Alexander/Crawford History

Town News

By John Dudley 

& Cassie Oakes


Has your family always been associated with the same church?  Or is your family one of the majority over the centuries with no religious associations?  Many have grown up in a Judeo-Christian culture, and have many of those beliefs, ethics, and morals, regardless if we associate with a specific church or none.  Here is a look at one family that was in England at the end of the dark ages.

It was 1520 when Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and just eleven years later when King Henry VIII grabbed that churches property, established the Church of England in its stead and proclaimed himself as its head.  By 1630 a group called Puritans had come together.  These men wished to cleanse the Church of England of its Roman ways and to create a society more open to new ideas and economic and religious freedom

In 1635 John Libby sailed with John Winthrop and (on several ships) about 1000 fellow Puritans for America.  This was part of Winthrop’s Great Migration (1630-1650) when nearly 20,000 settled Massachusetts (that then included Maine). John Libby landed at Richmond Island (now part of Cape Elizabeth) and worked for five years for a fisherman as an indentured servant.  Having thus paid for his passage, John moved to Black Point in Scarborough, brought over his wife and young son and today is considered the founder of the Libby family in America.  If John Libby had been associated with a church, it likely would have been the Congregational Church.

John Wesley brought his religion from Bristol, England to Savannah, Georgia in the 1730s.  John Libby’s great-great grandson James Knight Libby was born 1817 at Princeton.  He became a Methodist minister and died in Civil War.  His son Charles Libby, also a Civil War soldier, was associated briefly with the Disciples of Christ Church in West Princeton.  And his son James E. Libby was long time supporter of that church.  It was in 1865 that A. W. Rideout organized this church in South Princeton where the building still stands.

In 1816, an American, William Miller had a powerful religious conversation and became an Adventist.  He preached his theology to growing masses of mostly members of numerous established Protestant churches.  More locally, in 1858 a group of 50 men started an Advent Christian Church in Milltown.  Their building was for years at the corner of South and Clark streets and Moses W. Corliss was their leader.  In 1903 men of that church as well as from Big Lake Township met in Steve Crockett’s field for a few days worship.  From that tent meeting came the plans that eventually led to the building of the Tabernacle that officially opened in 1916.

Jimmy Libby’s son Charles started off with the Disciples, but became a strong Adventist.  His daughter Abbie Joyce Libby Carle Hett followed in his steps as did her son Ernest Carle who today is pastor of the Sunrise Christian Church that is part of the Advent Christian Church Family.  One family, how many churches?

The idea for this article came from Ron and Darlene Blood who attended a service at Sunrise Christian Church at the Big Lake Camp Meeting Ground in the summer of 2016.  Ernest Carle is the Pastor.  They gave ACHS a copy of the campground history put together by Brandi Sue McLellan-LeRoy.  Ernest’s mom, Abbie Joyce Libby Carle Hett, greatly helped.