Old Baptist Chapel

History of the Old Baptist Chapel

Disaster

It gives no pleasure to record the details of the next few years but a history must record the bad years as well as the good.

The history of the Church of God generally includes instances of failure as well as of success. There are also many accounts of the way in which these failures are overcome by the grace of God although the sin is never to be excused.

In Bradford on Avon church division almost destroyed the work in the early years of the present century. Remarkably recovery was granted although the process was to be long and at times painfully slow.

In 1898 the church called James Hacking, pastor of a Baptist church at Southminster Essex. He accepted, but sadly it became clear that there were divisions in the church. It seems that the church relied heavily upon income from property to pay the pastor and by this time the property was in a very bad state of repair.

Numbers were declining and by the end of 1903 it was evident that the church was in no position to support James Hacking whose salary was badly in arrears. Not surprisingly he resigned early in the following year.

The church, however, proved incapable of sorting out its problems. There was a disastrous division as a result of which three deacons and a number of members left and after a sad meeting in July 1903 no more church meetings were held for thirty-three years.


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