Advent Christian Church

From the 75th Anniversary edition

Hampton Union

July 23, 1975

Advent Christian Church

Hampton, New Hampshire

The little white church on High Street in Hampton began with a group of believers sometime in the 1860s. The earliest record we have is an obituary of two members of the church in 1912. It makes reference to a sermon the couple heard in the early 60s, about the Lord’s return, the sleep of the dead, resurrection, and judgment.

The couple joined with the Second Advent Church of Hampton after hearing that sermon. This would seem to indicate that a group of believers was existent in the 1860s. Perhaps the sermon they heard was one which came out of the Millerite movement in the 1840s.

The next recorded date is Oct. 30, 1871. On this date a piece of land was leased to the Second Advent Church (Society) of Hampton by Simon P. Towle, a resident of Hampton, for $15 a year. That year a chapel was built on the land.

The clerk’s books begin on Jan. 18, 1877. On this date, the church was officially organized by Elder C.E. Hurd, pastor of the Advent Church in Rye,. and 19 members:

R.L. Johnson, J.A. Philbrick, Joseph Mace, Oliver Page, James A. Adgerson, Charles T. Mace, Frederick Lamprey, Oliver Gardner, Joseph L. Locke, Chloe A. Mace, Ellen E. Mace, Marcia J. Mace, M.A. Goodwin, Hannah F. Hawbolt, Emma L. Lamprey and Drucilla Lamprey.

The Bible was used as a guide for faith, doctrine, and the practice of the Christian life. Piety and baptism by immersion were requirements for membership. The guideline for discipline was Matthew 18:15-17.

In 1885 an official lease of land was signed by four members of the church: J.L. Locke, clerk; Joseph A. Philbrick, treasurer; Samuel J. Hawbolt; and Horace 0. Mace, and David 0. Leavitt, justice of the peace. The tenure of the lease was five years at $12.50 a year.

In September 1896 the members voted to look into the matter of purchasing the land on which the chapel was built. In March of 1897 they received a letter regarding the land from a lawyer Calvin Page. It was voted to raise the $40 to pay for the land. It was recorded that C.A. Blake was to collect it.

Never having owned a parsonage, the church set up a parsonage fund in 1959 to which funds were added systematically. In August 1967 two houses were considered for purchasing. The first one was not found suitable. The second one was a brick house on the property adjacent to the church. A group of members toured the house and was unanimously in favor of it. The church voted to purchase it, and by faith the 20-year mortgage was paid in about 15 months. This was celebrated by a mortgage burning following a fellowship supper on May 2, 1969.

The "parsonage" was used for a junior church, Sunday school, and prayer meeting for a time. Now it is serving as a comfortable and efficient parsonage for our present pastor, Gerald Bailey, and his family.

After the turn of the century in 1904, 13 new members were added. Three meetings were held on Sundays. Parishioners brought their lunches and stayed all day.

The first full-time pastor was called by a unanimous vote in 1905. James L. MacLaughlin of Loudon Ridge, N.H., accepted the call and stayed six years. In 1908 the church adopted a covenant, confession of faith and bylaws. The second pastor, Frank Hooper, was paid $11 per week salary.

The membership of our church has never been very large. At the most there were 60 members. In 1898 they held Sunday night meetings in homes when there was no preaching. Meetings of the church were for public worship of God on the Lord’s Day, a monthly conference, and weekly meetings for prayer and exhortation. A Sabbath School was held for young and old to study the Word of God. We still maintain these meetings except for Sunday night services, and have midweek Bible studies apart from prayer meeting.

In 1967 the Advent Church of Exeter disbanded. Eight members came to join us. All the members gave sacrificially of their time and possessions for the church.

During the 1960s, the youth of the church were active in Seacoast Youth for Christ, and a summer beach ministry. Just last summer we became involved with the Campus Crusade for Christ group project at the beach. For about 14 years now, members and friends of the church have gone monthly to two nursing homes in the area. A short service of singing and scripture is held. We also go caroling each year.

Starting in 1913 the church supported an orphan in India. We have had since then three orphans from Korea. For some years we, as a church, have participated in Penny Crusade for foreign mission work. We divide into teams and engage in a little friendly competition. Three college students were sent to Urbana, Ill., to the Inter-Varsity conference in 1973.

God has blessed many lives through the believers in Hampton. There have been problems, and joys. God continues to use us in many ways, and we continue to look to Him as the source of all our needs.

Organized in 1877 by Elder C.E. Hurd.

First pastor, James MacLaughlin, 1905-1911.

Succeeding pastors: Frank Hooper, 1911-1912; J.F. Longland, 1912-1916; Frank Long, 1917-1918; A.B. Thompson, 1919-1924; Fredrick Viggers, 1926-1929; Elvyn Blackstone, 1930- 1931; A.R. Mead, 1932-1934; James L. MacLaughlin, 1935-1940; Harold J. Wilson, 1941-1943; Lorne Ross, 1944- 1945; Z. Richard Henley, 1945-1947; E.H. Timberlake, 1947-1949; Leonard L. Boston, 1950-1955; Raymond W. Grasser, 1956-1958; David Johnson, 1958-1960; Roland C. Kimball, 1960- 1969; Philip Barton, 1970-1973, and Gerald A. Bailey, 1973-

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