Mr Richard (Dick) Draper, aged 103, was called Home peacefully on 18 January. Known to many as 'Uncle Dick', he was saved in his mid teens having heard the gospel preached at a tent mission in his home town of Skibbereen. He studied the Scriptures and, in due time, saw the truth of assembly gatherings. He and his wife formed the basis of the assembly as we know it today in Skibbereen. They met for seven years on their own before they saw others saved and added to the fellowship. They had the joy of seeing the assembly go from strength to strength. He was a wonderful personal worker and used his profession as an ophthalmic optician to witness to many folks. His home was open to everyone, and he used every opportunity to witness to callers. He spent over two years in the local Community Hospital and witnessed to many until he was called Home. Only heaven will reveal how many lives 'Uncle Dick' touched. His funeral was a testament to the respect he had in the area and around the country, as there were many who travelled long distances to show their esteem and to sympathise with his niece Lilian. D Gilliland spoke at the funeral and was assisted by local brethren. Please pray for all who will greatly miss him, and especially for his devoted niece Lilian.
Mrs Jean Greer (née Shields), aged 96, was called Home on Lord's Day, 7 February from Faith House, where she had been cared for since December 2010. She was saved as a young girl of 13 years, baptised and received into fellowship at Kingsbridge assembly, Belfast, where she took a keen interest in the Sunday School. In 1960, she and her husband David moved to Ormeau/Laganvale assembly where both were of great help. David predeceased her in 1996, and our dear sister continued with her involvement in the Sisters' Missionary Work for as long as she was able. Her well-attended funeral was conducted by local brethren, S Graham, J Matthews and R McGowan.
Mrs Ellen (Ellie) Hanna, aged 90, was called Home on 18 January. She was born and brought up in Dromore, Co Down, the eldest of a family of four. Ellie was saved in 1952 at very fruitful meetings conducted by Mr William Bunting. Shortly after her conversion she was baptised and received into fellowship in Dromore Gospel Hall. She then moved to Lisburn where she was in fellowship in Wallace Avenue Gospel Hall. After 27 years she returned to Dromore with her late husband, Cecil, and God answered her prayers in his salvation shortly afterwards. He predeceased her some 21 years ago. She was a very valued member of the Dromore assembly, being present at every assembly gathering, and only missing three Breaking of Bread meetings during the last year. She truly adorned the doctrine of Christ and will be sadly missed in the assembly and by her loved ones. The funeral was from Dromore Gospel Hall and was conducted by P Warnock, B Tinsley, D Graham and P Tinsley.
Mr Geoff Harvey, aged 91, was called Home in December. Geoff was born and brought up in Norwich, where he was saved and in assembly fellowship until 1942. On reaching his eighteenth birthday he was conscripted and posted to RAF Turnberry, Ayrshire. On his arrival in Scotland he immediately identified himself with the assembly in Girvan and enthusiastically became involved in the work of the believers there. A little over a year later he was invited to preach at nearby Crosshill assembly, where he met his soon-to-be wife, Annie (née McBurney), who predeceased him a number of years ago. They subsequently set up home in Crosshill where they both remained in fellowship for the rest of their lives. Geoff's long life was marked by consistent and devoted commitment to the work of the assembly and to the spread of the gospel in Crosshill village and the surrounding area. Each month, when well into his eighties, he and similarly aged members of the assembly distributed gospel leaflets and invitations to the entire village. Sadly, due to declining physical and mental health, our brother spent his last nine months in care, from which the Lord took him Home. Prayer would be appreciated for his family, and especially for the few believers who remain in Crosshill.
Miss Mary McNicholl (affectionately known as Mary Mac), born in 1917, was called home on 6 February. Our dear sister was much loved for her consistency in the assembly and her kindness to the believers, particularly our young people. She truly adorned the doctrine. To everyone she met she was a bright, colourful character in a grey world. She travelled to Australia twice and lived there for a few years, visiting New Zealand in the course of one of those visits. She was quite a hoarder of good articles from magazines and newspapers, and could produce the appropriate clipping from what might seem chaos to everyone else. She was saved in her late teens and proved her salvation throughout her long life. Mary never married although, when asked about this, even in her nineties, she would always reply "Not yet!". She was lovingly cared for by her great nieces and died peacefully in the comfort and care of Faith House Eventide Home. Some might think she almost made it - just over another year and she would have reached the century! The truth is that no royal telegram could ever compare with the reception she has already experienced from the King of Kings. In that real sense, she has made it! She did what she could, and has left a wonderful testimony that will continue to be an inspiration to all who knew her. Her large funeral was conducted in Glengormley Gospel Hall by local brethren.
Mr Thomas Henry (Harry) Moore was called Home on his 84th birthday. He was saved as a boy in 1944 and later received into fellowship in the Ballylintagh assembly, Co Londonderry, where his late parents were among the founder members. Harry had been treasurer and correspondent for many years but, latterly, owing to ill health, was unable to attend the assembly meetings. He was a faithful elder, a quiet and consistent brother, who will be greatly missed by the assembly and his family. His large funeral service was conducted by B Gibson and C Dinsmore, both from the Ballylintagh assembly, and his son-in-law Pranesh Anandlal (South Africa). Tributes were lovingly paid by his daughter, Sharon, and grandson, Hugh.
Miss Louisa Mary Porter, aged 98, was called Home on 11 January. She was saved at meetings held in Ballymagarrick in 1939 by the late John Hutchinson. Our sister was later baptised and received into the Ballymagarrick assembly. She was of a quiet, friendly disposition, always with an interest in the assembly even when she became unable to attend. The funeral service was conducted by J Rogers and R Pickering assisted by Samuel and Sydney Glenn, J Rogers and J Patterson.
Mr David Price, aged 69, went to be with the Lord on 8 January, after a brief but serious illness that was diagnosed just a few weeks before his homecall. David was saved as a boy of 15 under the preaching of Mr Hull and Mr Adamson in Sherrygroom Orange Hall, Co Tyrone. Upon hearing the words of 1 John 1.7 quoted in the meeting, he put his trust in Christ and was saved. He was later baptised and received into the fellowship of the Drumreagh assembly, Newmills, Co Tyrone. His wife, Miriam, predeceased him by just ten months, also having suffered a serious illness. Prayer will be appreciated for his three girls, two sons-in-law and five grandchildren, who feel keenly the double loss within such a short period. He was a faithful attender at the various gatherings of the assembly, and his participation in the remembrance meeting will be missed. The funeral services in the home, in Cookstown Gospel Hall and at the graveside were conducted by brethren J Rogers and W Boyd.
Miss Iris Scott passed away on 8 January, aged 81 years. Our sister was saved as a girl in her teens and was received into fellowship in the assembly at Waringstown. She was also a regular attender of the midweek meetings of the assembly in Lurgan. Her quiet and godly demeanour left a marked impression on many. Iris never married, but she had a great interest in children's work and also used her influence to bring many friends and members of the family under the sound of the gospel. Her well-attended funeral service was conducted by local brethren, and many who do not often hear the way of salvation listened to the messages. She will be greatly missed in both the assembly and the community, and not least in her family, especially by her remaining sister, Eileen.
Miss Rebecca Scott, aged 91, was called Home to glory on 6 December. Rebecca was saved at the age of 15 and, following baptism, was received into the assembly in Drumenagh where she remained in happy fellowship until her passing. Her love for the Lord was expressed by her devotion to the assembly, by her prayers, and in her support of the gospel. Over the years she consistently encouraged evangelists with her hospitality and by encouraging sinners to come and hear the gospel. She was well known for her kindness, with her home always open to her sister and brothers, her nieces and nephews, and the surrounding neighbourhood. She is greatly missed by her sister Marion, her wider family circle, and the assembly. Rebecca's funeral was taken by L Craig and W Martin.
Mrs Joan Toal was called Home to be with Christ on 20 January after a period of illness patiently borne. Joan was saved in 1960 while attending meetings conducted by J Martin (Ballymena) in Ballyshiel Gospel Hall, the words 'Jesus died for me' bringing deliverance to her burdened soul. Shortly after her conversion, she and her husband Wilfred were received into the assembly at Ballyshiel where she remained until it pleased the Lord to take her to be with Him. She was highly valued amongst the saints and will be greatly missed by the Ballyshiel assembly. Joan was a quiet, gentle Christian lady, giving a most welcoming smile to everyone with whom she came in contact. Much loved by her husband Wilfred, her family, and her grandchildren, her passing will be deeply felt. Her very large funeral, conducted by R Reynolds and J Rogers assisted by H Hunter and D McBride, showed the respect in which our highly esteemed sister was held. Prayer is requested for some of those who were very special to Joan and who are still without Christ.