Margaret (Greta) Buchanan, aged 81, on 1st April. Greta was saved while attending Salvation Army meetings in Glasgow. Later, under the guidance of our late sister Mary Murray, she learned the truth of the assembly, and after her baptism she joined the Tylefield assembly where she met and married her husband Alec. In 1963 they moved to Bathgate and joined the Armadale assembly. Greta was widowed at the age of 48, and the ill health with which she had struggled most of her life precluded her attendance at many of the meetings of the saints. For her last five years she lived close to her son Alec in Warwickshire, and prayer is requested for him and his family.
Mr Matthew Caskey, aged 88, was called home on 12th April. Matthew was saved as a boy of 18 on 10th February, 1942 following a gospel meeting in Limavady Gospel Hall. Some time later he was baptized and received into fellowship in the local assembly at Limavady. Our brother was marked by sincere love for the Lord, His people, and unsaved souls in the district. As a farmer he had much contact with the local community and was held in the highest esteem as an honourable and godly man. For many years Matthew served the Lord as an elder in the assembly and he always had the spiritual interests of the flock at heart. He will be sadly missed by his wife and family and all who knew him. His well-attended funeral was conducted by David Gilliland and Wesley Martin assisted by local brethren David Donaghy, Ronnie Ussher, and Marshall Howe.
Mr John Currie, aged 88, was called home on 25th March after a long illness borne with patience. He was saved in 1946 shortly after marrying his wife Lily. Our brother was initially received into fellowship in the Cregagh Street assembly in 1954 and in 1960 was commended as one of the founding members of Glenburn. Our beloved brother was most gracious, rejoicing in salvation, and was a consistent and diligent participant in all the assembly gatherings. For many years he taught in Sunday School, was a wise and respected overseer, and served as a convenor of the Belfast Easter and Christmas conferences. He had the joy of seeing his son and daughter saved and in assembly fellowship, and was later further encouraged by the commendation of his son Brian and grandson Paul McCauley to full-time service for the Lord. He retained a deep interest in the gospel and will be greatly missed. His very large funeral was conducted by J Flanigan and R Reynolds with local brethren assisting. Prayer will be valued for his widow in Faith House and the family circle.
Mrs Margaret (Forsyth) Galloway, was quietly taken into the Lords presence on 2nd April just a few days prior to her 90th birthday. Saved in her early years she was first received into fellowship at Albert Hall, Cambuslang. On her marriage to William Galloway she joined him in the Porch Hall, now the Gospel Hall in Dennistoun, Glasgow, where she served the Lord for almost 60 years. Margaret was steadfast in her faith. Her long years of testimony were an example of faithfulness and consistency in the assembly and within the home. Her last few years were marred by increasing memory loss, and latterly she and her husband were lovingly cared for within the family at the home of their daughter and son-in-law, with respite visits to Auchlochan. Her three grandsons read the Scriptures at her funeral service, and her son and son-in-law paid tribute. Margaret was at her husbands side at the Lords Supper just the week before her death, and her presence will be much missed in the assembly and the family, but most keenly felt by her dear husband, now bereft after all their years together.
Mr Robert (Bert) Gamble, was born in 1931 to Frank and Edith Gamble, the fourth in a family of five. His family were in fellowship in Plantation Gospel Hall, having moved from Ireland some years previously. Bert loved football but when he was saved at 18 he along with his two older brothers put all their energies into serving in the work of the Lord in Plantation Street in Sunday School, Bible class and gospel preaching. In 1954 Bert married Isobel Neilly from Kilbirnie, and they set up home in Ibrox in Glasgow. They had two children, Frank and Marianne. Around that time the assembly at Plantation Street moved to Harley Street where Bert continued to work as an elder and committed shepherd of the flock. As a young man in the 1940s Bert refused National Service as a Conscientious Objector. Many young Christian men of that generation had to face this issue not all becoming Objectors. This was a difficult period for Bert, as being a CO did not make it easy to obtain work; in fact it was a distinct stigma. He honoured God, God blessed him, and he was for many years Scottish Sales Manager with the Wellcome Foundation Animal Health Division. Bert had a very definite Christian witness in business both through his integrity and his personal faith in Christ. In retirement Bert wrote the book, appreciated by many, Shepherd my Sheep which drew heavily on his secular and assembly experience, seeking to glorify the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He preached and ministered the Word across the UK and overseas, including Canada, West Indies, Africa and Malaysia. In 2006 Bert and Isobel moved to Auchlochan in Lanarkshire and enjoyed fellowship in Kirkmuirhill assembly. In the last few years Berts health became fragile and prevented him from much public activity, but on 10th March when the Lord called him home suddenly, while it was a great shock for the family, for him it was "absent from the body and present with the Lord". Please remember Isobel and the family in prayer.
Mrs Violet Gilliland, aged 84, called home on 23rd April. Violet was saved as a girl of 14 years in December, 1942 in Ardmore Gospel Hall, while Mr McCracken and Mr Foster were preaching. She was later baptised and received into fellowship. Violet was a Christian lady who lived her life to prove the reality of her faith. She was a keen piano player, and her knitting skills were appreciated by many missionaries across the world. She married Will Gilliland on 23rd February, 1955 and was received into fellowship in Ballymagarrick Gospel Hall, where she spent the remainder of her life. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her large funeral in Carryduff Gospel Hall was conducted by Willie Fenton, assisted by Wesley Emerson, Uel Crothers, Jim McMullen and Samuel Thompson. Norrie Emerson brought a message of challenge at the graveside and Joe Rodgers prayed. Remember in prayer her husband Will, sons Jim, John and William and their families.
Mrs Kathleen Johnston, aged 94, called home on 4th May. She was saved in 1952 while attending meetings conducted by Mr Robert Love. The hymn Have you read the story of the cross, Where Jesus bled and died, along with John 3.16 brought peace and assurance of salvation to her troubled soul. Her husband Daniel was called home as a result of an accident in 1975 leaving our highly esteemed sister a widow for 37 years. She was a consistent member of the Ballymagarrick assembly for many years, was a faithful supporter of the gospel and was steadfast in her conviction until her homecall. She was marked by a mild, humble and sincere nature which endeared her to many. She was lovingly cared for by her daughter Rosemary and other family members over a period of failing health. She will be greatly missed by her family who showed much devotion and love to her until the Lord gently took her home. Her funeral service was conducted by Mr Jack Lennox, and Mr John Rogers assisted by Mr Sam Ferguson and Mr Sam McBride when messages of comfort and challenge were given.
Mrs Mary Ann (Mirian) Matthews, of the Forres assembly. On 13th February our beloved sister Mirian was called home in her 83rd year having spent all her adult life in quiet and consistent testimony for the Lord. Saved as a young woman in her native Portessie, Mirian later married Sam Matthews and spent her married life in fellowship with the assembly in Forres. Sam and Mirians home was always open for the Lords people and Mirian will be remembered by many as a most generous, thoughtful and meticulous hostess. She was truly "a succourer of many". For a long time she corresponded with people in the area who had been bereaved, even though they were unknown to her, sending them a copy of Words of Comfort and remembering them in prayer. The large company at her burial was testimony to the high esteem in which Mirian was held. Prayer would be valued by Sam, his daughter Sheena, and her family.
Mrs Jean Morgan (née Brown), aged 71, was called home on 6th April after a very short illness. Born into the Brown family in Galston, Ayrshire, she trusted the Lord in her early years and was baptised and received into assembly fellowship in 1958. After her marriage to Jim they continued in Galston, moving later with Jims employment to Ardrossan, then to Larbert, and for the last 21 years lived in Aberdeen, being identified with the Fountain Hall assembly. Jean maintained a consistent testimony and was of a cheerful and hospitable disposition. Her musical talent will be missed at the gatherings to which she so ably contributed. Her large funeral drew many from across the North-East of Scotland, and some from the assemblies she had attended in previous years. Prayer is requested for Jim, their son Kenneth, and his wife Laura.
Elizabeth (Beth) McCune, aged 70, passed away on 14th April. Saved as a girl of 13, Beth and her husband Arthur were received into fellowship in the Bloomfield assembly in 1981. After several years of ill-health, Beth was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2008. From this moment, she accepted her lot as being the will of God and displayed complete confidence in Him. Despite the many complications of her extremely debilitating illness, she maintained a wonderful, bright spirit and great dignity at all times and was present at the assembly meetings when possible until a few months before her passing. She was faithfully and lovingly cared for by Arthur at home until two days before her home-call which were spent in the Belfast Hospice. The many carers and health personnel who attended Beth over the four years were greatly impressed with her immense courage and Arthurs devotion and dedication. An unusually large number of Health personnel joined with friends and family at the packed funeral service in the Gospel Hall. David Gilliland presented the gospel clearly in the hall and at the grave. Eddie McKnight, David Hawthorne and Malcolm Beattie shared in the services and George Green gave a fitting tribute.
Mrs Rachel (Rita) Wilson, aged 91, went to be with Christ on 10th April. Our sister was saved some 67 years ago. After a period of fellowship in the assembly meeting at Wellington Street, Ballymena, in 1950 she and her late husband Robert were amongst the foundation members of the assembly at Harryville, Ballymena. Mrs Wilson was a faithful member of the assembly and, within her sphere as a sister, contributed fully to the testimony in that area. Shortly after the homecall of her husband in 2004 she entered a nursing home and there resided until the Lord called her home to Heaven. She will be sadly missed by her family and in the assembly. Her funeral services were conducted by David Armstrong and Wesley Martin assisted by other local brethren.