Mr William Charles Davidson, aged 86. Saved when he was fourteen at meetings in Ballyhalbert conducted by Mr P Major, for a short time he was in the assembly there and at Ballywalter. For over seventy years he was in Cardy assembly where he shepherded and taught the saints, and was truly a pillar. A good man who feared God and loved His Word and ways, he had the joy of seeing his family and grandchildren saved and active in assembly life. The very large funeral from the new hall in Cardy was an indication of how he was respected and loved by believers and neighbours. The services were conducted by J G Hutchinson, M Radcliffe and G Davidson (grandson) who were assisted by local brethren in prayer and hymns. The gospel was made clear and words of comfort were also given. Prayer valued for his widow and his two elderly sisters.
Mr Samuel (Sam) Gibson, called home on 11th February in his 89th year. Sam was saved in 1933 at meetings in the Orange Hall at Knockbracken conducted by Mr J Stewart. Sam was a beloved brother of a quiet disposition, given to much prayer, and had a keen interest in the gospel over his life-time. During the last forty-five years he was in happy fellowship with the saints at Central Hall, Bangor, and was an example to all in his godly life, being consistent and faithful in all aspects of assembly testimony, and sharing in oversight responsibilities. He is survived by his wife Ruby (who is presently not well) and two sons Samuel and Alan. The large funeral was from Central Hall where S Thompson spoke words of comfort and gospel, with his local brethren paying tribute. H Reid gave a word in the gospel at the cemetery.
Mr Hugh Harshaw, on 2nd May, aged 91. He was saved at eighteen on 13th January, 1934 and was in happy fellowship in the Newry assembly for many years. He always appreciated the grace of God that saved him. He enjoyed the remembrance meeting and regularly would have read passages dealing with the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus. Due to ill health he was not able to attend the meetings in recent years but maintained a keen interest in the assemblys activities. His funeral service was conducted by John Rogers and David Gilliland. Prayer would be valued for Mrs Harshaw and their family.
Mr Stuart Hughes went to be with Christ on 9th June, aged 93. Stuart was saved in 1948 under the preaching of Mr Robert Love at Carryduff. He and his wife Margaret, who was saved a few weeks before him, were soon baptised and received into fellowship at Knockbracken. After a few years they moved to Belfast and fellowshipped with the saints at Ormeau Road. Due to the troubles in the city they moved to Antrim and for twenty-four years enjoyed fellowship with the believers there. Because of deteriorating health and advancing years they, with their son Alan, moved back to Carryduff in 1997 and had happy fellowship with the assembly there. It must be said that in every situation Stuart, along with Margaret, gave wholehearted support to the work of the Lord, entering into all aspects of assembly life, being faithful and consistent in testimony, and an inspiration to younger believers. A large company attended the Service of Thanksgiving for Stuarts life at Antrim Gospel Hall. W Hamilton and S Thompson shared in the services. Remember Margaret in prayer (now in nursing care), along with all the family.
Mrs Sarah (Sally) Lowe. Born in Stirling in December, 1925, she was a loving mother to a family of eight. She came to know the Lord as her Saviour, and thereafter prayed for the salvation of her children, and saw them all saved. She was in fellowship for a number of years in Elim Hall, Kilmarnock, before moving to Ayr and coming into fellowship in Prestwick Road Gospel Hall. She was called home on 17th April. Please remember the family in prayer.
Mr Joseph Stewart McKenzie (Bangladesh & UK, 1961-2006), on 24th February. Stewart was born in Glasgow in 1937 to Christian parents, and was the eldest of three brothers. In 1950, after his Sunday school teacher preached on the text from Genesis 6.3, "My spirit shall not always strive with man", Stewart was convicted that he would need to cry out to God for salvation, and he received assurance that this personal salvation had taken place for him. This event was the start of the spiritual life of faith that was to characterise Stewart through all his years. While engaged in his employment in the Civil Service in London, he felt the call of God upon his life to missionary service and he earnestly responded in prayer and obedience. He enrolled in the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow where he met Gillian. After their marriage, in 1961 they were commended to missionary service in what was East Pakistan and is now known as Bangladesh. This began a life of full-time service for his Lord which saw ten years missionary work in Bangladesh, being followed by a return to Scotland as an evangelist in Argyll. After a few years, Stewarts evangelical ministry led him into service as an itinerant preacher and teacher across the UK. He was involved in a variety of Christian service, most frequently gospel outreach and practical Bible teaching. This work was his calling and his consuming passion, and a calling he discharged in full. From 1961 to 2006 Stewart and Gillian appreciated the faithfulness of God as they served him in a variety of spheres. Although he will be greatly missed by many, if he were here now he would remind us of the joy of the wonderful day when we will meet Jesus, and of the triumph of faith and of the salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ. There will be many who will rejoice in the memory of Stewart, and of the encouragement and enlightenment he brought to their lives.
Mrs Anna K McKeown called home on 23rd June, aged 85. She was saved in 1955 at meetings in Limavady conducted by Mr J S Thompson and Mr T Ball. On moving to the village of Coagh she was received into Aughavey Assembly where she remained in happy fellowship until her homecall. A genteel Christian lady who loved the Lord and the furtherance of His work, and was given to hospitality. She has left a fragrant testimony in the district as evidenced by the very large funeral. Prayer valued for her husband, two sons, a daughter, their spouses, her grandchildren, and two brothers.
Mrs Marion McKinley was called home on 5th April, in her 94th year. She was saved as a teenager through Romans 10.9 during gospel meetings at Ardmore Gospel Hall in 1932. She was received into fellowship soon after in Hanover Gospel Hall, Portadown, and was the oldest member of that assembly at the time of her home-call. Widowed in 1952 after only 14 years of marriage, she is survived by her daughter Lorna, son-in-law John, and grandchildren Philip and Lynn. A Christian lady who took a deep interest in all aspects of the Lords work, she attended the assembly faithfully until failing health required that she move to a nursing home in her declining years. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her. The funeral service was shared by Norris Emerson, John Parkinson, and local brethren.
Mr Frank Russell, called home very suddenly on 26th April, aged 78. He was saved as a boy of thirteen in Kilwinning. After his marriage to Isa Reid, they set up home in Glengarnock where they were in fellowship in Hebron Hall, sharing in all the activities of the assembly. He was predeceased by his wife on 12th June, 2002. Correspondent for forty five-years, he was a faithful brother and able preacher of the gospel and minister of the word, and he will be greatly missed by the small assembly. The large gathering at his funeral service showed the esteem in which he was held. Remember his son Frank, his sister Alice, and other relatives at this time.
Mrs Jean Totten, on 28th June, aged 81. Saved in 1946 while working in Londonderry, and for some years in the assembly there, she was loved and highly esteemed. Later when she came to work in Belfast she was in Donegall Road assembly. After her marriage she was in Windsor assembly, where she and her husband faithfully and loyally served the Lord and His people. She had a special interest in the many students attending the meetings, often having them in her home. She had the joy of seeing her two sons, Ken and Ivan, not only saved and in assembly fellowship, but active in ministry and gospel work. Her large funeral was from Windsor Hall when J G Hutchinson, L Ward, P McMurray and G Gracey gave words of appreciation, comfort and gospel.