Remembering Mission Superintendent Reverend Raymond Hahn  

by | Apr 25, 2024 | News

An older white man stands on a boat with the ocean behind him. He wears thick black glasses and a blue jacket.

The Revered Raymond “Ray” Hahn passed away at the age of 98 on April 11, 2024. Rev. Hahn was the Mission Superintendent for 11 years, during this time he strengthened the organization, grew the staff, and moved the Mission to its iconic home at La Rochelle. He served the Mission from 1972 to 1983. 

Rev. Hahn became superintendent in 1972, after the retirement of Neal Bousfield, who led the Mission for more than 30 years. Rev. Hahn saw himself as both a pastor and a teacher. As superintendent, it was written his job was “Executive Officer of the Board, Personnel Officer, Finance Officer, Liaison Officer to the various denominations and several Federal and State agencies, Information Officer, and a pastor, and minister.” He placed importance on all areas being served by the Mission, and in the 1983 Spring Bulletin  explained how each publication followed a pattern with one year being focused on the islands, the next Downeast.

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Rev. Hahn highlighted the work of Mission employees, and he was instrumental in growing the staff. He hired Rev. Stanley Haskell who as Minister-in-Charge of the Sunbeam was the first dedicated pastor on the Sunbeam since the early 1900s, previously, the role had been filled by the superintendent. In 1973, Rev. Hahn created the Coordinator of Down East Ministries position who oversaw staff and churches in the area. This position was influential in the growth of the work Downeast, and a few years later, the campus became a hub of activity with a nursery school, farm, and Recyclemobile.  

During his tenure, The Bulletin often focused directly on the staff’s work by sharing his insights, bringing readers on the Sunbeam through his narration complete with nautical terminology. Rev. Hahn believed it important to share more about life on each island served by the Sunbeam and the goings on at the Downeast campus in Cherryfield (formerly referred to as Weald Bethel). The 1974 Annual Report featured a “bird’s eye view” of the Mission’s service area, sharing stops from Monhegan to Lubec, first aboard the Sunbeam, then in a car driving through Downeast coast. The Bulletin was a family affair, his wife Irene was credited as Mission Photographer and many years all the photographs were taken by her.  

One stop was La Rochelle, the Bar Harbor cottage which became the Mission’s home in 1974. Not only was La Rochelle the Mission’s administrative offices, Rev. Hahn lived in the house with his family. He oversaw the sale of the Mission’s properties on Mount Desert Island to bring work areas under one roof.  

Rev. Hahn continued to work for the Mission until 1983, when he left to lead a church in Connecticut. It is clear from his time as Superintendent that he believed wholeheartedly in the work of the Mission and wanted to make sure it would be around for years to come. He spent much of his time telling people of the Mission and sharing why the work was important. A passage he wrote in the Mission’s Diamond Jubilee publication clearly shares his thoughts, “The needs the Mission was established to meet are human needs…these needs will exist as long as human beings exist. Thus the Maine Seacoast Mission will exist too.” 

Read Rev. Hahn’s full obituary here.  

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