Rev Dr Marie Isaacs….

I have just heard of the death of an amazing woman; Rev Dr Marie Isaacs – Baptist minister, New Testament scholar, teacher, chaplain, cricket blue and one of the most frightening people I ever met – and one of my most important mentors. Who was very cross with me when I told her (after many many years!) how much she frightened me 🙂

There are so many stories to tell about Marie – not all nice ones. She could be a difficult person. But then why not, given what she battled her way through.

My two favourites, the first of which, she loved to tell – when she was training for ministry at one of our Baptist Colleges where she was not allowed to live in (men only) and therefore could not attend formal Hall – the evening meal. Except that when somebody preached at College chapel service, they always sat at the top table that evening. And on the evening when she preached, her fellow-students lined up on each side of her, escorted her into the meal and defied anybody to say anything about it (not that I think the staff would have wanted to, but even so….)

And one of the last times I saw her – when I was supposed to be interviewing her for an oral history project, but in the end she wouldn’t let me switch the recorder on, but instead, plied me with white wine, told me various scandalous stories about people in the denomination, (which is why she didn’t want it recorded0 and then gave me her latest publication, on the Letter to the Hebrews, writing in it “passing on the torch from woman to woman”….

I am grateful to God that I knew her.

Deo gratias – may she rest in peace and rise in glory.


4 thoughts on “Rev Dr Marie Isaacs….

  1. I knew Marie when she was chaplain at Birmingham University. Her sermons were usually opened with the words “may what I say be relavent, radical and responsible, but above all true”. I wonder if the habit continued. I lost touch after she left but I can never forget her and her influence. She had a thing about doctors and I was a medical student, so she was sometimes quite caustic! RIP

  2. She was a one off, often challenging but always as a means to make you think differently about what was being said. She was multifaceted, and rarely allowed anyone except for her close friends to know her weaknesses. But those who were privileged to know the whole Marie and even those who only knew aspects of her, she is surely missed. I would like to comfort all those you mourn for her by reminding you what she said about the departed ‘don’t be afraid to talk to your dead loved ones, I do everyday. I would only worry if they spoke back!’ Marie RIP and know what you achieved.

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