Monday, December 19, 2011

Rev Ernest Baker (Part 2)

Cape Road Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, Baptist Union of Southern Africa, Baptist Union Historical Society, Rev Ernest Baker
The Baptist Church on Cape Road, Port Elizabeth.
On Easter Sunday 1914 he began a memorable ministry in Johannesburg, and was quickly recognised as a preacher of uncommon earnestness and expository power. He ever delighted to bring forth treasures new and old from Holy Writ, which was his unquestioned authority in all truth.
In 1920 he led his church to build a more spacious place of worship, which he named Centenary Hall to commemorate the 1820 Settlers, among whom were a party of Baptists, and who commenced the Baptist witness in South Africa.
In 1929 he settled at Port Elizabeth, and in the next year led a large part of his congregation to establish a new church at Cape Road, and soon a new place of worship was built. There he remained until 1935, when he returned to Cape Town as co-pastor with the Rev. C. Garratt. In 1937 he became pastor and remained with the Rev. E. B. Edwards as assistant till illness forced his retirement in September 1938.
Ernest Baker was a man of vivacious temperament, alert mind, retentive memory, clear grasp and great driving force, which made him a natural leader. The strength of his convictions made him an unceasing advocate of the doctrines of grace, and of the Second Advent. But however much he might differ from the views of others, he maintained a most brotherly spirit toward them. His long ministry at the Port of entry gave him the first contact with many of his ministerial brethren, and so started friendships which were terminated only by death. He became the most trusted man in the denomination and was specially appointed as Confidential Advisor to both ministers and churches.
Compiled by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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