Mr Andrew Agnew, aged 84, was called home on 16th November. He was saved on 5th December, 1956 and was received into fellowship in Adam Street Assembly, Belfast, later moving to Fortwilliam Assembly in 1958. Andy was a quiet, humble and generous brother - not a public speaker but one who loved to work for the Lord and tell others of the Saviour whom He loved. He was a respected and loved overseer and Sunday School teacher whose faithful attendance at assembly meetings was an example to everyone. The funeral service, which was conducted by his fellow elders, was attended by over 200, many of whom were unsaved. Prayer is requested for his wife Doris and the family circle.
Mrs Mabel Dawson, aged 88, was called into the presence of her Lord on 26th November after a short illness. Mabel was born and raised in Dromore, Co Down and went to reside in London on the occasion of her marriage. Shortly after, she came under the sound of the gospel and was saved at the age of 27. On returning to Northern Ireland she was received into fellowship in Banbridge and later moved to Dromore where she has been in happy fellowship for 14 years. She was a pleasant, consistent Christian lady and a faithful attender at all the meetings. Her funeral service from Dromore Gospel Hall was conducted by local brethren with John Rogers and William Lee taking part at the graveside. Prayer is requested for the family, many not yet saved.
Mr Robert Gordon, aged 77, passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on 8th December after a long illness patiently borne. He was saved as a boy of 12 through the truth of Isaiah 53.5. Some years later he was baptized and received into the assembly at Magheracorran, Convoy, Co Donegal, where he continued steadfastly until a few months before his homecall. Robert was a man of prayer, a brother beloved, a true shepherd with a deep love for his Saviour and a great interest in the spread of the gospel. The very large funeral services conducted by G Stewart, S Patterson and T McNeill were an indication of his Christian testimony and influence throughout the whole community. He will be greatly missed by his brother Josie, the very small assembly at Magheracorran and his many friends and neighbours. "Whose faith follow".
Mrs (Mary) May Gurgan, aged 92, passed away on 24th December. Saved over 50 years ago attending meetings in Shanaghan conducted by Mr J G Hutchinson and the late Mr T McKelvey, our sister was in fellowship in the Banbridge assembly until commended to Dromore in 1990. She loved the Scriptures and attended the assembly meetings until prevented by failing health. The funeral services were conducted by Mr J G Hutchinson, Mr Andrew Nesbitt, and Mr Jim Tinsley. Prayer valued for her daughter Frances and son Alec with their spouses, and her grandchildren, also for her aged brother and sister.
Mrs Agnes Harkness, aged 90, peacefully at her home. Saved when she was 12 and for many years in the assembly at Straidarren, Co Londonderry, she was a kind and loving sister who had interest in the gospel in the assembly and in her district where she lived since she was married at 18. Her interest in the assembly was very positive. She prayed for her large family and relations and had the joy of seeing Gods blessing among them. Her very large funeral from her home, and the very many neighbours and assembly friends who attended showed the respect in which she and the family were held. J G Hutchinson and W J Nesbitt gave goodly words of gospel and comfort, several brethren taking part in hymns and prayer.
Miss Susan Hillis, aged 90, called home on 12th December. Saved as a girl of 14 as a result of hearing the gospel preached in Staffordstown Orange Hall, she was received into the fellowship of Clonkeen Assembly thirty years ago. She could be likened to a Dorcas, as she provided garments etc. for needy children in Central Africa. While health permitted, her attendance at assembly meetings was most consistent. Her last five years were spent in Drummaul House Nursing Home. The funeral was from the Randalstown Gospel Hall and was conducted by local brethren. Please pray for her nieces and nephews, many of whom are not yet saved.
Mr Lindsay Hunter, aged 78, went to be with his Lord on 16th December after a period of illness. He was saved as a lad in December, 1947, and the following March was baptised and received into the assembly at Derriaghy where he was involved in Sunday School, gospel preaching and all the activities of the assembly, which marked him throughout his life. After his marriage to Mona in 1955 he was in the assembly at Dunmurry for over 20 years, before moving to Windsor Gospel Hall where he had the responsibility of eldership for a number of years. A man who loved the Lord and His Word, he sought to encourage the saints and sound out the gospel which he loved. Prayer would be valued for the bereaved family. His large funeral from Wallace Avenue Gospel Hall where he had been for the last six months was shared by J Wilson, J Balmer, W Wilson, J Graham, and R Pickering.
Mr James (Jim) Johnston, aged 88, of Harryville, Ballymena. Following a short illness in hospital our esteemed brother passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on 24th November. He was saved when sixteen years of age while attending meetings in Ballywatermoy in 1936 conducted by Mr Stewart and Mr Wallace. Shortly afterwards he came into fellowship with the assembly there. A few years later he was commended to the Wellington Street Assembly, Ballymena. In full fellowship with that assembly, on the first Lords Day in September, 1950, with other brethren and sisters he was one of the foundation members of the assembly in Harryville, where he was an elder, and also the correspondent for many years. He was a godly, consistent, steadfast brother, who loved the Lord, His Word, and the assembly, and was at all the meetings till almost the end. He was employed by Northern Ireland Railways, where he was a signalman until his retirement. In accordance with the arrangements our brother himself made, T McNeill spoke words of comfort and gospel at the large funeral service in the Hall, and at the graveside J W Martin preached the gospel. Other local brethren helped at both services with hymns and prayer. Prayer valued for his dear widow, and son and two daughters.
Mr S W Kernaghan, aged 90, on 20th December. He was saved in 1936 and, after baptism, was received into Banbridge assembly and ever since was a valued member of the assembly. He was not a public speaker, but was a real support to the assembly giving help in oversight, and one whose counsel and wisdom were valued. He was a successful farmer and highly respected in the farming community. He and his wife were kind and hospitable. Many of the Lords servants were entertained in their nice home. His large funeral, from Banbridge Gospel Hall, was conducted by J G Hutchinson and D Gilliland with S Dawson and S McBride sharing in prayer. Prayer valued for his widow, also for the assembly.
Mrs Joan Laird, aged 67, called home on 6th December as the result of an accident at her own home. Our sister had been widowed since 1989 and was a caring and consistent member of the assembly in Lurgan where she endeared herself to all the saints and was especially attentive to the needs of older sisters. Her sudden passing was a great shock to many, not least to her family. Many of her relatives heard the gospel at the funeral service which was from Lurgan Gospel Hall and was shared by S Ferguson and D Gilliland with others helping. Prayer valued for her family circle where she had a godly influence and many of whom are not yet saved.
Mr William John Millar, aged 84. Following a few months illness, our esteemed brother went to be with Christ on 24th December. When a young man he was a keen cyclist, and in 1955 while cycling to his work every morning, had to meet the words at a road end, "Heaven or Hell for eternity, which?". This was used of God to give him much concern about his soul. Troubled about eternal matters, he went to his father, who was in assembly fellowship at Ballywatermoy, and made his concern known to him. While the father explained the way of salvation from Exodus 12, John got saved. In 1956 he was baptised and received into the fellowship in Harryville assembly, Ballymena, where he remained a most steady, faithful, brother, with a love for his Saviour, His Word and His people. His very large funeral was a token of the respect in which he was held. T McNeill spoke words of comfort and gospel at the service in the home, and W Martin preached the gospel at the graveside. Other local brethren helped with hymns and prayer. Prayer valued for his dear widow who is in fellowship, and also his two sons, neither of whom are saved.
Mr James Murphy, aged 93 years, called home on 21st December. Saved at 15 years, he was baptized and for over 70 years continued in consistent fellowship in Crosskeys assembly. Highly respected among believers, he had a good testimony in the area and with his neighbours. His large funeral from his home was an indication of the respect in which he and his family are held. James was a remarkable brother: he was born, raised, saved, and went to heaven from the same place. A widower for 40 years, he raised his daughter Sandra and son James carefully and saw them saved and in assembly fellowship. They were faithful to their father in their care, Sandra living with him and looking after him to the end. Brethren W Fenton and D Gilliland with local brethren were responsible for the funeral. Prayer requested for Sandra, James and his wife and family - some still not saved.
Mr John Smyth was called home to be with his Lord on 26th November, in his 70th year. Saved as a boy when John Norris had gospel meetings in Ballynahinch, he, with his wife Eunice, was associated over the years with the assemblies at Ballymagarrick, Newtownbreda, Ahorey, and for the last 28 years at Knockbracken which relocated to Carryduff in 1990. John was committed and loyal to the assembly, a willing worker with a welcoming smile, and one to whom nothing was a trouble. He is already very much missed. A service of thanksgiving for his life was held in Carryduff Gospel Hall where family and assembly tributes were paid. The message based on 2 Timothy 1.12 exalted the Christ who had changed Johns life and given him a sure hope for eternity. Over 350 people were present for the service. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters.