Helen Dexter speaking at a convention with Christian pastors at Nidiyapalli, Ganjam District, Orissa India, February, 1997.
"Helen Dexter Missionary to India"
A video produced and narrated by Wendy Davis
Helen Dexter with Bible School students, Jharsuguda, Orissa, India, December 2006
Helen Dexter has opened a new training school for women and orphanage at Faith Outreach, Jharsuguda, Orissa, India, December 2005. Here she is shown with her two assistants, Lily Kandhapani and Shantilata (Shanty) Bharasagair. Both also students at the Bible school.
Posing with orphans in front of the House of Peace at the women's Bible School and orphanage and ministry to lepers at Birmitrapur, Orissa India, founded by Helen Dexter in 1991.
Bible School women prepare for classes in the chapel at the Birmitrapur, Orissa compound. Most have gone to become pastors' wives or evangelists in local villages.
With Pastor Peter Tandy, Helen's assistant at the Birmitrapur compound. The moped sure beats walking in the India heat! Pastor Tandy with his wife Elisaba now head up our Lighthouse orphanage and community outreach in the village of Karkachia, Orissa, which includes feeding the poor elderly and weekly chapel services where all are welcome.
Placing the first trowel of cement on the roof of a new building at the Birmitrapur compound, September 1992.
Climbing the rickety ladder to do the honors was an adventure in itself, Helen says, which some of her students (at left) evidently found amusing!
At a mission station in Rangali. Seated are Pastor Raj Kumar and his wife, Esther, with their children. She was in Helen's first graduating class of the women's Bible School in Birmitrapur (1991). He is now pastor and manager of this mission station.
With good friend Hulda Buntain, of the famous Assemblies of God Hospital in Calcutta founded by Hulda and her late husband, Mark Buntain. At right is son, the Rev. David Dexter in this 1998 photo. Besides the large hospital, the Buntain ministry at one time fed 20,000 people a day in downtown Calcutta.
Helen Dexter Missionary Outreach to Japan 2002-2004
Helen Dexter, a missionary to India since 1989, took a brief time away from her work there, to serve a church in Japan beginning the spring of 2002 to fall of 2004. Above, Helen ministers during a typical Sunday church service at Takamori Church, Kyushu Island, Japan. Instead of pews, the members sit at tables with study materials at hand during the sermon. Fall 2002 photo.
Helen enjoying fellowship at dinner at Takamori Church with guests. She is standing between Ken and Ruth Wakayama, of the City of Fukuoka. At left is Eulalia Spoor, a native of Canada, founder of Takamori Church. Second from right is Maihara sensei who has served faithfully in the church leadership and ministry for many years. Beside Eulalia is Ikki san, who has a glass blowing business. At far right is Yuko san, who is staying temporarily at the church with her mother, not pictured.
View from the balcony of Helen's room at Takamori Church, overlooking the beautiful mountains and lush rows of a nearby tea garden. In the fall of 2004, Helen's work in Japan ended, and she returned to Orissa, India to continue her ministry there which began in the fall of 1989 at the age of 66.
Helen Dexter Before India and Japan
Helen Dexter with the leadership team at the old chapel, Geneva Point Center, Moultonboro, Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire in 1961. Helen, who was director of the children's ministry at the"Winni" Camp Farthest Out retreat, is third from left, back row. Many in the photograph are unidentified. But among those known are Tony Brayton, Second row far left. Beside Helen at right is retreat Music Leader Joel Hayden, followed by Brit Lukens, retreat chairman, and Faye Hollister, teen ministry leader. At far right on the end is Oliver Post, leader of the ministry to college students with wife Jane (first row, second from right). First row, far left: Mary Lou Postance. Fourth from left is Alice Kraft, then in her late seventies, who lead "rhythms" each morning, her own style of group physical exercise set to music. At center is world renowned missionary and pioneer in world literacy, Frank C. Laubach, and the celebrated British Christian author of Hinds Feet in High Places, Hannah Hurnard (with pearl necklace). Next is Mrs. Gordon (Kerrie) Kenison, beside Mrs. Post.
Helen Dexter, superintendent of Sunday School, with Z. William Colson, assistant pastor, Laconia (N. H.) Congregational Church, reviewing children's craft work at a mother's coffee at the church parish house. Also pictured, Mrs. Donald Beane and son Gary, Mrs. V.V. Vafiades, and Mrs. Maurice Lemay with daughter Debbie. Photo, circa 1955, by Earl O. Anderson, Manchester, N. H. Union Leader.
Helen with her father, Belknap County Commissioner and state legislator J. F. Smith, on Lake Opechee, Laconia, N. H. during the Sunday harness races on the ice (1947).
In the late 1950's Helen Dexter turned several rooms of the 14-room family residence (174 Court Street, Laconia, N. H.) into a pre-school known as the Jack & Jill Nursery School. A Jack and Jill program still operates in Laconia but is not affiliated. Helen completely outfitted a bomb shelter deep in the field-stone and brick basement of this house. It was at the height of the Cold War. The building is now used for commercial office space. The horse barn in the rear has been turned into a lawyer's office. The lawn and trees on the right and in the backyard have been replaced by a parking lot.
Jack and Jill Kindergarten and Nursery School students "Graduating" Class, June 1960, pictured off the main dining room at 174 Court Street.
Helen's children: David, Dean, and Corine. David is holding Twinkle the cat and the family dog, Rex is in front. The photo was taken for the family Christmas card that year.
Helen's husband, Norman M. Dexter. Norman was a commercial illustrator in the high-tech defense field as well as a licensed preacher in the United Methodist Church, New Hampshire Conference. He also served as chairman of that denomination's state Board of Evangelism. He passed away in 1984.
Helen studied acting in New York City and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1942. She did some acting on Broadway, worked in radio and on a magazine before returning to New Hampshire to marry and raise a family.
Helen at age nine by a playhouse built for her and her sister by their father at the Wicwas Lake House, Meredith Center, N. H. This picture appeared in the Laconia Evening Citizen, November 19, 1935 (Page One). The caption read: "Helen Smith, daughter of County Commissioner and Mrs. Joseph F. Smith of Meredith and South Main Street (Laconia), has been riding since she was seven years old. She is pictured on her mount, White Stocking. Helen is in the seventh grade at Laconia High School."
Helen Smith Dexter, on her horse Lottie Booth in the driveway of Wicwas Lodge over-looking Wicwas Lake, Meredith Center, N.H. circa 1941. The front tip of Sheep Island can be seen behind and just above her. The island's pasture is at the left, spreading across the back of the photo. Sheep grazed on the island each summer until the early 1960s. The island is now covered with timber growth. The view from the Lodge, now known as Lakeland School, is presently nearly obscured from this angle due to growth of trees and bushes on the mainland. Note the tennis court at left, just across the road, which is now also over-grown. Before it was a tennis court, the overlook was once the Smith Family Cemetery, which was moved to Oakland Cemetery about a mile away in 1893.
Helen playing see-saw with sister Mary Lou on the lawn of the Wicwas Lake House at Smith Corners, Meredith Center, N. H. The building burned in 1935 and was replaced by her parents with the Wicwas Lodge. See Save Lake Wicwas for more pictures.
Helen Robinson Smith (Dexter), with parents, Marian Swain Smith and Joseph Frank Smith, Jr., Wicwas Lake House, Meredith Center, New Hampshire, circa 1927.
Helen Robinson Smith Dexter at about three years old.
Read a review of Helen Dexter's book, Its' Never Too Late With God, Tales of a Late Life Journey in India
Why does Helen Dexter like the Frank Sinatra postage stamp? Link
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