History of Williamstown Baptist Church 1868 to 1968
Page 10: 1916 to 1921
10th MINISTRY—Rev. E. Dybing—19th August, 1916 to April 1920 (deceased).
Mrs. H. Bradshaw, who was associated with the Church for many years records ‘A very short but wonderful ministry’ – he was called to the Church whilst still trying to recover from a terrible experience. During his ministry the Sunday School was graded. Mr. Dybing died very suddenly after contracting meningitis.
During this period Mr. Ogston was Secretary and up until his death in March 1917, Mr. Burrows was Treasurer there after Mr. H. G. Bradshaw served in this capacity for the next six years.
The Rev. E. Dybing’s keen interest in the Sunday School resulted in its doubling its membership in two years until January 9th 1918, it totalled 153.
On the evening of 5th November, 1916, the Honour Roll of those who were serving in the Great War was unveiled. This board was donated by Miss M. Hopkins.
A great step was taken in 1917 when the decision of the Church to install electric lighting. The Williamstown City Council had, by an act of parliament, been granted the sole right to distribute electricity in the City.
On 29th August, 1917, two quotes were received for this work:-
1. John March, Pt. Place, Melbourne … £43 0 0
2. Donnelly and Rogers (City and Suburban Electric Co.) 55 Ferguson St., W’town … £43 10 0
A Committee comprising Mr. Ogston and Capt’ McFerran were appointed to look after this work.
On 30th September, 1917, three additional quotes were obtained:
3. Newbigin and Co … £47 10 0
4. Rex Motor Co … £40 15 0
5. Greenwood and Cawthorn … £38 17 0
Greenwood and Cawthorn’s quote was accepted and the power was connected in 1917.
The Church celebrated the official Jubilee on October 8th ‘ 1918, speakers were Rev. A. R. Thompson, Rev. J.Downing and Rev. L. Beurle. A Jubilee booklet was also produced for the occasion.
The Rev. J. Downing having returned to the Church for the celebrations related some of his Williamstown experiences. He told of a night Baptism at the back beach when a large shark passed between the lantern bearer McKenzie and himself. On another occasion Preacher Johnson arrived at the Church on a broiling hot day, gasping for a drink and sought the spot where the water jug was usually kept under the pulpit. He came upon a bottle, took a great gulp, and immediately spluttered it out again. It was the kerosene bottle used for church lighting!
The Rev. E. Dybing’s salary at this period was £260 per annum.
The Rev. E. Dybing’s untimely death was keenly felt. The minutes of members meeting of 28th April, 1920, records the following:
We mourn the loss of our Pastor the Rev. E Dybing whom death has removed from our midst and from the work he loved to do for his Lord.
We feel that we have lost not only a Pastor but a friend also, for by the graciousness of his manner he had become endeared to all.
We remember with much gratitude that Mr. Dybing came to us at a time when we were in sore need of a leader and though the work was not of a very inviting character he, in the spirit of the Master under-took it and who is able to estimate the worth of his ministry in our midst. May our lives be a testimony to the work of his labour in which Jesus was always given the pre-eminence.
His sudden death left the Church without a Minister for several months. Members meetings were suspended from 28th April until the 15th September, 1920, when with the Rev. W. H. Holdsworth M.A. presiding, the Rev. J. H. Goble was appointed moderator, Student pastor Stan Earle was appointed on lst December, 1920, and stayed until 20th February, 1921.