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Whose faith follow: Mr James Brown

J G Hutchinson, Belfast

Mr Brown was the only child of Mr and Mrs F Brown of Cookstown. He was born on 22nd August, 1929. His parents were God-fearing, and Jim was brought up that way. He was saved in February, 1944 when Mr A Cooke was preaching in Cookstown Gospel Hall. He was soon baptised and received into the assembly. From conversion he showed a deep interest in divine matters and developed spiritually, being given to prayer and the study of the Scriptures.

He was for some time in the family drapery business. Later he branched out on his own and was successful, and his many customers appreciated his integrity and constant readiness to be of help. In 1963 he married Miss Ethel Crawford, and God blessed the union. He gave them two children, a girl and a boy, and they had the joy of seeing them both saved and in assembly fellowship.

It became increasingly clear that, while he prospered in business, God had something greater for him. He showed interest in all aspects of the assembly work and especially the gospel outreach, preaching to young and old indoors and out of doors. He, with two other young men, had a portable hall constructed and they had meetings in his home district, God setting the seal of His approval on the efforts through people getting saved. The other two were later commended to full time service - Mr J Lennox in the homelands, and Mr N Stewart to Africa. It is important to see that when God calls believers to full time service He adds His blessing, thus confirming to the assembly His mind for them and showing to fellow saints that they are in the mind of the Lord in going out.

In 1966 Jim gave up his business, being commended by his own assembly and with the warm fellowship of others. His devotedness to the Lord, his reverence for God, his concern for perishing sinners, and his love for the people of God were soon seen. It was clear to all that here was a man called and fitted by God. He took the work seriously, at times unable to sleep as he thought of the needy multitudes all around. His gospel work was largely in the North of Ireland, although at times he visited the Irish Republic and Scotland. He was of a very serious disposition, not jesting or gossiping, not tale bearing or criticising. He would choose his words and comments with care. As he moved around, his presence and conversation adorned the doctrine, and all felt that he was in touch with God.

He had a nice singing voice, and since many of the Irish assemblies operate without musical instruments he was often very useful. He was not given to asserting himself, nothing of pride or self marked him. He was happy to take a quiet place and give what help he could; he really cared for his fellow saints. 1 Corinthians 12.26 was seen in his attitude.

He had great joy when his son Crawford was saved, and while he did not live to see it, how good it is to know that Crawford and his wife Heather have gone to serve the Lord in Brazil.

Over the years Jim had not robust health; he suffered from severe migraine headaches, but was never a complainer. He continued steadfastly in gospel work, ministry, conferences, and funerals.

In August, 1992 he had a mild heart attack and was taken to hospital and while there he had serious complications and his heart was damaged. Recovering somewhat, he was home for a little while though very weak. In September he took a severe stroke and was again admitted to hospital, where suddenly and quietly he passed into the presence of his Lord and Master on the 26th of that month. He had gone to see his Lord and to join in the choirs of heaven and to sing more sweetly than ever "unto Him that loved".


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