Mrs Eliza Jane Bingham, on 27th November, aged 89. Saved in 1940 under the preaching of R Curran and C Fleming in Gransha Gospel Hall, she later became a loyal member of the assembly there. She had a prayerful interest in the gospel, a high regard for those proclaiming it, and saw many of her kindred saved. She also was given to much hospitality. On the occasion of her marriage to Mr John Bingham in 1979, she became a member of the Martray assembly until her home-call, although latterly unable to attend on account of failing health. Prayer would be valued for those who mourn her passing and for some of her kindred who are not yet saved.
Mr John Bingham, on 31st December, aged 93. He was saved in 1923, and some time later was brought into the assembly at Ballyveigh, Co Down, but because of his occupation as Farm Manager in different locations he was also in assemblies located at Limavady, Comber, Antrim, and Clones. In his retirement he spent his last years in the Martray assembly, Co Tyrone. He had a delight in the spread of the gospel, and some that he brought under its sound were saved. He had a great love for the assembly of God, where his voice was much appreciated in thanksgiving. Predeceased by his second wife Eliza Jane by just some weeks, he leaves a daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, with nephews and nieces, who mourn his passing. Prayer requested for the family and for some of his kindred not yet saved.
Mr Eric George Foster, aged 60, passed peacefully from hospital into the presence of the Lord on 13th February. Saved on 6th June, 1975, he and his wife, Jennifer, were two of a number saved at meetings held by W J Nesbitt and Joseph Preston. Both soon obeyed the Lord in baptism and were received into fellowship in the Newtownhamilton assembly. He bore a consistent testimony and was a highly respected dairy farmer in the community. He was noted for early attendance at all assembly meetings, and, with his wife and family, the support of all gospel outreach work. As a man of calm disposition, he bore his illness without complaint, waiting patiently for the Lord to take him to eternal rest. S McBride, T W Wright, W J Nesbitt and J Preston, conducted the very large funeral.
Mrs Helen Gribben, on 24th March. Saved in early life, she enjoyed fellowship in Apsley Street, Belfast, later in Newtownbreda, and for the last thirty-eight years in Knockbracken/Carryduff. She was faithful and consistent in attendance at all assembly meetings, given to hospitality, of a quiet disposition, and an example to the younger sisters. She was predeceased by her husband Joe in 1995, and is survived by two daughters. The funeral service in Carryduff Gospel Hall was conducted by J Scott and S Thompson, with R Harrison taking part in prayer.
Mr James Hamilton went to be at home with the Lord on 13th February. He suffered much in closing days and was tenderly cared for by his wife Mary whom he married after the decease of his first wife Isobel in 1995. Saved in 1933 in Mourne Street Gospel Hall during meetings by Mr Murdoch McKenzie, he was baptised and received into fellowship and continued with the assembly when they transferred into larger accommodation on the Albertbridge Road. He served the Lord and His people in many ways and will be greatly missed by the now small assembly. A large number gathered in the hall for the funeral service where a goodly word was spoken by Mr S Ferguson, and also at the graveside where Mr R Jordan was responsible.
Mr Samuel Kane, called home on 2nd March, aged 90. He was saved in gospel meetings at Currien in Co Fermanagh in 1937, and was associated with the Bushmills assembly all his life. When he came back from Fermanagh he commenced childrens work and gospel meetings in Dervock Village in North Antrim and childrens work in the Dry Arch district, and both these efforts continued for most of his long lifetime. His uncle William and brother Eddie along with himself held the assembly together in the face of many attacks in that popular seaside area, and the present work of God in North Antrim is largely due to their faithfulness. The passing of these brethren is a tremendous loss and the funeral which was conducted by brethren Jack Lennox and David Kane was a worthy tribute to such a faithful brother.
Mrs Elizabeth (Elsie) McGowan, widow of David McGowan, was called home on 17th February after a short illness, aged 82. Saved as a girl of 13, she was later baptised and received into fellowship in Ebenezer Gospel Hall in Belfast. She moved to Ballymena and was in the assembly in Wellington Street until her marriage, when she went into fellowship in Broughshane. In 1945 she and her husband moved to the assembly at Kingsmoss, where she remained until her homecall. A godly sister and a woman of faith and prayer, she loved the assembly and the Lords people and sought to help and encourage all the believers. She had a great interest in the gospel and in seeing souls saved. Prayer is requested for her two sons, daughter, and all the family circle.
Mrs Margaret Patton McKee, aged 92 years, passed peacefully into the Lords presence on 7th February, following a short illness. Saved while attending gospel meetings conducted by Mr A McShane in Granshaw Gospel Hall in 1953, she was baptised shortly afterwards and received into fellowship with Drumlough assembly. A good woman who loved the Lord and His people, she had an excellent testimony amongst her neighbours and friends. The very large funeral was a token of the respect in which she was held in the area. The funeral services were shared by brethren Thomas McNeill, John Rogers, and Fred Sloan. Prayer valued for the family circle.
Mr James G McKittrick, on 11th March, very suddenly, aged 90. He was saved in 1953, and for many years was in the Ballymacashon assembly, where he was most useful, leading the singing and helpful in many other ways. He had an excellent testimony in the district as was seen by the many who attended the funeral services and heard the word of God. J G Hutchinson was responsible for the services. Prayer valued for his only son and family living in Africa.
Mr Hugh McMaster, on 2nd February, aged 86 years. Hugh was saved on 18th September, 1947 and was in happy fellowship in the New Road Assembly, Portavogie for many years. A highly esteemed brother whose love for the Lord and His truth was combined with faithfulness to the assembly until restricted by illness from attending the meetings. Lovingly cared for by his daughter and son-in-law. His large funeral was taken by Brian Currie and Jack Lennox with local brethren helping. Prayer requested for his family, some of whom are not saved.
Mrs Jeannie Reynolds, on 16th February, aged 84. Our sister was saved on 30th June, 1966 while attending gospel meetings in a portable hall outside Broughshane, where Mr Eric Wishart and our late brother Mr Robert Craig were preaching the gospel. The following year she was baptised and received into the Harryville assembly, Ballymena, where she continued until ill health prevented her. Her very large funeral was from the Harryville Hall where A Caulfield, M McKillen, and J Law shared the service, and at the graveside L Ballantine and T Marcus were responsible. Prayer would be valued for her five sons and two daughters, her sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some of whom are not yet saved.
Mr James F (Jim) Young, on 23rd February, aged 85. Jim was born in Bleary area and saved there in 1933 when the late John Hutchinson and William Johnston had gospel meetings. He was soon baptized and received into fellowship, making rapid strides spiritually, evidencing his gift in gospel preaching, with a compassion for souls, sharing in gospel series with various brethren across the country, and seeing souls saved. He also had meetings with his cousin, the late William Bunting, and carried on a gospel work in the village of Gilford for a number of years, with blessing. For the last forty years he was in the assembly in Central Hall, Bangor, where he was active in all aspects of assembly life, sharing in oversight. He was a father figure with an edifying and encouraging ministry. When he ministered or led the saints in worship the believers were lifted. A brother beloved, godly in life, he shall be missed. His very large funeral was from Central Hall. Dr H Johnston and S Thompson paid tribute and spoke words of comfort and challenge. He is survived by his son and daughter, Henry and Evelyn.