History of Williamstown Baptist Church 1868 to 1968
Page 9: 1911 to 1916
9th MINISTRY—Rev. E. Isaac—August 1911 to 16th February 1916
The Pastorate did not remain vacant for very long for in August 1911 the Rev. E. Isaac accepted the call for an initial term of three years. This was afterwards extended and he remained over four years before leaving on 16th February 1916.
The debt on the Church and Sunday School building which consisted of a loan from the Baptist Fund had been steadily reduced year by year, and at the farewell meeting of Mr. Isaac, the amount required to meet the last repayment was handed in. Thus the Church properties became free of the liability which had so long been carried by its members.
Branch Sunday Schools of the Church existed at -South Williamstown under the care of Miss Margaret Tay!or and at Newport where Messrs. Presser and Osmond were the prime movers. The cause existed at Newport for 20 years before it culminated in the opening of the Baptist Church at Mason Street, Newport. in May 1914, by the leading layman, D. McRoric, of the Baptist Union. Contract price of the building exclusive of seating and furnishings was £1,240 and the site was presented by Ratten and Penn.
On May 24th, 1914, Mr. Isaac pulled a fast trick by circulating handbills printed by Bower and Young by which he advertised that his subject would be “The Greatest Liar in Williamstown Exposed”. His sermon was supported by soloist Florrie Pacott.
It was during his pastorate that a Church Jubilee was celebrated on October 10th, 1911.
At the close of Mr. Isaac’s ministry things were in a rather disturbed condition in the Church which resulted in the withdrawal of quite a number of members and adherents from the Church. Some wanted Mr. Isaac to remain whilst others felt the need for a change. Those who left the fellowship founded what is now known as the Williamstown Gospel Mission. Whilst several attempts were made over the next half century to reconcile the memberships, the mission faithfully maintained its Christian witness independently of the Church of which it was once part and over 50 years there has been an ever growing fellowship between the two groups demonstrated by interchanges of pastors, visiting preachers, and in many other ways.