William Muller Isaac immigrated to the United States in 1965. He attended Washington Adventist University (formerly Columbia Union College), majoring in business education. After graduation, he worked thirty-seven years in the United Planning organization as a controller, auditor and advisor. His wife Annammal Ponniah and four daughters joined him in 1967 and they created a home for themselves in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Mr. Isaac was a man of many talents. He worked in the shoe industry in Coonoor, managed the metal industry work in Poona, supervised the building of the Ottapalam SDA Hospital as well as led out weekly religious services. His interests included baking cakes and other sweet treats, reading books, traveling, along with sewing clothes for his children.
From 1944-1965, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac served in the Southern Asia Division. Mr. Isaac worked as a Pastor, an Evangelist, and the Voice of Prophecy Secretary, establishing and strengthening 25 churches in several parts of South India. In 1950 due to illness their first 3 young children passed away.
He was the SAAA President during 1984 and 1985, was the treasurer for four years, Chairman of the Board, as well as Property Management Council. During this time, he also helped establish the SAAA registration with the Federal and State governments and received its tax exemption status.
Mr. Isaac was a man of God, a leader to many, a friend to all and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He will always be known for his passion to help others and his great service to the community.
Finnie Evangeline John’s involvement with the fledgling Southern Asia Adventist Association began upon her arrival in the U.S. in 1964 following that of her parents, Mr. & Mrs. I. R. Thomas and brother Rajan who came in 1961, 1962 and 1963 in that order. She was soon involved in meetings and activities of the Association lending her full support to SAAA. In 1964, soon after arriving in the U.S. she began working at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C.
When she was born, her father wanted her name to be different from the usual. First thinking of “Josephine”, he decided to name her Finnie. For a young girl, this was certainly unique especially in India.
Finnie could be considered a third generation Adventist. Her maternal grandparents, Pastor and Mrs. V.D. Koilpillai were pioneers in the Adventist Church in India. Her paternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. G.P. Iyngayam, were committed members of the Bangalore S.D.A. Central Church and later the Vepery S.D.A. Church in Chennai.
Mr. I.R. (Iyngayam Rathnaswamy) Thomas came from a family who were faithful Christians in Tamil Nadu. From a young age he was known to put his whole heart and energy in doing whatever he set his mind to do. So it was that when he was introduced to and convinced of the Seventh-day Adventist message, he was the first in his family to join the SDA Church in 1936 at the age of nineteen.
As with many of the early SDA believers in Southern Asia, he went to Spicer College where he graduated from Junior College in Theology in 1939. He then answered the call to serve as a teacher and principal in many parts of the Indian sub-continent which included Ceylon as a literature evangelist, SDA schools in Kolegal, the Senior Cambridge school on Spencer Road in Bangalore, James Memorial School in Pragasapuram, Lowry Memorial High School in Karnataka, Assam Training School, Kellogg Mukherjee High School in Bangladesh, E.D. Thomas Memorial High School in Kudikadu, and Spicer Memorial College where he began the college food industry. Wherever he served, he worked hard to improve the facilities and educational standards.