A Needy Field

B. 0. Echols
Poughkeepsie, N. Y.

Claremont, N.H. is a neat little city of 16,000 on the Connecticut River serving an area of Vermont and New Hampshire. The church began meeting there in the home of' Paul Kelley in Feb., 1968. The membership numbered six in two families, the Kelleys and the Gordon Gaynons. The membership grew to eight including one baptism. The present membership is five as one has fallen away and two have moved to other areas. After about three months the church began renting rooms in a centrally located community center at 130 Broad St.

While many might excuse themselves because of smallness, the Christians in Claremont have sought to lead others to Christ as their limited resources allow. Presently a bulletin on first principles is mailed about every two months. A Bible Correspondence Course conducted by the church in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. was advertised and several enrolled. A great deal of personal work has been done, but the lack of a full time worker makes it hard to reach as many as should be.

Very little interest in helping has been shown by brethren in other areas. Two men, Lowell Bell of Mesa, Ariz. and James Hahn of Scottsville, Ky., have visited and preached one Lord's Day each. This writer preached two nights in Nov. 1969. The most extensive efforts were conducted in July, 1970. A. H. Payne of Richardson, Texas and Donald Trask of Macon, Ga. did much personal work. Brother Payne spent eleven days in Claremont and held a six night meeting. Brother Trask worked with him for five days. Several very good studies were held in homes and the seed was sown. I returned for three days in Sept. and studied with several with whom these men had worked. Four of these enrolled in the correspondence course to continue their studies.

There appears to be good potential for growth in Claremont, but there are several needs. What would be ideal is a preacher with full support from other places. Repeated efforts to find a man interested in New Hampshire has produced no response. I hope this is not a commentary on my preacher brethren being unwilling to accept the challenges of hard fields. There is no glory in working in the Northeast and the trials are many. The work may be as long and hard as the winters but the rewards are as warming as a summer day. The liberals are bragging that "anti-ism" is dead in New England. This is true, not because of their strength, but by our default.

A church interested in preaching would do well to investigate the possibility of sending their preacher for a week to continue private teaching in homes. A group of workers concentrating their efforts could do much good. If you are interested in this, I suggest you contact A. H. Payne (1206 Holly Drive, Richardson, Texas) who plans such an effort for next year. Another good work for a church with an evangelistic outlook would he an extensive newspaper advertising effort. Why not preach the word in the printed page?

If you are interested in this, write Paul Kelley, 2 La Plante, Claremont, N.H. It would encourage the brethren if Christians from other areas would plan vacations to include Claremont on Sunday. I will be happy to render any assistance I can to help the cause of Christ in New Hampshire. The needs are great in the Northeast and we need workers everywhere. Will you help?

November 12, 1970