“A Succourer Of Many, And Of Myself Also”
Others! No word could quite summarize and characterize the life of our brother in a more fitting way. A selfless, humble man, he was always seeking to be a help and an encouragement to others.
Here was a man with a world wide interest in the gospel and the people of God, yet possessed of an intense burden for his own area of New England. He was a tireless visitor of the sick and aged, yet was always seeking to encourage and strengthen younger believers.
The assembly at East Boston and then, subsequent to its move, at Saugus, was his life. He poured everyting of his amazing energies into its prosperity. Yet he was never so parochial in his outlook, that he forgot other assemblies and their needs. He had an undisguised love for his family, yet a heart so big that he had a large extended family. “Uncle Freddie” was not a rare expression.
He was a genuine shepherd who knew what it was to watch for souls with both tears as well as joy. As a shepherd, he encouraged and comforted in his ministry. Yet he knew and appreciated the need for the careful study of the Word of God. He did not disdain those whose gift was teaching but encouraged and fostered it. The yearly Saugus Bible readings are a testimony to this.
A note from overseas expressed sorrow at his passing. The writer had hoped to personally meet Fred on a proposed visit. He expressed how he had heard from many in his native land of Fred’s kindness, hospitality and help. I could only write back that all this was true, and much more. There were deeds done, letters written, phone calls made, that helped, preserved and encouraged many. The Bema will reveal the full value of such a life.
Others! If the ultimate value of a life is its proximity to the life of the Savior who “esteemed OTHERS better…”, then we have been privileged to have a Christ-like man amongst us. “Whoso faith follow…”
“A Brother Dearly Beloved”
These few lines cannot be adequate to express our deep sense of loss for Fred Hill, but then no words are sufficient. We loved him dearly and for the reasons already expressed, but mostly because he was Christ-like and faithful.
He said to me a week before his homecall, “I want to go till I drop.” This was true, but it was not a “drop”. It was an upward call.