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Posts from the ‘About’ Category

Our Pastor

The Rev. Susan Maxwell Resiert has been serving Old South since 2005.

Born and raised in Wakefield, Mass, Rev. Reisert received her B.A. from Colby College (majoring in American Studies) and her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 1992.  She was ordained by the Metropolitan Boston Association of the Mass. Conference in 1995.  Except for the first four years of her life, she has been active in UCC/Congregational Churches for her entire life.

Pastor Reisert and her husband, Joseph (a Government professor at Colby College), have two college-age children, Margaret and John (both attending colleges in the Hudson Valley of New York). They live on Great Pond in Belgrade.

In her free time, Pastor Reisert enjoys outdoor activities, reading, being involved in her kids’ sporting activities (both are swimmers), traveling, getting together with friends, spinning (cycling), cheering on her favorite team (the New England Patriots), and experimenting with her favorite substance, chocolate.

Pastor Reisert served churches in Cambridge, MA and Winslow, ME before being called to Old South.

She currently serves as on the Board of Directors of the Maine Conference. She served as Chair of the Board from 2016-2018. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mid Maine Homeless Shelter and a small philanthropic foundation, and as class correspondent for the Colby Class of 1986.

An active writer and blogger, Pastor Reisert’s blog (hopeinthewilderness.com) is part of the Christian Century blog network. Her work has also appeared in the print edition of the Christian Century.

Our History

The church now known as the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, Maine first gathered on February 25, 1790 as the Congregational Church of Christ of Chester Plantation. It was the second church in the area of Hallowell, which in 1790 consisted of the present towns of of Hallowell, Augusta, Chelsea, and parts of Manchester and Farmingdale. Several of the church leaders resided in Chester and joined with the Hallowell members to form the church, largely in opposition to the doctrine being preached by the Rev. Isaac Foster, a minister of the church at “the Fort”.

The next year a number of other members of that church joined with the Chester Church “if it’s name might be altered…to be ever after denominated Congregational Church of Christ in Hallowell.”

In 1794 the town was divided into the South, Middle, and North parishes, thereby creating a situation where the people had full liberty to attend and join the church in the Parish of their choice, regardless of the part of town in which they resided. Registration with the Clerk of the Parish was required to determine where takes would be paid. Those who were members of the Chester Church “chose to fall into the South Parish.”

Soon the town was again divided, the Middle and North Parishes became Augusta and the Middle Parish was renamed the South Parish of Augusta. The old South Parish was called Hallowell. The church was then called South Church, commonly referred to as the Old South Church.

The Parish was the town of Hallowell. Initially it was the Parish that hired the minister upon approval by the Church and raised the funds to build the meetinghouse, along with all the other duties required by town government. Thus, the Parish and Church Societies were very separate organizations – each with its own members and officers. With time, when other churches had become established in Hallowell, the Parish Society became responsible only for the raising of pledges and the care of the South Church meetinghouse. The Church Society took care of the church, hiring the minister and providing worship services. Not everyone became Church members, only those whom it was judged had been chosen by God to be worthy.

Thus, when the old meetinghouse burned, it was the Parish members who were responsible for rebuilding the church. It was not until 1952 that the Parish and Church became one, incorporated as the Old South Congregational Church, Hallowell, Maine.

Pastoral Ponderings

Reflections on Faith, Ministry and Life Itself

Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

An Open and Affirming Church in Hallowell, Maine