"The deacons reported (through Bro MacGowan) that they had thought it necessary to make some inquiry as to the business transactions of our Bro Jenkins and that they considered there was the appearance of dishonesty therein, and wished the church to further inquire into the matter.Next evening -
Bro MacGowan moved and Bro Divers seconded, "That we meet tomorrow evening to enquire into this matter."
Bro MacGowan on behalf of the deacons made a statement of the case, and Bro Jenkins also spoke in his own defence about the matter. After some discussion Bro Neish moved and Bro McMaster seconded "That we clear our Bro Jenkins of the charge of dishonesty made against him." Lost.At that meeting a month later
Bro Martin moved and Bro MacGowan seconded "That we postpone the further consideration of this matter for a month" Carried.
The case of our Bro Jenkins was again proceeded with. Bro MacGowan moved and Bro Divers seconded "That seeing that Bro Jenkins contracted a debt with Alfred Shaw of Melbourne for Two Hundred and Twenty One Pounds (£221) without any reasonable prospect of being able to pay the same (the whole amount being payable in five months from the time of purchase) and at the same time representing himself as clear, when he was involved in debt to a very considerable extent and as he failed to pay anything to Shaw and Co of their Bills and has thus been guilty of conduct unbecoming to a Christian "in not providing things honest in the sight of all men" as demanded by the Word of God and moreover, being guilty of gross misconduct towards this Church in acting in defiance of its officers and offering them gross insults, this Church withdraw from Bro Jenkins until such time as he make amends for his conduct, and repentance be manifested in him." Carried - 5 for 1 against.(I wonder what happened to Bro Jenkins after that. Maybe Charles was sorry to see him go, as Bro Jenkins had given him good support throughout the arguments of the previous year.)
"The question of obtaining an Evangelist was again discussed for some time, after which Bro Martin moved and Bro Neish seconded, "That we endeavour to obtain the services of one of the American brethren to labour with us for not less than Two Months; and that we undertake to provide board and lodging and Two Pounds per week for him during the time he remains with us.This was an important decision for the group, and quite a major step.
"This meeting having been called for the purpose of again considering the advisability of again appointing one of more of our brethren to the office of Pastor.July - the theological debate in the pages of the "Pioneer" resumes with a three paged article by "S" again entitled - "Faith - What is It?" He says that this is not written specifically to answer "M's" queries, but he will do so while he's on the job. Once again, I must say that I find his arguments and reasoning quite difficult to follow.
Bro Barrett moved and Bro McMaster seconded, "That we invite Bro Martin to again take the office of Pastor of this church". Carried unanimously.
Bro Morris moved, "That the Deacons draw up a letter or personally wait upon our Bro Martin to express the wish of the Church in this matter. Carried unanimously.
"Bro Neish moved and Bro Barrett seconded, "That we invite Bro Hamill to labour here for three months with the option of extending the time to Six Months; and that we allow him £2/10/- per week for his support and Railway expenses. Carried.Also at the same meeting -
Letters were read which had been sent to the Brethren meeting at the Mechanics' Institute by our officers, also the replies thereto, upon their breach of faithOctober - Back to the Theological Debate - "M" Replies to "S" in the "Pioneer", with an article of two and a half pages. Again I enjoyed his article - he makes his points clearly and again with some moderate sarcasm at times. At the end he gets a bit difficult to follow however. He concludes by promising another contribution for next month.
Bro MacGowan moved and Bro Barrett seconded "That this Church, having heard the correspondence between its officers and those of the Brethren meeting at the Mechanics' Institute regrets to find that the efforts of its officers to confer with the Brethren at the Mechanics` in reference to their violation of their own resolution to Establish a Church in Ballarat East, have proved fruitless and that it is evident from the last letter of the Brethren at the Mechanics' any further effort on our part would be injudicious and useless, and moreover, taking into consideration the evil which must result from this state of things being perpetuated, we urgently request the Metropolitan Churches to investigate and decide what is to be done. "
Bro Morris moved as an amendment "That in the opinion of this church, the Brethren meeting at the Mechanics' Institute have done wrong in breaking faith by acting in opposition to their own motion to Establish a Church in Ballarat East, and we hereby record our protest against such conduct. The amendment carried
Ballarat.To: Hannah (Farr) in Ballarat - a son - Lucius
18th March, 1869.
In reply to your memorandum of yesterday's date, I have to state that the Board of Education granted £98/18/6 towards certain repairs and alterations in these school premises, on condition of an equivalent amount being raised locally. Towards this £13/3/3 had been received from school fees, the balance £86/15/3 was a contribution from me, and I placed my name on the line set apart for this purpose in the January abstract. But on further consideration, I think the items ought not to have been reported to the Board, as in the declaration there is a clause "to which no aid will be granted by the Board of Education" whereas this sum was subscribed to meet an equivalent amount granted by the Board.
It is strictly a local contribution, and as such has been entered in the Account Book in the place provided for that purpose and was placed at the back of the abstract in order to make your books correspond with the Account Book in the school, but the declaration could not be signed with the above mentioned clause in it, as the amount was contributed for the very purpose of receiving aid from the Board of Education.
I have the honor to be Sir,
Your most obedient servant, C. Martin
"With reference to the breach of faith on the part of those Brethren now meeting at the Mechanics', Bro MacGowan moved and Bro Divers seconded "That having protested against the conduct of the Brethren meeting at the Mechanics' and they having paid no attention to our protest we hereby withdraw from them according to New Testament - 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 6." CarriedMarch 4th - Surber again came up with another representative to try once more to achieve a reconciliation, and a joint meeting of the two groups was held. The Mechanics' expressed regret in not answering the letter, and for setting up so close to Dawson St, and in return the Dawson St church agreed to rescind their motion of "withdrawal". But this time the break was permanent, and although a reconciliation was not effected, at least any residual bitterness was kept to a minimum - for the time being at any rate. From that beginning, the Church of Christ at Peel St, which is still in operation today, had its commencement.
It was also moved "That we acquaint the Brethren in Melbourne with what we have just now done." Carried.
"Brethren Surber and Green, having been sent up by the Melbourne brethren to see what they could do in the matter of dispute betwixt us and those Brethren who left us to start a Church in Ballarat East had several interviews with individual brethren of both parties, and arranged to have a meeting of a few brethren from both parties which took place in the chapel on Friday 4th March, 1870. After a good deal of discussion the brethren in office at the Mechanics' stated that they saw they had done wrong in refusing to confer with us upon the matter of which we complained and expressed their regret for so doing, also that they would give us a statement in writing to that effect. We also, on our part agreed to recommend the Church to rescind the motion to withdraw from them which was passed on January 12th, 1870.
"A letter from the officers of the Church meeting at the Mechanics' Institute was read acknowledging their error, and expressing regret for not having conferred with us in reference to their removal to the Mechanics' Institute.April - After many years of trying to get a paid evangelist, Dawson St finally managed to employ Hamill, an evangelist in Melbourne, and persuade him to come to Ballarat for two months. He commenced in late April, on about the 27th. The minutes record that some baptisms were conducted on April 17th and 24th by Bros Martin and MacGowan respectively, but on May 1st and 8th, the baptisms were conducted by Hamill, indicating that he arrived during the last week of April. A news item, written by "M" on May 4th for the June edition of the "Pioneer", states thus -
Bro Barrett moved and Bro McMaster seconded, "That the motion passed on the 12th January to withdraw from those Brethren be rescinded". Carried - Bro Divers protesting against it, but he was alone in so doing.
"Since our last report to the A.C. Pioneer the Lord has blessed the labours of the brethren at this place, and the result has been that seven men and four women have confessed that their hope for eternity is based solely on the Lord Jesus Christ, and publicly declared their determination henceforth to follow and serve him as their prophet, priest and king. We have our brother Hamill now amongst us; he will remain for two months, and we trust and pray that his visit will not be in vain."I was also interesting to note that on the same page of the "Pioneer" the breakaway group sent in a news report -
"This being the first report that we have sent to you, I deem it my duty to state for the information of your readers that the church, meeting in the Mechanics Institute, commenced about fifteen months ago, and although our progress has not been what we desired and prayed for, yet we have added thirty one by baptism and three by transfer. "May 1st - This was a Sunday, and four baptisms were conducted in the church on this day by the evangelist Hamill. (Including Mr and Mrs Holme, who died in 1879 - see Charles letter to Kemp from Belfast in 1879).
"We take pleasure in reporting that the labors of Bro. Hamill in this town have been instrumental in exciting a spirit of inquiry, respecting the new testament order. Our brother has been doing the work of an evangelist" by visiting from house to house, and has there disturbed the quiet that was existing in the minds of several who, up to that time, had paid more attention to the words of man than to those of God, and the issue has been that they have left their party leaders and determined to follow Christ. These again have acted as missionaries, and introduced our brother to others who have followed a good example, until, including some from our Lord's Day School, forty have, since our last report, come forward and obeyed their Lord in baptism. Our brother's teachings are plain and practical; he shows the people that the Lord requires his followers to be baptized - that baptism is immersion, that it is for the remission of sins, and that then rejoicing in the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, their motto should ever afterwards be - onward, upward!'May 15th - Charlotte baptised. One of the 41 baptised was his daughter Charlotte, along with a number of others from the Sunday School. She had just turned 14. It is recorded in the minute book - "On Lord's day, 15th May, Elisabeth Fenton, Charlotte Elisabeth Martin, Susan McMasters and Alice Neish were Baptised by our Bro McGowan. These all being the first fruits from the Sunday School. May they grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." I don't know why the baptism was conducted by Charles' friend MacGowan, instead of Hamill (or for that matter why it wasn't conducted by Charles himself) but I imagine that this event gave Charles and Elizabeth a feeling of satisfaction and a certain amount of joy and happiness.
"33 holidays having been allowed during the 12 months ended 31st December, 1869, Rule 82 has been infringed, an explanation is requested. "(A list of the holidays given in each month was enclosed.) Charles replied -
Ballarat Common School No 33,(Number of days and half days on which the school was actually held during the year- 235
Feb 9th 1870.
In answer to your enquiry, why I have allowed Rule 82 to be infringed, I have to state that I have not done so.
The clerk in the Education Department must have made a mistake, as I only had 26 days holiday during the year, 1869.
Yours respectfully, Charles Martin.
Also during 1870, in April, a Mr Gilchrist, a Schools Inspector, submitted to the Education Department an evaluation of the school situation in Ballarat, giving various suggestions as to what may be the best thing to do in relation to school closures, amalgamations, etc. One of the possibilities he suggested was to close Schools Nos 81, 57 and 603, and select No 33 (Dana St) as the site for a large central school. This, of course, was to eventually come to pass, with unfortunate results for Charles.In discussing the various teachers, he referred to Charles as follows -
"If Nos 81, 57 and 603 are closed the site of No 33 would be admirably suited for the site of a large central school, but unless one at least of of these were closed, no additional school accommodation would in my opinion materially increase the attendance at No 33 under the present teacher. Mr Martin holds a ????? certificate and performs his duties faithfully, I believe, and with average success, but he lacks the power to bring his school under the notice of the public in such a way as to secure a larger attendance.