Pastor R E Milton
In May 1958 Mr R E Milton met friends and Deacons of the Church, sharing that he had been lay pastor for four years at a Bournemouth church. At a suggestion from Mr Milton that he be attached to us for three months, preaching once a month on Sunday evening and at weeknight meetings; moved by Mr E Lewin and seconded by Mr D Hudson, his suggestion was accepted by the Deacons. A service of recognition of lay pastor was arranged for the evening of 11 November of the same year.
The church now entered a time of powerful preaching ministry, when the Word of God was faithfully brought to us. A monthly magazine, professionally printed, a book on baptism and a prayer fellowship booklet, edited and printed by Mr Milton was distributed and there was growth; five were baptised in June 1959.
For the first time an Easter Conference for Sunday School teachers of the East Midlands Area, led by Rev Frank Cooke of Hinckley was held at Skegness over four days and two of our teachers attended. Also for the first occasion we joined at the Methodist Church for a united Christmas Day morning service, which continued for over 30 years.
Mr Milton's daily occupation was in the furnishing business, which gave an incentive for the church to have new carpet fitted down the aisles and front of the church, together with a rostrum for the Communion Table and chairs to be placed. During this time also, the church building was redecorated outside.
1960 began the preparation for the Baptist Union Ter-Jubilee celebrations, and preparations commenced for an evangelistic campaign with the Cliff Trekkers, unfortunately this did not take place in Mr Milton's ministry - the Trekkers being unable to come until 1961 - and at the same time we were saddened by the unburdening of Mr Milton's heart
He said, 'The church did not seem to be moving spiritually from the Word of God; each of us had such a diversity of gifts, so few of us meet for prayer and spiritual fellowship, and lack of interest in Believers Baptism'.
He gave three months notice of resignation and preached his last sermon at the end of October 1960 when he was presented with a book token.
At the Annual General Meeting held in the same year with Pastor Cooper of Quorn in the chair, a Mr Roy Wood had been transferred from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Scarborough, and his name had been added to the membership roll. It seemed that Roy had been sent to our church at its time of need, for very soon he entered into the deeper life of the church. He became a Deacon and was elected to take the chair.
The Ter-Jubiiee Fund which had begun at the end of Pastor Milton's time of pastoring was administered; a special gift was sent to the Baptist Union along with a gift towards famine relief in the Congo.
During 1961 the East Midland Association made varying suggestions to the church towards pastoring; one being linked along with Pastor Tory of Sileby Baptist Church.Pastor R Webb
However, at a meeting held on 25 January 1962, Mr Ron Webb of Sileby was invited to conduct a Family Service at the church on Sunday 4 February and a month later, on 8 March a unanimous decision was made at a church meeting to invite Mr Ron Webb to the pastorate. As a result of this decision the Deacons met with him when many suggestions were put forward. At this meeting it was decided to hold a Welcome Service, inviting friends from other churches. Rev Grant, the Area Superintendent requested that Mr Webb become a member of the King Street Baptist Church, Loughborough for one year, to qualify under Baptist Union ruling - to be followed by an Induction Service. This was held on Thursday 28 March 1963 at 7.30 pm when the presiding minister was the Rev R Woolford of the Mountsorrel and Rothley Baptist churches. The Induction and Charge to the Minister was given by the Rev W J Grant MA, the charge to the church was given by Rev Keith Jones of Westbury Leigh Baptist Church, Wiltshire.Mr Webb pastored the church here for over four years - moving to a new house on the Ribble Drive estate for part of that time. He worked for a solicitor's firm in Loughbor-ough and used his gifts and talents within the body of the church, at the same time bringing the Word of God week by week. A freshness of the Holy Spirit came in amongst us as Ron, and Hilda his wife, and their family, shared amongst us.
Mr Read, a family friend, and spiritual father of Ron conducted a five day evangelistic mission. The church growth was evident and very much among the families and young people. The 'Messenger' as the magazine was then entitled, was printed by our own people and distributed among the homes of the new estates being built in the village.
A new Young Wives group was formed, meeting on Wednesday afternoon, bringing many young mums in from the village, with a creche for the children. Speakers were arranged, alternately a spiritual message with subjects of interest and help to the mothers. At this time also, a Tuesday evening Christian Fellowship meeting which had begun under the leadership of a faithful church member, the late Mrs Alice Dakin, around the year 1950 came to an end; this had been a meeting when local ministers and preachers could come and bring mid week messages - what a blessing this had been over the years, particularly when we were without a permanent spiritual leader.
A Constitution was needed and the leadership spent many hours in the Deacons Court preparing this - 200 were printed.
One of the very special opportunities at this time was the fitting of a large wooden cross, central, over the pulpit and made and fitted by local craftsmen.
As Mr Webb's time with us came to a close an outreach youth meeting commenced, some coming in from neighbouring villages, and what a conclusion! The year 1966 and the Dr Billy Graham relay meetings being held in Leicester. Most of our young people from the Bible class went forward for counselling and on the last Sunday evening of Ron's ministry, 23 October, they were baptised. A farewell evening had already taken place on the 19th with Rev Woolford and Pastor Cooper ministering. A book token and flowers were given to Mr and Mrs Webb, the evening concluded with refreshments.
Mr and Mrs Webb were moving to Coventry, and our prayers went with them.