Emerson L. Isler was born in Anderson County on June 4, 1927. After graduating from Furman University in 1950, he attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Isler married Polly Dismuke in 1955.
Isler’s pastorates included Harrison Road Baptist in Columbia 1953-1955; Canaan Baptist in Canadys 1955-1956; Reevesville Baptist in Reevesville 1956-1959; Elko Baptist in Elko 1959-1964; Allen’s Chapel Baptist in Ulmers 1959-1964; Ebenezer Baptist in Trenton 1964-1969; Dearing Baptist in Dearing, Ga. 1969-1974 and Glenn Street Baptist Church in Newberry 1974-1976. Isler served on the general board of the Southern Baptist Convention and was one of the trustees in the early organization of the Baptist College at Charleston.
A radio announcer in his student days at New Orleans Seminary, Isler later used these skills with his radio ministry. While at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Trenton, S.C., the church sponsored his program “Inspiration Time” on Radio Station WJES from 1967-1974. Isler’s program, “Joyful Moments,” recorded music interspersed with related devotional vignettes, was produced from 1974-1988. Starting in 1977, Isler also produced a daily three-minute radio program, “Words for Living,” on WKMG in Newberry. After his retirement in 1976, the program was syndicated and broadcast in the Carolinas and Georgia.
Isler was the recipient of corneal transplants in both eyes in the 1960s. In 1974, an acute heart condition serviced that required Isler to retire in 1976, after which his family moved to Columbia, S.C. Isler died June 22, 1988 in Columbia, S.C.