Mr James (Jim) Moorhead Flanigan, aged 83 years, went to be with his Lord on 17th November. Jim was born in East Belfast into a Christian home where both his father and mother were active members of the local Baptist Church. There, through godly teachers, Jim learned the necessity and the way of salvation and at the age of eleven he came to know the Saviour, trusting Him with a simple childlike faith. That was just three weeks after his mother's homecall. Very shortly after, the family home was completely destroyed in the air blitz of May, 1941 and Jim as a motherless lad, together with the remainder of the family, were evacuated outside the city, all of this leaving a profound impression on his sensitive young life. When the family returned to the city two years later Jim met an old school friend who introduced him to the assembly meeting in Parkgate Avenue, Belfast. The simple godly order he observed there and their interest in the Scriptures won his heart. But he was still a junior and not at liberty to join them. He was baptised in the Baptist Church by the pastor there, the late Samuel Jardine, who also himself identified with the assemblies of the Lord's people and became known to many through his writings. Then in 1946, when granted parental permission to move, Jim was received into the fellowship of the Parkgate assembly and for the greater part of 70 years he esteemed it a privilege just to be gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus alone. Jim left school at the age of fourteen, found employment in the retail trade and advanced therein in responsibility. But all the while God was calling him into special service for Himself. He had already tasted the deep joy of seeing souls saved and saints refreshed under his ministry and in 1972 he resigned his employment to devote all his time to the work of the Lord. In that ministry Jim travelled widely, throughout Ireland (North and South), to mainland Britian, Australia, Jersey, USA, Canada, South Africa and the land of Israel, and in every place saw God's accompanying hand in blessing. The Lord gave to Jim a unique ministry - Christ centred and coming from a heart deeply devoted to the Saviour. Through it many were to find and trust the Saviour and many, whose hearts had grown cold, were restored again to a closer walk with the Lord. In later years Jim gave himself extensively to a written ministry. Thoughtful, orderly, accurate and lucid in his writings, Jim has left for us a large legacy, rich in both exposition of Scripture and in appreciation of Christ. For upwards of forty years Jim paid repeated visits to Eritz Israel, a land that he loved, there to trace again and again, and to meditate upon, the earthly pathway of his beloved Lord and there to visit the little assemblies that were dear to his heart, especially in Jerusalem, where it all began and where today the testimony is so very weak. It was Jim's request that we "pray for the peace of Jerusalem". Pray too for his widow, Marilyn, Jim's two sons and their families. Marilyn, Jim's second wife, came into his life after the home call of his first wife, Doris, in Australia, and for some twenty years, with her nursing experience and tender devotion, she enabled Jim to continue with his valued ministry among the Lord's people and then gave to him all the needed care throughout increasingly debilitating closing years. We thank God today for Jim's contribution, very rich and very sweet, leaving behind a fragrant memory. The very large gathering at the funeral service, in which Malcolm Radcliffe, Jack Strahan, Thomas Adamson and Jim McMullan had part, reflected the very high esteem in which Jim was held.
Mr Jim (James) Black, aged 66, passed suddenly into the presence of his Saviour on 4th December He was saved on 14th February, 1961 as a boy of 14 having been awakened to his need through the hymn, "Again the blessed gospel I have heard". He was a much valued and esteemed brother who gathered with the saints in the Ballyshiel assembly, and was predeceased by his beloved wife Myrtle in September, 2011. A large company heard the gospel clearly preached at the graveside in Monaghan by David Morgan with W J Nesbitt closing in prayer.
Mr Michael Bond, aged 66 years, went to be with Christ on 26th November, after a long trying illness which he bore with great dignity and courage. He was saved on 18th November, 1967, as a young man of 20 years, after his second gospel meeting, when Peter Brandon preached in Victoria Hall, Belfast. Soon after, he was baptised and received into the Donegal Road assembly, Belfast, but the greater part of his life was in the Scotch Street assembly, Portadown, where he was a valued member for 39 years. He was faithful and helpful to the Lord's people, with a love for the Scriptures and the preaching of the gospel. He will be sadly missed in the assembly gatherings. His funeral was conducted by R Pickering when words of comfort and gospel were given. A fitting tribute was also given by his son-in-law, David Blevins. Prayer would be appreciated for his wife Jean (née Fisher), son Alistair, and daughter Ruth, with their families.