History of Williamstown Baptist Church 1868 to 1968
Page 14: 1962 to 1968
21st MINISTRY—Rev. A. G. Fairbank—,January 1962 to September 1965.
After a period of 4 years the Church called the Rev. A. G. Fairbank to serve at Williamstown. His arrival coincided with the opening of the new cream brick veneer manse at 29 Melbourne Road. The cost of the Manse was £4,990.
This step forward in faith by the members in building a new manse with a membership of 40 dispelled the slowly dying appearance of the church and revitalised the members.
Mr. Fairbank arrived at a time when the Church was more than ready for a full time ministry and he faithfully laid a firm foundation for future ministries ‘to build upon. He showed a great interest in the youth work and worked unceasingly in their behalf and indeed for all phases of the Church’s work. His wife also supported him unceasingly in his tasks and their joint efforts greatly assisted the spirit within the Church.
He resigned in September 1965 to accept a call to the East Malvern Church.
In the interim the Rev. H. Crago supplied the pulpit for the major part of the following months and in October 1965, the Church agreed to call Student Pastor Barry Westerman who became the first resident-Student Pastor.
22nd MINISTRY—Student Pastor B. Westerman—From October 1965.
It was agreed he would occupy the manse and give as much of his time as possible to the work of the Church but that the Church agreed mainly in order to assist Mr. Westerman with his studies and provide a home in Melbourne for his family. He was at that time serving in North Western Victoria. He is still serving at the time of the centenary celebrations and the arrangement has proved to be most satisfactory to all concerned. The Church has benefited greatly from his presence as the spirit of the Church is good even though there are only 43 members. During August 1968 three of the oldest members, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Adams, and Miss Suiter went to join their Lord.
Whilst this history has been recorded of the events within the Church fellowship, the influence of this and other bands of Christians in the surrounding district remains unrecorded.
It is a fact that individually and collectively the Christians in Williamstown have tried to serve their Lord and Master Jesus Christ by assisting all those who wanted their help, not with any idea of reward or thanks, but because Jesus preached love and forgiveness for all.
Many avenues of_ service have undoubtedly proved most successful over the years, but some endeavours of the disciples were proved by history to be less fruitful, and although they had their successes and failure they never gave up.
Whilst the present band is relatively small in numbers it is not the smallness of the numbers that counts but their faithfulness, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name” said Christ “there am I”.
This record produced for the centenary celebrations in October 1968 cannot close without recording the very fine work of the ladies who work so hard in helping the Church’s finances., and who are meeting the new manse repayments each quarter. They also provided the new blue carpets in the Church recently renovated for the Centenary.
This renovation was carried out mainly by voluntary labour and consisted of the restoration of the floor and the complete repainting of the interior.
The members are deserving of congratulations for their efforts.