Mr James G Hutchinson (Evangelist) in his 92nd year was called into the presence of his Lord on 29th November, 2011, after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Elsie, daughters Margaret and Maureen (and their husbands), grandchildren Greer and Andrea, together with four great grandchildren; also his brother Bertie.
Following a private family burial in Comber cemetery conducted by Mr Sam Patterson, the funeral service was held at Ballymagarrick Gospel Hall. Mr Samuel Thompson spoke, and was ably supported by others, including Jims grandson who provided a family reflection. Those participating brought words of comfort for the bereaved, reiterated the hope of the gospel that Jim had preached so faithfully, and challenged those present to continue Jims work of sharing the message of that gospel.
Jim, as he was affectionately known by so many in Northern Ireland, was born on 13th September, 1920. His father was John Hutchinson (Evangelist) and his mother was Sarah. He had two brothers and a sister. Only his brother Bertie now remains.
The family grew up in Banbridge. In 1934, he was saved while attending tent meetings conducted by his father and the late Willie Johnston at Huntly, Banbridge.
Jim was soon baptised and received into fellowship at Banbridge. He quickly showed a keen interest in the things of the Lord and his gift for preaching was immediately recognised. In business he worked in the retail shoe trade in Banbridge. He was promoted to manager and transferred to Londonderry where he also enjoyed fellowship at East Wall assembly. He became busy preaching the gospel in that area and in County Donegal. God blessed these efforts in saving quite a number of souls.
On 11th April, 1944 Jim married Elsie Martin of Banbridge. Elsie and Jim had known each other from primary school days in Banbridge. Jim felt the call of God and was wholeheartedly commended to full time service in the work of the Lord in August, 1946.
Jims preaching was Christ centred, presented with clarity, and was concise and challenging sin and salvation, mans ruin and Gods remedy in Christ. It was black or white with no grey, as he himself often remarked. God richly blessed his labours, with many conversions and restorations. In ministry he ever sought the spiritual welfare of the saints and their upbuilding.
At conferences it was a joy to see him rise to open the Scriptures and feed the people of God, challenging their hearts. He completed 65 years preaching in full time service and was still preaching to within a few weeks of his home call.
Jim was much sought after to conduct wedding and funeral services. His personality and the adeptness and dignity that he brought to these occasions were always something special for the families concerned.
Whilst he felt his principal call was to his homeland, he received many invitations to Great Britain, N America, Australasia, Africa and Europe. His visits were fruitful in gospel and ministry.
In 1998 Jim wrote a book. Entitled Something of My Life it is a challenging read, outlining many things of great interest causing thanksgiving to God and glory to His name.
A deep sense of loss at his passing is felt by his beloved wife Elsie to whom he was married for over 67 years. This sense of grief is also shared by his daughters Margaret and Maureen and the wider family who have shown their love and care for their parents in their advancing years. Elsie has been a true helper and supporter of her husband through ever changing circumstances in life. She testifies of Gods faithfulness to them both, through His people, and affirms the faithfulness of her husband in his dedicated service for the Lord. One of the familys abiding and challenging memories is that Jim never discussed his financial needs with them. He was utterly dependent on his Saviour and Lord.
The assemblies in Northern Ireland have suffered a tremendous loss, not least Comber Road, Dundonald, his home assembly since 1950. He served the Lord faithfully and was true to His Word. A life well lived to Gods glory. Whose faith follow.