Mrs Meta Bell died on 17th October in her 90th year. She was saved in 1940 and along with her late husband David was in Drumlough Assembly for many years. She was a loving and gracious sister and will be missed by her three sons and their wives, also her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The assembly at Drumlough will also miss her presence and prayers. The very large funeral was attended by many local friends and neighbours showing how highly she was respected. Please pray for the family as some do not know the Saviour. The funeral services were conducted by Malcolm Radcliffe and John Rogers.
Mr Samuel Cummings, aged 82, called home to be with the Lord on 16th August. Saved in his youth, through the words of Isaiah 53.5, after he had been attending gospel meetings at Castlewellan, Samuel was soon baptized and received into the assembly at Teaguy where he continued faithfully for many years. He steadfastly took his family to meetings, seeing his wife and one of his sons saved. He consistently asked others to come as well, and had a good testimony before his neighbours and all he came in contact with. There were several unsaved at the funeral service where Thompson McCann gave words of comfort and faithfully preached the Word of God in both the Gospel Hall and at the graveside. David McGarvey also prayed at the graveside. Samuel will be greatly missed by all. Please pray for David, Samuels other son, who is still not saved.
Mr Charles Ferguson, aged 86, was called home on 25th September. Saved in 1948 in the town of Monaghan, he continued in happy, active fellowship there until he moved two years ago into sheltered accommodation beside Faith House, Belfast. A man of firm convictions, he remained active in gospel outreach to the end. In his last two years he was made welcome in the fellowship of the Dunmurry assembly. A large company attended his funeral service in the nearby Plantation Gospel Hall in Lisburn, where Mr David Gilliland spoke. He was buried in Monaghan, and here again a large company of former neighbours, business contacts, and believers from that area gathered for his interment beside his late wife, Sue. Local brethren paid tribute and the gospel was plainly preached by Mr Donald Armstrong. He will be missed.
Mr R L Jordan, aged 87, passed away on 24th September in hospital. He was saved when he was 17 and soon after was received into Albertbridge Road assembly, Belfast. From early Christian life he had a deep and real interest in the things of God, especially gospel work, and soon he was engaged in the Sunday school, and preaching on the Lords Days and giving out tracts. After his marriage in 1945 he was in fellowship in the Oldpark assembly, and that assembly with Dundonald were very happy to heartily commend him to full-time service in the work of the Lord in 1948. At this time he went to Canada, where for the following three years he was busy in the gospel associating with John and Robert McCracken, I McMulland, R McClurkin, and D Leathem. Coming back to Ireland in 1951, so many doors opened for him he stayed there, and until 3 weeks before his death he was busy in the work he so dearly loved. He laboured with a number of Irish workers seeing the hand of the Lord in salvation of sinners and the upbuilding of the believers. He made brief visits to Scotland, Wales, and England. All who worked with him spoke of his integrity, knowledge, and concern for the perishing. When free he gave help in Dundonald, Albertbridge and Ballygigan. He was apt to encourage the younger members and will be greatly missed. Prayer valued for his widow and son and family. The very large funeral from Dundonald Gospel Hall was conducted by J G Hutchinson, G Hall, and J Wishart when the gospel was clearly presented and words of comfort and challenge were given.
Mr Alex Kennedy, aged 81, called home on 23rd September. As a teenager he worked with D Kane (evangelist), who invited him to meetings. He was saved on his second night. Later he found joy in spreading the gospel message. Alex married Rhona and they were seldom apart. Over the years they were in fellowship in five Belfast Assemblies and latterly in Cambridge Avenue, Ballymena. In these assemblies Alex was of spiritual help and encouragement to the believers. He is survived by his wife, one daughter, and three sons. They are thankful to the Lord for a faithful and godly father and husband. His funeral at Ballymena Gospel Hall was very large and an indication of the respect in which he was held.
Mrs Miriam McCord, aged 75, called home to be with the Lord unexpectedly, on 15th October. She was saved in 1950, and later baptized and received into fellowship in the Longford assembly where she was a founder member and continued in happy fellowship, with her late husband John, for over thirty years. Miriam was a kind, godly sister and a faithful consistent attender at all the assembly gatherings desiring to witness to others in a personal way. Her good testimony in the district was evidenced in the large attendance at her funeral. Prayer is requested for her two sons, their wives and grandchildren and the assembly, who miss her keenly.
Mr John McKerracher was called into the presence of the Lord overnight on 2nd/3rd September. John and his late wife May were founder members of the Cotton Lane Gospel Hall in Laurieston. John would not have counted himself a public brother but had a profound knowledge of the Scriptures and was an encourager of many. He was a faithful and consistent servant of the company for many years as the treasurer. He was also a faithful attender at assembly gatherings and at many of the meetings in the area. John will be a big miss in the home and in the assembly, and was one of whom it could be said, "Whose faith follow". Please remember his daughter Lilias and her husband Ritchie, and grandson Gregor and his wife Morag and their family at this time.
Mrs Elizabeth Smyth, aged 95, called home on 23rd September. She was saved at 14, and some time after her marriage to Mr Samuel Smyth she and her husband were received into the Newtownhamilton assembly, of which they were very faithful members. Predeceased by her husband for 19 years, she remained faithful to the assembly until failing health and advancing years prevented her attending. She and her husband were held in high esteem, lovers of the gospel, and had the joy of seeing quite a number of the family circle saved, and in assembly fellowship. The very large funeral was shared by S McBride and N Tinsley, in the home, and W J Nesbitt and J Preston, at the graveside, and many of the unsaved of the neighbourhood heard tidings of salvation. Prayer would be valued for all the bereaved family, some still needing salvation.
Mr Norman Turkington, evangelist, aged 82, was called home on 13th September after a period of hospitalisation. He was saved and received into Lurgan assembly in 1944 and from the start was fully committed to the things of the Lord. After a number of years he shared oversight in the assembly and was one of the Conveners of the Lurgan Conference. In 1966 he was commended to full time service in N. Ireland and for over 30 years was very active in preaching the gospel and ministering the Word. His labours were much appreciated by the Lords people and the large number at his funeral indicated the esteem of the saints. A practical brother, his skills were often put to great use in the erection of Gospel Tents and portable Halls. Though his labours were mainly in N. Ireland he also paid appreciated visits to Scotland, Wales, Nova Scotia, and Venezuela. During the past few years his movements were greatly limited with the advance of Parkinsons disease. In his final years he was a most consistent attender of the local assembly meetings at Lurgan where his contributions were enriching and most helpful. His passing leaves a great vacancy in the assembly and also in the work of the Lord in N. Ireland. The funeral services were conducted by S Ferguson and D Gilliland, ably assisted by other brethren. He was pre-deceased by his wife last November and also by his second son Stephen, who was tragically killed in a traffic accident in S. Africa in 1993. Prayer valued for his daughter Norma and son Mark with their families and also for his eldest son, Desmond.
Mr Eric Wishart (Evangelist), called home on 2nd September, aged 81, after a long illness. Eric, the youngest of a family of 10, was saved in 1949 after gospel meetings in Milltown Baptist Church. He was first associated with the assembly in Edenderry, and later, upon his marriage to Greta in 1955, he enjoyed fellowship at Adam Street. His gift in gospel preaching developed with a corresponding love for perishing souls, and he joined with Mr Robert Craig, preaching in a portable hall in mid Antrim whilst still following his trade. The Lord blessed and he was commended to full time service in 1968. He asked the Lord to confirm his exercise by saving in the first series and if not he would go back to his work. God answered by saving seven men thus giving Eric assurance. For 28 years he moved throughout Northern Ireland and hundreds of souls were saved. Eric was a man who prayed much, was persistent in visitation when endeavouring to get people to attend his meetings, sincere in his preaching, and simple and sweet in his presentation of Christ. In 1996 he suffered his first stroke and gradually his health deteriorated. His mind was active, and visitors came away refreshed as he spoke of the wonders of his Lord. During these last 12 years he was devotedly cared for by Greta, who supported him in all the years of service. They moved to the Newtownbreda in 1974 and were associated with the assembly there, receiving from them much love and care in recent difficult years. He is survived by Greta and his son David. His large funeral was from Ballymagarrick Gospel Hall where S Thompson gave a short appreciation of his life, and J Flanigan spoke words of comfort and gospel, recalling times when he laboured with Eric, and other brethren took part. At the graveside J G Hutchinson preached the gospel.