ST. GEORGE – Donald Lambert Folkers, 82, pastor of The Ridge Church in Martinsville and co-pastor of the Westport Island Baptist Church in Lincoln County, passed away on November 26, 2019 at Maine Medical Center Comfort Care, of heart complications and stroke.
Born in Washington, DC, to Kern Ellis and Margaret Virginia (Lambert) Folkers , he was baptized at the National Cathedral and spent his toddler years in Saint Louis, Missouri, where his father was assigned as Chief Patent Attorney for the Monsanto Chemical Corporation.
Don grew up primarily in Winchester, MA, was educated in the public schools and served as an acolyte at Epiphany Episcopal Church. He was a 1955 graduate of Winchester High School where he sang in the Glee Club and was active on its winning tennis team. A member of the Class of 1959 at Dartmouth College, he was an economics major and sang in the Glee Club. While at Dartmouth Don read Conscience of a Conservative by Republican Barry Goldwater, a book thrown onto his bed by a fellow student as “trash." Don disagreed, flying to Arizona to become active in Goldwater for US President, abandoning forever the Keynesian economic theories then favored in eastern colleges. Upon graduation from Dartmouth in 1959, he spent one year at Chicago School of Law.
Returning to Boston he became active in the start-up of Young Americans for Freedom, Boston, where he met Howard Phillips, a life-long friend who later ran for U.S. President and celebrated Don’s 60th birthday with him in Camden, Maine.
In June 1964 he married Janet Richardson of Waverly, PA, and took employment at the First National Bank of Boston. They lived in Belmont, where he worked as Circulation Manager for Baptist fundamentalist Robert Welch, founder of the controversial John Birch Society, against which protestors of their anti-Communist literature threw rocks through the windows. Welch, who made a candy fortune with his “Sugar Daddy” and other popular candies in the 1940s and 50s, was of the Republican Party of William Howard Taft's son, Senator Robert Taft, favoring a foreign policy of “Fortress America” as opposed to entangling foreign alliances through NATO and the United Nations. Don adopted these same attitudes throughout life.
On May 14, 1967 Don dedicated his life to Christ and in 1970 decided to go into Christian ministry, attending Columbia Biblical Seminary in Columbia South Carolina, and finishing at Bible Baptist College & Seminary in Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania. From there he answered the call for a new pastor at Mt. Upton Baptist Church in Mt. Upton, NY, raising his family with Janet and two young children. Thereafter the family moved to Scarborough, Maine, where he was employed at Maine National Bank in Portland as a computer programmer and analyst. Both he and Janet were active supporters of the Greater Portland Christian School.
Don served on the Cumberland County Republican Committee as an officer in the 1980s, was active in the campaigns of Pat Robinson and Pat Buchanan for U. S. President and was Republican County Chairman for Linda Bean for U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. He married Linda in 1990 and assisted in her re-run in an active 1992 primary race, winning Maine's Republican nomination for Congress in June. When defeated in the fall, they settled in Knox County, renovating a home in Tenants Harbor and remaining active in presidential and state campaigns. Both became members of the Council for National Policy in Washington, DC, headed by Attorney General Edwin Meese after the Reagan years. Don was an active supporter of Ron Paul for President and of President Donald Trump’s “Americas First” non-interventionist policies.
In 2013, the year of his marriage to Joyce Davies, Don accepted the post of pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Saint George, known locally as The Ridge Church. With Joyce as organist and assistant, Don introduced Bible studies both there and on Westport Island focused entirely on seeking the truth of God’s Word from the first century church of Jesus Christ and twelve disciples. His study library will remain at The Ridge Church. He and Joyce superintended the physical care of the 1817 steepled church, grounds, parsonage and cemetery, coordinating with the local association of cemeteries of Saint George. Together they spent three seasons repairing and cleaning grave markers by bringing to St. George the Maine Old Cemetery Association (MOCA) of volunteer helpers.
Don passionately believed his purpose in life was to spread the Word and to help lead others to salvation. During his daily walks in the cemetery he would invite those he met into the church building. He would ask them to sign the guest book, offer to let them ring the bell in the steeple, and present them with a copy of the Gospel of John, which was written “so that you may believe” (John 14:29). His favorite gravestone in the cemetery reads “Jesus called, Janice answered”.
He remained close to his former wives; Janet Doon of Trinidad, West Indies and Linda Bean of Port Clyde, Maine who survive him. He was in contact with both of them almost daily.
Don is survived by his wife, Joyce (Tebbetts) Davies whom he married on December 2, 2013 and her son, Geoffrey Davies and wife Cathy of Kingston, NH, whom he proudly united in marriage in 2016; daughter Jennifer Brewster (Folkers) Muff and husband Olivier of Switzerland; son John Howe Folkers and wife Sonia of Austin, TX; grandchildren Acacia, Jasper, Hudson and Laurel Muff of Switzerland; sister Elizabeth (Folkers) Crawford and husband Christopher of Upton, MA; niece Meredith (Crawford) Scaplen, her husband Andrew and baby son John Lambert Scaplen, all of Gorham, ME; stepsons Jason, Nathan and Kevin Clark of Maine; former sister-in-law Diana Bean of Tenants Harbor, ME; 3 step-grandchildren, Jennifer Davies of Portland, ME, Jameson Davies of Wakefield, NH and Randi Foucher of Raymond, NH; and 2 step-great granddaughters.
A memorial service will take place at 2:00 pm, Sunday, December 1, 2019 at The Ridge Church, 13 Church Street (off Ridge Road), Martinsville. The Rev. Stephen Wallace will officiate. Relatives and friends are invited to visit one hour prior to Sunday’s service. A reception will follow in the church downstairs fellowship hall. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Don’s favored summer camp program will be welcomed: Camp Constitution, 12 March Avenue, West Roxbury, MA 02132.