105. Carolyn Williams was adopted in July 1945. She was adopted on 5 July 1945. She was born on 31 July 1945 in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA.21 Adopted.
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Everett & Carolyn had no children. She was the biological daughter of Mary Burns Staples.
Carolyn Mceachern (207) 367-5055 Rr 15, Stonington, ME 04681
Certificate Number: 5078
Bride Name: WILLIAMS CAROLYN E
Groom Name: MCEACHERN EVERETT C
Date of Marriage: August , 1965 Day Unknown
by Carolyn McEachern
In April, 1997, my husband Everett came home to Poland, Maine, from his trip to the Elders' Conference in Independence, Missouri. As we talked about his trip, he made a passing comment that a brother in the Church had shown him the Odessa Hills Campground which the nine congregations of the Central Missouri Branches were buying. Everett remarked that the position of caretaker there sounded interesting.
At that time, though, we had not even a passing thought that we would ever leave Maine. After all, our business was keeping us busy. My mother was at home on the island and doing well, and I would never go away and leave her alone.
I'm an only child and was adopted at birth. Daddy had passed away suddenly back in 1959, and Mama remarried a little while after that. My stepfather was a wonderful, kind man; but he died in 1975 of lung cancer. I was all she had.
But Mama passed away in April, 1999. She was with us at our home in Poland for nine months, and for that I am so thankful. She was a good mother, and it was always my prayer to be there for her when she needed me. I was. I did all that I could to help her as she prepared to return to our heavenly Father. It was difficult, but we managed--with the Lord's help--to take care of all the arrangements. What we witnessed during the time she was living in our home changed my life.
Before 1997 our business was just tremendous. We ran Our Farm Feed Store. However, in 1997 it began to decline; and by the fall of 1999, it was dead. It was as if Everett's comments about his interest in the caretaker's position was the exact point when our business in Maine began to die. Our position was that if God wanted us to continue with it, He would provide us with enough business to pay our bills. It was a gradual decline--one that we were able to accept. Money was scarce, and we just tightened our belts.
After Mama passed away, we seemed to go from not being able to leave the house to never staying at home at all! We began to have company from Independence or Stonington (the island I'm from) or any number of places--all visiting to provide ministry for the Saints in Maine. Everett was the contact person for the group of Saints which met in our home. That responsibility helped keep us tied to our house. Although we continued to work in the store, business was really awful. By the end of July, 1999, we determined that we would just close and do something for a week we had never had the opportunity to do before--attend a reunion outside of Maine!
We decided to drive to the Kirtland Restoration Reunion at Transfer, Pennsylvania. Our trip there was so pleasant, and we knew we had the protection of the Lord along the way. We arrived as strangers and left at the end of the week as family.
We returned home to Maine and opened our store again for a week and a half; then we closed for another week and attended our own reunion in Brooksville, Maine.
By the middle of October, we realized that we were going to have to close the store for good since it was costing us more to keep it open than to have it closed. We came face to face with the reality that the store we had run for 20 years could no longer maintain itself.
About that time, we had been chatting online with a Church friend in Florida, and something she said in the conversation aroused our desire again to be with the Saints. We officially closed our store on October 18, and we took off for Florida (and other points) for three weeks. We parked our camper in our friend's yard and stayed for a week, attending church on both Sunday and Wednesday, and visiting the Saints there.
We left, thinking that we'd see the sights along the way home. But the Lord evidently had other things in mind for us. We stopped awhile in western Georgia and visited with a wonderful Church family there. No other Saints live in that area, but the gospel in its fullness is still being taught. We had a beautiful visit with strangers who soon became true friends. Everett administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for them.
From there we drove to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to visit a Church couple we had met online. We had a great visit with them.
Then we decided to wend our way to Parkersburg, West Virginia, and find some of the Saints there. We called from Tennessee to find out about the church services at the Restoration branch there. Our contact went above and beyond the call of duty. Even before we left Tennessee, he found us a camping area and made the reservations for us. Later we learned that when he made those arrangements, he ended up staying for an hour and a half to witness about the truth of the Book of Mormon to the man in charge of the camping area.
Soon after we arrived, we had dinner with some Saints and attended a prayer service with them. Again it was a most wonderful experience.
We had a chance to continue to "connect the dots," as I was beginning to call it, visiting briefly with the Saints there and renewing our friendship with folks we had met at the Kirtland reunion just a few months earlier. From West Virginia, we continued on to Pittsburgh to visit with another internet brother in the faith. We had also met him and his wife at the Kirtland reunion. Our meeting was great--and we felt as if we had always known each other.
Finally we headed back toward Maine, intending to go through Lancaster County, Pennsylvania--Amish country. Instead, we decided to find one more group of Saints before we turned back home. So we drove to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. That group also met in a home, which we would never have found on our own. Once again, we met wonderful people who were open and caring for strangers; and we attended a Sacrament service there.
At last, we arrived at home. We knew that after all that traveling and all those wonderful opportunities to meet so many Saints, we would need to get down to business and prepare for whatever it was the Lord had in mind for us.
Within three weeks after we returned to Maine, Everett received in the mail a posting for pastors to put up on the bulletin boards of their branches. It announced that a job was becoming available in Odessa, Missouri, as the caretaker for the Odessa Hills Campgrounds. When it came, my first reaction was to shake my head in disbelief. Why had this come now--after three years? Mama was gone, our business was gone, and we were scratching our heads wondering just what we were going to do next.
The notice sat on the kitchen table for four or five days, and Everett didn't say anything about it or make any attempt to contact anyone concerning the position. I watched and waited. After a few days, I said something to him about it. I felt that if this were something the Lord wanted us to do, Everett at least had to check it out. As a result, he sent a note of inquiry.
When he received Everett's note, the chairman of the campground management committee called and spoke with Everett for awhile on the phone. Everett decided to apply, so he sent in his rÃ©sumÃ© and waited. Before very long, we got a call asking us to come to Missouri for an interview.
Another online friend insisted that we come and stay with them in the Independence area, which we did. We appreciated how the Saints showed their love toward a brother and sister from Maine. Everywhere we went the week we spent in Independence, we left with the most loving, wonderful feelings.
When we were offered the position, we knew that God was continuing to lead us to the land of Zion. In March of 2000, we officially moved to Odessa. But we didn't move alone--two of the Saints drove to Maine, helped us pack, and transported our goods to our new home.
From the first day we set foot on the campgrounds, both Everett and I felt that we belong here--it really seems like home to us. We have been working on the grounds for nearly two years now, and we have met so many wonderful people. Camps and reunions have been very busy times for us. We have always been surrounded by people, so we have been used to that part of the work. But a special joy to us is being surrounded by Saints who are trying to serve the Lord.
No matter what happens in the future, we will continue to give Him the credit for all the many wondrous things He has done for us and the paths He has led us into--searching out His children in the wilderness and connecting the dots. We acted in faith, asking God to direct us; and we will trust Him in the times to come.
Carolyn Williams and Everett C. McEachern were married on 28 August 1965. Everett C. McEachern was born on 31 July 1942.