old debt was raised, and the parish was able to realize that freedom was to be a reality, and no longer a dream, of the future.
On Sunday morning, March 19, Mr. Powers
called for individual pledges to pay the debt.
His plan was for quarter-yearly payments, to continue over a term of three years. About $8,500 was pledged that morning, sufficient to take care of the principal and interest up to the end of the three-year period.
At the close of his sermon on the first Sunday in October, 1898, Mr. Powers
read his resignation.
It came without warning.
The people could hardly believe their ears.
Every effort was made to have him re-consider, but to no avail.
Even when the unanimous votes of every organization connected with the society, testified to by the signatures of their respective officers, engrossed on parchment, were sent to Mr. Powers
, he declined to change his previous determination, so, reluctantly, the parish accepted his resignation, to take effect December 1, 1898.
On the last Sunday
in November, the day Mr. Powers
would have preached his farewell sermon, no service was held, owing to a storm of blizzard proportions, which kept all but a few of the bravest at home.
This is the only time, in the history of the church, so far as can be learned, that a regular morning service was omitted.
Naturally a disappointment to Mr. Powers
and all the parish, it was, perhaps, best, for, at a reception given the next night, the farewells were more appropriately said.
The parish, profiting by its previous experience, did not allow a long time to elapse before securing a new pastor.
In less than two months from the time Mr. Powers
left, Rev. H. D. Maxwell
, who at the time was pastor of the Universalist Church in Brattleboro, Vt.
, had, by request of the parish committee, preached at two morning services.
Both days were stormy, and small congregations greeted