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Pastors From The Past
Rev. H.D. Brown (1892 - 1904)
In December 1892, the Rev. H.D. Brown of Ledbury, came to Ayr, and although his ministry lasted 12 years, it proved to be unfortunate.
Relations between pastor and people became strained.
Defections from the membership were frequent, and additions rare, till in 1902, the membership was reduced to 41. Two years later an appeal was made to the Baptist Union to deal with the situation.
This they did, and in order to secure the property to the Union and make a
new start, the church was dissolved.
Rev. A. Hedley Brown (1905-1906)
In 1905, the Rev. A. Hedley Brown, then in Rye, Sussex was appointed by the Union to the pastorate.
Rev. Brown was a gracious personality, and exercised a helpful and attractive
ministry. But the hope of long and fruitful service was shattered by his breakdown in health, and he was forced to leave Ayr, and return to the south of England. It was a great sorrow, deepened only when his death was announced later.
Rev. Edward Last (1906-1909)
The Rev. Edward Last of Battersea, London, became the pastor in 1906, and under him the church of 52 members was reformed. Rev. Last brought to his task that keenness of
spirit, earnestness of appeal, and ability to organise which had characterised his previous pastorates.
He was an assiduous worker and an ardent believer in Personal Evangelism.
During his ministry, a varied programme of meetings was introduced,
including Christian Endeavour, Saturday Night Gospel Tea Meetings and Ayr Lad’s Own.
In the summer months daily Sand Services attracted young people and holidaymakers. These varied services were well attended with considerable
success, while the regular services of the church were also well attended.
Conditions now justified the re-constituting of the church, which was reviously dissolved. The Union agreed, and on 18th March 1907, the church was formally
constituted. Special services to mark the event were conducted by the Rev.
John McLean, Glasgow, who was then President of the Baptist Union of Scotland. The work prospered; conversions were numerous, and there
werebmany additions to the membership which in 1909 had increased to 87, when Rev. Last accepted a call to Hamilton.
Rev. John McKendrick (1949-1958)
Rev. John McKendrick, then minister of South Leith Baptist Church in
Edinburgh, accepted the call to Ayr Baptist, and commenced his ministry
on 2nd May 1949. This proved a very successful, if unconventional ministry
which lasted nine and a half years. He was known as the
“Friendly Pastor”, and to his fellow ministers in the Association as the “Bishop”!
Open air work was a feature of his years in Ayr where he
was a popular and well known figure on the Low Green and
on the Beach, leading, for some years, an interdenominational team in children’s and adult’s meetings. He was a great visitor and his pastoral calls to homes and
hospitals were well received and blessed. There were many conversions; baptisms followed and the church membership greatly increased during his years as pastor.
Rev. McKendrick also took a very active part in denominational life, and for a man of his years, displayed amazing vigour, achieving results by sheer hard work. He
was a man of God, full of faith, and a true servant of His Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was elected Vice-President of the Baptist Union of Scotland in 1958, and in order to give his energies and time to serve the wider interests of our Baptist family in
Scotland, he resigned the pastorate at Ayr at the end of November 1958.
Keswick relays were part of the church programme in these years, and during his ministry a Girl Guide Company was formed. He also served on the Baptist Union
Council, and was for some years Convener of the Ministerial Recognition Committee.
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