Mr A Bell, in hospital, on 4th March, aged 82. Saved over 40 years ago and in Dundonald assembly, he was not a public speaker, but a man with a real interest in the things of God. Regular and with deep interests in all the assembly affairs, he also kept the hedges and the grass cut. He had the joy of seeing his family saved and in assembly fellowship. His daughter and husband served the Lord in India and are now doing the same in the North of England. His very large funeral from Dundonald Hall was an indication of the esteem in which he was held. D Knox, J G Hutchinson, E McKight, and W Kells shared in the service. Our dear brother was spoken of as being "an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile".
Jim Fisher, aged 89, went to be with Christ on 16th January after a short illness. Saved as a young man of 19 in the city of Belfast, he was later baptized and received into assembly fellowship. In 1973 he became a founder member of the assembly at Bethesda, Bangor where he was faithful and sought to help in every way. His visitation in the district over the years was tireless, speaking to people on their doorstep and inviting them to hear the gospel. His tract distribution in busy places of the town of Bangor continued right to the end. He was a man who loved the Lord, His people, and His Word. Many attended his funeral, when tributes were given by family members, and suitable words from Scripture were spoken by R Pickering.
Mr Desmond Glasgow, called home to be with the Lord on 21st January, after prolonged illness, aged 76. Our esteemed brother was saved as a young man attending tent meetings at Newtownstewart conducted by Mr Wallace and Mr Paisley in 1953. He was in fellowship in the assemblies at Dromore, Broomhedge, and for over 35 years at Portadown. His preaching of the gospel was earnest and sweet. When there would be a pause in the Remembrance Meeting he could rise to lead in heartfelt praise and worship for the Saviour he loved and served. Having an excellent testimony as a bread server in a large rural area, many friends attended the very large funeral which was taken by Mr D Gilliland and Mr A Davidson with local brethren. He is survived by his wife Ruth, daughter, and son who are all saved.
Mr Clifford Hope (St Kitts), aged 97, went to be with Christ on 28th January. Our beloved brother was originally from Bristol where he was saved at the age of 16. He and his wife Edna, with their two children, went to serve the Lord in St Kitts, West Indies in 1947, where they laboured for over 40 years. Our brother was faithful in preaching and teaching the Word, and was particularly gifted in personal work; he saw many souls saved and lives changed. A master builder by trade, Cliff built halls and houses and maintained Assembly properties on the island. Cliff was a godly, unassuming man, meticulous in all he did, and was highly esteemed. His engaging smile and quaint wit endeared people to him. At the large funeral service many tributes were paid, including some from St Kitts. A true and devoted Christian gentleman, he will be sorely missed by family and friends. He has been elevated to higher service which he had eagerly awaited for some time.
Mr Robert Kennedy, on 16th February, aged 92. Saved on 26th February, 1938 at meetings in Bleary Gospel Hall, he was later received into that assembly. He continued in happy fellowship until illness prevented his attendance. A brother beloved and faithful assembly member, whose care for the saints and for the hall itself was highly valued, he was known to all the locals who regularly received tracts and calendars in his visitation. With his late wife he had an open home for the Lords servants and saints. Quite a number of local people, with others, heard the gospel at his funeral service, conducted by Roy Reynolds and Jack Lennox. Prayer valued for some of the family circle not saved.
Mr William Kilpatrick was called home to be with his Lord on 3rd March at the age of 93. He passed away peacefully in a home after being in and out of hospital over a short period. He was born in Overtown in 1916 and lived in Overtown district all his days. He was saved at the age of twelve and was received into fellowship in 1931 and remained in the same assembly for the next seventy-nine years. Willie married Agnes Hyslop, also of Overtown, in 1935 and God blessed them with two sons who are also saved. Agnes predeceased him by thirteen years. He was a diligent student of the Word and had a remarkable memory which stood him in good stead in latter years as his eyesight became very poor. He was an able preacher, teacher, counsellor, and Sunday School teacher in earlier days. Locally, he was well known for the great number of funeral services at which he officiated. He loved to worship at the Breaking of Bread and took part regularly until a few weeks before his death. The large company who gathered at his funeral, including neighbours, villagers, and those from far and near, was testament to the very high regard in which our beloved brother was held. He will be greatly missed by us all.
Mr James Magee, aged 87, called home on 23rd April, 2009. Our beloved brother first heard the gospel preached as a boy, and later as a young man in the open air. He was awakened, accepted gospel tracts, and later reading Romans 10.9 was saved in September, 1946. James was received into assembly fellowship, first in Ballyvaddy and then in Pound Street, Larne, and from July, 1972 in Craigyhill, Larne. Our brother loved the gospel, especially open air work, and was an avid tract distributor. With his friendly manner, he witnessed to all he met, and, winning the confidence of many, he brought them to hear the gospel. His large funeral service was from Craigyhill Gospel Hall, and was conducted by Mr John Fleck and Mr David Gilliland with local brethren sharing. His daughter Amy (and James) McClelland serve the Lord in Nova Scotia. Remember his widow Evelyn and family circle in prayer.
Mrs M Radcliffe, 13th March, aged 88. She was saved as a young woman, Acts 16.31 being used by God in her salvation. After baptism she was in Newry assembly and later in Banbridge, Bangor, and Clonkeen. Her husband was called home in 1983. She devotedly cared for her family and had the joy of seeing them all saved. One is a well-known full time worker in gospel and ministry. She was loved and respected by all, a quiet godly woman who in dress, deportment, and disposition "adorned the doctrine". She will be greatly missed. J G Hutchinson conducted the funeral services.
Mrs Maureen Shannon, aged 71, called home on 19th February after two years of illness and its severe treatment through which she acknowledge the Lords sustaining grace. Maureen in early life had no knowledge of the gospel message, but in 1972 she and her husband attended meetings on prophecy conducted by Harold Paisley in Craigyhill Gospel Hall. There she discovered her need of forgiveness and trusted Christ for salvation one night at home. Her husband, Gerald, was saved the same night without knowing of Maureens conversion. A year later, after taking an interest in the Bible, she was baptised. Some time after that she was received into the fellowship of the assembly at Ballyclare. She was a hard worker and always optimistic, taking a good interest in the work of the assembly and attending all the meetings until various commitments and her own health prevented her. The family, friends, and the assembly are going to miss her very much. Please pray for her husband, daughter, and son. The funeral services were taken by Edward Greer and Terry Topley, with Daniel Glenn and James Todd sharing in prayer.
Mr Tom Smyth, aged 73, of Newtownhamilton assembly, Co Armagh, was called home on 22nd February having patiently borne illness for almost 18 months. Saved during ministry meetings by H Paisley in 1964, his life was spent in faithful testimony along with his devoted wife Mary who, with the family, mourns his passing. In the mixed community of South Armagh he was highly respected in business life. This, along with being well-known amongst saints, resulted in an exceptionally large funeral. Of cheerful disposition, he was for many years a godly shepherd of influence. He will be greatly missed in the assembly as well as in the family. He and Mary had the joy of seeing their two daughters and two sons saved and in assembly fellowship. Christine, with her husband John McCann, serves the Lord in Brazil. WJ Nesbitt and J Fleck preached to very attentive audiences at the funeral, assisted by J Preston and S McBride. We can remember in prayer his widow, children, and grandchildren. The memory of the just is blessed.
Mr Jack Trail, Our brother Jack was called home suddenly at the age of 86 on 28th August, 2009 at the close of a holiday week spent at Faskally with his sons and friends. The evening before his home call he had told one of his many stories and closed the evening with prayer. The twelve years spent at Lesmahagow were for us and Jack, very happy ones. He loved the gatherings of the Lords people and his contributions were always Christ exalting and soul uplifting. He had a wonderful sense of humour which he used constructively, often opening windows to his message or a passage under discussion. Jack had a great testimony in the village, having visited every house with a gospel tract. His table in the Auchlochan coffee shop was the focus of all visitors and he is greatly missed, both there and at the assembly in Lesmahagow. A large company gathered to pay tribute to his memory representing the various towns in Fife, Dumfriesshire, and Lanarkshire where he had lived out his life. His sons, Brian and Alistair continue faithfully to worship the Lord amongst the Lords people, just as Jack prayed that they would.