THE CHURCH ESTABLISHES WITHIN WORLD WAR ONE
On Wednesday, 31st March, 1915, the church accepted with regret the resignation of Rev. C. T. Way. His ministry at Granville was one of great activity and growth. Between 1909 and 1915 he baptisted twelve persons.
At a Church Meeting on Wednesday, 26th may, 1915, chaired by Rev. A. J. Waldock, it was agreed to extend a call to Rev. H. Halmarick for twelve months commencing 1st July, 1915. Rev. Halmarick accepted the call and ministered at Granville until 7th June, 1916.
The church considered three candidates for the pastorate, two of whom declined invitations to the church, and finally extended a call to Rev. S. A. McDonald, who ministered throughout the years of World War J, and on to 1920, during which time the work was consolidated. His ministry was an active one with each year of ministry witnessing fourteen baptisms and transfers of members to the church.
During 1919, the church was forced to abandon worship services in the church building when all public buildings were closed due to a bubonic plague epidemic scare. During this time Rev. McDonald conducted services on the grassed area immediately behind the church buildings.
The church experienced difficult times during, and immediately after the war years, however, it was a time of steady growth; the membership reaching seventy nine in1920 and levelling off over the next year. Rev. McDonald resigned on 3rd November, 1920, to take up the pastorate at the Dawson Street Baptist Church, Ballarat, Victoria.
On 12th January, 1921, Rev. H. Clark accepted a call to the church. Rev. Clark’s ministry was very fruitful despite the fact that he was absent from the pulpit regularly whilst fulfilling the requirements of hie office of Vice-President, and then, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1921-22).
OUTREACH TO MERRYLANDS
During 1921 the church commenced a work in the adjoining suburb of Merrylands. Weekly mission meetings at Merrylands School of Arts supervised by Mr. W. Chandler of Granville Baptist Church received a huge response. Meetings continued in the School of Arts building until 1932, eleven years, when the mission amalgamated with the newly-formed Merrylands Baptist Church.
On 3rd October, 1923, Rev. Clark resigned the pastorate to take up the position of Commissioner for the Baptist Church House.
A call was extended to Rev. E. H. Swan of Goulburn to fill the vacant pastorate, which he accepted. Rev. Swan ministered from 17th December, 1923 to 29th May, 1927. He was a dynamic preacher and attracted many to the worship services and mid-week meetings. Rev. Swan tendered his resignation from the pastorate on 4th May, 1927, failing eyesight contributing to his inability to continue as Pastor. During his time the membership reached 108.
ASSOCIATION WITH BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE
From 1916 on, the church was very closely associated with the Baptist Theo logical College, which was located in The Avenue, Granville. Rev. G. H. Morling, who was Principal of the college from 1921 until 1960, became a member of the church. Principal Morling conducted many services in the church, as did students at the college. However, when the church decided to extend a call to Mr. J. H. Deane, a student of the college, in June, 1927 a stronger link between church and the Theological College was forged. Principal Morling was requested to act as Moderator until 1930 when Mr. Deane was ordained.
It was a period of unparalleled growth in the church: over a six year period he administered one hundred and eleven baptisms and the membership shot up to a peak of one hundred and ninety by 1932.
During Mr. Deane’s ministry a mission was conducted featuring Rev. John Ridley as speaker; many responded to the Gospel and became members of the church. The church was strenghtened and general zeal increased for the work of the church. Following his ordination, Rev. Deane remained in the pastorate of the church, and at the same time, functioned as Vice-Principal of the Theological College. However, consideration of health led to his resignation on 27th September, 1933, and shortly thereafter he moved to take up the pastorate of the Blackheath Baptist Church.
CHURCH PLANTED AT PARK HILL
The church again requested Principal G. H. Morling to act as Moderator and extended an invitation to Rev. C. G. Orford to an interim pulpit ministry at Granville for threee months. On 7th January, 1934 a call was extended to Rev. Orford to the pastorate, which he accepted until 15th July, 1936. Meeting on 2nd November, 1935, Rev. Orford suggested that the church take responsibility for a small fellowship meeting at Park Hill, South Granville. This fellowship had commenced under the leadership of a Mr. Chun whose poor health had forced him to retire from the enterprise. For three years members of the Granville Baptist Church conducted the services at Park Hill: in 1938 Park Hill was established as an autonomous fellowship. The Granville Baptist Church arranged a loan in Excelsior Street, Park Hill, for a building for the fellowship, which was constituted as an accredited church of the Baptist Union of New South Wales on
15th September, 1938 with eleven members. all eleven were members from Granville Baptist Church who transferred their membership to Park Hill. They included:
- Mrs. Bowerman.
- Mr. and Mrs. R. Broughton.
- Mr. and Mrs. W. Evans.
- Mrs. A. Goldsworthy.
- Mr. Lecke.
- Mrs. Northy.
The Granville Baptist Church continued in close association with Park Hill Baptist Church for many years: 23rd December, 1943 marking the occasion of a combined thanksgiving service when Park Hill completed the final payment of the loan from the Baptist Union Trust Fund. This association continued until 1970 when Park Hill Baptist Church amalgamated with South Granville Baptist Church and ceased to exist as an independent church.
THE CHURCH DURING WORLD WAR II
On the 29th September, 1936, the church extended a call to Rev. J. D. Mill, who ministered through the years of World War Il, These were difficult years for the church: in the 55th Annual Church Report (1943), the Secretary, Mr. E. W. Watts makes the following comment, “Like other church organisations, our work has suffered through war conditions. Most of our young men being away serving King and country; the ranks of our workers in many branches has been depleted.”
Nevertheless, it was also a time of joyful remembrance as the church looked back on fifty years of ministry in Granville in 1938. Between Saturday, 8th October, 1938 and Monday 17th October, 1938, the church celebrated its jubilee with a variety of meetings and speakers.