Mrs Ruth Buchan passed into the Lords presence on 15th December in her 107th year. Ruth was saved as a young girl and later baptised in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead. She had many difficulties in life and was a widow for 63 years. Her physical ability at such a great age was remarkable, but her consistency was more so. She was very faithful at the assembly gatherings, determined to remember the Lord only 10 weeks before she was called home. Until the last number of weeks she also filled her days knitting blankets for the Missionary Fellowship in York Street. Ruth was lovingly cared for by her daughters until her homecall.
Mr James Gillespie, aged 88, was called peacefully into the presence of the Lord on 13th December after a very short illness. He was saved as a boy at childrens meetings he attended in Shields Road Gospel Hall having heard a lesson on the coming of the Lord. He was baptised soon afterwards and received into the fellowship at Shields Road assembly where he continued until he was taken to be with the Lord. He was a brother who loved the Lord, His Word and the saints, with consistency and faithfulness being the hallmarks of his life. Being an able teacher and preacher he loved the gospel and in particular excelled in open air preaching. As an elder for about half a century, he led by example giving wise council both privately and publicly. He was also a very practical man attending to hall-keeping duties for many years, and together with his wife Mary gave extensive hospitality to many of the visiting servants of the Lord. He will be greatly missed. Please pray for Mary who is very frail, John and Mary his son and daughter, and also the wider family.
Mr James (Jim) Hill, aged 85, was called home on 3 January. Jim was saved in 1945 and was later baptised and received into fellowship in Bloomfield Assembly, Belfast. In 1963 he moved to Castlereagh Assembly where he remained until his marriage to Maud in 1966, when they went into fellowship in Victoria Memorial Hall. For the past 20 years Jim and Maud have been in fellowship in Kingsmoss Assembly. Jim was faithful and consistent and took an active part in the assembly when health permitted. He had a love for the gospel and the Lords people and assembly. Jim was kind and generous and this was shown particularly to young ones in the assembly. He was truly a brother beloved. The funeral services were conducted by Mr Sam Jennings, assisted by other local brethren. Prayer is requested for his wife Maud and the family circle.
Mr George Keenan was called home on 10th December. George came to Irvine in the late 1940s from Stranraer, and set up business in Irvine as a Gents Hairdresser. In August, 1951 he married Ella, and on 27th August, 2011 they celebrated their Diamond Wedding. George and Ella were given to hospitality, and a good number of the Lords servants stayed with them. George served the Lord in the assembly as a Sunday School Teacher, Bible Class Leader, an Overseer, a Trustee, Precentor, and Missionary Correspondent, and for forty years he was the assembly Treasurer. Remember those who mourn his passing, especially his wife and family.
Mrs Mary Kelly passed into the Lords presence on 5th January, aged 85 years. She had been ill for a few years, and had been in hospital for some time before being removed to Faith House, Finaghy where she received excellent care. She was saved as a girl of fifteen at gospel meetings in Ballymoney, which were conducted by the late Alex Cooke, and had been in happy fellowship in the assembly at Wallace Avenue, Lisburn, for well over forty years. She is sadly missed by the believers and also her three sons, their wives, and her seventeen grandchildren who all attended the funeral service.
Mr William Lee was called home on 22nd December after a long illness patiently borne. He was saved on 22nd April, 1958 while attending gospel meetings conducted by T McKelvey in Dromore Gospel Hall, and was subsequently received into the fellowship of the assembly in Dromore. He was a faithful, consistent brother and had a great love for the Word of God, the assembly and the gospel, giving help for many years in oversight and in Bible Readings. He and his wife Ella had the joy of seeing their two daughters saved and continuing, with their husbands, in the things of the Lord. His funeral was very large and conducted by brethren J Lennox and J Fleck with local brethren A Nesbitt and P Tinsley assisting. Many unsaved heard the gospel clearly presented. Prayer will be valued for his widow and the family circle.
Mrs Lily Logan, aged 79. Our sister was called home to be with her Lord on 29th December. She was born in Ballybollan, where she was saved as a young woman of 20 and subsequently received into fellowship. Following her marriage to Samuel they continued in Ballybollan, where she was marked by consistent attendance, until ill health prevented her. Although her mind was not clear, one of the last hymns she quoted was, "I love Thee because Thou hast first lovèd me". She loved her Saviour, the gospel and the assembly. She was bountiful in her hospitality: "she hath been a succourer of many" (Rom 16.2). Please remember her husband, family and the grandchildren in prayer.
Mrs Josephine (Jo) McAndrew was called home on 2nd January only three months after her late husband, Tom, to whom she was a true helper. During his prolonged illness she unselfishly attended to him insomuch that her own health went into decline. Jo was a faithful sister in the Laganvale assembly, Belfast and was very supportive of the Sisters Missionary Class. The funeral service, well attended by a good number of her friends and family, many of whom are not yet saved, was conducted by local brethren. Pray for blessing on the gospel faithfully presented, especially for her two mature sons, still out of Christ.
Mr James McKeown was called home peacefully on 30th January in his 97th year. He was saved and baptised in early life. He enjoyed fellowship in Ebenezer Gospel Hall, Bangor, and in the spring of 1959 he and his wife Violet moved to Banbridge, commended from Ebenezer to Banbridge assembly. Soon he showed a deep interest in the work amongst the children, becoming superintendent of the Sunday school for over 30 years. He was correspondent for 37 years and had a deep interest in the spread of the gospel at home and abroad. In his business life he was highly respected in the district. His dear wife went to be with Christ in May, 1978, and he continued to entertain the Lords servants, and look after himself as long as his health permitted. Blessed with a clear mind until about 2 years ago, it was very interesting to hear him narrate incidents from early days. It became necessary for him to go into residential care almost 3 years ago, from where the Lord called him home. Many, including some of his former Sunday school pupils, heard the message of salvation clearly presented at the funeral services conducted by David Radcliffe and John Rogers.
Mrs Rachel Mitchell, aged 88 years, went to be with Christ on 12th January, in Faith House, Finaghy. Over seventy years ago she was pointed to Christ as her Saviour by a lady as they walked along a country lane. This lady later became her mother-in-law. Rachel and her husband, Johnston, who is still alive, were in fellowship in Growell assembly, but have been in the Wallace Avenue assembly in Lisburn for a long time. She was a very gracious lady and, with Johnston, was a good attender at all the meetings when they were able. We miss her and sympathise with her husband, her son and his wife and the grandchildren.
Mr R Frazer Shannon, called home on 4th December in his 88th year. He was saved in October, 1941 at meetings conducted by the late Fred Bingham, and after being baptised was received into Kilkeel assembly. As he developed spiritually he became a respected elder, and although a well known businessman with a blameless testimony among his customers, his priority was for the wellbeing and upbuilding of the assembly. He and his wife Mary had an open home for the Lords people, and many enjoyed hospitality and spiritual help. Latterly he was unable to attend the meetings through ill health, and was lovingly cared for by his devoted wife and family. As expected, his funeral was large, and was conducted by Mr W J Nesbitt and Mr J Lennox, helped by Mr A Wilson and Mr S McBride. Prayer is requested for his widow and family circle.
Mrs Elisabeth (Bett) Strachan, went to be with the Lord on 13th December, only a day after her 93rd birthday. Bett originally came from Burghead and moved to Peterhead aged ten. She was saved early in life and attended the meetings in Prince Street Hall. Bett and Arthur were married in 1940 and were received into fellowship in 1947, where they continued steadfastly. She was very skilled in sewing and knitting for missionaries, and had a very kind but quiet personality. She is sadly missed by her family.
Mrs Mary Strachan, aged 93 years, was called home on 23rd December. Mary trusted Christ as a young lass, and later was baptised and added to the fellowship in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead. Along with her late husband, she was faithful in her attendance at the meetings when her health allowed. Latterly she had quite a few spells in hospital in increasing weakness. Mary was a very friendly woman who was interested in the welfare of others, opening her home to those in need. She will be missed by her son and her daughter.
Mrs Ena Thompson, widow of the late Mr John Thompson, a well-known evangelist, went to be with the Lord on 7th December, in her 94th year. Saved in 1936 at meetings in Bangor which were conducted by the late David Craig, she was received into Ballymacashon assembly, and was later in Clones, Newry, and Kilkeel, until her homecall in Plantation Assembly. A Christian lady of distinction, she was a true helpmeet to her late husband during his life and labour in the gospel. Given to hospitality, and greatly loved, she will be missed by all who knew her worth. Her large funeral was an evidence of this, and was conducted by Mr Jack Lennox and Mr Samuel Ferguson, with local brethren helping. Please remember the family circle in prayer.
Mrs Ethel Wilson, as a result of a serious illness courageously borne. Hospitalised on 9th January, and called home on 10th January, she endured weakness of body for some time. She was cared for lovingly at home by her devoted husband Winston. She was a devoted mother of Brian and Elaine and grandmother of Joshua, and a sister of Margaret, Harold, Robert and the late Clifford. Our dear sister came from a good Christian home, and found the Saviour, experiencing salvation attending gospel meetings in Coagh in 1958 conducted by Jack Lennox, Noris Stewart and the late Jim Brown. A member of Cookstown assembly, she continued to remember her Lord and Saviour up until the Sunday before her passing. In her lifetime she brought many to hear the gospel with converts as a result, and travelled abroad for years where she distributed gospel literature. Before illness changed her pattern of living she was energetic and enjoyed her Christian life. An exceptional lady, she was highly esteemed, and loved by all. Cookstown Gospel Hall was overflowing, bearing testimony to her qualities of life. Her funeral was conducted by Mr Sam Jennings, Mr Jack Lennox and Mr William Taylor. Prayer is requested for the family.