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Whose faith follow: Joseph Glancy (1872-1949)

J G Hutchinson, Belfast

Mr Glancy was born of parents in Clones, Co Monaghan on 1st May, 1872. In matchless grace he was born of God in June, 1909. His father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and, soon after Joseph’s birth was transferred to Belfast, where Joseph was sent to school and attended chapel. Until school leaving age he was keenly interested in all the activities of the church, but at that time doubts began to arise in his mind regarding many of its doctrines. However, having little knowledge of the Word of God, he quietly went on with normal life. He was interested in elocution and acting in local plays, and no doubt in later life this teaching of speech making etc was useful to him.

For a short time he was living in Dun Laoghaire near to Dublin, and it was there that he was saved. A Miss Corr, who ran a little mission hall there, took an interest in him and other Roman Catholic men in the area. When opportunity afforded itself she read to them the Scriptures, and made known the way of salvation. Here, for the first time, Joseph realised his need of salvation and, bowing to the truth of God, he was saved.

Returning to Belfast, he received further instruction and light, and was soon found obeying the truth of baptism and gathering with the Lord’s people in assembly fellowship. Later, he was asked, "When you left the Roman Catholic church, why didn’t you associate yourself with some of the well known Protestant churches instead of ‘the Brethren’?". He replied, "I had seen so much of the mother I had no desire to see the daughters".

He was with the believers in happy fellowship and shared in their gospel activities indoors and out of doors. In 1913 he went to live in Canada and there, as in Ireland, while doing a secular job he was busy for his heavenly Master, and amongst the Lord’s people was helped and became a helper. Returning to Ulster in1916 he was sailing aboard the ill-fated Lusitania which was sunk by German submarines. Some hours before the fatal blow was struck, Mr Glancy was busily engaged giving out gospel tracts amongst the passengers. One man in scorn took a tract and before Mr Glancy, twisted it up and threw it on the deck. Little did he know he was soon to meet God and be in eternity.

Very soon after Mr Glancy’s return, he relinquished a good secular position with a publishing company in Belfast and devoted his time and energy to the work of the Lord. His first meetings at that time were held in Whitehaven, Cumberland, and God set His seal upon the effort. From then until he passed away he was a most diligent, earnest evangelist. He laboured with Mr Baillie, Mr Diack, Mr Campbell, Mr Hutchinson, and Dr G Wilson, and he always valued the help and fellowship of these and other servants of Christ. Throughout the British Isles, he travelled and carefully visited each locality in which he preached, endeavouring to give a personal invitation to all living near the hall or the tent in which he was preaching. He kept careful records of visits and conversations and followed these up; no slipshod worker was he.

He was fond of announcing two special subjects: "My deliverance from Rome", and "My deliverance from the Lusitania disaster". These drew large crowds and he was well able to take advantage of this and make known the gospel and the truth of God. He was a very good letter writer, his handwriting was above the average in quality, and when in later years he was not fit for public speaking, he used his pen freely writing to members of the Royal Family, the Pope, the Prime Minister, and many others in all walks of life. His conversion story was in print, and with all these letters a copy was sent. Thus the precious seed was "sown beside all waters" and this brand plucked from darkness was the means in God’s hand to contact many.

The closing part of his life was spent in the Ballyhackamore area of Belfast where he was in happy fellowship with the local assembly. Advancing years brought a good deal of weakness and our brother was confined to home. His wife, who came from England, carefully nursed him until the call came on 31st December, 1949. The funeral was large (an indication of the esteem in which he was held), and took place from his home to the Dundonald Cemetery, with Dr G Wilson and Mr Campbell conducting the service, and at the grave Mr J R Diack and Mr F Knox gave words of appreciation, comfort, and gospel.

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