Rev. William Ault was born in Bromwich, Warwickshire, in the year 1778. At the age of 30 he committed himself to the service of God. After serving in his country for few years, Rev. Ault was keen to assist and accompany Rev. Thomas Coke, a senior evangelist with a mission to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). After months of planning, on 31 December 1813 a team of missionaries including Thomas Coke, Ault, and his wife Sarah left to Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately Coke and Ault’s wife Sara fell ill and died on route to Sri Lanka leaving the rest of the crew to continue the journey and implement the mission. The team had to split as they approached the shores, accordingly Rev. Jams Lynch left to Jaffna, Rev. Benjamin Clough left to Galle, Rev. George Erskine left to Matara, Rev. Martin Harvard to Colombo and Rev. William Ault assigned for Batticaloa.
In a short period of time learning Tamil, Rev. Ault established eight schools including the Methodist Central College. Rev. William Ault is known as the morning star of Methodism in Eastern Sri Lanka. Rev. Ault fell seriously ill in January 1815 and died three months after in April 1815. A mission hall of Puliyanthivu Methodist church Batticaloa was named the William Ault Memorial Hall and a statue of him placed next to the Batticaloa Gate to honor his valuable services.