Bernard R. Patton
[NOTE: The main section of this article is a transciption of a booklet written by and printed on behalf of Bernard Patton in 1984. Included are scans of the few images included in the booklet with additional images from various sources. Original scans can be found here. ]
Fifty Years in the Ministry
from the diary of
Rev. Bernard R. Patton
Born August 30, 1903
Dedication of this autobiography to my loving wife
Ester R. Patton
Born April 6, 1901
and faithfully stayed by me these many years.
Bernard R. Patton was born in Houlton, Maine August 30, 1903, the son of William and Annie Patton.
Cradled in the Presbyterian Sunday School and grew up in the Christian Endeavor and Youth Group. Converted in the Rev. B.C. Bubar revival around 1914 in the Old Sincock Hall in Houlton, Maine. Later baptized by immersion in the Military Street Baptist Church of Houlton, under the ministry of the Rev. E.C. Jenkins, as Pastor.
Military Street Baptist Church, Houlton, Maine
At about fourteen years of age, I preached in Mission Halls, in Glasville, N.B., Canada, and other church groups. Supplied and known as the "Boy Evangelist" in varous Aroostock County churches. In 1922, I held and eleven weeks summer pastorate at Merril Plantation. Preaching in most of the Baptist Churches of Aroostock County at various intervals.
Supplied at Hodgdon Baptist Church were some good men later became ministers - John Murchie and his brother Raymond Murchie.
Two Horse Pung, Maine Woods, circa 1900
There were the Sundays on or about 1919 at North Start Hall, New Limerick, Maine when Robert Margison and I used to travel hiring a livery stable horse and pung, (and later a horse and wagon) and drove eight miles from Houlton preaching downstair in the North Star school house. Upstair was the Town Hall. The school house was packed and people were getting saved. Both Catholic and Protestant. Here we met Rev. Fred Kierstead, a Pentecostal Minister, and Rev. Benjamin Beatty, a Baptist Minister.
We were told of a family that lived in a camp three miles back in the woods. No minister ever visited them, We walked in one afternoon and reluctantly they opened the door and let Robert Margison and me in. I asked for the privilege to read and pray. I shall never forget! I read St. John 14:1-14. Merch Laing kept on smoking his corn cob pipe and his wife was setting the table for supper. Soon a pair of feet came off the oven door and the oven door slammed and another set of knees hit the floor. Merch, his wife, and their little girl got saved. What a weeping! They came to church and openly confessed the Lord at the Sunday night service.
Benjamin Calvin Bubar Sr., 1951
That spring was the my first attempt at water baptism. What a burial! God blessed. I had the Rev. H. Cosman of the Drew Lake Baptist Church help me. A great crowed gathered as the old time Baptists praised the Lord freely with their "Amens" and "Glory to God!"
I have preached in mostly every country Baptist Church from Littleton to Danforth. People loved to go to church in those days. Not for a show of clothes and not too many autos, but horses and the old horse sheds in the church yards.
In 1923 I graduated from Houlton High School and the Sunday after graduation I opened a two weeks revival with my Spiritual Father, the Rev. B. C. Bubar of Blaine, Maine Baptist Church. There were many saved and some called to the ministery - B.C. Bubar, Jr., Joseph Bubar, sons of the Pastor, Perley Sloat, Gerald Beals, and Rachael Bubar, daughter of the Pastor, now are in active ministry.
There was the local undertaker and some Russelite followers, who had threatened to carry me out of the church one Sunday night. There was no second chancee after death preachers in those days among the Baptist of Aroostook County.
We preached judgment and damnation to the lost. People got coverted in great numbers.
Then we moved to Monticello, Maine in a school house to four weeks of a gracious revival. I stayed in the home of David Lane and family. Here I met the young lady, Esther R. Lane, whom two years later became my wife. There were men seventy years old and over who got saved. Seven of them who had been tobacco users for years. There was a great move. The late Rev. Lee C. Good helped in two water baptisms.
Five weeks have gone by since those meetings. Now we are down to Canterbury, N.B. with the late Perley Quigg in a Primitive Baptist Church. They were not Holiness, but great folk to testify and to pray. We had two water baptisms at Russell Rock and some of that fruit is still living.
I helped the Rev. Kincaid of Laconia, N.H. at East Hodgdon, Maine and what a revival. We cut the ice in Green Lake to baptize about Thanksgiving time. There were whole families saved.
In January, 1923, B.C. Bubar came back to Houlton, Maine and we helped the third of February in a water baptism on a Sunday afternoon. It was 20 below zero and we had to cut fourteen inches of ice on Saturday, then Sunday the frost cracked and snapped and we buried two cousins of mine, Willie and Donald Patton, Mrs. King and about fifteen souls. The water baptism was nearly to a close when a man over seventy came to be baptized. He had never been a Christian. His name was Spot Cameron. He confessed the Lord Jesus and from a dream he had his soul delivered. The winds howled in the natural, but I walked two miles to my father's home. My father and sister stood on the ice. Did you get cold? I have been asked. No one ever did and we went on to serve the Lord Jesus.
Bangor Daily News, July 9, 1925
In 1924 I accepted the pastorate of the Linneus Baptist church, and being single, I boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Bowles, their son Lester, and daughter Hazel. I stayed there until I was married on January 1, 1925. This old country church was lighted with a chandelier in the center of the auditorium with seventeen kerosene lights on the platform. Around the walls were kereosene lights and reflectors, as well as in the entry of the church. The older people carried kerosene lanters at night. (These are antiques now.) A hand-pumped organ and a lovely choir of young folk. The country church filled to the doors Sunday after Sunday. Poeple got saved and baptized. There were many Protestant faiths represented.
There was Brother Guy Anderson and his two sisters that for weeks drove up from Haynesville Sunday nights. They always sang for the altar call, "Is Your All On the Altar of Sacrifice Laid" and conviction fell.
Then there was Sister Jennie Graham, wife of David Graham, who by mistake swallowed nine needles from a pin cushion. Brother Graham came to the parsonage and my wife and I went up to their home. We prayed for this woman and she passed all of those nine needles.
There was Dick and Jason Ruth, cousins who were deaf mutes and were prayed for in a tent revival at Houlton. They both heard and talked. Jason heard the old church bell on Sunday morning. He was about fifty years old and Dick was in his mid forties.
Bangor Daily News, July 25, 1975
On January 1, 1925, the writer was married to Esther R. Lane of Monticello in a nice home wedding by Rev. B. C. Bubar (late) and serendaded in good style by a great crowd. No open roads and not hindered by 25 degrees weather the people gathered. We opened up the parsonage in Linneus and what a rich ministry in the Lord Jesus!
To this union there are three daughters and one son - Mrs. Geraldine Blalack, Mrs. Gertrude Lovely, Mrs. Ruth Holmes, and Mr. Bernard Patton, Jr.
The summer came and we preached in Linneus Sunday A.M. and drove to Haynesville Baptist Church sixteen miles away for a two P.M. service and on to Weston, Maine for a service, then back to Haynesville. The next summer we preached in Linneus in the morning and to James Nason Settlement, fifteen miles away, for a two P.M. service and then to Charles Russell Settlement in a school house at 3:15 P.M. Back to Linneus for the evening service.
In the winter of 1925 the Linneus Baptist Church asked for Ordination at the hands of the Baptist Denomination. The Council was held in Houlton in February 1925. Fourteen men instead of seven were present. There were two other candidates, and for over one and a half hours I was challenged to disfellowship with Rev. B.C. Bubar (my spiritual dad) and Rev. Lee C. Good, Farmer Evangelist Fred Foster. I passed all the other questions but I refused to cut fellowship. I was given a Bible Course recommendation to be sent by the headquarters of Waterville, Maine. The course never came and I was not ordained until 1930.
The summer of 1927 we came to Brookton, Maine in the Town Hall. John Wilson (late) and his wife Annie of Mars Hill, Maine took my wife and me to church Sunday morning in their Whippett car. At this time we lived in Monticello, Maine.
The little church in Brookton would not hold over forty people so the crowds came and we moved to the Town Hall. What a time! In late summer Lee C. Good helped us to baptize at two or three baptisms.
Knoxford Praying Band Church, 2019
In late October we came to Knoxford in the Old Praying Band Church, known as the Guy Bartley grainery, moved out by the side of the road. Uncle (Rev.) Eugene Kimball of Fort Fairfield, Maine came two days after Christmas and what power. Four weeks every night and over fifty received the Holy Ghost. The altars always lined, they came from Centerville, N.B., Charleston, N.B., Royalton, N.B., Florenceville, Clariview, N.B. Double sled loads, pungs and blessed the people of God.
In January of 1928 I came to Easton Pentecostal Church and stayed with our late Brother and Sister George Fuller. There was a real move of God with large crowds. The old horse shed was filled with horses from long sleds and double hitchups. The building surged with the Power of God.
The writer received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost here in this revival, which lasted four weeks.
I came to Westfield, Maine in early February, 1928 with the late Fred Pierce in a mission upstairs in his home. There were meetings of great power with souls saved, and met by the Power of the Holy Ghost.
Brother F. Harold Bickford talked with me in Mars Hill about coming to Presque Isle, Maine. The first Sunday, February 20th, there were six present. I went to Easton the next Sunday. The first Sunday in March there were nine to Presque Isle, but we kept coming. The building was covered with cedar shingles outside and small porch. No cellar and pine finish inside. The walls and ceiling both pine. The floors were of soft wood with a stub chimney toward the front of the room and a heater stove. The wood was piled up in the back of the room.
In three years time we separated the buidling in two and added fifteeen feet. We covered the walls and ceiling and jacked up the building. Shortly after this we put a concrete wall under it. William Wheeler (later) helped us, also Thomas Shaw (late) and Eldon Grass. Bro. T.C. Deeves was the Preseident of the Assembly for years.
Full Gospel Assembly Presque Isle, Google Maps 2023
Years have gone by and the building is now quite modern, with classrooms down in the basement and the main floor as well. In 1968 the pastor raised money for the new lights. A building fund of $9,000.00 and no debts against the property. For years in the 40's and 50's I bought and maintained without any financial help from the church, the second car to bring children to church and Sunday School.
Full Gospel Assembly Presque Isle, Rev. Kevin Kierstead, 2023
Arthur Carmichael gave the pastor the last $300.00 due on concrete floor for the basement. The church is well filled and the Sunday School runs as high as 140 in attendance.
I was ordained to the ministry at Mars Hill, Maine on October 30, 1930. I have been President of the Full Gospel Ministerial Fellowship of Maine and New Brunswick since its forming October, 1932, with the exception of a one and a half year period. Some 165 ministers and missionaries are members. Also served as President of the Pentecostal Home Missions of Aroostook County and Northern New Brunswick for the first nine years after it was formed. I have now been Secretary for nine years. President for one year of the Greater Presque Isle Ministerial Association - 1969-1970. Have been on the Pentecostal State of Maine Foreign Mission Board for twenty years.
In August of 1969, after forty one years, I was no longer to serve the Assembly that I helped to build in tender years. So is the way of all flesh. Precious memories will be ours, here we suffered, denied ourselves of luxuries, and prayed and wept freely.
Many churches have opened their doors, such as Christian Advent, Baptist, Pentecostal. We have strong desire to continue the Christian Race, until Jesus says, "Servant it is enough".
For More Info
Bernard Patton Memorial: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132655857/bernard-r-patton
Additional Notes: Benjamin Calvin Bubar, Sr.
With the passion of an evangelist, Benjamin Calvin Bubar Sr. urged the Maine House of Representatives in 1951 to enact a 1 percent gross income tax instead of a sales tax. "It costs just as much — and it should cost just as much — for the poor man's child to live as it does the rich man's child," he argued. "He should be able to wear as much, he should be able to eat as much. . . . Members, do you want a birth control law here in Maine? I will tell you a good easy way to get it: pass the sales tax." A Baptist preacher from Aroostook County, Bubar was a crusader on many fronts. He'd studied with fitness zealot Bernarr Macfadden (motto: "weakness is a crime!"), and he’d launched his political career as a Townsendite, advocating for Dr. Francis E. Townsend’s Depression-inspired plan guaranteeing retirement pensions. He is best remembered as a prohibitionist and the author of The Devil Let Loose in Maine, the fictional tale of a liquor salesman who tries to match his daughter with a hard-drinking colleague before finding redemption at a rural revival service. Alas for Bubar, his measure failed. The income tax was rejected and the sales tax enacted. Some of his campaigns would endure, however, thanks to a likeminded son, Benjamin Calvin Bubar Jr., the Prohibition Party's 1976 presidential nominee and a staunch opponent of several state tax laws.
Image & Source Credits
- Bangor Daily News, various images
- Bishop Daniel Rideout, top image of Bernard and Esther Patton
- Rev. Clayton Alward Family and North Monmouth Full Gospel Church (Maine), printed booklet
- Full Gospel Assembly of Presque Isle (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064618991934), live stream still shot
- Knoxford Praying Band Church (Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/PrayingBand/?paipv=0&eav=AfY9jOiQs4BUf5fIF31DGBS6tJWH69hKmepsxcen0qfe7yoX46YmCOEZlfllqQBlHXM&_rdr), composite photo
- Maine Memory (https://www.mainememory.net/record/8460), "Two Horse Pung, Maine Woods"