Miss Rita Clarke, aged 85, was called home on 15th September. She was saved as a girl of 16 in 1942, baptised in 1946, and received into the Old Lodge Road assembly in Belfast in 1947. Moving home several times due to "the troubles", she enjoyed fellowship in a number of Belfast assemblies, including Donegall Road and Bloomfield, before moving to Glenburn, where she remained in happy fellowship until her home-call. She was faithful in her attendance, until ill health confined her to a nursing home. Rita was a sister with a prayerful interest in the spread of the gospel, and in the salvation of her immediate family. She had the joy of seeing her three brothers profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Her funeral service was conducted by Mr S Ferguson and Mr I McKee, with local brethren assisting.
Mrs Mary Ferguson, at Drapersfield Nursing home, in her 101st year. She was a widow for many years, a beloved stepmother of four, mother of John, mother-in-law of Margaret, proud grandmother of two very educated young men, Edwin and Jonathan, and a young woman, Lynette, a doctor in Erne Hospital, Enniskillen. In earlier years she was a member of Kingsmills assembly, but for most of her life a valued member of Cookstown assembly of which her grandfather was a founding member. Her father Thomas and late unmarried brothers Willie and Bob Hagan were in assembly fellowship as well. Mary carried her Bible with her daily, read it, knew it, lived it, loved it, and quoted it - a remarkable woman to say the least. The funeral in Cookstown Gospel Hall and graveside was conducted by local brethren R Nelson and W Taylor with Samuel Lees (from the Kingsmills assembly) leading in prayer.
Mr Gerald Harris, aged 86, was called home from Faith House on 29th October. He was saved as a boy of 17 through the preaching of Mr David Craig. He was later baptised and received into the Apsley Street assembly in Belfast. Following his marriage to Molly, he was commended to the newly formed Dunmurry assembly. A few years later they moved to East Belfast, and enjoyed the fellowship of the Cregagh Street assembly. In January, 1960, he was commended, again as a foundation member, to the Glenburn assembly. For more than fifty years he enjoyed the happy fellowship of the saints there. He was an esteemed overseer, with a heart for the spread of the gospel and for the truth of Gods Word. For many years he was a convener of the annual Belfast Conferences. He also had a fond interest in the Lords Work in Co. Donegal. He is sadly missed by the assembly and his children David and Elaine. A large number attended his funeral which was conducted by Mr D Gilliland, Mr S Patterson, Mr J Wishart, and Mr R McKeown.
Mrs Christine Hendry (née Ferry), aged 83, was called home on 7th October after a short illness. After her conversion at an early age, her custom was to be with the believers who meet in the assembly in the Gospel Hall, Shieldhill. When Christine died, she was the longest serving member of the Shieldhill fellowship. During these many years, she was a gentle and happy soul, and faithful to the assembly as she devotedly continued to serve and walk with her Lord. Her missionary gifts were faithfully prepared and on a regular basis she provided for the needy in other lands. She is now with the Lord which for her is far better.
Miss Joanne Kennedy, aged 42, called home suddenly on 20th October after a period of serious illness borne with remarkable fortitude in that she attended her work and the assembly meetings until two days before her homecall. Joanne was saved as a girl of 18 in Ballynure at tent meetings held by brethren David Kane and Albert Graham in 1987. She was baptised and received into the fellowship of the assembly at Ballyclare in April, 1994. She was a spiritual sister and finished her short course well getting children to Sunday school and gospel meetings, witnessing by her presence at open-air meetings and involvement in door-to-door tract distribution work. Her passing is a great loss to the assembly and to her family. The funeral services were taken by brethren Dennis Williamson and Willie Fenton assisted by Stafford Logan, Jim Moore, and Uel Ussher. Prayer would be valued for her father and mother, brothers and sisters, and in-laws.
Mr David Ling, aged 87, on 22nd September. Saved as a boy of 11, he was received into fellowship at Curzon Street, Derby, and in teenage years became active in serving the Lord. During army service in WW2, while stationed in various countries, he always sought out the local assembly grasping every opportunity to further the gospel which was a feature of his later life. His profession as an architect took him to several places in the UK and Canada, and his Christian testimony made an impression on all who knew him. David moved to Ayr in 1987, and the Woodpark assembly benefitted greatly from his godly example, particularly as an outstanding man of prayer. Remember his wife Jessie and the family in prayer.
Mr Archie McClean, aged 77, was called home to be with the Lord on 2nd November. Raised in a Christian home, he was saved at the age of 15 in 1950 at tent meetings conducted near his home by Mr David Craig and Mr Willie McVey. The following year he was baptised and received into Ballywatermoy assembly. During 60 years of unbroken fellowship he had served for 40 years as Sunday School Superintendent and also as Bible Class leader. He had a fine tenor voice and was a very acceptable precentor. As an elder his wise counsel was greatly appreciated. An able gospel preacher, he was in demand for gospel meetings over a wide area, and during several series of special gospel meetings he had the joy of seeing a number come to Christ. The very large company at his funeral bore witness to the high esteem in which he was held, not only in assembly circles but also in the wider community. The funeral services were conducted by Mr Malcolm Radcliffe and Mr Willie Fenton assisted by local brethren. He will be greatly missed not only by his wife Jean and son Ivan and his wife and family, but also in the assembly.
Mrs Elizabeth McMeekin (née Craig) went to be with the Lord on 18 October, aged 92. She was saved approximately 80 years ago following a Lords Day evening gospel meeting in the Gospel Hall in Ahoghill, County Antrim. Some time later she was received into the local assembly. In 1941 she was married to Mr Bobby McMeekin and together they moved to Ballymoney where they became faithful members of the assembly meeting in Henry Street. Mr McMeekin was called home in 1984, but our sister remained active in all the meetings until she moved to Faith House in 2004. During the last years of her life, Mrs McMeekin was greatly appreciated as a member of the assembly at Dunmurry. Throughout her long life she maintained a keen interest in gospel activity and was an active supporter of missionary work. A large company attended her funeral services both at the Gospel Hall and at the cemetery in Ballymoney where brethren Wesley Martin and John Fleck preached the gospel with others assisting in prayer and tributes. Prayer is requested for her son, Roy and daughters Doris, Margaret and Anne, and their families.
Mr Alex Sullivan, aged 80, was called home on 30th October, following a relatively short illness. Born in Dublin, he was saved as a boy of 14, baptised the following year, and received into the assembly at Crumlin Hall. Following his marriage to Daisy, they set up home in Belfast, where they enjoyed fellowship in the Cregagh Street assembly, before being commended, as foundation members, to the Glenburn assembly in January, 1960. For many years he was Sunday school superintendent, and in more recent times was active in bringing the gospel to senior citizens. He is missed by the assembly, his widow Daisy, and his son Ian. His funeral service was conducted by Mr J Flanigan, Mr D Armstrong, and Mr G Hall, with local brethren assisting.
Mr James (Jimmy) Thompson, aged 84 years, passed away on 29th October, after a short illness. He was saved 55 years ago at meetings near his home which were conducted by the late Frank Knox. For many years he was in happy fellowship in the assembly at Wallace Avenue, Lisburn. He was a brother who loved the Lord, His Word and fellow Christians also. He was much loved by those who knew him and is greatly missed, especially by the believers at Wallace Avenue. He is survived by his two sons and one daughter who are also saved.
Mrs Annie Dolina (Nina) Wilkie went home to be with her Lord on 28th October, aged 91. Nina was born, brought up and lived all her life in the village of Abernethy, Perthshire. Saved and baptised in her early 20s, she was received into the fellowship of the local assembly where she continued until its closure in 1994. She then met with the believers in Perth Gospel Hall. In 1944 she married her husband, John, who predeceased her in 1959. Thereafter she brought up their two children on her own, sacrificing much for their benefit. She had the joy of seeing them both saved and in assembly fellowship. Nina was consistent in the things of the Lord, was faithful to the assembly, and was always ready to extend hospitality to the Lords people. In her last days in hospital, her testimony was such that the staff described her as, "A lovely Christian lady who had great faith". The funeral and burial services were conducted by brethren of the Perth assembly, who paid tribute to Ninas life and her quiet testimony for the Lord whom she served for so long.