Mr Joseph (Joe) Arnold, suddenly, on 24th August, aged 84. Joe was born into a devout Church of Ireland family, members of Belfast Cathedral. He was saved, aged 15, under the preaching of a Methodist minister. He was greatly influenced by the late Frank Knox and was subsequently received into the Adam Street Assembly. For some years he was in Portadown and later in Fortwilliam. He and Margaret moved to Ahoghill on retirement. Joes whole interest was the assembly and the Christians. They had the joy of seeing their family saved. The greatest shadow that fell on Joes life was the loss of Margaret, his dear wife, in 1997. He was buried from Ahoghill Gospel Hall, the funeral service being conducted by local brethren. Harry Andrews, and Joes nephew, Raymond, gave excellent messages.
Miss Lily Farquhar passed into the presence of the Lord on 18th October, aged 84, shortly after having suffered a severe stroke. She was saved in 1941 following gospel meetings conducted at Ballywillwill, County Down by Robert Curran. After a time she was received into the local assembly and later was a foundation member of the assembly at Castlewellan. Lily was a quiet and godly sister whose life and deportment were in keeping with the doctrine she cherished. Her funeral was conducted in Castlewellan by James and Wesley Martin assisted by Norman Turkington and George McKinley.
Mrs Sarah Fleming, called home on 24th September, aged 84. She was saved as a young woman, and received into fellowship in Windsor Assembly, Belfast. She was a faithful member of the assembly and a regular attender at the meetings until she suffered a stroke about seven years ago. She was a sister of a quiet and cheerful disposition and one who bore her illness with great fortitude. She had the joy of seeing both her sons and grand-daughters saved in early life. The very well attended funeral service took place in Windsor Gospel Hall and was conducted by local brethren. Prayer requested for the family circle.
Mr Henry (Harry) Glenn, on 1st November, aged 89. Saved in May 1974, he was baptised and received into fellowship in the Antrim Assembly in January 1975, where he continued faithful in his attendance right up to a few weeks before he died. He is survived by his wife and two daughters both in assembly fellowship, and two sons, both of whom are saved. Mr W H Mitchell paid a fitting tribute, and Mr R I McKeown spoke at the large funeral service assisted by local brethren.
Mr Wynnfield Hooke, Plantation Assembly, Lisburn, on 2nd November, aged 59 years. Our brother went to be with Christ after a brief but consuming illness. Taken from us in the midst of a busy and useful life, his passing is keenly felt first of all by his family, then by the assembly, and by many believers over a wide area who greatly appreciated his deep interest, shepherd care, and wise counsel. His successful career in the RUC entailed his moving to various locations over the years and his association with a number of assemblies. The wholehearted contributions which he, together with his wife, made wherever they lived have left many fragrant memories. His loss will also be keenly felt by the Trustees and Secretary of Lords Work Trust to which for the past five years he gave unreserved commitment. The attendance at his very large funeral service spoke eloquently of the esteem and respect, which he commanded. Tributes were paid to his memory, and appropriate gospel messages were delivered by David Gilliland and John Fleck.
Mr Matthew Jack, on 16th October, aged 84. He was saved as a boy of fifteen in 1937 and lived to prove it. Coming home from India in 1942, he was baptised and received into fellowship in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead. He was a dependable brother, capable of handling responsibility in a meticulous way. He was a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, treasurer and elder, a member of the committee for the Summerhill Home, and responsible for the York Street Missionary Fellowship for many years, and in all these areas of service Matthew proved his worth. Assembly gatherings were enhanced by his beautiful tenor voice. His bright and cheery personality encouraged all. He will be sadly missed by his dear wife and family, and in the assembly.
Mrs Elsie Kennedy was called home on 25th October, aged 89, after a short illness. She was saved in 1947 after attending a Sunday night gospel meeting conducted by the late Mr Jim Brown, and was baptised and received into fellowship with the assembly at Drumreagh, Newmills where she continued faithfully until her recent illness. Mr R Eadie and Mr S Maze spoke words of comfort, and preached the message of the gospel clearly in the Gospel Hall and at the graveside, many hearing it for the first time. Prayer is requested for the family.
Mrs Mary McCracken, aged almost 98, was called suddenly into the presence of the Lord on 14th October. Mary was saved as a young girl, baptised, and received into the fellowship of the saints at Shields Road Gospel Hall, Motherwell where she continued happily for over eighty years. Good health enabled her to live on her own despite her advanced age, and, with the kind help of others, she was able to attend the Lords Day meetings till she was called home. An example of Godly consistency over many years, she will be greatly missed in the assembly and by her many family relatives.
Mr Mark Milliken, called home, aged 85, on 10th February. Saved at the age of sixteen, he was received into fellowship in Windsor Assembly, Belfast. He was a founder of the Windsor Missionary Conference where many heard the call to full-time service in other lands. Whilst in business in Hong Kong he was of great service to missionaries throughout the Far East. Although successful in business, spiritual things were his priority. After retirement he returned to the Windsor Assembly where he was a highly valued elder for many years as well as being a convener of the Belfast conferences. The funeral service was conducted by Sam Patterson, Marshall Milne, and Noel Brown with others participating. Continuing prayer is valued for his wife Anna who resides in Faith House, and his sons who are not yet saved.
Mr William John Pudney, on 22nd October, aged 85 years. Saved and baptised as a young man, John, as he was known, came to Perthshire from London after World War II and enjoyed fellowship in the assembly in Abernethy, and, after it closed, in Perth. A man of deep spiritual interests, his life was Christ centred, he loved the Word of God, and his commitment to the assembly was absolute. A man who, though not given to preaching, was much given to praying, and he sought to order his life in a way which honoured the Lord, irrespective of the cost to himself. "He was a faithful man, and feared God above many." His large funeral was a testimony to the respect and affection in which he was held.
Mrs Mag Ritchie was called home on 16th October, aged 95 years. She was saved early in life and baptised and received into fellowship in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead about 1938/9. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years. After her marriage to James, they moved to Gorgie Assembly in Edinburgh. Returning to Peterhead in 1963, our sister, along with her husband, faithfully attended the gatherings of the assembly in York Street. She spent the latter years of her long life in a nursing home in very poor health, waiting and ready to be called home.
Mr James (Jim) Cunningham Rollo, on 24th May, aged 79 years, after many months of increasing weakness borne patiently. Now with Christ whom he loved and served since being born again in 1934. He was baptised on 5th October, 1947, and received into assembly fellowship. His name is synonymous with the assembly at Innerleven Gospel Hall where their present meeting room is a testimony to his practical skills. Though not professing to be a public man, Jim was devoted to Sunday School work for some 58 years, being superintendent for almost quarter of a century. Fearless in testimony, and respected by all, he is now sadly missed by Nan and the family, the assembly in which he served faithfully, and by those touched by his life.
Mrs Elsie Thomson, on 15th October, aged 96. Saved, baptised and received into fellowship in her teens, she continued in fellowship in the assembly at Lossiemouth for eighty years. She had a hard life, being widowed at forty-five and left to bring up three boys, and often was heard to say, "I do not know how anyone can manage without God". Almost to the end of her life the highlight of her week was to gather with the saints on Lords Day morning to remember the Lord, and her faithfulness challenged all our hearts. Our sister loved and was loved by her family, the assembly, and many friends, and she will be missed because her seat is empty.
Mr Sydney Thomson, called home on 30th June. Saved at the age of twelve, he was later baptised and received into fellowship at Falconer Street Gospel Hall, Port Glasgow, taking an active part, until his marriage, when he moved to Huntly. He later moved to Ayrshire, and thereafter to various places in the UK, where he gave wholehearted support in all areas of assembly life. In 2001, he and his wife Betty, moved to Auchlochan, where he was lovingly cared for until his homecall.
Mr J S Wallace, very suddenly in the assembly prayer meeting, aged 86. Saved when he was nine years old, and soon baptised, all his long life he remained in happy fellowship in Cambridge Avenue Assembly. All his days he was deeply interested in the ways and work of the Lord. For many years he was Sunday School superintendent, led the singing in assembly gatherings for over fifty years, was a respected and wise overseer, and was often engaged in gospel preaching. Of a kind, approachable, disposition, he was loved by the saints. In business he was successful and held in high esteem by the general public; some described him as "a Christian gentleman who practised what he preached". The very large congregation was addressed by J G Hutchinson, paying tribute to his life long friend and appealing to younger men to seek to follow the example of our highly esteemed brother, describing him as "a prince and great man", and saying, "whose faith follow". R Pickering had help to give a very stirring message to the large company at the grave. His widow is in hospital and was unable to be at the funeral. His family, all married, are in assembly fellowship and keenly interested in the Lords work. Prayer valued for Mrs Wallace and the family.