AUGUSTA, Maine—With deep appreciation for their church’s founders, Augusta Baptist Church celebrated the ministry of Claude and Anna Wivell. The late Rev. Claude J. Wivell and his wife, Anna, along with their four children—Stephen, Claudia, Priscilla and Dorcas—moved to Augusta, Maine, on Sept.  24, 1960. Their vision, leadership, sacrifice, and service that began 50 years ago continues to bless the church today.

The mayor of Augusta, Maine, signed a proclamation declaring Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, as Claude and Anna Wivell Appreciation Day, when Augusta Baptist Church honored the Wivells as the church’s founders. Donalyn Heilman, daughter of Dorcas Wivell Heilman and granddaughter of Anna Wivell, took time off from her job as a nurse at Duke University Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., to bring her mother and grandmother from Pennsylvania to Maine for the occasion. Claude and Anna’s son, Stephen, and his wife, Jan, were in attendance. Stephen and Jan are Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries to Australia; Stephen spoke at all three services.

Former members and friends also gathered for the day. Participating in the morning service were Franklin Sargent, who was saved and joined the church during Pastor Wivell’s ministry; Rev. Dan Hirschy, former Baptist Mid-Missions missionary to Chad, Africa; David M. Garippa, Sr., longtime member of the church; Jon Carrell, T. A. Smith, and Dale Kilian, current leaders at the church; Rev. Walter Poole, who was a great help to Pastor Wivell in establishing the church; Pastor Wayne Shatney, representative of the Northeast Regular Baptist Fellowship of Churches; and Rev. Howard Cole, pastor of Augusta Baptist Church, who especially for this service arranged and played a trumpet duet with Nicki Kilian of one of Claude Wivell’s favorite hymns, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Augusta Baptist held a dinner at the church in the Wivells’ honor.