Our beloved and highly esteemed brother and servant of the Lord, Mr. Douglas C. Howard, was called home quite suddenly in his 84th year. He was born in Montreal, Quebec, February 6, 1915, to Charles and Edith (Budd) Howard. Four years later the Howards moved to Toronto where they were associated with the assembly meeting in the Bracondale Gospel Hall. At the age of 15 after a regular gospel meeting at which the late John Spreeman spoke, Doug Howard accepted Christ as his Savior. While the truth of John 5:24 was being explained to him with the “verily, verily” clarified as “truly, truly”, he grasped the fact that it was really true that Christ died for his sins upon the cross.
Shortly after five fruitful weeks of gospel meetings with brother Murray McCandless in the Amherst Gospel Hall, he took his be loved wife, Muriel to a large Mall. After parking his vehicle he entered the mall and suddenly suffered a severe stroke. The following day with his wife and some of the family present at the hospital bed, our dear brother peacefully went home to heaven. His final series had been marked, as many mentioned, by great enthusiasm and earnest, clear presentations of the gospel. Some said they had never heard him better though in younger days he was much more vigorous in his preaching.
It is a great privilege, having been a co-worker in a number of gospel series with brother Howard, both in Vancouver, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, to pay him this tribute.
Commended by the saints of the Bracondale assembly in Toronto, his exercise led him to the Maritimes where he labored for a number of years with many brethren who have gone on before such as Frank Pearcey, Albert Ramsay, Fred Holder, Herb Harris, Russell Harris, and with many other brethren both older and younger than himself. His desire was not only to see souls brought to Christ, though he had an overriding love to present the gospel message, but also to see assemblies formed and saints walking in the truth of God. He had great input in the establishing of the assemblies in St. John’s and in Carbonear, Newfoundland with brother Herb Harris. He also helped to form the assemblies at Oxford and Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. A number of years were spent on the West Coast in British Columbia and Oregon, U.S.A. where the assembly was formed in Salem. The writer also has many happy memories of several years spent during the summer on the M.G.M. (Missionary Gospel Messenger boat). Though most of his efforts inside the boat were confined to being our cook, and he did a good job, he was always ready, as required of us all, to be on deck to preach when we stopped at a new wharf or outport. Times were often stormy both in terms of the weather and in presenting the gospel. On one occasion we were obliged to ride out a 50 mile per hour gale with mountainous waves and only one of our two engines operating. Another time in a small town with a number of saints on board for support, our brother was preaching in his inimitable rapid-fire way, when a man rowed out in a dory with a shotgun and fired three times over our heads, blasting at the loud speaker. He managed to make it more tinny sounding but never stopped the flow of our brother’s preaching. I am sure many could testify to the endurance needed when the gospel has been opposed. Doug was no stranger to this type of problem.
It must be commented that our dear brother always had an excellent attitude and a great interest in the care and welfare of the saints and assemblies. His warm approach and kindly demeanor when engaged in conversation with anyone, won him many friends and enabled many contacts in the gospel. Our brother has endeared himself so much to us all that he will be greatly missed. His immediate family were all able to be at the funeral service in Moncton, where he and his wife Muriel had recently moved to an apartment with his son Stephen and wife Donita. His older brother Herb in Toronto was unable to attend. A very large gathering attested to the respect and love of the saints for our dear brother. Brethren Robert McIlwaine, Albert Hull, Bert Joyce and Ken Taylor, shared in the service. Surely many will rise up in that day to call him blessed, for exalting his Lord and bringing the good news of the gospel. Pray for his dear wife Muriel, who will have lonely times, and also the family and 13 grandchildren.
Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master’s joy.
Soldier of Christ, well done
Praise be thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Savior’s joy.