Former Houlton pastor thanks community for being so welcoming

To the editor:

To the readers of The County, and to the Houlton Community at large: 

I’d like to say “thank you” to all of you for welcoming me into the Houlton community for the past three years. Although I moved to Houlton in January 2015 to become the pastor of the First Baptist Church (a.k.a. Court Street Baptist), you welcomed me into the greater community willingly. Even though I was, am, and always will be “from away,” you never made me feel like you regarded me as an outsider.

I have enjoyed serving the people of the First Baptist Church as pastor, and I have enjoyed living, working, and playing in the Houlton community. From the outstanding Rotary Club and the Houlton area Little League to Monday Night Volleyball, Midnight Madness, Fourth of July parades and celebrations, Potato Feast Days, Houlton Fair, Light parade at Thanksgiving, local and nationally-known Gospel music artists, Moosestompers Weekend, and more, Houlton never disappointed or made me wonder if there was “anything to do.”

If I have contributed to your community even a small fraction of what you all have given to me, I will consider my time among you in Houlton a great success. You have enriched my life and I am the better person because of the time you let me spend with you. Never in my life have I felt as connected to any community as I felt while I was with you in Houlton.

I was sad to leave your community as soon as I did, yet I look forward to every opportunity Kelly and I have to return to visit. I hope those visits are soon, and that they are frequent.

(NOTE: should you wish to contact me, please call the First Baptist Church office at 532-3196 and ask for my contact information.)

Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Ashley

Former Pastor, First Baptist Church, Houlton

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