The news of the homecall of our beloved brother, A. M. S. Gooding on May 3rd was received on this side of the Atlantic with a sense of loss. Prayer is requested for our brother’s beloved wife, Hilda, three sons and one daughter and their spouses who are in assembly fellowship. There are a number of grandchildren.
Brother Gooding was saved at the age of fourteen in Suffolk, East Anglia. At sixteen, he was deeply stirred to yield his life to the Lord for whatever service in which God would use him. He became a diligent student of the Word of God and this was evident in all the years that followed.
He spent 33 years at John Ritchie Ltd. Beginning as a typesetter in the print room, he became Managing Director. He contributed much to the Believer’s Magazine and later became the editor of “Assembly Testimony”.
During these years at Ritchie’s, he was deeply appreciated as a faithful shepherd in Elim Hall, Kilmarnock. His ministry in his home area and further afield was greatly appreciated. He also preached the gospel in summer tents, often with Jack Hunter. Many souls were saved and are in assemblies today as fruit of these labors. In 1974, the assembly commended him to the work of the Lord. He had an outstanding gift as a teacher and often opened Bible Readings in many parts of the UK.
His ministry among assemblies in North America was a great blessing to us. The most vivid recollection of his teaching was at the Toronto conference in 1995. Because of failing eyesight, he asked me to read the Scriptures from which he spoke. The three messages were on Paradise; 1 John 1:1-10 and the words of the risen Lord to the church at Ephesus from Rev 2:1-4. His ministry was with power. About this time, we also heard him speak on Romans 12:1-2. It was an experience never to be forgotten because this was the Scripture that so deeply exercised him as a young Christian. His personal commitment to the service of the Lord impressed every listener.
In the John Ritchie series, “What the Bible Teaches,” his careful exegesis of the Epistles of John has been a great blessing to us. His book on “The Thirteen Judges” is an excellent commentary. It was transcribed from ministry that he gave on this period of Israel’s history.