Honoring 58 Years of Service
On January 13, 2005, from his room at Barclay House in North Bay, Uncle Ernie passed into the presence of the Lord Jesus. He was born on a cold winter night, January 15, 1915 at the family homestead in Arnstein. Of that night he said, “My mother did not have a doctor or a midwife to assist in my coming into the world. My father and my young brother were the only human beings with mother that night. But the Lord was there, giving wisdom and strength to my dear father and mother, and keeping watch.”
Uncle Ernie was the second of eleven children and attended the one room schoolhouse in Arnstein until grade six. As a teenager, along with his sister Francis, he helped raise the family after their mother became ill.
In his personal testimony he wrote, “As a child I was taught that I was a sinner, and that heaven I would never see if I rejected Him. In my fourteenth year I became troubled about my condition as a sinner. On my knees in my parent’s home one night in the month of August, I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior.”
Uncle Ernie worked on the family farm and cut logs in the bush in the winter. In the fall of 1946, after deep exercise as to the will of God in his life, and feeling it was God’s will that he go and preach the gospel and help the people of God, he went to the elders of the Arnstein assembly. They gave him their fellowship both in word and in written commendation.
In 1951, at the Huntsville conference, he met Mr. Herb Harris who encouraged him to come to Newfoundland to help in the work there. A brother from the English Point assembly in Labrador wrote, “When we think of Uncle Ernie we are reminded of the early days of the Gospel along the Labrador coast. Some of our earliest memories of him are when he visited on the little boat called the MGM.”
From the Christians in St. John’s, Newfoundland came this tribute: “Uncle Ernie, as he was affectionately known by many Christians in Newfoundland and Labrador, was a tremendous help and encouragement to the assem blies here. It was evident he had a genuine concern for the Lord’s people and the preservation of New Testament truth.”
Brother Bert Joyce sent a message for the funeral in which he spoke of the many places where Uncle Ernie labored. He summed it up in these words, “I am sure many could add to these remarks, but Heaven has recorded his service for God and the Day will declare it fully.”
He preached in differenct parts of Canada and the United States. In later years, he and my father, Robert Booth, often labored together.
Although a bachelor, Uncle Ernie always kept in touch with his large extended family. He faithfully visited the sick and the dying, and also helped the assemblies in northern Ontario.
At the large funeral, his nephew Tom Dellandrea read a touching testimony that Uncle Ernie had written to be read at his funeral. The speakers were Harold Paisley and David Booth. Also, ten other of the Lord’s servants were at the funeral. Brother Paisley’s message was a solemn and searching word to the many unsaved who were present.