Mr Robert (Bertie) Bain, of Markethill, aged 76, on 2nd February. Saved in his teens, he was soon baptised and received into the assembly which at that time met at Lisnagat, but later moved to Markethill, where he remained in fellowship for almost 60 years until health problems made it necessary for him to move to Banbridge. Bertie suffered some severe trials in life, with the sudden home-call of his wife at an early age, and his own serious health problems, yet he remained devoted to his Lord and faithful to the assembly. He was with the assembly in Markethill for their last meeting on 29th January and he spoke from Luke 24.29 - "Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent". The following Wednesday he took ill suddenly and in a few hours went to be with the Lord. His funeral services were conducted by A Fulton and J Wishart, with S Dawson and R Pickering sharing in prayer. His daughter and her husband would value prayer, especially for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some of whom are not yet saved.
Miss Mable Bell, aged 87, was called home to be with her Lord on 5th February. Our sister was saved at the age of 39 in 1963 as the result of attending Gospel Meetings in Shanaghan Gospel Hall, conducted by the late Mr John Thompson, and was later received into the Shanaghan assembly where she continued faithfully until ill health prevented her from attending. She was a Christian lady of quiet nature, and was spoken of very highly by her nieces who cared for her. Our sisters testimony will always remain. The funeral service was conducted by Mr Malcolm Radcliffe in the home and at the graveside, and local brother W Skelly paid a short tribute and prayed in the home.
Mr Jim Brown. Our brother Jim was called home to be with his Lord in his 83rd year after a number of years of lingering illness. He was saved as a young man in Hamilton from an unsaved background, and the transformation in his life was testimony to the reality of his conversion. At the time, many commented on the dramatic change that had taken place in his life. He gathered with the saints at Low Waters and was with them going in for worship and coming out in service. His regular exercise in presenting the glories of the Lord Jesus to the Father on a Lords Day morning was a feature of Jims activity amongst the saints. His faithful attendance at the assembly gatherings was another feature of his life, but was even more remarkable in his latter days given his worsening condition and weakness. For many years he presented the singing in the assembly and loved to lead the praise of the saints. He was not so much a public man, but occasionally would preach the gospel or pass on a word of ministry. For him it is now very far better, but remember his family circle in your prayers.
Mrs Annie Cathers, aged 80, called home on 7th November. She was saved as a young woman on 11th May, 1955 during gospel meetings in Strabane conducted by Mr R Beattie and Mr T Wallace. In spite of opposition from her family, she was later baptised and received into the assembly at Strabane, where she remained in happy fellowship for the rest of her life. In 1963 she married Robert Cathers and together they devoted their lives to the assembly, entertaining many gospel preachers over the years. She was pre-deceased by her husband in 2009 and spent her remaining years in a nursing home. Her funeral service was conducted by brethren Gilfillan and Gilliland. Prayer is requested for some of her nephews and nieces who are not saved, and also for the little assembly in Strabane, where one brother and his wife seek to continue faithfully for God, helped by local brethren.
Mr Norman Coulter, aged 70, was called home on 4th February, after a period of serious illness patiently borne. Saved as a young man in Omagh on 23rd February, 1962 (an experience he never forgot), he immediately set his heart on serving the Lord. He soon became a faithful visitor and tract distributor, covering large areas of Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone with sound gospel literature, reaching homes seldom visited with the gospel. He was also an able gospel preacher and Bible student, and for many years a much loved Sunday School teacher and overseer in the assembly at Newtownstewart. After over 30 years in a successful career as an architect, he left his business in 1994 and devoted all his time to preaching the gospel throughout Northern Ireland. His love for souls took him as far as Russia, Chile, Canada, England and in particular the North of Scotland, including Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides, where his visits were much appreciated. He was predeceased by his first wife Betty in 1998, and in 2004 he married Eileen Bews, originally from Orkney, who proved to be a devoted "help meet" in the work of the Lord. Norman was a man who shunned the limelight, choosing rather to labour beneath the watchful eye of Him who "seeth in secret", believing that heaven would be by far the safest place in which to speak of the fruit of his labours on earth. His very large funeral bore witness to the high esteem in which he was held among the Lords people and also in the wider community. His funeral service was conducted by brethren Nesbitt, Glendinning, Gilliland and Gilfillan. Prayer is requested for his sorrowing wife Eileen, son Andrew and daughter Ann.
Mr Matthew Gillespie, aged 82, was called to be with the Lord on 20th January after quite a time of illness. He trusted the Lord in early life, was baptised shortly afterwards, and was added to the assembly at Shields Road, Motherwell, where he continued faithfully for the rest of his life. He was not a preacher, but a man that was steadfast in the faith and took every opportunity to spread the gospel by tract and personal witness. He was a great source of inspiration in personal conversation and in the home where he often promoted discussion on the Scriptures, particularly on the subject of the Lords return, a truth that was very near to his heart. He was a very able pianist and loved to encourage profitable times of praise in his house. It was his custom each morning, after a quiet time of reading and prayer, to play and sing that beautiful hymn, "Great is Thy faithfulness". Please remember his family in prayer: daughters Ruth, Eunice and son Philip.
Miss Ada Hughes, aged 82, was called home on 13th January. Our sister was the eldest of a family of seven, the daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Thomas Hughes of Armagh. She was saved as a young girl of twelve and was later baptised and received into fellowship in the Gospel Hall in Armagh. Her nursing career took her to Belfast and to Coleraine where she enjoyed the fellowship of assemblies in those parts, later returning to Armagh as the nurse in charge in the boarding department of the Royal School. She then joined the assembly at Killeen Hall where she was very helpful especially in bringing people to hear the gospel. Her later years were difficult as she suffered much pain and disability and she spent the last number of years in Hockley Nursing Home, having been cared for by her devoted family for as long as possible. Her large funeral from Killeen Hall was conducted by H Bennett, J Wishart and N Emerson. Prayer will be appreciated by her sisters and brothers, all in assembly fellowship, some of whom are not very well.
Mrs Mary Jamieson (née Donald), aged 77, was called home on 20th January after a short illness. Mary was saved in 1956, baptised shortly afterwards, and then received into fellowship in the assembly in Inverurie. During the many years she was there she laboured faithfully and diligently for the Lord. She was well known in the town and her faithful and consistent testimony were the means of bringing many young and old folk into the Hall and under the sound of the gospel. She was always willing to help in any way she could, and her zeal, diligence and enthusiasm were an inspiration to all. She will be sorely missed by her family circle especially her husband Robert, her son and daughter-in-law, and the two grandchildren to whom she devoted so much love and attention. Finally, she will be greatly missed by all the saints in Inverurie.
Mr Wallace Storey. After a number of years of illness our brother Wallace was called into the presence of his Lord at the age of 84 at the close of February. For him it was a release from his suffering and discomfort. Wallace was saved in his teenage years and was in fellowship in Burnbank assembly for a number of years before moving to Low Waters in Hamilton where he was in fellowship until the Lord called him home. In his employment he travelled the country widely and all with whom he came into contact knew clearly to whom he belonged and whom he served. He was not known as a public man in the assembly, but he enjoyed the gatherings of the Lords people and also discussing matters concerning the things of the Lord. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord
that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Rev 14.13). Remember his dear wife Sadie in prayer, who, along with the family, is left to mourn his passing.
Mrs Margaret (Peggy) Watt, aged 81, was called home to be with her Lord and Saviour on 20th January, after a week in hospital. Peggy confessed Christ in teenage years under challenging preaching by Michael Grant on Hebrews 2.3. She was baptised and came into fellowship in Plantation Gospel Hall, Glasgow where her grandfather, Henry Campbell, had been among the founder members. In 1960 Peggy married Joe Watt. They were then in fellowship in Dumfries and Lerwick before returning to Glasgow and the Plantation, now Harley Street, assembly. From 1988, Peggy was in fellowship in Bethesda Hall, Glasgow. She faithfully supported the meetings right up to the end of her life. Her pleasant smile and encouraging words to the Lords servants and her fellow believers are greatly missed. In earlier years, Peggy had been involved in Sunday School work. More recently, when they were both still able to do so, she and Joe showed hospitality to many of the Lords people. Please remember Joe, their son Douglas and Helen his wife, along with Peggys sister, Cathy, in prayer.
Mr James Whiteside, aged 77, after a short illness, was called home to be with his Lord on 16th January. Raised in a Christian home he came to know the Saviour at the age of 10 in 1944. Jim, as he was known, was received into assembly fellowship in Bellshill. In 1965 he moved to Hamilton and was in fellowship in Olive Hall, then High Parks Gospel Hall. He was an elder in the assembly and was a faithful minister of the Word and preacher of the gospel. He will be much missed by the assembly where he was very active in all aspects of assembly work and for the many practical tasks which he did about the hall. His home-call is also a great loss to his wife Roberta and family. Please remember them in prayer over these difficult days.