This section will deal with some of the
results of the breakup of the Holy Ghost and Us Bible School.
The first story we'll put forth concerns the
re-uniting of Floyd Hastings with his half- brother David 31 years later in 1951.
David and Floyd were the sons of William Hastings
||Mr. William Hastings
who had been one of the "Thirty"
who went around the world in 1908 on the Coronet with Mr. Sandford. It is the
break-up and separation of the Hastings family that actually precipitated the dispersion
of the 300 or so Kingdom members from the Shiloh hilltop in 1920. David's mother
died, and their grandmother back in Canada sued for custody of David, his three sisters
and two younger brothers. The Androscoggin County Probate Court awarded custody to
the Canadian relatives. The State Children's Protective Society assisted the suit in
effectively demonstrating the deplorable living conditions to the court, and the judge of
Probate had little choice but to deem Shiloh unfit for children. The Canadian
relatives informed Mr. Hastings that if he would obtain gainful employment and provide for
the children's welfare, they would allow the children to stay with him. Although Mr.
William Hastings remained loyal to the cause, the children ultimately remained with their
father, who found employment and a rent at Lisbon Falls across the river from Shiloh.
He left the hilltop, together with the children, upon receiving Mr.
Sandford's directives "Work" and "Can Work".
Three months after leaving Shiloh, Mr.
William Hastings married again, to Doris White, whose diary is
displayed elsewhere on this website. Together they had three children, Floyd among
them. According to Shirley Nelson's Fair Clear and Terrible, Mr. Hasting's
child rearing skills left something to be desired, and even though all of the children
readily accepted Doris as their step-mother, the six children by his first wife drifted
away, one by one, as they each matured.
Below, Floyd has been gracious to offer a
portion of his memoirs to the website, and he describes below his first introduction to
his half brother David in 1951.
I MEET BROTHER DAVID FOR THE FIRST TIME
||Floyd Hastings, age 19
Sometime near the beginning of March I had left the Bible Class
and returned home. I planned to enlist in the Air Force. Their quota was full, they
informed me, so I went over to see the Army Recruiter. At least I would serve three years
rather than the Air Force's four years. I had talked with Joe and Roland and they both had
liked the Army. When I told Austin Daggett I was planning to join the Army he
decided he wanted to join too.
On March 14, 1951, Austin and I left for Portland for our swearing in, physical and
indoctrination. Fort Williams in South Portland had been set up as the induction station
for draftees and enlistees. That night they put us all up at the YMCA in Portland. On the
sixteenth we would head for the 'Reception Center' at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
With a free evening I decided to look in the Portland phone directory for brother David's
name and telephone number. There it was! I called and he answered. I told him
it was Floyd and why I was in Portland and that I would like very much to see him. He told
me where to get the bus for Woodford's Corner where they lived. Austin also got in some
visiting with relatives in South Portland.
I found David and Ethel's apartment and rang the bell. Handsome David Hastings appeared in
the doorway! Here was the brother whom I had never seen! We shook hands and he ushered me
inside. His wife, Ethel, was not at home, since she worked evenings as a waitress.
Their daughter Jean, a high school student, was there and sat in on our
conversation. David's son, William, had just been married the previous month to Kay
Laskey from Aroostook County. She had been a nurse at Maine General Hospital when Dav1d
had had his lung operation in 1949. This was where she and Bill had met. Now Bill was back
on active duty, but this time with the Navy. A Lieutenant JG, Bill had been called back to
duty when the Korean Conflict broke out.
I don't remember all that Dave and I talked about that evening, but I know we talked about
the family. I told him about Elma, Eva, Edith and Fern and where they lived. The ice
had been broken! Soon after I wrote home about my visit, Fern and Joe went to visit
him as well. Then later on David and Ethel visited Elma in South Durham and Eva at her
home in Durham. Still later would come a visit to see Mama at our home in Lisbon Falls.
Yes not only had the ice been broken healing had now begun. How happy I was!
How happy we all were! I know that dear brother David was now feeling a love that he
had not felt for a very long time! As I think of it now, forty six, years later, tears
come to my eyes. Oh how utterly sad. Pa had died, never having been reconciled with
his beloved son, David.