oxford on Saturday. Waterhouse will turn 90 on May 8. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slov

According to Ostrander, service has always been a compelling concept for Waterhouse. After many years of living what he describes a “worldly life,” Waterhouse turned to faith in 1968.

“He loves helping people and feels so blessed to be able to be there to help others in need,” Ostrander said. “He has been on the receiving end of people’s generosity and knows how much it means to people to feel that someone cares and that they are important. It gives him great joy to be the person who brings joy to others. He never said no to anyone, no matter the need, day or night.”

Born in Long Beach, California, in 1929, Waterhouse moved to Maine when he was 3 years old and attended school in West Paris. He was married to Doris for 61 years, and together they raised four children: Kevin, Gary, Gail and Fred.  Waterhouse remarried and has been married to Betty for seven years.

Pastor Lloyd Waterhouse, right, receives well-wishes from Pastor Bob White during a surprise 90th birthday party for Waterhouse at the Grace Fellowship Church in Oxford on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover (Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slov

 

According to Ostrander, Waterhouse made building his ministry his life’s work. When the ministry started, Waterhouse and a handful of other worshipers would meet in American Legion or Veterans of Foreign War halls or wherever they could find the space, packing up a truck with hymn books and the podium. 

One day, Waterhouse was asked to preach, and took to it, assisting Pastor Dick Parsons. Not long after that, the growing ministry found the property on Poplar Street in Oxford, where Grace Fellowship is today.

According to Ostrander, Waterhouse plans to preach as long as he can and considers each day a blessing.

“He still wants to hunt, fish and go trapping as long as he has friends that are still willing to go along and keep him safe,” Ostrander said. “He is grateful for everything he has and takes it one day at a time.”

Pieces of chocolate sit on each table during Pastor Lloyd Waterhouse’s 90th birthday party. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

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